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I specialize in ancient philosophy and am particularly interested in issues that lie at the intersection of ancient ethics and epistemology. My research investigates ancient accounts of ethical development and the relationship between virtue and knowledge. My current projects offer a novel explanation of why ancient philosophers think knowledge is central to being good and shed new light on how these figures conceptualized the process of developing other-oriented ethical concern. My main focus is on the treatment of these issues in the dialogues of Plato and in the Stoics. Other philosophical interests include contemporary philosophy of education, ethics, and early modern philosophy.

I am an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Georgia State University. From 2024-2025, I will be on leave from GSU for a Humboldt Research Fellowship at Universität Heidelberg (sponsored by Prof. Dr. Philipp Brüllmann). 

 

I received my PhD from the Classics and Philosophy Combined Program at Yale University (2018).

My last name combines two names without a hyphen. If you cite me, please do so as follows: "Piñeros Glasscock, Allison. ---etc.----"

About
Research

Research

Publications | Completed Works | Select Works-in-Progress

Below you can find short abstracts for my publications, completed works, and select works-in-progress. Please email me for more details or drafts of works-in-progress.

Publications

Publications

(2023) “Giving Gifts and Making Friends: Seneca’s De beneficiis on how to expand one’s sphere of ethical concern” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 62: 261-292.

The ethical ideal of the ancient Stoics requires that the virtuous agent care about the good of everyone. Contemporary scholars and ancient commentators have struggled to understand how agents are supposed to progress towards this ideal, much less attain it. My central claim is that the Roman Stoic Seneca offers a blueprint for ethical progress in On Benefits, one that makes giving and receiving benefits central to ethical development. I argue that, for Seneca, (a) benefaction is a joint activity (i.e. an activity with multiple participants working in relation to one another) and that (b) it is intrinsically oriented towards the good. The special nature of benefaction explains why Seneca regards it as a source of friendship. I also show that Stoic friendship shares its core features with the Stoic ethical ideal. Because benefaction results in friendship, it offers progressors a powerful means of developing ethical concern for others’ good.

(2021) “Owning Virtue: The Meno on Virtue, Knowledge, and True Opinion” Phronesis 66 (3): 249-273.

At the end of the Meno, Socrates suggests that genuine virtue is knowledge. This is surprising because he has recently concluded that virtue is true opinion. I show that Socrates’ new position is motivated by two commitments. First, that being virtuous requires being responsible for the correctness of one’s actions. Second, that only a knower has this kind of ownership of action. An implication of my argument is that, despite his emphasis on virtuous action in the Meno, Socrates endorses an agent-centered ethics. He thinks the epistemic status of the agent is essential to the assessment of her goodness.

[link to penultimate version] [DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685284-BJA10043]  

(2020) “The Discipline of Virtue: Knowledge and the Unity of the Virtues in the Protagoras” Ancient Philosophy 40 (1): 41-65.

Identifies a false assumption that underlies standard interpretations of the Unity Thesis and offers a new interpretation according to which the virtues are unified insofar as they are each constituted by the same kind of psychological power: knowledge. Shows that the Unity Thesis, so interpreted, has practical implications for deliberations about how to become virtuous.

[link to penultimate version] [DOI: https://doi.org/10.5840/ancientphil20204013]

Completed Works

Completed Works

(Spring 2024, anticipated publication in a volume on the topic of Re-Reading Plato's Republic, edited by MM McCabe) “Loving Learning: Plato's Philosophical Dogs and the Education of the Guardians” 

In Republic II, Socrates compares the guardians of Kallipolis to well-bred dogs. A central point of the comparison is that the guardians, like dogs, must be philosophical (φιλόσοφος, 376c4). This reference to philosophy is regularly downplayed (and sometimes ignored) in the literature. I argue that this love of wisdom has an important role to play in its immediate context and in the ensuing discussion of the guardian education. Socrates introduces the philosophical element because he needs to locate the guardians’ gentleness in something distinct from spirit. The relation between gentleness and the philosophical element is significant for two reasons. First, it shows that the guardians’ gentleness is the result of an active positive impulse towards the familiar. Second, recognizing the active quality of their gentleness enables us to appreciate how the early education of the guardians shapes the philosophical (and not just the spirited) aspect of their nature.

Dissertation: Learning Virtue: The Value of Knowledge and Philosophical Inquiry in Four Platonic Dialogues

Throughout Plato’s dialogues, Socrates is portrayed as having an unwavering commitment to the value of philosophical inquiry. Socrates thinks that philosophy and knowledge (in particular, knowledge of what virtue is) play an important role in becoming a virtuous and happy person. But what kind of role do they play? And what kind of value do they have? The central claim of my dissertation is that, for Socrates, philosophical inquiry and knowledge have both instrumental and final value. Philosophical inquiry, especially inquiry into the nature of virtue, is a means to virtue and happiness insofar as it provides one with a conceptualization of the kind of person one aims to become and helps guide one’s actions toward that end. But, in addition, philosophical inquiry and knowledge are constitutive of the virtuous and happy life. Virtuous action consists in doing philosophy, and the genuinely happy person will be the one who has acquired the knowledge at which philosophy aims through her philosophizing. One implication of my view is that the truly virtuous person must know what knowledge is. This suggests that Plato’s epistemological investigations are in the service of the project of becoming good.

Works in Progress
Teaching

Teaching

I have had the privilege of working with students in a variety of learning communities, including Georgia State University, the University of Toronto, Yale University, and Fairfield University.

I think excellence in research and excellence in teaching go hand in hand. The idea for my dissertation grew out of a discussion I had with students about Plato’s Meno, and my research projects in contemporary philosophy of education were inspired by interactions with students in my introductory philosophy of education course. I view the classroom not only as a space where my students learn, but as a space where I learn—a place where my own assumptions are challenged in conversation with other thinkers.

Below you can find sample syllabi and some examples of assignments and in-class exercises.

Syllabi for courses taught as sole instructor

Sample assignments and in-class exercises

  • Guidance for commenting (handout for graduate students on writing comments for a conference presentation)

  • Guided Philosophical Analysis (a worksheet to guide analysis and in-class discussion of the Aristotle's argument for the highest good)

  • Game Review Session (teams of students compete to get the most answers right in an in-class final exam review)

[pictured: some students from my Intro to Philosophy of Education, June 2017.On the final day of class, I asked them to create a mind map to the course that covered the questions and topics we had discussed during our seminars. Here is one group posing with their creation. Shared with permission.]

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