Angie Hobbs

MA, PhD (Cambridge), FRSA

Department of Philosophy

Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy

Portrait of Angie Hobbs
Credit: Timm Cleasby
Profile picture of Portrait of Angie Hobbs
Office hours: Tuesday 12.30-2.30pm

Full contact details

Angie Hobbs
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
S3 7QB

Angie Hobbs gained a degree in Classics and a PhD in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.  After a Research Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge, she moved to the Philosophy Department at the University of Warwick; in 2012 she was appointed Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, a position created for her. Her chief research interests are in ancient philosophy and literature, and their reception in the Renaissance and the First World War, and in ethics and political theory from classical thought to the present, and she has published widely in these areas, including Plato and the Hero (C.U.P). Her most recent publication for the general public is Plato’s Republic: a Ladybird Expert Book.  She contributes regularly to radio and TV programmes and other media.  She has spoken at the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Houses of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and Westminster Abbey and been the guest on Desert Island DiscsPrivate Passions and Test Match Special. She was a judge of the Man Booker International Prize 2019 and was on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council 2018-9 for Values, Ethics and Innovation.  

Research interests

Most of my work is in ancient Greek philosophy and in ethics (both ancient and modern), and I have broad interests across both fields. Topics that I particularly focus on are: the ethics of flourishing and virtue ethics; courage, heroism and fame; concepts of 'manliness'; war and peace; love and desire; mental health and illness; relations between philosophy and literature; relations between ethics and aesthetics.

In Plato and the Hero I concentrate on Plato's critique of the notions and embodiments of 'manliness' and courage prevalent in his culture (particularly those in Homer), and his attempt to redefine them in accordance with his own ethical, psychological and metaphysical principles. The question of why courage is necessary in the flourishing life in its turn leads to Plato's bid to unify the noble and the beneficial, and the tensions this unification creates between human and divine ideals.

I am currently writing a book Why Plato Matters (for Bloomsbury), and also working on a new translation of, and commentary on, Plato's Symposium (for Oxford University Press).


Journal articles


  • Hobbs A (2020) Women, Heroism and the First World War, Mobilizing Cultural Identities in the First World War (pp. 127-148). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hobbs A (2017) Socrates, Eros and Magic In Harte V & Woolf, R (Ed.), Rereading Ancient Philosophy : Old Chestnuts and Sacred Cows Cambridge University Press: Cambridge University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hobbs A (2016) Filling the space between: what can we learn from Plato? In Norman R & Carroll A (Ed.), Religion and Atheism: Beyond the Divide London and New York: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hobbs A () Platonic Proportions: Beauty, Harmony and the Good Life In Poltrum M (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Mental Health and Contemporary Western Aesthetics Oxford University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hobbs A () More and the Republics of Plato In Shrank C & Withington P (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Thomas More's Utopia Oxford University Press View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hobbs A () 'Women, Heroism and World War 1 In Pedriali F & Savettieri C (Ed.), Mobilizing Identities: Identities in Motion Through the First World War Palgrave View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

  • Hobbs A (2015) Presocratics Interview for RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

  • Hobbs A (2022) 'The Symposium'. In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato Bloomsbury. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hobbs A (2022) 'Women'. In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato. RIS download Bibtex download
Professional activities and memberships

Positions (current): Honorary Patron of The Philosophy Foundation; Advisory Board of Plato's Academy Centre; Board member of the Royal Institute of Philosophy; Editorial Board of the Journal of Philosophy in Schools; Advisory Council of the Speakers' Corner Trust; Associate Fellow of the Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics; adviser to the Hobbes Philosophy Society of Malmesbury; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Positions (former): World Economic Forum Global Future Council for Values, Ethics and Innovation 2018-9; judge for the Man Booker International Prize (now the Booker International prize) 2019; Chair of the Arts and Ideas Trust 2011-2016 (responsible for the HowTheLightGetsIn Philosophy Festival at Hay-on-Wye); Executive Committee Member and Trustee of the Forum for Philosophy (formerly the Forum for European Philosophy) 2015-21; Executive Committee Member of the British Philosophical association 2013-22.

Fiction writing: 'Raqs Sharqi' in The Voyage: Journeys in Creative Writing, a Warwick-Monash anthology of creative writing edd. Chandani Lokuge and David Morley (Silkworks Ink 2011).

I also broadcast regularly for radio, TV, newspapers and the web and speak at a variety of festivals and other venues.

Postgraduate Supervision

Angie welcomes PhD students in ancient Greek philosophy, the ethics of flourishing and virtue, love and friendship, heroism.