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Ronald Polansky

Professor and Chair
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

College Hall 303-A, Office Hours: Tuesday 1:00-3:00
Phone: 412.396.6500


Ph.D., Philosophy, Boston College, 1974
M.A., Philosophy, Boston College, 1971
B.A., Economics, Yale University, 1970


My special area of research is ancient philosophy, with some dabbling in early modern philosophy.


Presocratics, Plato: Early Dialogues, Middle Dialogues, Later Dialogues

Aristotle: Metaphysics, De Anima, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, Physics, Poetics

Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau

Selected Publications


Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Cambridge University Press, July 2014

Aristotle's De Anima: A Critical Commentary, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Bioethics: Ancient Themes in Contemporary Issues, co-edited with Mark Kuczewski. M.I.T. Press, 2000 (paperback 2002).

Philosophy and Knowledge: A Commentary on Plato's Theaetetus, Bucknell University Press, 1992.


"Counting Hypotheses in Plato's Parmenides" co-authored with Joseph Cimakasky, Apeiron 2013, 46: 229-243.

"Descartes' 'Provisional Morality'" co-authored with Joseph Cimakasky, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly September 2012, 93: 353-372.

"God, the Divine, and Nous in Relation to the De anima" co-authored with Patrick MacFarlane, in Ancient Perspectives on Aristotle's De Anima. Gerd van Riel and Pierre Destrée eds. Leuven University Press. November 2009, 107-123.

"The Field for Virtue and Getting a Feel for It" co-authored with Stephanie Adair and Geoffrey Bagwell, Skepsis XX volume honoring Prof. Georgios Anagnostopoulos, Fall 2009, 15-26.

"Function, Ability, and Desire in Plato's Republic" co-authored with Antonis Coumoundouros in volume honoring G.X. Santas, Philosophical Inquiry Spring 2008, 1-14.

"Plot, Disease, and Bioethics" co-authored with Gabe Solomon M.D., Philosophical Inquiry Supplementary Volume Fall 2007, 29:154-169.

"Mistakes, Chance and Bioethics" co-authored with Gabe Solomon M.D., Philosophical Inquiry Supplementary Volume Fall 2007, 29: 170-182.

"The Bad Is Last but Does Not Last: Aristotle's Metaphysics Y 9" co-authored with Emily Katz, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy November 2006, 31: 233-242.

"The Enduring Charm of Plato's Unwritten Doctrines" co-authored with Patrick Macfarlane, Philosophy, Competition and the Good Life. Vol 2. K. Boudouris and Kostas Kalimtzis editors. Ionia Publications: Athens, 2005, 262-271.

"The Logic of Socratic Inquiry: Illustrated by Plato's Charmides" co-authored with Mark Brouwer, Socrates: 2400 years since his death, International Symposium Proceedings, Vassilis Karasmais ed. European Cultural Center of Delphi, 2004, 233-245.

"Disability in Earlier Greek Philosophers" co-authored with Patrick Macfarlane, Skepsis 15: 2004, 25-41.

"Moral Virtue and Megalopsychia" co-authored with James Stover, Ancient Philosophy 23: 2003, 351-359.

"Variety of Socratic Elenchi" co-authored with Micheele Carpenter in Gary A. Scott ed., Does Socrates Have a Method?: Rethinking the Elenchus in Plato's Dialogues and Beyond, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002, 89-100.

"Politeia is Aristotle's 'Best Constitution'" Iphitos 1: 2000, 59-70.