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Thomas Olshewsky

Research Interests:
History of Philosophy
Cognitive Science

Professor Olshewsky has retired from regular teaching at UK, but continues with research and publication as a Research Scholar at New College of Florida. His historical interests, primarily with works of Aristotle, Hume and Peirce, are motivated to mine their thoughts for contemporary understandings of thought and language in the ongoing debates in cognitive science, of which his "Functionalism Old and New" is a prime example. His work on Peirce has focused on the relation of his semiotics to pragmatism. Work with Hume concerns how his skepticism is shaped by his classical background. The main focus of Olshewsky's current work has been his attempt at a developmental model of Aristotle's conceptions of motion. This latter has led in recent years to presentations to the 2013 23rd World Congress of Philosophy in Athens, to the 2016 3rd International Congress of Greek Philosophy in Lisbon, to the 2016 World Congress of Aristotle in Thessaloniki (celebrating UNESCO's "Year of Aristotle" 2600 years after his birth), to the 2018 inaugural  meeting of the Canadian Aristotle Society in Ottawa, and to various conferences and workshops in the United States. 

Selected Publications:

Peirce’s Doctrine of Signs: Foundations, Applications and Connections, edited with Vincent Colapietro, Mouton de Gruter, Amsterdam, 1995.

Foundations of Moral Decision, Wadsworth, San Francisco, 1984.

Good Reasons and Persuasive Force, University Press of America, Washington, 1983.

Problems in the Philosophy of Language, edited, with prologue, introductions, annotated bibliographies, and epilogue, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Ν.Υ., 1969.


Selected Articles:


“The Dynamics of Dynamis,” The Review of Metaphysics,” March, 2018.

“Idea and Eidos in Plato and Aristotle,” in Kostas Kalimtzis & Maria Veneti (Eds), The Concept of Form and the Way of Life, Ionia Publ. (Athens, 2015)

“Conceptual Divergences in Sextus and Hume,” Philosophical Inquiry, Fall, 2014. 

“The Bastard Book of The Physics,” The Classical Quarterly, April, 2014.

"Demea's Dilemmas", British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Fall, 2003.

Hippocratic Natures and Aristotelean Elements", in K. Boudouris, ed., Ancient Greek Medicine (Athens, 2000)

"The Matter with Matter", in D. Sfendoni-Mentzou, ed., 

Aristotle and Contemporary Science (N.Y., 1999).

“Reconstructing Deconstruction for a Prospectival Realism”, 

History of Philosophy Quarterly, July, 1996. 

“Self-moved Movers and Unmoved Movers in Aristotle’s Physics VII”, 

The Classical Quarterly,  December, 1995. 

“The Construction of a Peircean Hermeneutics”, in Colepietro and Olshewsky, eds.,  Peirce’s Doctrine of Signs:  Foundations, Applications and Connections,  (Berlin,1995). 

“Functionalism Old and New”, History of Philosophy Quarterly, Summer, 1992.

“The Classical Roots of Hume’s Skepticism”, Journal of the History of Ideas, Spring, 1991.


[Plus some 30 others invited or in refereed journals: see CV]