Damian Caluori (2010 Conington Prize)
Senior Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy
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, where I was fortunate enough to be taught by Michael Frede. I was born and raised in Switzerland.
Responsibilities & affiliations
Student Exchange Coordinator
I am teaching various courses in ancient philosophy, such as the ancient part of Greats and the third year course Ancient Philosophy.
Open to PhD supervision enquiries?
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. But 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.