Damian Caluori (2010 Conington Prize)

Senior Lecturer

  • Philosophy
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room 7.06

40 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


  • I am on academic leave until 12/2022. If you would like to meet, please send me an email.


I joined the department in 2019. Before that, I taught at Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, for ten years, first as Assistant Professor, then as Associate Professor. I received my DPhil  in 2008 from the University of Oxford for my thesis on Plotinus on the Soul, written under the supervision of Michael Frede. I was born and raised in Switzerland where I received my Lic.phil (=MA) from the University of Zurich.


PDF icon 102855.pdf

Responsibilities & affiliations

Student Exchange Coordinator

Undergraduate teaching

Various courses in ancient philosophy, in particular the ancient part of Greats and the third year course Ancient Philosophy. I also teach Philosophy of Friendship, a course that systematically explores what friendship is, how to distinguish between friends and non-friends, the puzzles this generates for rationality and morality as well as the role of friendship in a good life.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am open to surpervising theses on Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophy, and Neoplatonism (in particular Plotinus).

Current PhD students supervised

Dong-geun Kim (first supervisor).

Chihon Ley (second supervisor).

Graham Blackbourn (second supervisor; Classics).

Research summary

I am interested in all aspects of ancient philosophy, in particular in theories of the soul and in metaphysics more generally. I am mostly focused on late ancient Platonism, in particular Plotinus. I read Plotinus against the background of his honourable predecessors, in particular Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. Reading Plotinus in this way makes it clear how Plotinus attempts to solve problems that all ancient philosophers were concerned with and how he attempts to give Platonist answers to these problems that are no less sophisticated than the answers of the competing schools.



Current research interests

I am currently working on a translation of, and commentary on, Enneads II.6 ('On Substance and Quality'), VI.1 and VI.2 (the first two parts of his treatise 'On the Genera of Being'). This will be the first substantial commentary on these treatises.

Past research interests

My monograph 'Plotinus on the Soul' attempts to give a systematic account of, well, Plotinus' theory of the soul. I do not focus exclusively on the human soul because I think that the human soul can only be properly understood against the background of his theory of the soul quite generally. Hence, I also discuss such unusual entities as the souls of the stars and an entity that Plotinus was the first to introduce into philosophy, namely the so-called hypostasis Soul. Another interest of mine is the philosophy of friendship, which was central to ancient ethics but seems to have lost this central position later. I have edited a collection of essays on this topic, organised along the major philosophical issues that relate to friendship: what it is, what its unity is, whether friendship can be rationally and morally justified (given that it gives preference to some people simply based on our relation to them) and what its role in a good life is. I co-edited and co-translated 'That Nothing is Known' by the Renaissance sceptic Francisco Sanchez. Sanchez is interesting, it seems to me, for at least two reasons: 1. He used the methods of ancient Pyrrhonism against the dogmatists of his day, the Aristotelians of the schools. 2. As in ancient Pyrrhonism, there is an interesting connection to medicine. Not only did Sanchez teach and practice medicine, he was also familiar with, and influenced by, the ancient medical school of empiricism.

Affiliated research centres