Rachel Barney

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BA (Toronto), PhD (Princeton)


Rachel Barney is Professor of both Classics and Philosophy. She was an undergraduate at University of Toronto, and returned after earning a PhD at Princeton and teaching at the University of Ottawa, Harvard and the University of Chicago. Her research has ranged from the early sophists to the late Neoplatonic commentator Simplicius, but focusses on Plato. Her particular interest is in areas in which questions of ethics, psychology, epistemology, and philosophical method meet, as in Plato’s theory of the good. Her recent publications include Plato and the Divided Self, co-edited with Tad Brennan and Charles Brittain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012); “History and Dialectic (Metaphysics A 3, 983a24-4b8)”, in Carlos Steel ed., Aristotle’s Metaphysics Alpha (Symposium Aristotelicum XVIII). (Oxford University Press, 2012); “Notes on the Kalon and the Good in Plato,” Classical Philology (Special Issue: Beauty, Harmony and the Good, October 2010); ”Plato on Desire for the Good”, S. Tenenbaum (ed.), Desire, Good, and Practical Reason. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); “Ring-Composition in Plato: the Case ofRepublic X,” in M. McPherran (ed.), Cambridge  Critical Guide to Plato’s Republic(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); “Gorgias’ Defence: Plato and his Opponents on Rhetoric and the Good,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 48.1 (2010): 95-121; “Simplicius: Commentary, Harmony, and Authority,”  Antiquorum Philosophia3 (2009): 101-20; “Aristotle’s Argument for a Human Function,” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 34 (2008): 293-322; “Eros and Necessity in the Ascent from the Cave,” Ancient Philosophy 28:2 (2008): 357-72; and “The Carpenter and the Good”, in D. Cairns, F. G. Herrmann, and T. Penner (eds.),  Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato’s Republic (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2008). Earlier work includes a book on Plato’s CratylusNames and Nature in Plato’s Cratylus (New York: Routledge, 2001).


Primary Office

Department of Philosophy

170 St. George St., Room 426

Fax: 416-978-8703



Secondary Office
Department of Classics

125 Queen’s Park Crescent, Room 131
Tel: 416-978-8513
Fax: 416-978-7037


For more information visit Prof. Barney’s personal website.