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Ethics and Politics, Ancient and Modern Workshop (EPAM)

White House

Ethics and Politics, Ancient and Modern (EPAM) is a Stanford Humanities Research Workshop co-sponsored by Chris Bobonich and Josiah Ober on topics at the intersections of philosophy, political science, and classics, to name a few.

The workshop aims to provide a focus for Stanford faculty and students with a primary or secondary interest in classical moral and political philosophy, to engage faculty and students from several departments by promoting an interdisciplinary discussion among them, and, to enable graduate students and faculty to meet on a common ground, as members of a single intellectual community.

Please see the EPAM calendar on the Humanities Center Website for updates about events.


Past Events:


Carlo Cacciatori (Durham): The Ethical Aspect of Plato’s Sophist.

with comments by Chris Bobonich

Thursday, February 6, 2020, 4:15-6:00pm, Humanities Center Watt Room

light refreshments served

According to the general consensus in the scholarship, Plato’s Sophist allows two interpretations as to its philosophical scope: it is concerned with either certain ontological problems or the definition of who the sophist is. The aim of this paper is to argue for an alternative interpretative reading of the dialogue. I will demonstrate that the Sophist presents a theory of moral epistemology which is worth being studied in detail. I shall conclude that Plato’s Sophist confirms the Socratic theory of ethical intellectualism: knowledge is still acknowledged as the necessary and sufficient condition for virtue.

Carlo Cacciatori is a doctoral candidate at Durham University under the supervision of Phillip Sidney Horkey and George Boys-Stones. His research interests are directed at understanding how ethics and epistemology relate in Plato's late dialogues. He is a visiting graduate student at Stanford during the 2019-20 academic year.


Roy Lee (Stanford): The Doctrine of the Mean in the Eudemian Ethics.

with comments by Chris Bobonich

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 4:15-6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room

light refreshments served


The Third Annual Stanford Ancient Philosophy Conference: Ancient Ethical Psychology.

February 21-23, 2020


 Anthony Price (Birkbeck, University of London): Aristotelian Continence Reconsidered.

with comments by Roy Lee

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 4:15-6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room

light refreshments served


The Stanford Ancient Metaphysics Conference.

March 6-7, 2020


Anthony Long (Berkeley): Plato’s Republic on divinity and the Form of the Good. - CANCELLED

with comments by Thomas Slabon

Thursday, March 12, 2020, 4:15-6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room

light refreshments served


Mark Gatten (Toronto): TBA. - CANCELLED

with comments by TBA

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 4:15-6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room

light refreshments served



Roy Lee (Stanford): "The Eudemian Function Argument, Part 2"

with comments by Christopher Bobonich

Thursday, October 25, 2018, 4:15-6:00pm, Room 300-303


Huw Duffy (Stanford): "Plato on Higher-Order Expertise"

with comments by Grant Dowling

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 4:15-6:00pm, Room 300-303


Chris Bobonich (Stanford): "Plato on Impartiality"

with comments by Landon Hobbes

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 4:15-6:00pm, Room 300-303


Ilaria L.E. Ramelli (Sacred Heart Major Seminary): “Social Justice and Slavery and Their Relation to Philosophical Asceticism in Antiquity and Late Antiquity”

with comments by Thomas Slabon

Monday, January 7, 2019, 4:15-6:00pm, Watt Room


Hobbes and Aristotle on the Foundation of Political Science

Thursday, February 28, 2019. 04:15 PM - 06:00 PM | Humanities Center Boardroom


Thucydides on the Problem of Imagination in the Athenian Democracy

Thursday, March 14, 2019. 04:15 PM - 06:00 PM | Watt Dining Room


Power and Citizenship in Athenian Democracy

Tuesday, April 23, 2019. 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM | Humanities Center Boardroom


Stasis and Struggles for Recognition in Aristotle's Politics V

Thursday, April 25, 2019. 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM | Humanities Center Boardroom


Different Models of Human Nature in Aristotle?

Thursday, May 2, 2019. 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM | Watt Dining Room


The Work of Justice in Parmenides B8

Thursday, May 23, 2019. 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM | Humanities Center Boardroom

Truth in Voting and Fair Representation

Wednesday, May 29, 2019. 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM | Humanities Center Boardroom


A Note on the 2nd-Best Constitution of Plato’s Laws

Thursday, June 6, 2019. 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM | Building 200, Room 201



Hugh Benson  (University of Oklahoma): The Philosopher in the Theaetetus’ Digression

with comments by Grant Dowling

Thursday, January 25, 2018, 4:15 - 6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room

We'll be serving light snacks.

Hugh H. Benson is a professor and former Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. He is a Samuel Roberts Noble Presidential Professor, the editor of Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates (OUP 1992) and Blackwell Companion to Plato (Blackwell, 2006), and the author of Socratic Wisdom (OUP 2000), Clitophon's Challenge (OUP 2015), and various articles on the philosophy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.


Nicholas D. Smith  (Lewis & Clark College): " Plato on the Philosophers' Love of Truth"

with comments by Dawn Jacob

Thursday, February 8, 2018, 4:15-6pm, Humanities Center Baker Room


Dorothea Frede (UC Berkeley): "Aristotle and the Master Science of Life"

with comments by Thomas Slabon

Thursday, February 15, 2018, 4:15 - 6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room


Roy Lee (Stanford): "The Aim of Virtue in Eudemian Ethics 8.3"

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 4:15 - 6:00pm


Gail Fine (Cornell University)

With comments by Huw Duffy

Thursday, March 08, 2018


Aristotle's Politics Conference

March 9-10, 2018

Building 200, Room 305.



Matthew Evans (UT Austin)

with comments by Jonathan Amaral

Thursday, April 05, 2018, 4:15-6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room


Chris Bobonich (Stanford)

Thursday, April 19, 2018, 4:15-6:00pm


Rachana Kamtekar (Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University): "Aristotle’s Dialogue with Plato About the Voluntariness of Vice”

with comments by Roy Lee

Thursday, October 5, 2017

4:15 - 6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room

We’ll have light snacks and beverages

Rachana Kamtekar is a professor in the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University.  She formerly taught at the University of Arizona, Michigan University, and Williams College. Her forthcoming book is Plato's Moral Psychology:  Intellectualism, the Divided Soul, and the Desire for Good (OUP). She works on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, with a particular focus on ancient conceptions of the soul and their relationship to ancient ethical and political ideas. She is also interested in contemporary psychology and contemporary moral and political philosophy.


Emily Fletcher (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

4:15 - 6:00pm, Humanities Center Board Room


November 2013:

  • Katja Vogt (Philosophy, Columbia), “The Subject Matter of Ethics: A Metaphysical Reading of NE I.3” Comments by Katy Meadows (Philosophy, Stanford).
  • Corinne Gartner (Philosophy, Wellesley): “Akrasia, Enkrateia and the Possibility of Psychic Conflict in Seneca's De Ira” Comments by Huw Duffy (Philosophy, Stanford).

February 2014:

  • Govind Persad (Philosophy/Law, Stanford): "Institutional Change, Downward Mobility, and Rawlsian Justice” Comments by Jorah Dannenberg (Philosophy, Stanford).

March 2014:

  • Edwin Carawan (Classics, Missouri State) “Athenian Due Process and the Case against Aristokrates” Comments by Federica Carugati (Classics, Stanford).

May 2014:

  • Ben Miller (Philosophy, Stanford): “The Role of the Kalon in Ethical Decision-Making in Aristotle's Ethics” Comments by Alan Code (Philosophy, Stanford).

June 2014:

  • Klaus Corcilius (Philosophy, Berkeley): "Activity and Passivity in Aristotle's Account of Basic Perceptual Discrimination"

October 2014

  • Federica Carugati: "In Law We Trust (Each Other): Legal Institution, Democratic Stability and Economic development in Classical Athens" 


For more information, please contact Jonathan Amaral at jamaral [at] (jamaral[at]stanford[dot]edu).