Mitzi Lee
Associate Professor
303 735-0661
Office: Hellems 197
M 3:00-4:00pm, W 2:00-3:00pm; and by appointment
Department Website Manager
MA Advisor
Chair, Climate Committee
Photo by Dana Rene Bowler/The Catholic University of America


Mi-Kyoung (Mitzi) Lee (PhD, Harvard, 1996) taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1996-2005) before taking up her current position at CU in 2005. She has held visiting positions at the University of Chicago and Harvard University. She was Placement Director for the graduate program, 2014-15.

Professor Lee specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. She is the author of Epistemology after Protagoras: Responses to Relativism in Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005), which won an honorable mention in the American Philosophical Association Book Prize 2007, for authors under 40. The book explores the responses to relativism found in Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus -- ranging from Plato's sophisticated reformulation of relativism as a theory of knowledge, his refutation of relativism, and Aristotle's discussion of the skeptical consequences of Protagoras' ideas, to Democritus' incorporation of some modified Protagoras ideas in his theory of knowledge and perception.

Professor Lee is currently writing a book on Aristotle's ethics and political philosophy called Justice in Aristotle's Ethics and Political Philosophy. The aim of the book is to argue that, contrary to a widespread understanding of Aristotle, justice is the central virtue in his ethics and the central guiding principle in his political philosophy. Justice is an ideal in Aristotle's theory of the virtues of character, which shows how deeply he is committed to the idea that man is a 'political animal'. Furthermore, justice is also the concept from which he derives the notion of obligations and what we would call duties towards other people. The book focuses on his principles of justice and his conception of the common good, and shows how it shapes his conception of virtue, morality, and the good life.

For more information see her CV here.


selected papers

  • "Justice and the Laws in Aristotle's Ethics", in M. Lee (ed.), Strategies of Argument: Essays in Ancient Ethics, Epistemology, and Logic, Oxford University Press 2014.
  • "The Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities in Ancient Greek Philosophy", in Lawrence Nolan (ed.), Primary and Secondary Qualities: the Historical and Ongoing Debate, Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • "Antecedents to Ancient Skepticism in Early Greek Philosophy", in Richard Bett (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Scepticism, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • "Plato's Theaetetus", in Gail Fine (ed.), Oxford Handbook on Plato, Oxford University Press 2008, 211-236.

edited volume

  • Strategies of Argument: Essays in Ancient Ethics, Epistemology, and Logic, Oxford University Press 2014.