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Department of Philosophy


Dr Phillip Horky, AM (Chicago), PhD (Southern California)

(email at


Phillip Sidney Horky is Associate Professor of Ancient Philosophy. His research concerns ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. Dr Horky was educated at the University of Southern California (PhD), the University of Chicago (AM), and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (BA). 

Prior to his arrival in Durham, Dr Horky held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies (2010-11), and Stanford University (2007-10). He has also held the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the National Humanities Center (2016) and been a distinguished visitor at the Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, University of Toronto (2016). 

Dr Horky is committed to supporting Ancient Philosophy and Classics research at local, national, and international levels. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Hellenic Studies (UK), Methexis: International Journal for Ancient Philosophy (Netherlands/Italy), and Archai: Revista de Estudos sobre as Origens do Pensamento Ocidental (Brazil). He is also co-editor of the Greece & Rome New Surveys in the Classics Series, published by Cambridge University Press, and a member of the journals editorial board for the Classical Association (UK). 

A trustee of the Gilbert Murray Trust, Dr Horky was a Member of the Council of the Hellenic Society (UK) from 2012-15. From January 2019, he is on the Advisory Council for the Institute of Classical Studies in London.

Dr Horky has written a History of Ancient & Medieval Philosophy at Durham University, which can be accessed here. For a recent interview with the online philosophy magazine 3:AM, see here.


Dr Horky has written a monograph, Plato and Pythagoreanism (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback edition, with corrections, 2016), on the importance of mathematical Pythagoreanism for the development of Plato's philosophy. Dr Horky has also prepared an edited volume entitled Cosmos in the Ancient World (Cambridge University Press, 2018), which investigates notions of cosmic order, balance, and symmetry in ancient physics, politics, ethics, poetics, and aesthetics.

In addition to various articles and book chapters, Dr Horky is currently at work on three major research projects:

1) Pythagorean Philosophy, 250 BCE to 200 CE: An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation (Cambridge University Press) is a source book and translation of the philosophical texts and testimonies that constituted Pythagorean philosophy after its dissolution in the mid-4th Century BCE. 

2) Prelude to the Categories is a monograph on the development of categorical speculation regarding existence and ways of describing it in Greece prior to Aristotle (from the Presocratics to the Early Academy).

3) Aristotle on the Human Good: Selections from Nicomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics (with Monte Ransome Johnson, UCSD) is a book-length student edition and commentary of some of the most famous and important texts of Aristotle. 

Publications, drafts, and a current CV can be found on his web page.

Doctoral Supervision

Dr Horky is happy to supervise most areas and periods of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy (especially Presocratics, Plato and Platonism, Aristotle and Aristotelianism, and Pythagoreanism).

Current and former Ph.D. students supervised include:

Giulia De Cesaris: Mathematical-Metaphysical Theories in the Early Academy (First Supervisor)

Andrea Giannotti: Athenian Tragedy and Politics: Historical and Political Allusions and Civic Ideology on Stage (First Supervisor)

Carlo Cacciatori: Ethical Intellectualism in Plato's Academy (First Supervisor)

Nicolò Benzi: Philosophy in Verse: Competition and Early Greek Philosophical Thought (First Supervisor)

Schools Talks and Outreach

Dr Horky believes strongly in the expansion and sustaining of Classics subjects at school and sixth-form levels. In July 2018, he organized a meeting to support Classics education for the Advocating Classics Education project. He would be very happy to give school talks on topics related to Classical Civilisation, including Democracy and the Athenians and Socrates and Athens.

Research Interests

  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Metaphysics & Epistemology
  • Cosmology
  • Intellectual History
  • Political Philosophy
  • Ancient Greek Literature


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article