UCL Philosophy


Dr Fiona Leigh

Research Interests

At present, my main area of research concerns Plato's metaphysics and in particular his later period dialogue, the Sophist. I am currently working on a monograph that offers a new reading of this dialogue, structured around two key ideas: the question of what it is to give an adequate account (logos) of something, and a novel conception of being. According to this conception, there are two modes or ways that property can belong to some subject: either the subject constitutes the nature of the property, or conforms to such a nature - or in a few very special cases, both. It is also claimed that cases of the first mode (Forms) are causes of cases of the second mode, which in turn suggests that Forms are not best understood as universals.

I also have research interests in the so-called 'third man argument' in Plato; in the relationship between art (or mimetic production) and moral psychology, according to Plato; in an early Platonic dialogue on courage, the Laches; in Plato and Aristotle's understanding of imagination (or phantasia); in understanding Epicurus' taxonomy of desires; and in Platonic virtue ethics generally.


In any one year I typically teach four of the following modules: A 1st year introduction to ancient philosophy; A second year course on Plato's philosophy,
focused mainly on the Republic; An upper level combined Undergraduate and Graduate course on Aristotle, with special attention to his philosophy of mind, moral psychology, and ethical works; An upper level combined Undergraduate and Graduate course on virtue ethics in ancient and contemporary thought; a Graduate only course on the Sophist; A Graduate only course on Hellenistic philosophy; a Graduate only course on selected topics in Plato's metaphysics and epistemology.

IRIS Researcher Profile

Dr Fiona Leigh


Philosophy Building
19 Gower Street


  • Senior Lecturer
    Dept of Philosophy
    Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL


Award year Qualification Institution
2007 PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
Monash University
2001 MA
Master of Arts
University of Texas at Austin
1995 BA Hons
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
University of Melbourne

I studied philosophy in Australia and the U.S, and specialise in ancient philosophy: I have a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Social Theory from the University of Melbourne (1st); a MA in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin; and a PhD in Philosophy from Monash University. I held a post-doctoral position in Philosophy at King's College London from 2007-09, where I worked on Richard Sorabji's Ancient Commentators on Aristotle Project. In 2009 I took up the (permanent) appointment as Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at UCL.
     I have published a handful of journal articles and book chapters in ancient philosophy, all on Plato, and almost all on his later dialogue, the Sophist. I am currently writing a monograph which will offer a new reading of that dialogue from start to finish. I have also edited and co-edited several books, most recently Eudemian Ethics on the Voluntary, Friendship, and Luck (Brill, 2012), the Proceedings of the Keeling Colloquium in 2006 on Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics, and a volume based on papers given at the Keeling Colloquium in 2009, Self-Knowledge in Ancient Philosophy (OUP, forthcoming). Please see my website for further details.