Grant Dowling


Grant Dowling is a broadly-trained student of ancient philosophy interested in the mutual coherence of discrete domains of inquiry (like metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics) and philosophical reception. His thesis traces the legacy of the circular motion of Anaxagoras’s cosmic governor, nous, in Plato’s epistemology. Although Plato’s Socrates vociferously distances himself from Anaxagorean nous in Phaedo, Grant finds human reasoning operating through paradigmatic circular motion in Timaeus, Laws, and Phaedrus. Grant is an avid reader of ancient texts; in Spring 2016 he is auditing Prof. Howley’s “Apuleius the Sophist” Latin reading course and participating in Columbia’s ancient philosophy Greek reading group.

Grant graduated from the University of Chicago with honors in 2013. He completed a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities with a minor in Classical Studies. Favoring courses in the Committee on Social Thought, his primary field was Platonic Ethics, buttressed by allied fields in Italian Humanism and Modern Art. He wrote his honors undergraduate thesis on James Joyce’s use of Platonic dialectic in Episode 9 of Ulysses.

Since December 2014, Grant presented at graduate workshops on Thracian Stereotypes in Pseudo-Euripides’s Rhesus at Rutgers University, the Justice of the City of Pigs in Plato’s Republic at Cambridge University, and Plato’s Erotic Reception of Parmenides for Columbia’s CLST Research Seminar. He also delivered talks at conferences on the Influence of Anaxagoras’ Circular Motion on the Development of Epistemology at the University of Pennsylvania and James Joyce’s Literary Metempsychosis in Ulysses at CUNY. He is scheduled to deliver a talk entitled “Why Does Socrates Characterize Anaxagorean Mind Differently than Simplicius?” at the Symposium Platonicum in Brasilia this summer.

Grant’s other interests include the history of continental philosophy, the philosophy of art, global philosophy, critical theory, and contemporary metaphysics. He was a course assistant for the largest-ever Classics course at Columbia University, “Plato and Confucius,” for which he delivered a lecture on mysticism in Plato. In Fall 2015 he was the course assistant for a Manhattan College course entitled “Criminal Justice Ethics” at Rikers Island; all eight incarcerated students passed gaining admission and a full-scholarship to Manhattan College. Email Grant Dowling.