Relativity in Ancient and Contemporary Philosophy

April 21, 2016 - April 22, 2016
Department of Classics and Ancient History, Durham University

38 North Bailey
United Kingdom

View the Call For Papers


  • British Academy

Selected speakers:

Matthew Duncombe
Durham University
Paolo Fait
Oxford University
Katerina Ierodiakonou
University of Athens
Patricia Marechal
Harvard University
Voula Tsouna
University of California at Santa Barbara
Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Ugo Zilioli


Matthew Duncombe
Durham University

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Relations were at the heart of many philosophical views: Protagorean relativism, the Platonic arguments for the Forms, self-knowledge and divisions in the soul; Academic and Aristotelian category schemes; Stoic genera and Pyrrhonian scepticism to name only a few. However, little scholarly work has clarified the role or conception of relations in such positions. How do philosophers think that one thing relates to another? Precisely how do views about relations impact on metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics and political thought?

This conference will bring together experts from across ancient and contemporary philosophy to address the role of relations and relativity.

Relativity in Ancient Philosophy 21th – 22nd April 2016

Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History

38 North Bailey

Durham DH1 3EU

All talks in Room 007, known as the Ritson Room.

April 21st 2016


Registration and coffee


9.30am- 11.00am

Paolo Fait (Oxford)

Relatives and substantial parts in Categories 7: another look at the aporia.

11.15am- 12.30am

Olivier D'Jeranian (Paris)

The problematic status of the stoic "πρός τι πῶς ἔχον"

Lunch (Buffet)

1.30pm- 3pm           

Elisif Wasmuth (Cambridge)



Ugo Zilioli (Durham)

Relativism and correlativity in ancient thought and contemporary physics: Plato’s Theaetetus 152a-157c and Carlo Rovelli’s quantum physics.



Katerina Ierodiakonou (Geneva)

Alexander of Aphrodisias on Perception as a Relative


Conference Dinner

April 22nd  2016





9.30am- 11.00am           

Roger Clark

Context- Relative Pyrrhonism

11.15am- 12.30am           

Michael Withey

Friends and Relations in Aristotle

Lunch (Buffet)

1.30pm- 3pm                       

Lauren Ware

Plato’s Bond of Love: Eros and the Participation Relation

3.15- 5pm

Matthew Duncombe (Durham)

Two Sorts of Relativity in Stoicism: differentiating and constituting.



Voula Tsouna

Aristotle and Plato on Reflexivity in Perception

Pub visit

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April 14, 2016, 5:00am BST

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