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Dirk Baltzly

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Dirk Baltzly

Dirk Baltzly

Professor of Philosophy
Head of Discipline for Philosophy & Gender Studies

Room 360, Humanities, Sandy Bay Campus

(03) 6226 7848 (phone)

Dirk.Baltzly@utas.edu.au

Dirk Baltzly is Professor and Head of Philosophy & Gender Studies in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. His area of specialisation is ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, though he also does work in contemporary virtue ethics.

Biography

Dirk completed his PhD in Philosophy at Ohio State University in 1992. Since then he has worked at King's College, London (1992-94) and Monash University (1994-2013). He has been a visiting fellow at the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London (2000) and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (2010-11). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities (2008) in both the Philosophy and Classics sections.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDClassicsMonash UniversityAustralia2008
PhDPhilosophyOhio State UniversityUnited Sates1992
MAPhilosophyOhio State UniversityUnited States1988
BA(Hons)History and PhilosophyOhio State UniversityUnited States1985

Memberships

Other

  • Australasian Association for Philosophy
  • Australasian Society for Classical Studies
  • American Philosophical Association
  • International Plato Society

Teaching

Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, Epicureans, Neoplatonism. Metaphysics, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, just war theory, ethics

Teaching expertise

  • Acting Head, School of Humanities, University of Tasmania (2015)
  • Head of Philosophy, Monash University (2010–13)
  • Postgraduate Coordinator, Monash Philosophy (2001–02, 2004–05, 2009–13)
  • Research Coordinator, Monash Philosophy (2001–02, 2007–08)

Teaching responsibility

Research Appointments

  • NEH-funded Member, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, 2010–11
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, 2000

View more on Professor Dirk Baltzly in WARP

Expertise

  • History of Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Metaphysics
  • Aesthetics
  • Just War Theory

Research Themes

Dirk's research falls under the University's research theme on Creativity, Culture and Society. His work on Platonism in the late Roman empire (300 to 600 CE) emphasises the close connection between philosophy in the period and broader religious and intellectual currents in the surrounding culture. All work in the history of philosophy requires some degree of contextualisation, but this is particularly true of late antique Platonism.

Collaboration

  • Dirk has collaborated with Prof H. Tarrant on a number of edited volumes.
  • Reading Plato in Antiquity, H. Tarrant and D. Baltzly (eds), Duckworth, 2006.
  • Power and Pleasure, Virtue and Vice: Essays in Ancient Moral Philosophy, D. Baltzly, D. Blyth and H. Tarrant (eds), Prudentiasupplementary volume, Auckland, 2001 Harold Tarrant, Danielle Lane and Fran├žois Renauld, Dirk Baltzly The Brill Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity (2017)

Awards

  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities (2008)

Current projects

One of Dirk's projects is a 3-volume translation with notes of the only surviving commentary on Plato's Republic to survive from the ancient world. His collaborators on this project are Graeme Miles (UTAS, Classics) and Prof John Finamore (University of Iowa, USA). Proclus' Commentary on the Republic will appear with Cambridge University Press in a series modelled on the successful 6-volume work on Proclus' Commentary on the Timaeus.

Another project is a 2-volume translation with notes of the only surviving commentary on Plato's Phaedrus to survive from the ancient world. His collaborator on this project is Michael Share (UTAS). Hermias' Scholia on Plato's Phaedrus will appear in the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle series, edited by Richard Sorabji and published by Bloomsbury. Finally, Dirk is working on an edition of the testimonia of Amelius and Theodore of Asine.

Fields of Research

  • History of Philosophy (220210)
  • Classical Greek and Roman History (210306)
  • Religion and Religious Studies (220499)

Research Objectives

  • Religion and Ethics (950499)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies (970122)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Languages, Communication and Culture (970120)

Publications

ProclusReading Plato in Antiquity Dirk's recent publications generally fall into two categories: basic research and synthesis.

In the category of basic research there are translations, with introduction and notes, to philosophical works from late antiquity that have had no previous English translation. These are dense and difficult texts that presupposed an original audience well-versed not only in Philosophy, but also astronomy, astrology, poetry, mystery religions and mathematics. The simple act of making these texts accessible to modern readers requires a level of annotation that is generally about one third as long as the text translated. In the category of synthesis are articles evaluating the significance of ancient Platonism for philosophers now. Even if we cannot today believe the conclusions of these ancient philosophers, can we nonetheless learn something important from the complex ways in which teaching and the goal of personal transformation entered into their project?

Total publications

34

Highlighted publications

(4 outputs)
YearTypeCitationAltmetrics
2014Journal ArticleBaltzly DC, 'Plato's authority and the formation of textual communities', The Classical Quarterly, 64, (2) pp. 793-807. ISSN 0009-8388 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1017/S0009838814000500 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2

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2013BookBaltzly D, 'Book 4: Proclus on Time and the Stars', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 344. ISBN 9780521846585 (2013) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2009BookBaltzly D, 'Proclus: commentary on Plato's Timaeus, part II - Proclus on the world soul', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 428. ISBN 9780521845960 (2009) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2007BookBaltzly Dirk, 'Proclus: Commentary on Plato's Timaeus, part III - Proclus on the World's Body', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 428. ISBN 9780521845953 (2007) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Journal Article

(9 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Bliss S, Baltzly D, Bull R, Dalton L, Jones J, 'A role for virtue in unifying the knowledge and caring' Discourses in Nursing Theory', Nursing Inquiry ISSN 1320-7881 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/nin.12191 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Bliss S; Bull R; Dalton L; Jones J

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2016Baltzly DC, 'Divine Immutability for Henotheists', Sophia, 55 pp. 129-143. ISSN 1873-930X (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11841-015-0472-2 [eCite] [Details]

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2015Baltzly Dirk, 'Two Aristotelian Puzzles about Planets and their Neoplatonic Reception', Apeiron: a journal of ancient philosophy and science, 48, (4) pp. 483-501. ISSN 0003-6390 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1515/apeiron-2012-0015 [eCite] [Details]

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2014Baltzly DC, 'Plato's authority and the formation of textual communities', The Classical Quarterly, 64, (2) pp. 793-807. ISSN 0009-8388 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1017/S0009838814000500 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2

Tweet

2013Baltzly D, 'Proclus and Theodore of Asine on female philosopher-rulers: Patriarchy, metempsychosis, and women in the Neoplatonic commentary tradition', Ancient Philosophy, 33, (2) pp. 403-424. ISSN 0740-2007 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5840/ancientphil201333229 [eCite] [Details]

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2012Baltzly Dirk, 'An Octave of Straw'', Polis: the journal for ancient greek political thought, 29, (2) pp. 321-331. ISSN 0142-257X (2012) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Baltzly DC, 'Is Plato's Timaeus Panentheistic?', Sophia, 49, (2) pp. 193-215. ISSN 0038-1527 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11841-010-0170-z [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1

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2009Baltzly DC, 'Gaia gets to know herself: Proclus on the self-perception of the cosmos', Phronesis, 54 pp. 261-285. ISSN 0031-8868 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1163/156852809X441331 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

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2009Baltzly DC, 'Mereological modes of being in Proclus', Ancient Philosophy, 28, (2) pp. 395-411. ISSN 0740-2007 (2009) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Book

(7 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Share M, Baltzly DC, 'Hermias: On Plato Phaedrus 227A-245E', Bloomsbury Academic, United Kingdom, pp. 352. ISBN 9781350051904 (2018) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Share M

2018Tarrant H, Layne DA, Baltzly D, Renaud F, 'Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity', Koninklijke Brill NV, Netherlands, pp. 682. ISBN 978-90-04-27069-5 (2018) [Edited Book]

DOI: 10.1163/9789004355385_002 [eCite] [Details]

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2013Baltzly D, 'Book 4: Proclus on Time and the Stars', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 344. ISBN 9780521846585 (2013) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2009Baltzly D, 'Proclus: commentary on Plato's Timaeus, part II - Proclus on the world soul', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 428. ISBN 9780521845960 (2009) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2007Baltzly Dirk, 'Proclus: Commentary on Plato's Timaeus, part III - Proclus on the World's Body', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 428. ISBN 9780521845953 (2007) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2006Tarrant H, Baltzly Dirk, 'Reading Plato in Antiquity', Bloomsbury Publishing, United Kingdom, pp. 278. ISBN 9780715634554 (2006) [Edited Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2001Baltzly Dirk, Blyth D, Tarrant H, 'Power and Pleasure, Virtue and Vice: Essays in Ancient Moral Philosophy', University of Auckland * Department of Classics and Ancient History, New Zealand, pp. 300. (2001) [Edited Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Chapter in Book

(16 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Baltzly D, 'Amelius and Theodore of Asine', Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity, Koninklijke Brill NV, H Tarrant, DA Layne, D Baltzly, and F Renaud (ed), Netherlands, pp. 383-399. ISBN 978-90-04-27069-5 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1163/9789004355385_002 [eCite] [Details]

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2018Tarrant H, Layne DA, Baltzly D, Renaud F, 'Introduction', Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity, Koninklijke Brill NV, H Tarrant, DA Layne, D Baltzly, and F Renaud (ed), Netherlands, pp. 1-7. ISBN 978-90-04-27069-5 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1163/9789004355385_002 [eCite] [Details]

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2018Tarrant H, Layne DA, Baltzly D, Renaud F, 'Introduction: The Old Academy to Cicero', Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity, Koninklijke Brill NV, H Tarrant, DA Layne, D Baltzly, and F Renaud (ed), Netherlands, pp. 10-27. ISBN 978-90-04-27069-5 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1163/9789004355385_002 [eCite] [Details]

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2018Tarrant H, Layne DA, Baltzly D, Renaud F, 'Introduction: Early Imperial Reception of Plato', Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity, Koninklijke Brill NV, H Tarrant, DA Layne, D Baltzly, and F Renaud (ed), Netherlands, pp. 92-99. ISBN 978-90-04-27069-5 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1163/9789004355385_002 [eCite] [Details]

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2018Tarrant H, Layne DA, Baltzly D, Renaud F, 'Introduction: Early Christianity and Late Antique Platonism', Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity, Koninklijke Brill NV, H Tarrant, DA Layne, D Baltzly, and F Renaud (ed), Netherlands, pp. 252-269. ISBN 978-90-04-27069-5 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1163/9789004355385_002 [eCite] [Details]

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2018Tarrant H, Baltzly D, 'Hermias: On Plato's Phaedrus', Brill's Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity, Koninklijke Brill NV, H Tarrant, DA Layne, D Baltzly, and F Renaud (ed), Netherlands, pp. 486-497. ISBN 978-90-04-27069-5 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1163/9789004355385_002 [eCite] [Details]

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2017Baltzly D, Kennett J, 'Intimate Relations: Friends and Lovers', Love, Reason and Morality, Routledge, Kroeker EE and Schaubroeck K (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 110-124. ISBN 978-1138941717 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Baltzly Dirk, 'The Human Life', All from One: A Guide to Proclus, Oxford University Press, D'Hoine P and Martijn M (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 259-275. ISBN 9780199640331 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Baltzly D, 'The ethics of celestial physics in late antique Platonism', Soma [SO ]: Korperkonzepte und korperliche Existenz in der antiken Philosophie und Literatur, Meiner Felix Verlag, Buchheim T, Meissner D and Wachsmann N (ed), Hamburg, pp. 183-197. ISBN 978-3787329281 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Baltzly DC, 'Transformations of Pythagorean Wisdom and Psychic ασκηις in Proclus' Timaeus Commentary', Pythagorean knowledge from the Ancient to the Modern World: Askesis, Religion, Science, Harrassowitz Verlag, Renger A-B and Stavru A (ed), Germany, pp. 199-210. ISBN 9783447105941 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2014Baltzly DC, 'The Stoics', Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, Simplicity Institute, Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod (ed), Australia, pp. 37-44. ISBN 9780987588494 (2014) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2012Baltzly Dirk, 'Dialectic', Continuum Companion to Plato, Continuum, GA Press (ed), London, pp. 159-61. ISBN 9780826435354 (2012) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2009Baltzly DC, 'Proclus', A History of Western Philosophy of Religion: Volume I - Ancient Philosophy and Religion, Equinox, G Oppy and N Trakakis (ed), United States, pp. 263-276. ISBN 9780195394283 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2009Baltzly DC, 'High Philosophy', The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, Oxford University Press, G Boyes-Stones, B Graziosi, and P Vasunia (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 530-540. ISBN 9780199286140 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2009Baltzly DC, Eliopoulos N, 'The Classical Ideals of Friendship', Friendship: a history, Acumen and Oxford University Press, B Caine (ed), United States, pp. 1-64. ISBN 978-1845531973 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2008Baltzly DC, Shortridge A, 'Antiphon', The Sophists: An Introduction, Duckworth, P O'Grady (ed), London, pp. 83-92. ISBN 978-0715636954 (2008) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Review

(2 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Baltzly D, 'THE DEMIURGE - O'Brien (C.S.) The Demiurge in Ancient Thought. Secondary Gods and Divine Mediators', The Classical Review (2016) [Review Single Work]

DOI: 10.1017/S0009840X16000202 [eCite] [Details]

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2016Baltzly D, 'Second Sailing: Alternative Perspectives on Plato, Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica, 2015', Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2016) [Other Review]

DOI: 10.1080/00048402.20.16.1199579 [eCite] [Details]

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Grants & Funding

The Republic of the Demiurge: textual communities and the commentary tradition in late antique Platonism, Australian Research Council, 2012–15. $265,000. This project applies the notion of textual communities to the Platonic schools of late antiquity.

Plato's Myth Voice: the identification and interpretation of inspired speech in Plato. Australian Research Council, 2012–14. $292,000. In collaboration with Rick Benitez, Harold Tarrant and others. This project uses recent discoveries about the language of ancient myths, oracles and allegories to understand similar discourse in Plato and the Platonic tradition. Academies Under Stress: the Reinvention and Survival of the Platonist Schools, 360 BC – 565 CE. Australian Research Council, 2009–2011. $211,000. In collaboration with Harold Tarrant, Rick Benitez, Francois Renaud and Julius Rocca. This project examines the way in which the understanding of Platonism adapted to changing cultural contexts in late antiquity.

Funding Summary

Number of grants

4

Total funding

$585,634

Projects

College of Experts 2017 - 2019: Professor Dirk Baltzly (2017 - 2019)$16,950
Funding
Australian Research Council ($16,950)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Baltzly DC
Period
2017 - 2019
The 'likeness to god' in late-antique philosophy (3rd to 6th centuries AD) (2016)$11,684
Description
The ancient notion that the goal of living an ethical life was becoming like god can seem particularly remote and strange to our secular age. Nonetheless, this is a pervasive idea at least from Plato (5th-4th centuries BC) throughout antiquity and into Christianity and Islam. My proposed project is part of a broader attempt to understand what this idea meant to a range of ancient thinkers: Christians, Jews, Muslims and pagans, some with a belief in a non-material reality, others materialists. To understandthis on the ancients own terms contributes to our understanding of ancient religion and philosophy, and the legacy of ancient thought in the present day. It contributes a deeper understanding of the natureof philosophy and of an ethical life, and of the changing concepts of divinity across cultures and religions.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($11,684)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Miles GRI; Baltzly DC
Year
2016
Plato's Myth Voice: The Identification and Interpretation of Inspired Speech in Plato. (2012 - 2014)$292,000
Description
Using new evidence for the interpretation of mythical, oracular, and religious discourse since 430BC we will examine such discourse in the myths and inspired passages of Plato, focussing particularly on differences from standard argumentative discourse. We aim to discover the philosophical and practical significance, for the Platonic community, of discourse that asserts superiority over logic while challenging listeners to grasp its deeper meaning. We consider how far later Platonists could recognise Plato's myth voice as the vestiges of an oral society founded on myth-telling progressively faded, and whether the decline of allegorical traditions led to basic misunderstandings in the interpretation of Plato today.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($292,000)
Scheme
Grant-Discovery Projects
Administered By
University of Sydney
Research Team
Benitez E; Kindt J; Baltzly DC; Johnson Marguerite; Tarrant H
Period
2012 - 2014
Grant Reference
DP120102425
The Republic of the Demiurge: textual community and the commentary tradition in late antique Platonism (2012 - 2014)$265,000
Description
This project has two main aims. First, it will further advance our knowledge of late antique Platonism (200600 CE) by producing a translation and commentary on a significant and difficult ancient Greek text from the period Proclus Commentary on Platos Republic. Second, it will produce a book of an interdisciplinary nature that seeks to make the study of late antique Platonism more relevant to contemporary philosophy. This book will analyse the Platonic schools as textual communities and will argue that both the form and content of the neoplatonic commentary tradition makes sense when we understand the role their written works play in maintaining textual communities.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($265,000)
Scheme
Grant-Discovery Projects
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Baltzly DC
Period
2012 - 2014
Grant Reference
DP120102158

Research Supervision

Dirk has supervised 18 successful MA and PhD theses since 1994. Some examples include

  • Fiona Leigh (PhD, Monash), Being as Power: a reading of Plato's Sophist (2007). Leigh is now senior lecturer in Philosophy at University College London.
  • Craig Barrie (PhD, Monash), Plato on Educating Citizens (2014).
  • Anuradi Jayasinghe (MA, Monash), Art and Education in the Ideal City: the fifth essay of Proclus' In Platonis rem publicam commentarii (2014).

In addition to topics in ancient philosophy, Dirk has supervised projects in aesthetics, moral psychology and ethics. He welcomes expressions of interest from new MA or PhD students in any of these areas.

Current

2

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDA Homerica Interpretation of the Presocratics: Mysticism or Proto-Science?2017
PhDLucian's Maze of Identities: Hellenism, Syria and Roman Imperialism2017