Reconsidering the Sources of the Self in the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Periods


Sean Costello

Department of Philosophy,
Hertford College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Sean M. Costello is a postgraduate student in philosophy and a recipient of the Senior Scholarship at Hertford College, University of Oxford. He is also the current president of the British Postgraduate Philosophy Association. In 2016 he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in philosophy, where he also won the Dockweiler Medal for best philosophical essay.

His research thus far has been largely focused on exploring the psychological and metaphysical works of Plato and Aristotle. Costello has been especially concerned with analyzing Plato’s understanding of the self and the soul in two of his middle dialogues, the First Alcibiades and the Phaedrus, and currently has papers on these topics in progress. Further, he has written on Aristotle’s understanding of the role of emotion in memory, his theory of light and visual perception, and his use of σύμφυτον πνεῦμα in De Motu Animalium.

His thesis, which he is writing under the supervision of Professor Anna Marmodoro, concerns Aristotle’s understanding of φαντασία and its role in the workings of his cognitive psychology.

Presentation title: Examining the self in Plato’s Phaedrus: what we were when we were ‘καθαροὶ ὄντες’

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