Jiakai Zhang

A photo of Jiakai Zhang

Jiakai Zhang received his B.A. in Philosophy (Liberal Arts) from Boya (Liberal Arts) College, Sun Yat-sen University (2021), and his M.A. in the Humanities (Classical Languages Option) from the University of Chicago (2023), with a background in both classics and philosophy (both Western and Chinese). His M.A. thesis “The Lofty Philosopher and the Socratic Philosopher in Plato’s Theaetetus” explored how the life of a Socratic philosopher benefits from mathematical practices but also distinguishes itself from the mathematicians’ way of life in the Digression (172c1-177b8) of Plato’s Theaetetus.

Presently, Jiakai’s primary focus is Socrates’ literary figure and life portrayed in the Platonic dialogues, especially the role of eros in his practice of “becoming like god” through philosophizing. Under the same theme, Jiakai also likes to explore other portrayed figures of mortals who either struggle for or are given a position beyond mortality in ancient Greek literature (especially, Achilles in the Iliad). More broadly, Jiakai is interested in philosophies as ways of life in ancient Greece and Rome, and in ancient China.