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Philosophy Prof. Gains International RecognitionChristopher Raymond Cited for Paper on Aristotle

Vassar Assistant Prof. of Philosophy Christopher Raymond has earned international recognition for a paper he published on Aristotle last year. The editors of Philosopher’s Annual selected Raymond’s “Shame and Virtue in Aristotle” as one of the 10 best articles in philosophy published in 2017.

Assistant Prof. of Philosophy Christopher Raymond

Raymond’s work was published in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy. The paper analyzes and ultimately challenges Aristotle’s claim that a sense of shame is not a moral value. Aristotle’s position marked a major shift in ancient Greek thinking about shame, but it is undercut, Raymond argues, by the philosopher’s own views on the importance of honor and reputation in human lives.

Raymond’s article was one of just two selected by Philosopher’s Annual on a topic in the history of philosophy and the only one by a faculty member of a liberal arts college. Raymond said he first wrote about Aristotle’s views on shame for his PhD dissertation at the University of Texas at Austin, which he completed in 2013. He began revising his work for publication while teaching a Vassar seminar on “Aristotle’s Ethics” in 2015. He discussed its core arguments with his students before presenting a new version of the paper later in the semester at Bard College.

Raymond said he was glad the award might bring his work to the attention of non-specialists, and he hopes the article shows “the enduring value of engaging with the ancient Greeks as partners in ethical reflection.” His most recent project is a co-authored translation and analysis of Plato’s dialogue Charmides, in which shame also plays a central role. The book is due out from Hackett Publishing in March 2019.

Raymond is currently spending a sabbatical semester in Bologna, Italy, where he is starting research for a new collaborative project on the Athenian poet, philosopher, and “tyrant” Critias.