Sara Brill

  • Fairfield University
  • Department of Philosophy and Classical Studies Program
  • Professor of Philosophy

Sara Brill is Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University, Associate Director of the Humanities Institute and affiliate member of the Classical Studies Program. Her research interests include ancient philosophy and medicine, tragedy, psychoanalysis and critical theory. She has published articles on Plato, tragedy and the Hippocratic corpus.

Her first book, Plato on the Limits of Human Life, examines the political dimensions of Plato’s psychology in the Phaedo, Republic and Laws. Taking as its starting point the remarkable plasticity that is granted to psuche in these works, as well as the variety of rhetorical strategies Plato employs to document this plasticity, it argues that several of the distinctive features of Platonic psychology–its imagistic character, its insistence on soul’s immortality, its largely ethical trajectory–emerge as responses to psychic plasticity and to the poverty of philosophic forms of analysis contemporary to Plato to describe it. This conception of the breadth of psychological phenomena demands from Plato a wide ranging discursive iconography formed from a variety of conceptual and linguistic resources–medicine, tragedy, rhetoric–and requires the analysis of polis and politeia as essential features of psuche-analysis.

Currently she is at work on a book length study of the concept of shared life in Aristotle’s ethics, politics and biological writings. Its aim is to examine the significance of Aristotle’s conception of the sharing of life for his understanding of the place of human political life within the larger field of living beings and includes a critical appraisal of Giorgio Agamben’s formulation of the zoe/bios distinction.