Associate Professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Fellow of Ancient Greek Philosophy, Oriel College, Oxford
° Place of birth: Cesena, Italy
° Date of Birth: 23 September 1975
° Postal Address: Oriel College
OX1 4EW - United Kingdom
° Telephone (office):
° E-mail: email@example.com
° My Departmental webpage My page at ACADEMIA.EDU
· October 1994 - March 2000 ─ Undergraduate student at the Philosophy Department of the University of Bologna. Passed 17 exams with the average mark of 30/30 cum laude.
· August 1998 - May 1999 ─ Full Time Exchange Student at the University of California, Berkeley. Passed 8 exams with the average mark of A.
· March 2000 ─ Laurea in Filosofia (B.A. in Philosophy), Philosophy Department of the University of Bologna, with the mark of ‘110/110 cum laude e dignità di pubblicazione’ (summa cum laude).
- Tesi di Laurea (degree thesis): Parentesi pirroniane: Sesto Empirico e l’argomento della perigraphē (supervisor: Prof. Walter Cavini, University of Bologna; cosupervisor: Prof. Anthony Long, UC Berkeley).
· May 2005 ─ Ph.D. Degree in Classics, University of Cambridge.
- Ph.D. thesis: The Logic of Ancient Self-Refutation: From Democritus to Augustine (supervisor: Mr. Nicholas Denyer, Trinity College, Cambridge). Viva voce examination on 28 March 2005 (examiners: Prof. David Sedley, Christ’s College, Cambridge, and Prof. Myles Burnyeat, All Souls College, Oxford); officially approved (without corrections) in May 2005; degree conferred on 13 May 2006.
· September 2007 – December 2008 ─ Post-graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Durham University (distinction).
· September 2000 - July 2001 ─ Employed at the ‘Ufficio Didattico’ of the ‘Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia’ of the University of Bologna.
· October 2004 - August 2007 ─ Stipendiary Henry Lumley Research Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge.
· Michaelmas 2006 and Lent 2007 ─ Director of Studies in Philosophy for Magdalene College, Cambridge.
· September 2007 - September 2013 ─ Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at the Department of Classics and Ancient History, Durham University.
· Awarded Research Funds ‘Ex-60%’ for the research project ‘Language and thought: formal structures and cognitive processes’ (with Prof. Eva Picardi, Prof. Walter Cavini, Prof. Maurizio Ferriani, et alii), University of Bologna (academic years 2000/01 and 2001/02).
· Awarded the status of Honorary Cambridge European Trust Scholar (September 2001). Awarded ‘Book Prize’ by the Cambridge European Trust for the academic year 2001/02.
· Elected Scholar of St. John’s College, Cambridge, in October 2001. Awarded Benefactors’ Scholarship by St. John’s College for the academic years 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04 (full fees and maintenance).
· External adviser of the research project ‘Self-refutation and semantic paradoxes in ancient logic’ (led by Prof. Walter Leszl, Prof. Bruno Centrone and Prof. Walter Cavini), jointly funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Scientific Research (MIUR) and the University of Bologna (academic years 2002/03 and 2003/04).
· Awarded (jointly) the Hare Prize for the best 2005 Ph.D. dissertation in Classics at the Cambridge University.
· Awarded (jointly) the London Hellenic Foundation Award, for the best 2005 UK doctoral thesis in the Ancient Literature, Philosophy and Archaeology category (singly for ancient philosophy).
· Awarded Leverhulme Fellowship (£44,000) for project Ancient Philosophers on Memory and Recollection (January 2014-March 2015)
· Acted as book referee for Cambridge University Press and Acumen Publishing.
· Acted as article referee for Phronesis, Ancient Philosophy, Greece and Rome, Plato: The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society, Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy, British Journal of the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, Philosophical Quarterly and Philosophia: Philosophical Quarterly of Israel.
· Reviewed or reviewing ancient philosophy titles for leading journals in the field: Classical Review, Ancient Philosophy, Mind, Journal of Hellenic Studies, Elenchos, Philosophie Antique, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
· Ancient philosophy subject reviewer for Greece and Rome (from 2010).
· Reviewer for VQR (eValuation of Quality of Research) 2004-2010 for the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR): area of assessment Ancient Philosophy.
· Invited to give papers and lectures at a number of international conferences and institutions (see ‘Conference papers and presentations’ section below).
· Member of the International Society for the Study of Skepticism.
· Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
· Honorary Member of the SISFA (Italian Society for the Study of Ancient Philosophy).
University of Bologna (1997-2000)
· Tutored undergraduate students at the Philosophy Department of the University of Bologna for the course History of Ancient Philosophy (academic years 1997/98 and 1999/2000).
· Run undergraduate seminar at the Philosophy Department of the University of Bologna for the course History of Ancient Philosophy on philosophical writing (academic year 1997/98).
· Run undergraduate seminar at the Philosophy Department of the University of Bologna for the course History of Ancient Philosophy on computing humanities (academic year 1999/2000).
· Member of the examination board of the 1999/2000 course Introduction to Philosophy, for students of the ‘Collegio d’Eccellenza’ of the University of Bologna (teaching professor: Prof. Walter Cavini).
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY (2003-2007)
· Supervised Paper 4 - ‘Set texts: Plato’s Meno’, Part IA (first year) of the Philosophy Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Selwyn College, New Hall, Hughes Hall, Girton College, Christ’s College, Churchill College, Robinson College, Fitzwilliam College and Trinity Hall.
· Supervised Paper 4 - ‘Set texts: Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion’, Part IA (first year) of the Philosophy Tripos, University of Cambridge, for New Hall.
· Supervised classes of ‘Introduction to Ancient Philosophy’, for Part IA (first year) students of the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Magdalene College, Lucy Cavendish College, St. Edmunds College.
· Supervised ‘Greek Literature’ (Plato’s Ion), Part IA (first year) of the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Magdalene College and Peterhouse College.
· Supervised Paper 6 - ‘Classical Questions: Ancient Philosophy’ (especially Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato’s Apology and Meno, and Hellenistic ethics), Part IA (first year) of the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Magdalene College, Lucy Cavendish College and St. Edmunds College.
· Supervised Paper 8 - ‘Greek and Roman Philosophy’ (especially Plato’s Republic, Hellenistic Philosophy), Part IB (second year) of the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Magdalene College.
· Supervised Paper B1 - ‘Plato’ (especially Theaetetus, Sophist and Parmenides), Part II (third year) of the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Trinity Hall and Christ’s College.
· Interviewed applicants for admission to the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Magdalene College (first subject interview, December 2004, 2005 and 2006), Christ’s College, Emmanuel College, St. Edmund’s College (second subject interview, December 2004), St. Catharine College (second subject interview, December 2005), New Hall (second subject interview, December 2006).
· Interviewed applicants for admission to the Philosophy Tripos, University of Cambridge, for Magdalene College (general/subject interview, December 2004; subject interview, December 2005 and 2006) and Peterhouse College (subject interview, December 2005).
· Lectured course on ‘Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy: Knowledge and Fate’ (eight lectures), Part IB (second year) of the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge (Lent Term 2005). My lectures dealt with Hellenistic physics, psychology and epistemology (including Pyrrhonism) and the debate on determinism, fate and moral responsibility.
· Co-lectured (with Prof. Malcolm Schofield) course on ‘Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy: Knowledge and Fate’ (four lectures), Part IB (second year) of the Classical Tripos, University of Cambridge (Lent Term 2006).
· Lectured course on Plato’s Meno (eight lectures), Part IA (first year) of the Philosophy Tripos, University of Cambridge (Michaelmas Term 2006).
KING’S COLLEGE LONDON (2006)
· Lectured course on ‘Hellenistic Metaphysics and Epistemology’ (ten lectures), King’s College London, second and third year (Autumn Semester 2006).
DURHAM UNIVERSITY (October 2007 - present)
Undergraduate language classes
Undergraduate dissertations and MA classes and dissertations
Research students supervision and examining
§ Co-organised (with Paola Ceccarelli) international conference Greek Memories: Theory and Practice (Durham, 27-28 September 2010). Conference programme at http://www.dur.ac.uk/classics/events/upcoming_events/?eventno=8087 .
§ Co-organised (with Valentina Di Lascio) international conference Ancient Fallacies (Durham, 21-23 September 2011). Conference programme at http://www.dur.ac.uk/classics/events/all_events/?eventno=10391 .
1. Ancient Self-Refutation: The Logic and History of the Self-Refutation Argument From Democritus to Augustine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 414 pages.
'Castagnoli's book analyzes with brilliance, incision, sensitivity, and exhaustive depth more than a dozen classes of Ancient Greek and Roman self-refutation arguments ... "Ancient Self-Refutation" is an extremely edifying, useful, and serious book of philosophy. Each of Castagnoli's chapters is full of philosophical freshness, perspicuity and information, and each must from now on serve as essential reference.' (Christopher Moore, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2011.8.21)
'In this thoroughly stimulating and in every way impressive book, Castagnoli offers a comprehensive examination and analysis of a large number and variety of self-refutation arguments in ancient philosophy ... C.'s command of such exceedingly wide and complex material is nothing short of masterful, as is his acutely rigorous, sharply focussed and immensely detailed use of tools - philological, historical, logical - for the handling of it.' (Vasilis Politis, Classical Review 62 (2012), 86-88)
'... a good book, difficult in places, but rewarding, and one that offers a different angle on many vexed texts. It is also scrupulous about looking at texts in their context, at precursors and presuppositions, and at argumentative thrust... a good model to follow when doing ancient philosophy.' (Benjamin Morison, Phronesis 57 (2012), 200-202)'The particular analyses which collectively constitute Castagnoli’s book are always refined and always worth pondering. And they are also, I think, sometimes true. Most scholars (myself among them) have assumed that ancient reversals are self-refutation arguments. Castagnoli’s thesis is the contrary of that assumption; and if Castagnoli has not shown that his thesis is true, he has shown that the assumption is false ... Anyone who has a passing interest in ancient logic and is suitably attired in leather boots will read [Ancient Self-Refutation] with profit—and not without a certain austere pleasure.' (Jonathan Barnes, Mind 121 (2012), 478-485)
'Castagnoli provides an impressive and valuable overview of the history of ancient self-refutation arguments. At the same time, he examines each of these arguments in detail, explaining their context and discussing different ways of interpreting them. Since the individual arguments differ significantly in their structure and strategy, C. does not attempt to propose a general definition of what an ancient self-refutation argument is (pp. 2–5, 353). Nevertheless, his synoptic treatment contributes to a better understanding both of the individual arguments and of their general nature.' (Marko Malink, Classical Philology 104 (2012), 367-371)
‘This is an outstanding study. Over the course of fifteen chapters, Castagnoli offers sharp analysis and clear insight into the nature and logic of some of, if not most of, the classic self-refutation arguments found in the ancient authors. [...] The argumentation throughout is tight, the textual analysis sharp, and the writing style agreeably fluid. Castagnoli is thorough in documenting the secondary material and gracious in his acknowledgments and disagreements. [...] the book is meticulously edited and beautifully produced. In short, this is a model work. [...] Sometimes one has the good fortune to review a work where, it seems to me, the less said the better. If one is a specialist in some area of ancient philosophy, or if one is interested in any of the subject matters discussed by the authors and arguments in this book, and especially if one is interested in self-refutation arguments, the nature of philosophical argumentation and the history and nature of transcendental (-like) arguments, this is a book to read. [...] at no point will one walk away without thinking that she has been part of a fruitful and high-level philosophical exchange. To repeat: this is an outstanding study.’ (Allan Silverman, Ancient Philosophy 32 (2012), 458-461)
‘Castagnoli meticulously analyzes an impressive array of ancient philosophical arguments, which, in some way or another, undermine themselves. [...] Castagnoli makes a compelling case for his main contention regarding the dialectical purpose and function of those arguments. The prose is clear and precise, if vertiginous at times given the inescapably dizzying nature of the logic. The analyses are consistently rigorous and sensitive to philological detail. Ancient Self-Refutation is a tour-de-force.’ (Harald Thorsrud, Phoenix 66 (2012), 188-190)
‘Le livre de Luca Castagnoli, certainement l’un des meilleurs qu’il m’ait été donné de lire ces dernières années, constitue une contribution majeure à l’histoire de la philosophie et de la logique antiques, qui combine avec bonheur expertise logique, solidité philologique, finesse et profondeur de l’analyse philosophique. [...] Ses arguments, extrêmement bien articulés et fouillés, sont généralement convaincants dans l’ensemble comme dans le detail.’ (Jean-Baptiste Gourinat, Revue Philosophique de Louvain 111 (2013), 195-197)
'The book is fascinating, well-written, and a joy to read. The development of the definition of self-refutation from the initial pages where the idea is murky and undefined to the concluding chapter where a detailed discussion of the unique properties of self-refutations are summarized makes the book read like a mystery, where one is given clues along the way and only at the end is the final story unveiled and made clear. Accessible to both the scholar and the layman, it would serve well as supplementary material on a course on ancient dialectics as well as a resource for the historian and philosopher of the ancient Greek and Latin tradition.' (Sara Uckelman)
For a full list of reviews click here.
1. ‘Self-bracketing Pyrrhonism’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, XVIII (2000), 263-328.
2. ‘L’elenchos di Agatone: Una rilettura di Platone, Simposio, 199c3-201c9’ [‘Agathon’s elenchos: A new reading of Plato, Symposium, 199c3-201c9’], Dianoia, VI (2001), 39-84.
3. ‘Protagoras Refuted: How Clever is Socrates’ “Most Clever” Argument at Theaetetus 171a-c?’, Topoi, XXIII 1 (2004), 3-32.
4. ‘Il condizionale crisippeo e le sue interpretazioni moderne’ [‘The Chrysippean conditional and its modern interpretations’], Elenchos, XXV 2 (2004), 353-395.
5. ‘Memoria Aristotelica, Memoria Agostiniana’ [‘Aristotelian memory, Augustinian memory’], in G. A. Lucchetta, U. La Palombara (eds.), Mente, anima e corpo nel mondo antico. Immagini e funzioni, Pescara: Opera Editrice, 2006, 141-160.
6. ‘Liberal Arts and Recollection in Augustine’s Confessions X (ix 16 - xii 19)’, Philosophie Antique, VI (2006) [De Platon aux platoniciens], 107-135.
7. ‘Everything is true, Everything is False: Self-Refutation Arguments from Democritus to Augustine’, Antiqvorvm Philosophia, I (2007), 11-74.
8. ‘Synartēsis crisippea e tesi di Aristotele’ [‘Chrysippean synartēsis and Aristotle’s thesis’], in M. Alessandrelli, M. Nasti De Vincentis (eds.), La logica nel pensiero antico (Atti del I Colloquio, Roma 28-29 Novembre 2000), Napoli: Bibliopolis, 2009, 105-163.
9. ‘Skepticism’, in M. Gagarin (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
10. ‘Sextus Empiricus’, in M. Gagarin (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
11. ‘How Dialectical Was Stoic Dialectic?’, in A. Nightingale, D. Sedley (eds.), Ancient Models of Mind: Studies in Human and Divine Rationality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 153-179.
12. ‘Logica antica’ (co-authored with W. Cavini), in U. Eco (ed.), L’antichità. Vol. 14: Temi trasversali, Milano: Encyclomedia Publishers, 2012, 110-161.
13. ‘Aristotle on Begging the Question Between Dialectic, Logic and Epistemology’, Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy, XV (2012), 90-121.
14. ‘Democritus and Epicurus on Sensible Qualities in Plutarch, Against Colotes 3-9’, Aitia. Regards sur la culture hellénistique au XXIe siècle, III (2013). [Read online]
15. ‘Ancient Philosophy of Language’ (co-authored with E. V. Di Lascio), in D. G. Fara, G. Russell (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language, 2012, 811-826.
16. ‘Self-refutation and Dialectic in Plato and Aristotle’, in J. L. Fink (ed.), Dialectic and Dialogue: The Development of Dialectic from Plato to Aristotle, Cambridhe: Cambridge University Press, 2012, 27-61.
17. ‘Democritus and Epicurus on Sensible Qualities in Plutarch, Against Colotes 3-9’, Aitia. Regards sur la culture hellénistique au XXIe siècle, III (2013) [Open access at http://aitia.revues.org/622 ].
18. ‘Early Pyrrhonism: Pyrrho to Aenesidemus’, in F. Sheffield, J. Warren (eds.), Routledge Companion to Ancient Philosophy, 2013, 496-510.
19. ‘Aristote sur la pétition de principe’, for J.-B. Gourinat and J. Lemaire (eds.), Logique and dialectique dans l’Antiquité, Vrin (forthcoming in 2015).
20. ‘Aenesidemus’, in D. Machuca, B. Reed (eds.) Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present, Bloomsbury (forthcoming in 2015/6)
21. ‘Aristotle on the Non-Cause Fallacy’, History and Philosophy of Logic (forthcoming in 2015).
22. ‘Aporia and inquiry in Ancient Pyrrhonism’, for V. Politis, G. Karamanolis (eds.), The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge University Press. [Under contract, final draft to be submitted in Summer 2015 for publication in 2016.]
Reviews and Critical Reviews:
1. Italian translation of H. Weidemann, ‘Aristotle on modal propositions (De int. 12 and 13)’, Dianoia, X (2005), 27-41.
Monographs and (co-)edited volumes
Articles and chapters in edited volumes
These are mirrored in the range of my research and teaching, past, current and planned:
· Ancient dialectic and logic;
· ancient epistemology and philosophical scepticism (especially Pyrrhonism);
· the determinism, fate and moral responsibility debate in ancient thought;
· ancient conceptions of memory, recollection, learning and teaching.
Last updated 1 September 2015