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John Sellars


John Sellars studied Philosophy at the University of Wales and the University of Warwick, completing his PhD in 2001. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and remains a member of Wolfson. His previous posts include Assistant Editor for the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project at King’s College London, with which he remains involved.

Research Activity

  • John Sellars has wide interests in the history of philosophy, in particular ancient philosophy and its later influence. His main area of research to date has been ancient Stoicism, on which he has written two books. More recent work has focused on the reception of Stoicism in the 16th and 17th centuries and he is presently working on a number of topics in Renaissance philosophy.
  • A central theme in his work on the history of philosophy is metaphilosophy: what philosophy is, and how it has been conceived in different periods.
  • He is currently involved in an AHRC-funded research project with colleagues at Exeter which that is looking at connections between ancient Stoicism and modern cognitive psychotherapy (details here).
  • Further information can be found at


  • Books:
  • The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy, 2nd edn (Bristol Classical Press, 2009), first published by Ashgate, 2003
  • Stoicism (Acumen / University of California Press, 2006)
  • Recent Articles and Chapters:
  • ‘Seneca’s Philosophical Predecessors and Contemporaries’, in G. Damschen & A. Heil (eds.) Brill’s Companion to Seneca (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 97-112
  • ‘Renaissance Philosophy’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20/6 (2012), 1195-1204
  • ‘Stoics Against Stoics in Cudworth’s A Treatise of Freewill’, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 20/5 (2012), 935-52
  • ‘The Meditations and the Ancient Art of Living’, in M. van Ackeren  (ed.) A Companion to Marcus Aurelius (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 453-64
  • ‘Marcus Aurelius in Contemporary Philosophy’, in M. van Ackeren, (ed.) A Companion to Marcus Aurelius (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 532-44
  • ‘Is God a Mindless Vegetable? Cudworth on Stoic Theology’, Intellectual History Review 21/2 (2011), 121-33
  • A fuller list of publications, along with preprints, can be found at

Research Supervision

  • John would be happy to supervise students working on Hellenistic and Late Ancient Philosophy (esp. Stoicism), metaphilosophy (esp. as it relates to the history of philosophy), and other topics overlapping with his published work.
  • He has also supervised doctoral work on the relationship between analytic and continental philosophy through to completion and a revised version of the thesis has recently been published as a book.


Dr John Sellars

Dr John Sellars

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