Jun 12 – 13, 2023
“Kostis Palamas” Building
Europe/Athens timezone

Self-deception in Ancient Philosophy

An International Conference
Athens, June 12-13, 2023

The phenomenon of self-deception introduces a host of philosophical and psychological problems. Their study, and the study of how they have been addressed in broader philosophical traditions, helps us gain a better understanding of our mind and the formation of our beliefs. Questions central to the philosophical discussion of self-deception may be divided into two kinds. On the one hand, conceptual questions regarding the definition of self-deception, and the understanding of its paradoxes. On the other hand, normative questions of whether self-deception is wrong, and whether the moral arguments against interpersonal deceiving apply to deceiving oneself.

The Conference will focus on responses explicitly or implicitly articulated in the philosophical traditions of the ancient Western world. The aim is to provide a constructive forum to explore this rather neglected topic. Papers may focus on particular thinkers, individual texts, or broader traditions from the Pre-Socratics up to the Hellenistic Schools.


Panagiotis Thanassas (NKU Athens): Self-deceiving mortals in Parmenides’ doxa

Walter Mesch (Münster): Plato on self-deceiving Sophists. The example of Gorgias

Sara De Leonardis (Cornell): Sightlovers (Rep. 475d1-480a13): a case of self-deception

Andrea Buongiorno (Oxford): Aristotle on perceptual self-deception

Brian Killackey (Catholic@Washington): Failing to Know Ourselves: Aristotle on Doxa and Self-Deception

Ioannis Telios (NKU Athens): Searching for self-deception in Aristotle's Topics: On the other end of haggling

Christof Rapp (LMU Munich): Deceiving oneself about one’s own standing, merits and moral goodness. Themes from Aristotle’s moral psychology

Michail Pantoulias (NKU Athens): Practical truth and akrasia: Self-deception in the practical syllogism

Pavlos Kontos (UoPatras): Hope and self-deception

Kathryn Muyskens & Thomas Davis (Yale-NUS): Self-Deception Stoic-Style

Kelly Arenson (Duquesne): Epicureans on Hedonic Self-Deception


The Conference is supported by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I.) under the “2nd Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to support Faculty Members & Researchers” (Project Number: 2443)


“Kostis Palamas” Building
48 Akadimias Str. & Sina Str.