Profile: Dr James Warren

I was lucky enough to go to a comprehensive school with a Classics department and I began to learn Latin in my second year.  The inspirational teaching and the richness of the subject drew me in so I knew early on what I wanted to study at University.  At Cambridge I was able to begin learning Greek and I found that ancient philosophy was really what I wanted to do.  I’ve been in Cambridge ever since.  I am not quite sure, really, what Classics is and what holds it together as a subject.  In many ways it is a curious combination of disciplines united by a fascination for a certain period and region and the influence what happened there and then still has.  In terms of my own subject, I like this observation by Bernard Williams: ‘The legacy of Greece to Western philosophy is Western philosophy’.  But the philosophy of the Greeks and Romans is not just an ancestor of what continues today; it is a constant source of questions, models, inspiration, and frustration that has a lot to contribute to our ongoing philosophical efforts.  The Classics Faculty is a curious combination of things and people too.  I think that is why it is such an exciting place to work and teach.

Dr James Warren. University reader in Ancient Philosophy