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Matthew D. Walker
Yale-NUS College
  1.  51
    Aristotle on the Uses of Contemplation.Matthew D. Walker - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    Traditionally, Aristotle is held to believe that philosophical contemplation is valuable for its own sake, but ultimately useless. In this volume, Matthew D. Walker offers a fresh, systematic account of Aristotle's views on contemplation's place in the human good. The book situates Aristotle's views against the background of his wider philosophy, and examines the complete range of available textual evidence. On this basis, Walker argues that contemplation also benefits humans as perishable living organisms by actively guiding human life activity, including (...)
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  2. Aristotle on the Utility and Choiceworthiness of Friends.Matthew D. Walker - 2014 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 96 (2):151-182.
    Aristotle’s views on the choiceworthiness of friends might seem both internally inconsistent and objectionably instrumentalizing. On the one hand, Aristotle maintains that perfect friends or virtue friends are choiceworthy and lovable for their own sake, and not merely for the sake of further ends. On the other hand, in Nicomachean Ethics IX.9, Aristotle appears somehow to account for the choiceworthiness of such friends by reference to their utility as sources of a virtuous agent’s robust self-awareness. I examine Aristotle’s views on (...)
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  3. Structured Inclusivism About Human Flourishing: A Mengzian Formulation.Matthew D. Walker - 2013 - In Stephen C. Angle & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics and Confucianism. New York, NY, USA: pp. 94-102.
  4.  4
    Confucian Worries About the Aristotelian Sophos.Matthew D. Walker - 2016 - In Michael Slote Chienkuo Mi (ed.), Moral and Intellectual Virtues in Western and Chinese Philosophy: The Virtue Turn. New York, NY, USA: pp. 196-213.
    This chapter examines key Confucian worries about the Aristotelian sophos as a model of human flourishing. How strong are these worries? Do Aristotelians have good replies to them? Could the Aristotelian sophos, and this figure's distinguishing feature, sophia, be more appealing to the Confucian than they initially appear?
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  5.  48
    Rehabilitating Theoretical Wisdom.Matthew D. Walker - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (6):763-787.
    Given the importance of theoretical wisdom in Aristotle’s account of the human good, it is striking that contemporary virtue ethicists have been virtually silent about this intellectual virtue and what contribution it makes – or could make – toward human flourishing. In this paper, I examine, and respond to, two main worries that account for theoretical wisdom’s current marginality. Along the way, I sketch a neo-Aristotelian conception of theoretical wisdom, and argue that this intellectual virtue is more central to the (...)
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  6.  81
    Aristotle, Isocrates, and Philosophical Progress: Protrepticus 6, 40.15-20/B55.Matthew D. Walker - 2020 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 23 (1):197-224.
    In fragments of the lost Protrepticus, preserved in Iamblichus, Aristotle responds to Isocrates’ worries about the excessive demandingness of theoretical philosophy. Contrary to Isocrates, Aristotle holds that such philosophy is generally feasible for human beings. In defense of this claim, Aristotle offers the progress argument, which appeals to early Greek philosophers’ rapid success in attaining exact understanding. In this paper, I explore and evaluate this argument. After making clarificatory exegetical points, I examine the argument’s premises in light of pressing worries (...)
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  7.  24
    Aristotle on Wittiness.Matthew D. Walker - 2019 - In Pierre Destrée & Franco V. Trivigno (eds.), Laughter, Humor, and Comedy in Ancient Philosophy. Oxford, UK: pp. 103-121.
    This chapter offers a complete account of Aristotle’s underexplored treatment of the virtue of wittiness (eutrapelia) in Nicomachean Ethics IV.8. It addresses the following questions: (1) What, according to Aristotle, is this virtue and what is its structure? (2) How do Aristotle’s moral psychological views inform Aristotle’s account, and how might Aristotle’s discussions of other, more familiar virtues, enable us to understand wittiness better? In particular, what passions does the virtue of wittiness concern, and how might the virtue (and its (...)
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  8.  47
    Contemplation and Self–Awareness in the Nicomachean Ethics.Matthew D. Walker - 2010 - Rhizai. A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 7:221-238.
    I explore Aristotle’s account in the Nicomachean Ethics of how agents attain self-awareness through contemplation. I argue that Aristotle sets up an account of self-awareness through contemplating friends in Books VIII-IX that completes itself in Book X’s remarks on theoretical contemplation. I go on to provide an account of how contemplating the divine, on Aristotle’s view, elicits self-awareness.
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  9. How Narrow is Aristotle's Contemplative Ideal?Matthew D. Walker - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):558-583.
    In Nicomachean Ethics X.7–8, Aristotle defends a striking view about the good for human beings. According to Aristotle, the single happiest way of life is organized around philosophical contemplation. According to the narrowness worry, however, Aristotle's contemplative ideal is unduly Procrustean, restrictive, inflexible, and oblivious of human diversity. In this paper, I argue that Aristotle has resources for responding to the narrowness worry, and that his contemplative ideal can take due account of human diversity.
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  10.  27
    Jon Miller, Ed., Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics: A Critical Guide , X + 290 Pp., $85.00. ISBN 9780521514484. [REVIEW]Matthew D. Walker - 2013 - Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought 30 (1):176-180.
  11.  67
    Knowledge, Action, and Virtue in Zhu Xi.Matthew D. Walker - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 69 (2):515-534.
    I examine Zhu Xi's investigation thesis, the claim that a necessary condition (in ordinary cases) for one’s acting fully virtuously is one’s investigating the all-pervasive pattern in things (gewu格物). I identify four key objections that the thesis faces, which I label the rationalism, elitism, demandingness, and irrelevance worries. Zhu Xi, I argue, has resources for responding to each of these worries, and for defending a broadly intellectualist conception of fully virtuous agency.
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  12.  36
    Kupperman, Joel J., Theories of Human Nature: Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2010, X + 199 Pages. [REVIEW]Matthew D. Walker - 2012 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (2):253-257.
  13. Non-Impositional Rule in Confucius and Aristotle.Matthew D. Walker - 2019 - In Alexus McLeod (ed.), The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Early Chinese Ethics and Political Philosophy. London, UK: pp. 187-204.
    I examine and compare Confucian wu-wei rule and Aristotelian non-imperative rule as two models of non-impositional rule. How exactly do non-impositional rulers, according to these thinkers, generate order? And how might a Confucian/Aristotelian dialogue concerning non-impositional rule in distinctively political contexts proceed? Are Confucians and Aristotelians in deep disagreement, or do they actually have more in common than they initially seem?
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  14. Punishment and Ethical Self-Cultivation in Confucius and Aristotle.Matthew D. Walker - 2019 - Law and Literature 31 (2):259-275.
  15.  2
    Review of Erick Raphael Jiménez, Aristotle's Concept of Mind. [REVIEW]Matthew D. Walker - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  16.  8
    Review of Wm. Theodore de Bary, The Great Civilized Conversation. [REVIEW]Matthew D. Walker - 2015 - Journal of Asian Studies 74:455-456.
  17.  17
    Socrates' Lesson to Hippothales in Plato's Lysis.Matthew D. Walker - 2020 - Classical Philology 115 (3):551-566.
    In the opening of Plato’s Lysis, Socrates criticizes the love-besotted Hippothales’ way of speaking to, and about, Hippothales’ yearned-for Lysis. Socrates subsequently proceeds to demonstrate (ἐπιδεῖξαι) how Hippothales should converse with Lysis (206c5–6). But how should we assess Socrates’ criticisms of, and demonstration to, Hippothales? Are they defensible by Socrates’ own standards, as well as independent criteria? In this note, I first articulate and assess Socrates’ criticisms of Hippothales. Second, I identify, examine, and respond to puzzles to which Socrates’ demonstration (...)
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  18.  92
    The Appeal to Easiness in Aristotle’s Protrepticus.Matthew D. Walker - 2019 - Ancient Philosophy 39 (2):319-333.
    In fragments from the Protrepticus, Aristotle offers three linked arguments for the view that philosophy is easy. According to an obvious normative worry, however, Aristotle also seems to think that the easiness of many activities has little to do with their choiceworthiness. Hence, if the Protrepticus seeks to exhort its audience to philosophize on the basis of philosophy’s easiness, then perhaps the Protrepticus provides the wrong sort of hortatory appeal. In response, I briefly situate Aristotle’s arguments in their dialectical context. (...)
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  19. The Functions of Apollodorus.Matthew D. Walker - 2016 - In Mauro Tulli & Michael Erler (eds.), The Selected Papers of the Tenth Symposium Platonicum. 53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany: pp. 110-116.
    In Plato’s Symposium, the mysterious Apollodorus recounts to an unnamed comrade, and to us, Aristodemus’ story of just what happened at Agathon’s drinking party. Since Apollodorus did not attend the party, however, it is unclear what relevance he could have to our understanding of Socrates’ speech, or to the Alcibiadean “satyr and silenic drama” (222d) that follows. The strangeness of Apollodorus is accentuated by his recession into the background after only two Stephanus pages. What difference—if any—does Apollodorus make to the (...)
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