Damian Caluori (2010 Conington Prize)
Room 6.07, Dugald Stewart Building
- 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
- Post code
- EH8 9AD
Office hours: Tuesday, 14:00-15:00 or by appointment. Please book a slot at https://dcaluori.youcanbook.me/ at the latest one day before you'd like to meet. These are 15 minutes slots, which will usually give us enough time. If you think our discussion will take more than 15 minutes, please feel free to book two slots. Due to the virus, we cannot meet in my office. We will meet on Microsoft Teams instead. I will send you an link to the meeting on Microsoft Calendar.
If these hours don't work for you, 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.
Responsibilities & affiliations
Student Exchange Coordinator
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?
Current PhD students supervised
Chihon Ley (second supervisor).
Graham Blackbourn (second supervisor; Classics).
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.
Another Platonist I work on is Damascius, last head of the Platonist school in Athens when it was closed as a consequence of an anti-pagan edict by the Roman Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century. I am particularly interested in his use of dialectic and in his epistemology. Almost anticipating Kant, Damascius is intrigued by the problem of how it is possible for a subject to grasp an object as it is in itself.