Dr Shaul Tor
Lecturer 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 Pyrrhonean scepticism. My doctoral dissertation, entitled Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology, 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!
Ancient Greek philosophical theology
Early Greek epistemology and theology, with a particular interest in Hesiod, Xenophanes, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Empedocles
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.
In addition to early Greek philosophy, I have a particular research interest also in Hellenistic Pyrrhonean scepticism.
Beyond the monograph, other current work-in-progress includes articles on Parmenides, Heraclitus and Sextus Empiricus.
Forthcoming work includes two articles on Xenophanes and an article on Sextus’ interpretation of Xenophanes’ scepticism
Shaul Tor (forthcoming), ‘Sextus Empiricus on Xenophanes’ Scepticism’, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism [Article in print journal]
Shaul Tor (forthcoming), ‘Belief and Practice in Xenophanes’ Criticism of Traditional Religion’, in Belief and its Alternatives in Greek and Roman Religion [Chapter]
Shaul Tor (forthcoming), ‘Mortal and Divine in Xenophanes’ Epistemology’, in Theology and Philosophy in the Presocratic Age [Chapter]
Shaul Tor (forthcoming), ‘Greek Popular Religion in Greek Philosophy’, Journal of Hellenic Studies [Book Review (print)]
Shaul Tor (2010), ‘Argument and signification in Sextus Empiricus: Against the Mathematicians VIII 289-290’, Rhizai, 7 (1), pp. 63-90 [Article in print journal]
Shaul Tor (2010), ‘Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind’, Classical Review, 60 (2), pp. 493-495 [Book Review (print)]
Shaul Tor (2009), ‘Becoming Being: on Parmenides’ Transformative Philosophy’, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.03.57 [Book Review (online)]
I principally teach in the areas of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. In 2012-13, I will teach on the following modules
Expertise and public engagement
I welcome inquiries from prospective research students. I would be especially keen to supervise students in:
Early Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek and Roman philosophical theology and the relation between philosophy and religion
The reception of ancient philosophy in later ancient philosophy and literature
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.