Voula Tsouna

Professor of Philosophy
Department Co-Chair

Office Hours

By appointment

Contact Phone


Office Location

South Hall 5722


  • Ancient Philosophy


  • PhD, University of Paris X, France


Awards and Honors

  • 1994-95: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in Philosophy, 1994-95
  • 1995: Theodor Mommsen Award for the book [Philodemus] [On Choices and Avoidances] (Bibliopolis, Naples 1995) 
  • 2009–10: Onassis Foundation Fellowship
  • 2013: Elected for Spring 2015 for Overseas Visiting Fellow, St John’s College, Cambridge
  • 2014: Beaufort Fellow, St John’s College, Cambridge (Easter term 2015)
  • 2016: Centenary Fellow of the Scottish Philosophical Association for 2016
  • 2016: Distinguished Visiting Scholar Christ'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.


Currently, Voula Tsouna is close to completing a monograph on Plato's Charmides. She is co-editing a volume entitled 'The Notion of Concept in Greek Philosophy' with Gabor Betegh, and she is working on a series of studies on Plato's Republic. She is on the advising committee of Phiilosophie Antique and of Cronache Ercolanesi, and she is also the co-editor of the series Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy (Cambridge University Press).

Work Submitted

  1. “Plato and Aristotle on Reflexivity in Perception”
  2. Plato and Aristotle on sôphrosynê.



  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.
  36. “Plato’s Representation of the ‘Socratics’” From Socrates to the Socratic Schools, ed. U. Zilioli, Routledge,2014.
  37. “Charmides: Encyclopedia Entry” (in Greek) Philosophical Lexicon, ed. V. Kalfas,2014.
  38. “Plato’s ‘Socratics’” Electronic publication of papers delivered in, “Nuit de Philosophie,” Institut Francais d’Athenes,2014.
  39. “Epicurean Preconceptions” Phronêsis 61,2016: pages 160–221.
  40. “Cyrenaics and Epicureans on Pleasure and the Good Life:  the Original Debate and its Later Revivals” Strategies of Polemics in Greel and Roman Philosophy, eds. S. Weisser and N. Thaler, Brill, Leiden/Boston,2016: pages 113–149.
  41. “Die stoische Lebenskunst und ihre platonischen Vorläufer” Philosophie als Lebenkunst.  Antike Vorbilder, moderne Perspektiven, eds. by G. Ernst, Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft, Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin,2016: pages 161–206. (Available in English as ‘The Stoic Art of Living and its Platonic Antecedents’)
  42. “What is the Subject of Plato’s Charmides?” For a Skeptical Peripatetic: Studies in Greek Philosophy in Honour of John Glucker, eds. Y.Z. Liebersohn, L. Ludlam, and A. Edelheit, Academia Verlag, Sankt Augustin,2017: pages 33–62.
  43. “Diogenes of Oinoanda and the Cyrenaics” Diogenes of Oinoanda. Epicureanism and Philosophical debates / Diogène de Oenoanda. Epicurisme et controverses, eds. by J. Hammersteadt, P.-M. Morel, and R. Güremen, Leuven University Press, Leuven,2017: pages 143–164.
  44. “Epicureanism and Hedonism” The Cambridge History of Moral  Philosophy, eds. S. Gotlob et al., Cambridge University Press,2017.

Works in Press

  1. “Philodemus,  Index Academicorum” (co-author:  Paul Kalligas), in Studies on Plato’s Academy, eds. P. Kalligas et al, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,2017.
  2. “Epicurean Hedonism” The Oxford Handbook of Epicureanism, ed. P. Mitsis, Oxford University Press, Oxford,2017.
  3. “Le scepticisme pyrrhonien et le concept de raison” Les raisons de doute. Études sur le scepticisme antique, eds. D. Machuca and S. Marchand, Classiques Garnier, Paris,2017. (Available in English Translation).
  4. ‘Pyrrhonian Logoi’ (in Greek), in Topoi:  a Gift for Pantelis Basakos, eds. by V. Kindi, C. Balla, and G. Faraklas, Editions Polis, Athens,2017. (English  translation available for review.)
  5. ‘Aristippus of Cyrene’ in Early Greek Ethics, eds. D. Wolfsdorf, Oxford University Press, Oxford (forthcoming).
  6. 'The Stoics on Techne and the Technai', in Techne in Ancient Philosophy ‘Edited by T.K. Johansen, Oxford University Press, Oxford (forthcoming).
  7. 'The Epicureans on Techne and the Technai,' in Techne in Ancient Philosophy ‘Edited by T.K. Johansen, Oxford University Press, Oxford (forthcoming).