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Rachel Barney
University of Toronto, St. George
  1. [Aristotle], On Trolling.Rachel Barney - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):193-195.
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  2. Aristotle's Argument for a Human Function.Rachel Barney - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 34:293-322.
    A generally ignored feature of Aristotle’s famous function argument is its reliance on the claim that practitioners of the crafts (technai) have functions: but this claim does important work. Aristotle is pointing to the fact that we judge everyday rational agency and agents by norms which are independent of their contingent desires: a good doctor is not just one who happens to achieve his personal goals through his work. But, Aristotle argues, such norms can only be binding on individuals if (...)
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  3. Socrates' Refutation of Thrasymachus.Rachel Barney - 2006 - In Gerasimos Xenophon Santas (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Plato's Republic. Blackwell.
    Socrates’ refutations of Thrasymachus in Republic I are unsatisfactory on a number of levels which need to be carefully distinguished. At the same time several of his arguments are more powerful than they initially appear. Of particular interest are those which turn on the idea of a craft, which represents a shared norm of practical rationality here contested by Socrates and Thrasymachus.
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  4. The Carpenter and the Good.Rachel Barney - 2008 - In D. Cairns, F. G. Herrmann & T. Penner (eds.), Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic. University of Edinburgh.
    Among Aristotle’s criticisms of the Form of the Good is his claim that the knowledge of such a Good could be of no practical relevance to everyday rational agency, e.g. on the part of craftspeople. This critique turns out to hinge ultimately on the deeply different assumptions made by Plato and Aristotle about the relation of ‘good’ and ‘good for’. Plato insists on the conceptual priority of the former; and Plato wins the argument.
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  5. The Inner Voice: Kant on Conditionality and God as a Cause.Rachel Barney - 2015 - In Joachim Aufderheide & Ralf M. Bader (eds.), The Highest Good in Aristotle and Kant. Oxford University Press. pp. 158-182.
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  6. Eros and Necessity in the Ascent From the Cave.Rachel Barney - 2008 - Ancient Philosophy 28 (2):357-72.
    A generally ignored feature of Plato’s celebrated image of the cave in Republic VII is that the ascent from the cave is, in its initial stages, said to be brought about by force. What kind of ‘force’ is this, and why is it necessary? This paper considers three possible interpretations, and argues that each may have a role to play.
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  7. Plato on the Desire for the Good.Rachel Barney - 2010 - In Sergio Tenenbaum (ed.), Desire, Practical Reason, and the Good. Oxford University Press. pp. 34--64.
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  8. Comments on Sarah Broadie, “Virtue and Beyond in Plato and Aristotle”.Rachel Barney - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (Supplement):115-125.
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  9. Tsouna, Voula . The Ethics of Philodemus . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007 . Pp. 280. $72.00 (Cloth).Rachel Barney - 2010 - Ethics 120 (2):422-426.
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  10. Simplicius: Commentary, Harmony, and Authority.Rachel Barney - 2009 - Antiquorum Philosophia 3:101-120.
    Simplicius’ project of harmonizing previous philosophers deserves to be taken seriously as both a philosophical and an interpretive project. Simplicius follows Aristotle himself in developing charitable interpretations of his predecessors: his distinctive project, in the Neoplatonic context, is the rehabilitation of the Presocratics (especially Parmenides, Anaxagoras and Empedocles) from a Platonic-Aristotelian perspective. Simplicius’ harmonizations involve hermeneutic techniques which are recognisably those of the serious historian of philosophy; and harmonization itself has a distinguished history as a constructive philosophical method.
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  11. The Sophistic Movement.Rachel Barney - 2006 - In M. L. Gill & P. Pellegrin (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy. Blackwell.
    This discussion emphasises the diversity, philosophical seriousness and methodological distinctiveness of sophistic thought. Particular attention is given to their views on language, ethics, and the social construction of various norms, as well as to their varied, often undogmatic dialectical methods. The assumption that the sophists must have shared common doctrines (not merely overlapping interests and professional practices) is called into question.
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  12. Plato on Conventionalism.Rachel Barney - 1997 - Phronesis 42 (2):143 - 162.
    A new reading of Plato's account of conventionalism about names in the Cratylus. It argues that Hermogenes' position, according to which a name is whatever anybody 'sets down' as one, does not have the counterintuitive consequences usually claimed. At the same time, Plato's treatment of conventionalism needs to be related to his treatment of formally similar positions in ethics and politics. Plato is committed to standards of objective natural correctness in all such areas, despite the problematic consequences which, as he (...)
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  13. Appearances and Impressions.Rachel Barney - 1992 - Phronesis 37 (3):283-313.
    Pyrrhonian sceptics claim, notoriously, to assent to the appearances without making claims about how things are. To see whether this is coherent we need to consider the philosophical history of ‘appearance’(phainesthai)-talk, and the closely related concept of an impression (phantasia). This history suggests that the sceptics resemble Plato in lacking the ‘non-epistemic’ or ‘non-doxastic’ conception of appearance developed by Aristotle and the Stoics. What is distinctive about the Pyrrhonian sceptic is simply that the degree of doxastic commitment involved in his (...)
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  14. Platonism, Moral Nostalgia and the City of Pigs.Rachel Barney - 2001 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 17 (1):207-27.
    Plato’s depiction of the first city in the Republic (Book II), the so-called ‘city of pigs’, is often read as expressing nostalgia for an earlier, simpler era in which moral norms were secure. This goes naturally with readings of other Platonic texts (including Republic I and the Gorgias) as expressing a sense of moral decline or crisis in Plato’s own time. This image of Plato as a spokesman for ‘moral nostalgia’ is here traced in various nineteenth- and twentieth-century interpretations, and (...)
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  15. Notes on the Kalon and the Good in Plato.Rachel Barney - 2010 - Classical Philology 105:363-377.
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  16. Gorgias' Defense: Plato and His Opponents on Rhetoric and the Good.Rachel Barney - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):95-121.
    This paper explores in detail Gorgias' defense of rhetoric in Plato 's Gorgias, noting its connections to earlier and later texts such as Aristophanes' Clouds, Gorgias' Helen, Isocrates' Nicocles and Antidosis, and Aristotle's Rhetoric. The defense as Plato presents it is transparently inadequate; it reveals a deep inconsistency in Gorgias' conception of rhetoric and functions as a satirical precursor to his refutation by Socrates. Yet Gorgias' defense is appropriated, in a streamlined form, by later defenders of rhetoric such as Isocrates (...)
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  17. Socrates Agonistes: The Case of the Cratylus Etymologies.Rachel Barney - 1998 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 16:63-98.
    Are the long, wildly inventive etymologies in Plato’s Cratylus just some kind of joke, or does Plato himself accept them? This standard question misses the most important feature of the etymologies: they are a competitive performance, an agôn by Socrates in which he shows that he can play the game of etymologists like Cratylus better than they can themselves. Such show-off performances are a recurrent feature of Platonic dialogue: they include Socrates’ speeches on eros in the Phaedrus, his rhetorical discourse (...)
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  18. A Puzzle in Stoic Ethics.Rachel Barney - 2003 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24:303-40.
    It is very difficult to get a clear picture of how the Stoic is supposed to deliberate. This paper considers a number of possible pictures, which cover such a wide range of options that some look Kantian and others utilitarian. Each has some textual support but is also unworkable in certain ways: there seem to be genuine and unresolved conflicts at the heart of Stoic ethics. And these are apparently due not to developmental changes within the school, but to the (...)
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  19. History and Dialectic (Metaphysics A 3, 983a24-4b8).Rachel Barney - 2012 - In Carlos Steel (ed.), Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha (Symposium Aristotelicum XVIII). Oxford University Press. pp. 66-104.
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  20. Ring-Composition in Plato: The Case of Republic X.Rachel Barney - 2010 - In M. McPherran (ed.), Cambridge Critical Guide to Plato’s Republic. Cambridge University Press. pp. 32-51.
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