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Will Cochran Successfully Defends Dissertation!

May 8, 2020

The graduate Classics Cluster congratulates William Cochran, who successfully defended his dissertation entitled “Aristotle’s Notion of Teaching and Its Role in His Theory of Moral Education,” on April 16.  Will was an active member of the Graduate Classics Cluster in the Department of Philosophy.  William Cochran

Will describes his dissertation in brief: "Aristotle says that intellectual virtues are “generated and developed mostly by teaching (didaskalia),” yet no substantive work has been done to figure out what, on Aristotle’s view, ‘teaching’ consists in. My dissertation fills this gap. First, I defend my interpretation: for Aristotle, teaching is the activity of instilling true accounts, grounded in explanatorily basic principles, in students ready to receive them. I then use this reading to argue, against some prevailing views in Aristotle’s ethics, that (1) habituation does not require teaching, and (2) Aristotle’s practically wise person possesses a philosophical conception of the human good. Finally, I use my interpretation to solve a problem for Aristotelian educational theory. I argue that Aristotle’s educational program, contrary to what critics have claimed, does not rob students of their autonomy."

Classics cluster faculty members Richard Kraut and Patricia Marachel served as Will's advisors. 

Best wishes, Will!