James Lesher received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and taught at the University of Maryland before joining the UNC department in the fall of 2007. He has held research fellowships at Harvard University (1971-72), Princeton University (1974-75), the Center for Hellenic Studies (1982-83), and the National Humanities Center (2004-2005).
Lesher has written or edited four books on ancient Greek philosophy: Xenophanes of Colophon (Toronto U. P., 1992); The Greek Philosophers: Greek Texts with Notes and Commentary (Duckworth/Bristol Classical Press, 1998); Plato's Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception, co-edited with Debra Nails and Frisbee Sheffield (Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard U. P., 2006); and From Inquiry to Demonstrative Knowledge: New Essays on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics (2010). He is also the author of more than sixty articles on topics relating to ancient Greek philosophy; among them: ‘Gnôsis and Epistêmê in Socrates' Dream in the Theaetetus,' The Journal of Hellenic Studies (l969); ‘Aristotle on Form, Substance, and Universals: A Dilemma,’ Phronesis (1971); ‘The Meaning of Nous in the Posterior Analytics,’ Phronesis (1973); ‘Perceiving and Knowing in the Iliad and Odyssey,’ Phronesis (1981); ‘Socrates' Disavowal of Knowledge,’ Journal of the History of Philosophy (1987); ‘The Emergence of Philosophical Interest in Cognition,’ Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (1994); ‘Mind's Knowledge and Powers of Control in Anaxagoras DK B12,’ Phronesis (1995); ‘Early Interest in Knowledge’ in The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy (Cambridge, 1999); 'The Humanizing of Knowledge' in The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy (Oxford U. P., 2008), and ‘Xenophanes of Colophon' in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. He is currently writing a book on the influence of Heraclitus' philosophy on modern poetry.
On the Ancient Greek Concept of Knowledge
2. ‘Archaic Knowledge’ in William Wians, ed., Logos and Mythos (SUNY Press, 2009), 13-28.
3. 'Heraclitus' Epistemological Vocabulary,' Hermes, Vol. 111 (l983), 155-170.
4. 'Xenophanes' Scepticism,' Phronesis, Vol. 23 (l978), 1-21.
5. 'Xenophanes on Inquiry and Discovery: An Alternative to the "Hymn to Progress" Reading of Fr. 18,' Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 11 (1991), 229-48.
6. ‘A Systematic Xenophanes?’ in Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy (CUA Press, forthcoming).
7. 'Parmenides' Critique of Thinking: the poludêris elenchos of Fr. 7,' Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 2 (l983), 1-30.
9. 'The Emergence of Philosophical Interest in Cognition,' Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 12 (1994), 1-34.
10. 'Presocratic Contributions to the Theory of Knowledge' (from http://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/index.html)
11. 'Early Interest in Knowledge' in The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy, ed. A.Long (Cambridge U.P., 1999), 225-49.
12. ‘The Humanizing of Knowledge’ in Patricia Curd and Daniel Graham, eds, The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy (Oxford U. P., 2008), 458-84.
13. 'Mind's Knowledge and Powers of Control in Anaxagoras DK B12,' Phronesis , Vol. 40 (1995), 125-42.
14. 'Socrates' Disavowal of Knowledge,' Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol. 25 (l987), 275-288.
15. ‘The Meaning of Saphêneia in Plato’s Divided Line’ in M. McPherran, ed., A Critical Guide to Plato’s Republic (Cambridge U. P., 2010).
19. 'Aristotle's Considered View of the Path to Knowledge' in M. Boeri, and N. Ooms, eds, El Espíritu y la Letra: A Festschrift for Alfonso Gomez-Lobo (2011), 127-45.
20. 'Just as in Battle: the Simile of the Rout in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics II 19' Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 30 (2010), 95-105.
22. 'Saphêneia in Aristotle: "Clarity," "Precision," and "Knowledge,"' Apeiron, Vol. 43 (2010), 143-56.
On the Afterlife of Plato's Symposium
‘Some Notable Afterimages of Plato’s Symposium’ in Lesher, Nails, and Sheffield, Plato’s Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception (Harvard U. P., Center for Hellenic Studies, 2006 313-340.
4. ‘Anselm Feuerbach’s Das Gastmahl des Platon and Plato’s Symposium’ in P. Castillo, S. Knippschild, M. G. Morcillo, and C. Herreros, eds., International Conference: Imagines: The reception of antiquity in performing and visual arts (Logroño: Universidad de La Rioja, 2008), 479-490.
Essays on other topics
1. 'Aristotle on Form, Substance, and Universals: A Dilemma,' Phronesis, Vol. 16 (l97l), 169-78.
2. ‘The Flourishing of Ancient Philosophy in America: Some Causes and Concerns’ in L. Rossetti and J. Thorp, eds, Greek Philosophy in the New Millennium (Akademia Verlag, 2004), 89-98.
3. ‘Plato and the Presocratics’ in Gerald Press, ed., The Continuum Companion to Plato (Continuum Press, forthcoming).
4. ‘Xenophanes of Colophon’ in G. Oppy and N. Trakasis, eds, The History of Western Philosophy of Religion, Vol. I (Acumen, 2009).
5. ‘Analytic Approaches to Plato’ in Gerald Press, ed., The Continuum Companion to Plato (Continuum Press, forthcoming).
7. ‘The Self in Conflict: A Heraclitean Theme in Eliot’s Cocktail Party’ in S. Knippschild, ed., Seduction and Power: The reception of antiquity in the visual and performing arts (Continuum Press, 2011)