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Professor Paul Woodruff on Philosophy, War and Justice



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Ryan speaks with Paul Woodruff about his book The Ajax Dilemma: Justice, Fairness, and Rewards, the ancient purpose of justice, reflections on a lifetime of studying philosophy, what serving in Vietnam taught him about justice, and more.

Paul Woodruff is a classicist, professor of philosophy, and dean at The University of Texas at Austin, where he once chaired the department of philosophy. Before starting his career at the university in 1972, Paul served as an officer in Vietnam. His work deals with the translation, study, and analysis of works of ancient philosophy, with his best-known offerings focusing on Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, Plato, and philosophy of theater. His books include First Democracy; The Challenge of an Ancient Idea, The Necessity of Theater; The Art of Watching and Being Watched, and Reverence; Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. The first book of philosophy that Paul ever read was The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Paul’s new book is Living Toward Virtue: Practical Ethics in the Spirit of Socrates.

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