Voula Tsouna

Voula Tsouna
Faculty Graduate Advisor
Professor of Philosophy

Office Hours

Fridays: 2pm-3pm

Contact Phone


Office Location

South Hall 5722


Research Interests

  • Ancient Philosophy


  • PhD, University of Paris X, France


Awards and Honors

  1. 2009–10: Onassis Foundation Fellowship
  2. 2011: Prix Desrousseaux des etudes grecque for the co-authored book Les Epicuriens, Editions de la Pleiade (Gallimard, Paris 2010)
  3. 2012–13: Panel on the volume of collected essays, Knowledge, Virtue, and Happiness (Ekkremes 2013), held at the University of Athens
  4. 2012-13: Honorary fellow of the Interdisciplinary Center of the Aristotelian Studies (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
  5. 2013: Elected for 2015 for Overseas Visiting Fellow, St John’s College, Cambridge


My work is in the area of ancient Greek philosophy, specializing in Socrates, Plato, the Socratic schools, and Hellenistic Philosophy. My first book is a critical edition with translation and commentary of Philodemus: On Choices and Avoidances (Bibliopolis Press, Naples, 1995), a text of late Epicurean ethics. My analysis focuses on the topics of rationalism, attitudes towards superstition and the fear of death. I discuss the contribution of late Epicureans to practical ethics and explain its philosophical interest. My second book The Epistemology of the Cyrenaic School (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 1998) is an interpretation of the epistemology of the Cyrenaics, a Socratic school active in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. I argue that the subjectivism of this school in some ways pre-announces modern positions and that its scepticism comes close to modern scepticism about the external world. Among the topics I examine are the relation between the mental and the physical, the authority of first-person reports, scepticism towards the empirical world and towards other minds, and the relations between relativism and scepticism. My third book The Ethics of Philodemus (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006) reconstructs and assesses the ethical system of Philodemus, a very important Epicurean philosopher of the 1st century BC., whose surviving writings belong to the collection of the Herculaneum papyri. Currently I am working on aspects of Aristotle’s metaphysics and ethics, Hellenistic and Roman philosophy, and a book on Plato’s Charmides.


Work Submitted

  1. “Epicurean Preconceptions”, 


Work in Progress

  1. Plato’s Charmides.
  1. “What is the Subject of Plato’s Charmides?”
  2. “Ancient Thought Experiments and Plato’s Republic”.
  3. “Aristotle on the Primacy of the Plot”.
  4. “The Prologue of Plato’s Charmides”.
  5. “Plato’s Crito and the Ideals of Periclean Athens”.
  6. “Epicurean Preconceptions”.
  7. “Plato and Aristotle on Reflexivity in Sensation a”.
  8. “Plato’s Arguments for the Forms in Republic V and X”.
  9. “The Second Argument of the Euthyphro”.
  10. “The Sceptics on the Formation of Concepts”.



1.       Critical edition of PHerc.1251: Philodemus: On Choices and Avoidances (with English translation, introduction, and extended commentary), co-authored with G. Indelli, La Scuola di Epicuro, Bibliopolis Press, Naples,1995.

2.       The Epistemology of the Cyrenaic School, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK,1998. Greek translation by Tereza Bouki (Crete University Press,2012).

3.       The Ethics of Philodemus (Oxford University Press, Oxford,2007).

4.       Knowledge, Virtue, Happiness: Essays on the Minor Socratics and the Epicureans (in Greek). With a new introduction and two chapter previously unpublished: “The Minor Socratics” (Chapter 1), pages 13–44 and “The Preconceptions of the Epicureans” (Chapter 6), pages 213–272. Ekkremes Editions, Athens,2012.

5.       Philodemus: On Property Management (Intro, Text, Translation, and Notes), Society of Biblical Literature (General editors: E. Asmis and J. Fitzgerald; academic editor: D. Sedley), Atlanta,2012.

6.       Knowledge, Virtue, Happiness: Collected Essays on the Socratics and the Hellenistic Philosophers (in modern Greek translation), Athens,2013. This volume is also being considered by a major English academic press.


1.       “New Readings in PHerc. 1251”, Cronache Ercolanesi,1990, pages 27–38.

2.       “The Cyrenaic Theory of Knowledge”, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy,1992, pages 161–192.

3.       “Cynicism”, Ready Reference: Ethics,1993.

4.       “The Socratic Origins of the Cynics and Cyrenaics”, The Socratic Movement,1994, pages 367–391.

5.       “Conservatism and Pyrrhonian Skepticism”, Selecta Classica 6: Hellenistic Thought,1995, pages 69–86.

6.       “Epicurean Attitudes to Management and Finance”, Epicureismo Greco e Romano,1996, pages 701–714.

7.       “Aristippus”, “The Cyrenaics”, “The Socratic Schools”, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy,1997.

8.       “Aristippus”, “Cyrenaic Philosophy”, “Phaedrus”, “Phaedo”, “The Socratic Circle”, The Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy,1997.

9.       “Doubts about Other Minds and the Science of Physiognomy”, Classical Quarterly, ii,1998, pages 1–12.

10.   “Socrates’ Attack on Intellectualism in the Charmides”, Apeiron (special volume on Plato, Wisdom, Ignorance, and Virtue),1998, pages 1–19.

11.   “Remarks About Other Minds in Greek Philosophy”, Phronesis (XVIII/3),1998, pages 1–19.

12.   “Socrate et la connaissance de sol: quelques interpretations”, in Figures de Socrate, ed. by M. Narcy,2000.

13.   “The Minor Socratic Schools”, History of Greek Philosophy, eds. K. Ierodiaknou and S. Virvidakis, Patras,2000, pages 101–120.

14.   “Cicéron et Philodème: quelques considérations sur l’éthique”, in Cicéron et Philodème, eds. Clara Assayas and Daniel Delattre,2001, pages 159–172.

15.   “Philodemus on the Therapy of Vice”, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Vol. XXI,2001, pages 233–258.

16.   “Interprétations socratiques de la connaissance de soi”, Revue de philosophie antique, Vol. 1,2001, pages 37–64.

17.   “Is There an Exception to Greek Eudaemonism?”, in Le style de la pensée, eds. Pierre Pellegrin and Monique Canto,2002, pages 464–489.

18.   “Portare davanti agli occhi: Una tecnica retorica nelle opera morali di Filodemo (‘Setting-before-the-eyes’)”, Cronache Ercolanesi, 33,2003, pages 243–247.

19.   “Interpretations of Socratic Self-Knowledge”, Proceedings of international conference on Socrates: Athens/Delphi,2004, pages 319–330.

20.   “Aristo on Blends of Arrogance”, in Aristo of Ceos, ed. by W. Fortenbaugh and S. White,2005, pages 1–14.

21.   “Rationality and the Fear of Death in Epicurean Philosophy”, Rhizai, III.1,2006, pages 59–97.

22.   “The Epicureans on Death and Dying”, Cogito,2006, pages 23–35.

23.   “Philodemus and the Epicurean Tradition”, Proceedings of Symposium Hellenisticum, eds. A.M. Ioppolo and D. Sedley,2006.

24.   “Philodemus on Emotions”, Greek and Roman Philosophy, 100BC to 200AD Volume 1, eds. R. Sorabji and R. Sharples. Institute of Classical Studies,2007, pages 213–41.

25.   “Le Livre de Philodème La Colère”, Philosophie Antique v.8,2008, pages 215–258.

26.   “The Metaphysics and the Knowledge of the Self in Plato’s Phaedrus” (in Greek), Neusis, v.17,2008, pages 46–63.

27.   “Philodème, L’èconomie” (page numbers changed in print version), Les Epicuriens. Editions de la Pléïade, Paris,2010, pages 631–33 (introduction, translation).

28.   “Philodème, L’arrogance” (page numbers changed in print version), Les Epicuriens. Editions de la Pléïade, Paris,2010, pages 594–616 (introduction, translation).

29.   “Philodème, La Mort” (page numbers changed in print version), Les Epicuriens. Editions de la Pléïade, Paris,2010, pages 1276–1278 (introduction, translation).

30.   “The Epicureans on Anger and the Desire for Revenge”, Logos and Language: Essays in Honour of Julius Moravcsik, ed. D. Follesdal and J. Woods, London, College Publications, Athens,2010, pages 163–80.

31.   “Socrates’ Last Will and Testament: A New Reading of Plato’s Crito” (in Greek), Deaths of Philosophers in Classical Antiquity Ypomnema 9, eds. G. Zographidis, P. Kotzia, Ch. Balla,2010, pages 85–104.

32.   “Epicurean Therapeutic Strategies”, The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism, ed. James Warren, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,2010, pages 249–265.

33.   “Philodemus, Seneca, and Plutarch on Anger”, Epicurus and the Epicurean Tradition, eds. J. Fish and K. Sanders, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pages 183–210.

34.   “Is There an Answer to Socrates’ Puzzle? Individuality, Universality, and the Self in Plato’s Phaedrus”, Philosophie Antique 12,2012, pages 199–235.

35.   “Mimêsis and the Platonic Dialogue”, Rhizomata 1(1),2013, pages 1–30.

Works in Press


1.       “Philodemus, History of the Philosophers: Plato and the Academy”, co-authored with M. Hatzimichali (University of Cambridge), in Plato’s Academy, eds. P. Kalligas et al., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014.


1.       “La philosophie politique des sceptiques anciens”, Dictionnaire de la Philosophie politique, eds. P. Raynaud and S. Rials, Presses Universitaries de France,1993.

2.       “Self-criticism in Plato’s Socratic Dialogues”, L’Ethique de Socrate, ed. P Destrée, Presses Universitares de France,2004.

3.       “Philodemus (c. 100–c. 40BC)”, Encyclopedia of Philosphy, ed. D. M. Borchert, Thomson Gale Publishing, Inc.,2005.

4.       “The Philosophical Papyri of Herculeneum: An Overview” (in Greek), Proceedings of the Institute of Philosophical Research, Patras, Greece,2007.

5.       “MIMÊSIS and the Platonic Dialogue” (in Russian), Forma and Content in Plato, Gasparov Readings, Moscow,2011.

6.       “Epicureanism and Hedonism”, The Cambridge History of Moral Philosophy, eds. S. Gotlob et al., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,2013.

7.       “Plato’s Representation of the ‘Socratics’”, The Socratics and Socratic Schools, ed. U. Zilloli, Acumen Publishing, Durham,2014.

8.       “Rationality and Pyrrhonian Scepticism”, Pour et Contre: Etudes Surle Scepticisme Antique, eds. D. Machuca and S. Marchand, Paris,2014.