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Richard Eldridge

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy


Richard Eldridge, Professor of Philosopy

Education | Postions Held | Honors and Awards |Specialization/Competence/Languages | Memberships | Professional Activites | Service

Publications: Books | Articles | Reviews | Refereed Papers | Invited Papers and Comments


Complete CV [pdf]


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, The University of Chicago, 1981
  • M.A., Philosophy, The University of Chicago, 1976
  • A.B., Philosophy and History (Double Major), Middlebury College, 1975 Magna cum laude, High Honors in History, Phi Beta Kappa

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Recent Positions Held

  • Charles and Harriett Cox McDowell Professor of Philosophy, Swarthmore College, 2004-2020; Professor, 1996-2004; Chair, 1994-2008; Acting Chair, 1992-3; Associate Professor 1988-1996; Assistant Professor 1982-8
  • Jay Newman Endowed Visiting Chair in Philosophy of Culture, Brooklyn College, Fall 2010
  • Gastprofessor, Deutsches Seminar, Universität Freiburg, Winter 2009-10

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Recent Honors and Awards

  • International Research Collaboration Award, University of Sydney, Department of Philosophy, March-April 2014
  • International Collaborator, Programa Interuniversitario de Doctorado en Filosofía (Universities of Murcia, Alicante, Almería, Castilla-La Mancha, La Laguna, and Zaragozza, Spain)
  • Foreign Member, Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Elected April 2010
  • Visiting Scholar, Center for Literary Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, January 2011
  • External Senior Fellow, Freiburg Research Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), School of Language and Literature, University of Freiburg, 2009-10
  • James A. Michener Faculty Fellowship, Swarthmore College, 2009-10

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Areas of Specialization

  • Aesthetics and Theory of Criticism, Philosophy of Language,
  • Philosophy and Literature, German Idealism, Wittgenstein, Romanticism

Areas of Competence

  • Moral Philosophy, Logic


  • German (active), French (reading)

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Recent Publications


  • Images of History: Kant, Benjamin, Freedom, and the Human Subject (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

  • Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism, Eds. Richard Eldridge and Bernie Rhie, Continuum, (New York: Continuum, 2011).
  • Series Editor: Oxford Studies in Philosophy and Literature, under contract, Projected c. 5 vols./year, beginning in 2016

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  • “The Value of Art: On Meaning and Aesthetic Experience in Difficult Modern Art,” in Beauty, eds. Wolfgang Huemer and Ingrid Vendrell Ferran (Munich: Philosophia), forthcoming.

  • “Texts of Recovery: Post-Hegelian Reflections on the Work of Romantic Lyric,” in Trangressive Romanticism, ed. Larry Peer, forthcoming.

  • “Poetry and Emphatic Truth: Walter Benjamin’s Reading of Hölderlin,” Análisis:  Revista de Investigación filosófica, 2, 2 (2015), pp. 301-10.

  • “Philosophy, Literature, Death, and Wisdom: On Philip Kitcher’s Deaths in Venice, Teorema, XXXV, 2 (2016), pp. 55-65.

  • “Review Essay: Wittgenstein and Natural Religion, by Gordon Graham, Journal of Mind and Behavior, 36, 1 and 2 (Winter and Spring, 2015), pp. 113-19.

  • “Preface” to Richard Wollheim, Art and Its Objects, in Cambridge Philosophy Classics series, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. ix-x.

  • “Philosophy as Articulation: Austin and Deleuze on Conceptual Analysis,” with Tamsin Lorraine, in Beyond the Analytic-Continental Divide: Pluralist Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century, eds. Paul Livingston, Jeffrey Bell, and Andrew Cutrofello (London: Routledge, 2015), pp. 59-74..
  • “Acknowledging the Moral Law” in Why Be Moral?, eds. Robert B. Louden and Beatrix Himmelmann (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015), ppp. 199-216.
  • "The Question of Truth in Literature: Die Poetische Auffassung der Welt," in Fictional Characters, Real Problems: The Search for Ethical Content in Literature, ed. Garry L. Hagberg, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), ppp. 119-38.
  • "Substances, Subjects, Emotions, and the Work of Poetry," in On Meaning, ed. José Cipriut (Cambridge, MA MIT Press), forthcoming
  • “Preface” to Richard Wollheim, Art and Its Objects, in Cambridge Philosophy Classics series, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
  • "To Think Exactly and Courageously": Poetry, Ingeborg Bachmann's Poetics, and her Bohemia Poem," in The Philosophy of Poetry, ed. John Gibson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 232-249.
  • “Kant, Cavell, and the Circumstances of Philosophy,” The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Special Issue: Perfectionism and Education: Kant and Cavell on Ethics and Aesthetics in Society, 48, 3 (Fall 2014), pp. 73-86.
  • “How Movies Think: Cavell on Film as a Medium of Art,” Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics LI/VII, 1 (2014), pp. 3-20
  • “Hegel’s Account of the Unconscious and Why it Matters,” The Review of Metaphysics, 67, 3 (March 2014), pp. 491-516
  • “Doch sehnend stehst /Am Ufer du” (“But longing you stand on the shore”):   Hölderlin, Philosophy, Subjectivity, and Finitude,” in The Relevance of Romanticism: Essays on German Romantic Philosophy, ed. Dalia Nassar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 129-66. 

  • “Cavell and the American Jeremiad,” Journal of Philosophical Research, 39 (2014), pp. 377-91.
  • "Dangerous Knowledge: Harrison, Wittgenstein, and the Powers of Literary Art," in Language, Literature, Morality: Studies in the Philosophy of Bernard Harrison, ed. Patricia Hanna (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014), pp. 65-78.
  • "Idealism in 19th Century British and American Literature," in The Impact of Idealism:  The Legacy of Post-Kantian German Thought, Vol. 3: Aesthetics, Literature, and Literary Theory, eds. Christoph Jamme and Nicholas Boyle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 121-144.
  • "Ästhetische Erfahrung und Bedeutung in Kunstpraxen: Brechts 'Erinnerung an die Marie A.'" in Sinnliche Reflexivität. Zur sinnlichen Dimension der Künste, eds. Georg Bertram, Daniel Martin Feige, Frank Ruda (Zurich: Diophanes, 2012)
  • “Aus Lyrik über Leben lernen: Literatur, Ethik und Emotion,” in Wissenformen und  Wissensnormen des Zusammenlebens, ed. Ottmar Ette, (Berlin:  de Gruyter, 2012), pp. 76-86.
  • "Hegel," in Aesthetics: The Key Figures, ed. Alessandro Giovanelli (London: Continuum, 2012), pp. 75-85.
  • Introduction---Cavell, Literary Studies, and the Human Subject: Consequences of Skepticism (with Bernard Rhie), in Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism, eds. Richard Eldridge and Bernie Rhie (New York: Continuum, 2011), pp. 1-13.
  • "Do Poets (First and Foremost) Have Ideas?" Pragmatisums und Hermeneutik: Beitrage zu Richard Rortys Kulturpolitik, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, Sonderheft Sonderheft 11, eds. Matthias Buschmeier and Espen Hammer, (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 2011), pp. 141-52.
  • "Criticism and the Risk of the Self: Stanley Cavell's Modernism and Elizabeth Bishop's," in Stanley Cavell: Philosophy, Literature and Criticism, eds. Andrew Taylor and James Loxley (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011) pp. 92-105
  • “Narrative Rehearsal, Expression, and Goethe’s “Wandrers Nachtlied II”, in John Gibson and Noel Carroll, eds., Narrative, Emotion, and Insight (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2011), pp. 118-42.

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  • Philosophy and the Novel, by Alan Goldman, Philosophy and Literature, forthcoming    
  • After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Pictorial Modernism by Robert B. Pippin, Mind, forthcoming  
  • Nietzsche and The Birth of Tragedy, by Paul Raimond Daniels, The Review of Metaphysics, LXVIII, 2 (December 2014), pp. 872-74   
  • Kant and the Creation of Freedom: A Theological Problem by Christopher J. Insole, Philosophical Investigations 37, 2 (April 2014), pp. 178-82.  
  • Being Numerous: Poetry and the Ground of Social Life by Oren Izenberg The Chicago Review 58, 2 (Winter 2014), pp. 132-35.   
  • The Cultural Spaces of the Arts and the Infelicitites of Reductionism by Joseph Margolis, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 69, 2 (Spring 2011), pp. 240-42.
  • The Critical Imagination by James Grant, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read review
  • Hegel’s Naturalism: Mind, Nature, and the Final Ends of Life, by Terry Pinkard, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read review
  • The Ancient Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry, by Raymond Barfield, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Read review
  • Art and Ethical Criticism, ed. Garry L. Hagberg, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read review 
  • Reasons's Grief: An Essay on Tragedy and Value by George W. Harris, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read Review
  • Contending with Stanley Cavell, ed. Russell Goodman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read Review
  • Classical and Romantic German Aesthetics, ed. J.M. Bernstein, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Read Review
  • The Elusiveness of the Ordinary: Studies in the Possibility of Philosophy, by Stanley Rosen, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read Review (Refereed online review journal)

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Refereed Papers

  • German Studies Association (Denver, 2013)
  • American Comparative Literature Association, Providence, RI (2012)
  • German Studies Association (Milwaukee, 2012)

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Recent Invited Papers and Comments

  • Conference: Nature and Culture in German Romanticism and Idealism, University of Sydney (2014)
  • University of Sydney (2014)—departmental lecture + SHAPE seminar + Works in progress session
  • Sydney Ideas (2014)
  • University of Western Australia, Institute for Advanced Studies---lecture + Master class + philosophy department lecture), (2104)
  • Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver: UBIAS Conference: “Scientific and Academic Knowledge” (2013) 
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Conference: “Selbstbezüglichkeit und sinnliche Erfahrung in Kunstwerke” (2013)  
  • Stockholm University, Sweden (2013)
  • Stanford University, Conference: “Narrative Self, Lyric Self, Absent Self” (2103)
  • Kalamazoo College, Conference: Art, Social Justice, and Critical Theory (2013)
  • Wellesley College (2012)
  • Villanova University (2012)
  • Swarthmore College, Haidt Symposium: The Limits of Reason in Moral Thinking (2012)
  • Cambridge University, Conference: “The Impact of Idealism” (2012)
  • American Society for Aesthetics, St. Louis (2012)
  • Workshop on Late Modern Philosophy, Boston University (2012)
  • Conference: The American Style in Philosophy, University College, Dublin (2012)
  • Conference: The Actuality of German Idealism, Freie Universität Berlin (2012)
  • University of North Carolina, Conference on Bernard Williams on Tragedy, (2012)
  • University of Washington, Seattle (2012)
  • Lüneberg University, Germany (2011)
  • Montreal Reflections on Art and Aesthetics Workshop, 2011
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Conference on Book IX of Paradise Lost (December 2011)
  • Eastern Division, The American Society for Aesthetics, Philadelphia (2011)
  • University of Notre Dame, Nanovic Institute (2011)
  • Middlebury College (2011)
  • GPPC Community Lecture Series, "The Uses of Literature" (2011)
  • Swarthmore College Faculty Lecture Series (2011)
  • Bryn Mawr Film Institute/GPPC Film Series (2011)
  • American Philosophical Association, Invited Symposium on Hegel's Aesthetics, San Diego, 2011
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Center for Literary Studies, January 2011

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  • American Philosophical Association
  • American Society for AestheticsBritish Society for Aesthetics
  • Coleridge-Wordsworth Association
  • International Conference on Romanticism
  • North American Society for the Study of Romanticism
  • Holderlin Gsellschaft

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Recent Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board, Philosophy and Literature, 2014-present
  • Program Committee, The American Society for Aesthetics (San Antonio, 2014)
  • External Department Review, Philosophy, SUNY Purchase College (2014)
  • External Departmental Review, Liberal Arts, The University of the Arts (2013)
  • Advisory Board: Conversations: A Journal of Cavell Studies
  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche  [France], Project Reviewer, 2013
  • External Departmental Review, Williams College, 2013
  • External Dissertation Reader, Avram-Gurland Blaker, Temple University, 2012
  • Research Fellowship Review, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Council for the Humanities 2012
  • DAAD Research Grant reviewer, 2012
  • External Departmental Review, Comparative Humanities Program, Bucknell University, September 2011
  • NEH Fellowships Panelist, July 2011
  • Research Fellowship Review, Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2011)
  • Research Fellowship Review, Research Foundation of Flanders (2011)
  • External Dissertation Advisor, Jason Miller, University of Notre Dame, 2011
  • External Dissertation Examiner, Adam Gonya, University of Leuven Peer Reviewer, Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Editorial Board, New Directions in German Studies, Continuum Publishing Group
  • Advisory Board, The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics
  • Referee: The University of Chicago Press, Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, University of Michigan Press, Cornell University Press, SUNY Press, Temple University Press, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Journal of the History of Philosophy, Arion, Philosophy and Literature, Westview Press,Mosaic, Ethics, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Hypatia

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Recent Service

  • Chair, Interdisciplinary Programs, 2011-12
  • Curriculum Committee, 2011-12
  • Advisory Council to the Dean of Admissions, 2011-12
  • Library Committee, 2011-12
  • Chair: Interpretation Theory, 2008-09, 2011-12

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Faculty Lecture

Historical Understanding and Political Ideals: Kant and Benjamin
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Faculty Lecture

The Ends of Literary Narrative
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