Ana Laura Edelhoff

Mary Somerville Junior Research Fellow

I am a Mary Somerville Research Fellow in Philosophy at Somerville College, Oxford.

I am a classicist and a philosopher, specialising in ancient philosophy. I successfully completed my Ph.D. in philosophy at the Humboldt University Berlin in June 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Jonathan Beere (Humboldt University Berlin), Prof. Dr. Marko Malink (New York University) and Prof. Dr. Ursula Coope (University of Oxford). I was previously a teaching fellow in philosophy (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the University of Tübingen (2016-2017) and at the University of Hamburg (2017-2018).

My research focuses on ancient philosophy (especially Aristotle’s and Plato’s metaphysics and ethics). I am also interested in contemporary ethics (especially virtue ethics, philosophy of education and moral psychology) and contemporary metaphysics (especially in Neo-Aristotelian approaches to grounding, causation and mereology).

Over the coming years, I plan to expand my dissertation project on Aristotle’s theory of ontological priority in the Categories by demonstrating its implications for our understanding of Aristotle’s discussion of ontological priority in his Metaphysics. My overall goal is to develop a unified and systematic interpretation of Aristotle’s view on ontological priority in his metaphysical works.



 “Plotinus’ Theory of Affection” Philosophy of Mind in Antiquity, ed. John Sisko, Routledge: 2018, pp. 279–298.


Work in Progress

(manuscripts available upon request)

 “Aristotle on the Priority of the Eternal”

“The Primacy of Primary Substances in Aristotle’s Categories

 “Ontological Priority in Aristotle’s Categories 12 and 13”

 “Eternal Activities in Aristotle’s Metaphysics

 “Ontological Priority and Simultaneity among Relatives in Categories 7

 “Aristotle, Plato, and the Academy on Ontological Priority”


Outreach and Diversity

In addition to my research, I am very committed to supporting female philosophers. I launched the networking initiative Women in Ancient Philosophy. The aim of this initiative is to foster networking and equal opportunities for young female researchers by organising conferences, workshops and guest lectures. I enjoy being an active member of my faculty and exploring other subject areas by participating in departmental seminars and conferences. In this context, I have gained particular experience by organising four successful graduate conferences (1st, 2nd and 3rd Ancient Philosophy Workshop for Female Graduate Students and Early Career Researchers as well as a Workshop für Nachwuchswissenschatlerinnen in der Antiken Philosophie). Those projects proved to be insightful experiences, from performing administrative roles and securing of financial support, to networking with scholars from around the world, to chairing and responding to conference papers. In addition, I organised the lecture series Women in Ancient Philosophy at the Humboldt University Berlin (participants: Ursula Coope, Gisela Striker, Dorothea Frede, Martha Nussbaum et al.). At the University of Hamburg I launched a Women’s Tea for female students and faculty in philosophy. The goal of the gatherings is to raise awareness for gender-related problems in the field and to support female students and faculty.

As regards outreach activities, I am very keen to make philosophy more accessible to a wider public. At the University of Hamburg I took part in organising philosophy workshops for children. In October 2018 I gave a lecture on justice in the context of a lecture series for children organised by the University of Hamburg, which was attended by 1200 people (mainly children between the age of 8 and 12).



2013–2015 German National Merit Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) PhD Scholarship

2013 Sidgwick Prize, Corpus Christi College Oxford

2011–2013 Graduate School of Ancient Philosophy Scholarship, Humboldt University Berlin

2011 German National Merit Foundation Foreign Exchange Scholarship

2007–2011 German National Merit Foundation Scholarship



01/2019 “Aristotle on Ontological Priority” Workshop, Institute of Classical Studies London

11/2018 “The State and Education” Department Colloquium, University of Erlangen

11/2018 “Aristotle on Education” Department Lecture Series, University of Erlangen

06/2018 “The Right to Education” Department Colloquium, University of Hamburg

02/2018 “Aristotle on Ontological Priority in the Categories ” Workshop in Ancient Philosophy, University of Oxford

04/2017 “The Primacy of Primary Substances in Aristotle’s Categories ” Graduate Student Conference in Ancient Philosophy, University of Chicago

01/2017 “Aristotle on Entailment in the Categories ” Gesellschaft für Antike Philosophy Conference, University of Cologne

06/2016 “Ontological Priority in Metaphysics  Z 1 and the Categories ” Conference on Aristotle’s Metaphysics  Z 1–6, University of Oxford

04/2016 “Ontological Priority in Aristotle’s Categories ” History of Philosophy Roundtable, University of San Diego

09/2015 “The Priority of Actuality in Metaphysics Theta VIII” Southern Association for Ancient Philosophy, University of Oxford

07/2015 “Explanatory Priority in Metaphysics Lambda VI” Humboldt-Princeton Graduate Conference, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

11/2014 “Aristotle on Ontological Priority” Department Colloquium, University of Cologne

08/2014 Commentator of Usha Nathan’s “Inconclusiveness in Scientific Thought Experiments” Networking and Mentoring Workshop for Women in Philosophy, Princeton University

02/2014 “Grounding: Aristotle on Recent Trends in Metaphysics” London Ancient Science Conference, University College London

10/2013 “Grounding in Aristotle” Grounding and Fundamentality in Metaphysics and in Ethics Conference, Bogazici University

06/2013 “Essence before Modality. Aristotle’s Criticism of Ontological Priority in Plato” Graduate School of Ancient Philosophy Conference, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

06/2012 “Separateness as Substance Criterion in Aristotle” Graduate School of Ancient Philosophy Conference, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

03/2012 “The Structure of Aristotle’s Metaphysics  M and N” Princeton Ancient Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University

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