Dr Frisbee Sheffield

Philosophy & Classics

Research Themes

I am interested in all areas of ancient philosophy, particularly ancient ethics and politics. My research explores desire, love, and friendship, and considers their role in the good life for Plato and Aristotle.

At the moment I am writing a book about Plato’s Phaedrus, and exploring the use made of ancient philosophers in rethinking politics in the work of Hannah Arendt.

Recent publications include co-editing the Routledge Companion to Ancient Philosophy (2013), an edition of Plato’s Symposium, with introduction and critical notes for Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (2008), a monograph, Plato’s Symposium: The Ethics of Desire, Oxford University Press (2006), and a co-edited volume Plato’s Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception, Harvard University Press (2006).

Recent articles include: ‘Eros and the Pursuit of Form in Plato’s Symposium’, in Plato’s Symposium: A Critical Guide (forthcoming), ‘Platonic Piety: Beyond the Euthyphro’, in Ancient Philosophy and Religion (forthcoming), ‘Love and Friendship in Plato’, in The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Ethics (forthcoming), ‘The Symposium and Platonic Ethics: Plato, Vlastos, and a misguided debate’, Phronesis 2012, ‘Eros before and after tri-partition’, in (ed.) Brittain, Barney and Brennan, Plato and the Divided Soul (Cambridge University Press) 2012, ‘Beyond eros: Plato on Friendship in the Phaedrus’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 2011, and ‘Aristotle and eros’, in (ed.) MM. McCabe, Harte, Sharples and Sheppard, Aristotle Reading PlatoBulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 2010.

I have a podcast on Plato’s erotic dialogues, in the series The History of Philosophy without the Gaps, King’s College London (May 2011): http://www.historyofphilosophy.net/plato-sheffield and have appeared on Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time for Radio 4.


I teach ancient philosophy for both Classics and Philosophy students.

College Role


Degrees, Awards and Prizes

BA (Bristol), MPhil (Cambridge), DPhil (Oxford)