Scott LaBarge

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in both Philosophy (Honors) and Classics, Scott LaBarge matriculated into the doctoral  program in Philosophy at the UA in 1994. In the course of pursuing his Ph.D. in Philosophy, Scott wisely—some might characterize his bold choice otherwise—opted to concurrently seek an M.A. in Classics (Philology Emphasis). Astoundingly, his 1999 M.A. thesis in Classics, "Two for the Price of One: Aristotle on Simultaneous Learning" (Frank Romer, Director) was followed closely by the completion of his Ph.D. dissertation, "The Legacy of the Meno Paradox: Plato and Aristotle on Learning" (Julia Annas, Director) in 2000. Upon graduation, Scott accepted a joint tenure-track appointment in Philosophy (2/3) and Classics (1/3) at Santa Clara University, where he was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2006.

Some of Scott's recent publications include "Aristotle on Empeiria," in Ancient Philosophy 26 (2006); "Aristotle on ‘Simultaneous Learning' in Posterior Analytics I.1 and Prior Analytic II.21" in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (2004); and "Stoic Conditionals, Necessity and Explanation" in History and Philosophy of Logic 23 (2002). His Classics courses at SCU include "The Age of Socrates" and "Love and Relationships in Classical Antiquity." In 2004, Scott received the Graves Award (for excellence in teaching at West Coast liberal arts schools). In 2003, he was awarded a Hackworth Grant for Teaching and Research in Applied Ethics. He has also served as the Co-founder and Co-director of Cafe Socrates, a weekly undergraduate philosophy discussion group, since 2001.

We interviewed Scott by email:

What are your fondest memories of your time in the Department of Classics?

I have especially fond memories of some of my classes and teachers in the Classics Department.  Reading Virgil with Dr. Christenson, Cicero's philosophical texts with Dr. Romer, and Bacchylides with Dr. Worthen come to mind (though I still bear scars from Pindar, alas).  And it will probably sound perverse, but (now at least) I have happy memories of all the exams I took for the M.A.; there's a real sense of accomplishment to passing difficult exams in so many different areas.  I guess Virgil was right: I really do take pleasure in remembering even these.

What about your studies in Classics at the UA has benefited you most in your subsequent career?

I have to say that I owe my job at Santa Clara University in great part to my Classics degree.  I have a joint appointment between the Philosophy and Classics Departments here, and so the M.A. in Classics was a necessary requirement for the job.  My colleagues chose to hire me because they recognized that I had a deep and broad knowledge of the ancient world and was not just a philosopher with a dash of Greek and Latin.  My Classics training gave me that depth and breadth.

What particular projects are you currently working on?

Well, since I started having kids, I don't work on any projects as much as I would like, but I do have a lot of stuff in some degree of preparation.  My biggest project is a book-length treatment of the concept of heroism, its development in classical  antiquity, and its relevance to our post 9/11 world.  I also continue to be interested in writing on Platonic and Aristotelian ethics and epistemology.  And I have put together a first draft of, oddly enough, a card game called Dogma, which is meant to model the competition among early Christian theologians to determine Church doctrine.