Leon Wash

  • University of Chicago
  • Department of Classics
  • PhD Candidate

Leon is finishing his dissertation on the significance of metaphor in the early development of the concept of nature (φύσις or φυά) in Greek poetry and philosophy, with special emphasis on Pindar and Empedocles. The recent and widespread renewal of interest in the vegetal imagery of these authors demands a fresh assessment of the evidence, including analyses of vegetal metaphor in competition with metaphor drawn from craft, and of the political uses of plant images amid the discourse on nature. One crucial aspect of this project is a consideration of how scholars and other interpreters have fixated upon the plant as the most natural image for Nature, and how that image continues to be put to varied ideological use. Leon is also interested more generally in theories of metaphor and conceptual development, the historiography of philosophy, and gardening.