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Giovanni R. F. (John) Ferrari

Melpomene Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literature, Professor of Ancient Greek & Roman Studies
Spring 2024: W 1:00-2:30 p.m. on zoom, or by appointment. Please email me for zoom link.
Vita.pdf (134.58 KB)

Research Areas

Within the field of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, I gravitate toward ethics/politics and aesthetics.  Three of my books have been devoted to Plato's Republic (a monograph; an edited collection; and a translation for which I served as editor).  In ancient aesthetics Plato's critique of "the poets," Plato's own literary artistry, and Aristotle's Poetics have been abiding concerns.  I also maintain an independent interest in modern philosophical aesthetics.  In this area, I have published a monograph on social communication and storytelling and an article on the philosophy of gardens.  My current project is a book-length study of "Plato the Writer" — the title of an existing article of mine that amounts to a manifesto for the larger project.


Select publications:


City and Soul in Plato's RepublicLecturae Platonis.  Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag.  2003.  123 pp. (Hardback.)   Paperback reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  2005

The Messages We Send:  Social Signals and Storytelling.  Oxford.  Oxford University Press.  2017


"The Three-Part Soul": 165-201 in G.R.F. Ferrari, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Plato's Republic.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.  2007.

"The Meaninglessness of Gardens," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68.1 (2010): 33-45.

"Plato the Writer," Epoché 19.2 (2015):  191-203.

"Aristotle on Musical Catharsis and the Pleasure of a Good Story," Phronesis 64 (2019):  117-71.