The Aristotelian Society

The Aristotelian Society

est. 1880

2016 Joint Session

the inaugural address



Plato gives us (at least) two model philosophical figures, apparently in contrast with each other – one is the otherworldly philosopher who sees truth and reality outside the Cave and has the knowledge to rule authoritatively within it; the other is the demotic figure of Socrates, who insists that he does not know but only asks questions. I consider Plato’s contrasting idioms of seeing and asking or talking, and argue that the rich account of perception that is represented in the Republic requires both idioms, and both models, to explain the development of epistemic virtue. Furthermore, the conditions he places on the giving and taking of reasons show how Plato takes intellectual virtue to be inseparable from moral virtue (in ways that Aristotle rejects). That integrated picture of virtue may – however disposed we may be towards the role of virtue in either ethics or epistemology – have something to say to us about how philosophy might best be carried on.


Mary Margaret McCabe works on ancient philosophy, on ethics and on the philosophy of medicine; she has published mostly on Plato, but also on the Presocratics, on Aristotle and on the Stoics, as well as on topics in contemporary ethics and medicine. She started her career as Fellow of Classics at New Hall Cambridge (1981-90); she moved to the Department of Philosophy at King’s College London in 1990, where she was Professor of Ancient Philosophy from 1998 to her retirement in 2014, and thereafter Professor of Philosophy Emerita. She is now Keeling Scholar in Residence and Honorary Professor of Philosophy at University College, London (2014-17) and Bye-Fellow of Newnham College Cambridge. She was President of the British Philosophical Association 2008-12. She has spent extended periods in the U.S.A. – at Yale, Princeton and Harvard – and will be the Sather Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2017, delivering the Sather Lectures on virtue and knowledge in Plato. She is the author of Plato on Punishment (1981), Plato’s Individuals (1994), Plato and his Predecessors: The Dramatisation of Reason [from the Stanford Lectures, Trinity College Dublin] (2000) and Platonic Conversations (2015). She is the editor of the Cambridge University Press series, Cambridge Studies in the Dialogues of Plato, for which her Plato’s Euthydemus is in the late stages of preparation.

further info


Cardiff University

8 - 10 July 2016

School of English, Communication and Philosophy
John Percival Building
Cardiff University
Colum Road
Cardiff CF10 3EU

Local Organisers: Nicholas Shackel

Programme edited by Matthew Soteriou (Warwick)

Visit the Official 2016 Joint Session Website | View the Open & Postgraduate Session CFP| View the Schedules for Future Joint Sessions | Listen to Joint Session Podcasts | Learn about the Supplementary Volume

future joint sessions

2017 joint session:

7 - 9 july 2017

2018 joint session:

july 2018

2019 joint session:

july 2019

supplementary volume

The inaugural address and symposia for the Joint Session are published in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, which is published digitally and in hardcover every June. The Supplementary Volume is sent to subscribing members of the Society in categories 4 and 5.

Members in other categories can purchase the hardcover Supplementary Volume from the Online Shop. Volumes will also be available at the registration desk during the conference.

The hardcover volume is printed in black on an 80gsm white book wove stock accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Binding is in dark blue Arbelave Library Buckram over 2500 micron boards blocked in gold on the spine. This makes for a strong, attractive and durable book with a scuff resistant and wipeable cover.

Subscriptions to the Supplementary Volume also includes online access via Wiley Online Library (please note that one-off purchases of the hardcover volume do not include membership or online access).

Cardiff University Joint Session Call for Papers

past conferences

2015 joint session:

10 - 12 july 2015

2014 joint session:

11 - 13 july 2014

2013 joint session:

12 - 14 july 2013

subscribing memberships

Subscribing members receive online access to the Proceedings from 2000 to the most current issue.

Subscribing members also receive the bound, hardcover volume of the latest Proceedings through the post.