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Faculty & Research / Teaching Clusters / History of Philosophy

History of Philosophy

History of Western Philosophy from Plato to Kant

The Philosophy Department offers excellent opportunities for study in ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy. The faculty who work in these areas include David Bradshaw (Plato, Aristotle, Neoplatonism, the Church Fathers), Eric Sanday (Plato, Aristotle, Neoplatonism), Oliver Leaman (philosophy of religion, Islamic and Jewish philosophy), Brandon Look (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant).

Since dissertation-level work in many of these areas requires knowledge of Greek, Latin, French, or German, philosophy students are encouraged to take (and can receive credit for) courses in the Classics, French, and German Departments. Faculty in other departments with an interest in the history of philosophy from Plato to Kant include:  Jackie Murray [Classics, African American & Africana Studies, Gender & Women Studies] (Hellenistic Poetry, Greek and Latin literature), Valerio Caldesi Valeri [Classics] (Classical Mythology, Classical Historiography, Greek Epigraphy), Daniel Frese [Classics, Jewish Studies] (Hebrew Bible, Ancient Israel), Daniel Gargola [Classics] (Roman Republic, Legal history, Rituals), Christian Brady [Dean, Lewis Honors College, Interim Dean A&S] (Rabbinic interpretation of the Bible within Targumic literature), Milena Minkova [Classics] (Latin literature, 12th century Renaissance), Abigail Firey [History] (medieval studies, history of western Christian thought, legal history), and David Olster [History] (Byzantine Empire, history of western religions).  Finally, the program in Judaic Studies offers the opportunity to learn Hebrew and to study the history of Jewish philosophy in relation to its cultural environment.

History of Eastern Philosophy at UK: a number of faculty members in other Departments provide support for developing teaching competence in Asian Philosophy. Matthew Wells [Classics, Chinese Studies] (Autobiography, Biography, Hagiography, Daoism, Literary Theory), Jianjun He [Classics, Chinese Studies] (Early Chinese intellectual history, Classical Chinese poetry, Late-imperial vernacular fiction), Liang Luo [Modern and Classical Languages] (Theater and Performance studies, Propaganda, Sino-Japanese cultural relations), Emily Mokros [History] (Late Imperial and Modern China, History of cities and urban culture), Sharon Yam (Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies] (Transnational Studies, Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory), Charlie Yi Zhang [Gender and Women's Studies] (Gender and Sexuality in East Asia, Neoliberalism and Globalization, Masculinities Studies). The Philosophy Department routinely offers Asian Philosophy (PHI 343), which is often taught by Eric Sanday and Oliver Leaman, for which it is possible to serve as a grader, which can lead to teaching Asian Philosophy as a graduate student.