You are here: Home / People / Jan Szaif

Jan Szaif

Jan Szaif


Postal address:
UC Davis, Dept of Philosophy
1 Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616

(Office: 2290 Social Sciences & Humanities Bldg)

Office Phone: (530) 554-9385


  1. PhD in Philosophy: Freie Universität Berlin, 1993
  2. Visiting PhD Student: University of Cambridge, Faculty of Classics & Darwin College, 1990-1991
  3. M.A. in Philosophy and Ancient Greek: Freie Universität Berlin, 1988


Doctoral Dissertation: Plato's Concept of Truth (1993, directed by Ernst Tugendhat)

Habilitation: Problems and Developments in the Aristotelian and Peripatetic Ethics of Eudaimonia (2001, at the University of Bonn)

Areas of Specialization: History of Philosophy, especially Ancient Philosophy, ontology/metaphysics, ethics

Joined the UC Davis Philosophy Faculty: 2006

Previous Teaching Positions: University of Bonn (Germany): 1993-2006,

Visiting Professor at the University of Łódź (Poland): Spring 2003; University of Hamburg (Germany): Winter 2003/4,
UC Davis: 2005-2006, University of Tartu (Estonia): Spring 2014

Visiting Fellow: University of Oxford (1997/98); Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC (2002)

2015-2016 Course Schedule


21 - History of Philosophy: Ancient
200B - Pro-Seminar 

161 - Plato
145 - Medieval Philosophy 

Other Courses

1 Introduction to Philosophy
105 Philosophy of Religion
141 Socrates and the Socratic Dialogue
143 Hellenistic Philosophy
160 Pre-Socratics
162 Aristotle
261 Plato Seminar
262 Aristotle Seminar
290 History of Philosophy Seminar

Recent Publications (selection)

“Disagreement and Reception. Peripatetics Responding to the Stoic Challenge.” In Reading the Past Across Space and Time: Receptions and World Literature, ed. by Ralph Hexter and Brenda Schildgen. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016 (in press).

"Socrates and the Benefits of Puzzlement." In The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy, ed. by George Karamanolis and Vasilis Politis. Cambridge UP, 2016 (in press).

"Plato and Aristotle on Truth and Falsehood." In The Oxford Handbook of Truth, ed. by Michael Glanzberg. Oxford UP, 2017 (in press).

"Natürlichkeit und Künstlichkeit: Bemerkungen zur ethischen Problematik der Manipulierbarkeit des humangenetischen Substrats [Naturalness and Artificiality: Comments on ethical questions relating to the manipulability of the human genome]." In Synthetische Biologie – Leben als Konstrukt, ed. by G. Rager and G. Wegner, 161-195. Alber: Freiburg/München, 2015.

Gut des Menschen. Problematik und Entwicklung der Glücksethik bei Aristoteles und in der Tradition des Peripatos [The Good of Human Beings. Problems and Developments in the Aristotelian and Peripatetic Ethics of Eudaimonia]. deGruyter: Berlin/New York, 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-021691-2.

"Aristotle on Friendship as the Paradigmatic Form of Relationship." In How Should One Live? Comparing Ethics in Ancient China and Greco-Roman Antiquity, ed. by R. King and D. Schilling, 208-237. de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 2011.

"The Beginnings of Greek Ontology and the Question of Temporal Being." In Unity and Time in Metaphysics, ed. by L. Honnefelder, E. Runggaldier, B. Schick, 151-182. de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 2009.

"Leben aus universaler Wahrheit? Die antiken Wurzeln des Konzepts der Bildung durch Wissenschaft [Ancient Sources for the Concept of Education through Science], in Bildung durch Wissenschaft, ed. by L. Honnefelder e.a, 33-83. Alber: Freiburg/München, 2011.

"Die Aretê des Leibes. Die Stellung der Gesundheit in Platons Güterlehre [The Aretê of the Body: The Place of Health in Plato’s Theory of Goods].” In Leib und Seele in der antiken Philosophie, ed. by D. Frede and B. Reis, 205-246. de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 2009.

Doxa and Epistêmê as Modes of Acquaintance in Republic V,” Les Etudes Platoniciennes, vol. IV (2007): 253-272. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

"Aristotle on the Benefits of Virtue (NE X.7 and IX.8). In The Virtuous Life in Greek Ethics, ed. by B. Reis, 167-193. Cambridge UP, 2006.

Currently Supervising Dissertations

Christopher Healow, “Name & Object: The Semantic Role of Plato's Theory of Forms”

Recent PhD Students

Christopher Buckels, "Plato’s Theory of Sensible Particulars"

Document Actions



1240 Social Science and Humanities
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-0703
Fax: (530) 752-8964


UC Davis and the Philosophy Department are committed to fostering an environment that is respectful, welcoming, and inclusive for students, faculty, and staff. Sexual harassment is prohibited by law and University policy. UC Davis has established complaint resolution procedures for students to use if they have concerns or complaints regarding suspected sexual harassment. For information, students may call the Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program (530-752-9255), or the Anonymous Call Line (530-752-2255). Additional information is available at