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Dr Naoya Iwata

Dr Naoya Iwata

Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow at Clare Hall.


Research Interests

I am currently undertaking my own two-year research project entitled ‘A Study on the First Principles of Sciences in Western Ancient Thought’, funded by the JSPS.

My broad research interest is in the question what ancient philosophers thought about the relationship between different fields of knowledge, especially between scientific and ethical knowledge. Plato suggested that all scientific knowledge should ultimately be grounded in knowledge of what goodness is. Aristotle, on the other hand, made a sharp distinction between theoretical and practical sciences. My research mainly aims to clarify their theoretical grounds for those opposing views respectively.

An important point for this purpose is that whether or not a field of knowledge is independent of others depends fundamentally on the epistemic status of its first principles. First principles are the starting points from which a system of knowledge is deductively constructed. I am currently comparing Plato’s and Aristotle’s discussions of the first principles of mathematics in particular. For mathematics was already seen as a well-established discipline at that time as exemplified in Euclid’s Elements, and greatly influenced their different views about the independence of each field of knowledge.

Key Publications

2016, ‘Plato’s Hypothetical Inquiry in the Meno’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24, 194–214.

2015, ‘Plato on Geometrical Hypothesis in the Meno’, Apeiron 48, 1–19.

Upcoming events

It's a Kind of Magic

Oct 24, 2017

Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology

Classical Archaeology Seminar

Oct 24, 2017

Room 1.04

Philology and Linguistics Seminar

Oct 25, 2017

Room 1.11

What Postmoderns can learn from Premoderns

Oct 25, 2017

Room G.19, Faculty of Classics/Museum of Classical Archaeology

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

Faculty Archivist (part-time)

Oct 10, 2017

The Faculty wishes to recruit a part-time Archivist who will be responsible for the management and care of its archive collections

Kenyon Medal awarded to Joyce Reynolds

Sep 28, 2017

The Kenyon Medal in 2017 has been awarded to Joyce Reynolds FBA for her lifetime's contribution to the research and study of Roman epigraphy.

Postgraduate Open Day Saturday 18 November 2017

Sep 22, 2017

Details of the 2017 Faculty of Classics Postgraduate Open Day are now available online:

Major archaeological discovery near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece

Sep 12, 2017

The Times newspaper reports on excavations this summer at Prosilio near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece, conducted by the Ministry of Culture & Sports of Greece/Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia and of the British School at Athens/University of Cambridge

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