Andrea Basso

Postgraduate Research Student

Summary: Images of Philosophical Freedom in Plato’s Statesman and its Context; Plato's Imagery and Ethics; Ancient Greek literature; Relations of Philosophy and Mythology; Political Philosophy


My research focuses on Plato’s imagery (eikones,paradeigmata, paidia) in the Statesman. It articulates this function as relying on the combination or clash of conceptual perspectives, showing how Plato anticipates modern interactionist theories. It also shows that Plato's understanding of images is inherently bound to the ethical notion of right measure and to the role of dramatic composition as model of philosophical inquiry.  My interest in imagery extends to mythological narrations of cosmic balance as ethical model, in both ancient and modern narratives.

The project is fully funded by the School of Languages, Cultures, and Societies (formerly Classics).

Research Interests

Imagery as cognitive and ethico-political instrument; Ancient Greek mythology; Platonism and Neo-Platonism; ancient, medieval, and continental philosophy; fantastic literature and folklore; ethical leadership; limits of reason and non-rational aspects in philosophy (imagination, playfulness, emotions).

Biography and Curriculum

I graduated cum laude at the University of Verona with a BA in Philosophy (dissertation on Meister Eckhart’s speculative mysticism). I was also awarded an MA cum laude in Philosophy at the University of Verona. My research-based MA dissertation outlined the history of philosophical receptions of myths from Plato to the Renaissance. Before starting my PhD at Leeds, I worked as a Summer School instructor in English and Drama, and as a volunteer for the Alternative Civilian Service with the Nonviolent Movement (Verona), where I served as a librarian and archivist. I have thus expanded my understanding in the theory and history of education and non-violence. At the University of Leeds, I have worked as teaching assistant of several classes in ancient Greek philosophy, history and culture. I also co-directed the fully funded inter-disciplinary research group on folklore and fantastic literature 'Reading the Fantastic'. In this role, I have organised two outreach events on the social impact of fantastic narratives and visual arts. I have cooperated with the organisation of several interdisciplinary PGR conferences and chaired several interdisciplinary panels in political theory. Finally, I have worked as mentor and facilitator for the program 'Students as Scholars'. My curriculum reflects my ongoing interests and practical engagement with non-rationalistic philosophies, non-violent ethics and education.


Dr Elizabeth E. Pender (Primary Supervisor)

Prof Malcolm F. Heath (Secondary Supervisor)


A.Y. 2017/18: CLAS 2700 Homer's Iliad; CLAS 1300 The Greek World.

A.Y. 2016/17: CLAS 3910 Plato’s Republic; CLAS 2700 Homer’s Iliad.

A.Y. 2014/15: CLAS 1640 Introduction to Ancient Greek Philosophy; CLAS 2700 Homer’s Iliad.

A.Y. 2013/14: CLAS 1640 Introduction to Ancient Greek Philosophy.

Papers and Presentations

'Mightier than Atlas: Images of Control and Autonomy' (2018)

'Balance, Stillness, Vertigo: Myths of Cosmic Centrality in Plato, Nietzsche and Kundera' (2017) 

‘Philosophy as Transgression of Boundaries: Plato’s Conceptions of Barbarians and Strangers’ (2016)

‘Friendship, Politics, and Vulnerability in Ancient Greece’ (2016)

‘The Ancient Greek Concept of Parrēsia or Free Speech: An Introduction’ (2015)

'The Structure of the Statesman and its Underlying Philosophical Principle' (2014)

‘Classicists in the First World War - Paul Friedländer: War, Work, and Life’ (2013)

Research Activities and Educational Engagement

Co-Director of the research group ‘Reading the Fantastic’ (2015/16 and 2016/17), fully funded by the Faculty of Arts PGR Research Group Grants.

Facilitator for the program ‘Students as Scholars’ (2015/16 and 2016/17).

Mentor for the program ‘Students as Scholars’ (2013/14 and 2015/16).