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"Indeterminacy and Argument in Greek Philosophy: An Alternative Metaphysics in Protagoras, Pyrrho and in the Socratic Schools (traditionally named as 'minor')."

Final Report Summary - IAGPH (Indeterminacy and Argument in Greek Philosophy: An Alternative Metaphysics in Protagoras, Pyrrho and in the Socratic Schools (traditionally named as 'minor').)

Final Scientific Report
(‪276176‬ ‪IAGPH‬)

The project on indeterminacy in ancient Greek philosophy has now seen its end. The following final report will explain and comment on the main scholarly results obtained by the fellow in the actual elaboration of the project.

1) Main Topic in its general lines

The project was centred on the crucial notion of indeterminacy in ancient Greek philosophy, in particular on the philosophical role that the notion played in the thought of the sophist Protagoras, the Socratic schools of the Cyrenaics and the Megarians and of the actual beginner of ancient scepticism, Pyrrho of Elis.

2) Key-philosophers in the project and new acquired skills

Large part of the project was devoted to provide a full—both historical and philosophical—assessment of the theoretical contribution of the Cyrenaics and the Megarians, two extremely important Socratic schools that it is hard to come to terms with philosophically. This is so because there are many ancient sources dealing with those Socratic thinkers; yet, it is hard to offer a coherent picture of those sources, given the fragmentary state of the evidence. In short, the scholar who aims at providing a new, fresher interpretation of the philosophical contribution of the Cyrenaics and the Megarians has to work heavily both on the philological and philosophical side.

This project has enabled the fellow to do so in light of the new skills acquired during the actual elaboration of the project. As far as philology is concerned, the fellow has learned much in terms of how to deal with ancient texts and papyri that are damaged or corrupted. In more philosophical terms, the fellow has widened much his own understanding of indeterminacy by reading extensively in contemporary metaphysics, so to articulate the project along metaphysical line (in this connection, the fellow has made research trips to Dublin, to develop a new research project: see below).

3) Main outcomes of the project

The main outcomes of the project are actually the following four ones: two books (The Cyrenaics, Acumen: Durham, Ancient philosophies Series, 2012, paperback edition 2013; Megarians and Dialecticians, Acumen: Durham, Ancient philosophies Series; forthcoming 2014), an edited collection on the Socratics (The Socratics and the Socratic schools, Acumen: Durham, Ancient philosophies Series, forthcoming 2014) and an International conference on the Socratic schools (‘The Philosophical relevance of the Socratic schools’, Soprabolzano, 26-8 September 2013). See under dissemination.

4) Other outcomes

During the project, the fellow has contributed articles for Cambridge University Press, Brill and Akademia Verlag (see under the publications list) and has presented oral contribution in international venues (Italy, UK, Finland, France: again, see under dissemination in this report).

6) Further scientific development of the fellow.

In the two years of the fellowship, the fellow has become an important figure in the study of the Socratic schools, mainly by means of his publications and presentations. In light of this acquired professional maturity, the fellow has just been asked by the Board of the Oxford Bibliography online in Classics (Prof. Clayman being the head of the board) to write a comprehensive article on ‘Minor Socratics’. At the same time, Prof. George Boys-Stones (Durham University), the new editor of the Routledge Series ‘Issues in ancient philosophy’ has asked the fellow to contribute a comprehensive and systematic monograph on the Socratic schools. The provisional title of the book is ‘Philosophy beyond Socrates’ Athens. Cyrenaics, Cynics, Megarians and Elians’ and the final manuscript for review has to be handed in by June 2015. The fellow has made a research trip to Durham to discuss this new project with Prof. Boys-Stones.

Relying on the scientific and professional development acquired during the tenure of this fellowship, the fellow has been able to develop a new, more ambitious project on metaphysical indeterminacy in ancient and contemporary philosophy, which will be the focus of his new research agenda. The project has scored well in the recent ERC Consolidator Grant scheme and is now under consideration for another Marie Curie grant, to work with the leading metaphysician Peter Simons, in Dublin.

At the same time, the fellow has been contacted by American Universities that are now interested in his profile.