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Dr Shaul Tor

Photograph of Dr Shaul TorLecturer in Ancient Philosophy

Tel +44(0)20 7848 2299
Address Room B12, North Wing
Department of Classics
King's College London
London, WC2R 2LS




I received my BA (2006) in Classics and my MPhil (2007) and PhD (2011) in ancient philosophy at St. John’s College, Cambridge. My MPhil work concentrated on ancient Greek Pyrrhonian scepticism. My doctoral dissertation (awarded the Hare Prize) was entitled Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology and focused in particular on the epistemologies and theologies of Hesiod, Xenophanes and Parmenides. It is currently being expanded into a monograph to be published with Cambridge University Press. Before joining the Departments of Philosophy and Classics at King’s, I was a research fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge (2010-2012).

Tips on pronouncing my name: the ‘proper’ Hebrew pronunciation of my name is much like the pronunciation of the Spanish name ‘Raúl’, except with a ‘Sh’ instead of the ‘R’. In the UK, however, I go by ‘Sol’, which is also a perfectly welcome, informal way to spell my name! 
Research interests
  • Ancient philosophy
  • Ancient Greek philosophical theology
  • Early Greek epistemology and theology, with a particular interest in Hesiod, Xenophanes, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Empedocles
  • Hellenistic scepticism
  • Classical, Hellenistic and later ancient reception of earlier Greek philosophy
  • Ancient Greek religion 

My primary area of research at present is early Greek philosophy, with a particular interest in early epistemology and its theological underpinnings. I am currently writing a monograph entitled ‘Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology’. The monograph studies the emergence of systematic epistemology and systematic reflection on the nature of speculative inquiry, preliminarily (but importantly) in Hesiod, and especially in Xenophanes and Parmenides. The book advances and explores the thesis that different forms of reasoning on the one hand, and different forms of divine disclosure on the other hand, play equally integral, harmonious and mutually illuminating roles in early Greek epistemology. The interpretations of Hesiod, Xenophanes and Parmenides draw throughout on both close logical, conceptual and philological analyses and on explorations of the complex relations of these thinkers to their religious, literary and historical surroundings. The monograph is based on my doctoral work and is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

I am interested in supervising students whose research topic is close to my own as described above.

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Selected Publications

‘Parmenides’ epistemology and the two parts of his poem’, Phronesis 60.1 (forthcoming Jan. 2015, in press), 3-39. [Article in print journal]

‘Heraclitus on Apollo’s language and his own: contemplating oracles and philosophical inquiry’, in   E. Eidinow, J. Kindt and R. Osborne (eds.), Theologies of Ancient Greek Religion (forthcoming 2015). [Chapter]

‘Belief and practice in Xenophanes’ criticism of traditional religion’, in R.T. Anderson (ed.), Belief and its Alternatives in Greek and Roman Religion (expected 2015). [Chapter]

‘Sextus and Wittgenstein on the end of justification’, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4.2 (2014), 81-108. [Article in print journal]

‘Mortal and divine in Xenophanes’ epistemology’, in G. Betegh and I. Bodnár (eds.), The Divine and the Human: Theological Issues in the Presocratics, Rhizomata 1.2 (special issue; Berlin, 2013),  248-282. [Article in print journal]

‘Sextus Empiricus on Xenophanes’ scepticism’, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3.1 (2013), 1-23. [Article in print journal]

‘Argument and signification in Sextus Empiricus: Against the Mathematicians VIII 289-290’, Rhizai 7.1 (2010), 63-90. [Article in print journal]

For a complete list of publications , please see my full research profile.


I teach a range of modules on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy in the Departments of Classics & Philosophy. My modules range from a first-year introduction to ancient philosophy to more advanced and specialised modules on, for example, early Greek notions of cosmos and body in the Presocratics and Hippocratics, varieties of scepticism and anti-scepticism in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and the late-ancient Neoplatonists. I also teach ancient Greek translation-and-interpretation text-modules (on such texts as, for example, Plato’s Apology, Meno and Phaedrus).

Expertise and public engagement

I have given talks on Ancient Philosophy in schools, both to prospective University applicants and to younger pupils, and would be delighted to give such talks in the future.


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