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Rick Eldridge

Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Philosophy


  2. Phone: (610) 328-8426
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

  • Mary Albertson Faculty Fellowship, sabbatical leave support, 2017-18 Invited Nominator, Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, Inamori Foundation International Research Collaboration Award, University of Sydney Department of Philosophy, March-April 2014
  • 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)

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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


  • Werner Herzog––Filmmaker and Philosopher (London: Bloomsbury, 2019).

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

  • Series Editor: Oxford Studies in Philosophy and Literature, under contract, Projected c. 5 vols./year, beginning in 2016

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  • “Replies to Kristi Sweet, Martin Shuster, Sebastian Truskolaski, and Alan Megill on Images of History, Syndicate, forthcoming

  • “Hegel on Sculpture and Painting,” in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Painting and Sculpture, eds. Jonathan Gilmore and Nöel Carroll, forthcoming

  • “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.

  • “Encountering Cavell,” Conversations: The Journal of Cavell Studies, 7 (June
    2019), pp. 38-42.

  • “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.

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  • Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Guide to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses by Michael S. Roth, Los Angeles Review of Books, forthcoming
  • The Imagination in German Romanticism and Idealism, Gerad Gentry and Konstantin Pollok, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews,
    Read review
  • The History of Missed Opportunities: British Romanticism and the Emergence of he Everyday by Willam H. Galperin, Review 19,
    Read Review
  • Ascent: Philosophy: Philosophy and Paradise Lost by Tzachi Zamir, Iyyun: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, 67 (January 2018), pp. 63-69
  • What Philosophy Is For by Michael Hampe, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read review
  • The Rift in the Lute: Attuning Philosophy and Poetry by Maximilian de aynesford, The British Journal of Aesthetics, Read review
  • The Aesthetics of Argument by Martin Warner, Mind, 127, 505 (January 2018), pp. 294-98.
  • Irony and Idealism: Rereading, Schlegel, Hegel, and Kierkegaard by Fred Rush, European Journal of Philosophy, 25, 4 (December 2017), pp. 1228-31.
  • Dialectic of the Ladder: Wittgenstein, the ‘Tractatus’ and Modernism by Ben Ware, New Formations, 87 (2016), pp. 155-58.
  • Reckoning with the Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience, by Charles Altieri, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 74, 3 (Summer 2016), pp. 306-07
  • The Philosophy of Tragedy, by Christopher Hamilton, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Read review
  • Philosophy and the Novel, by Alan Goldman, Philosophy and Literature, , 19, 32 (October 2015), pp. 564-571.
  • After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Pictorial Modernism by Robert B. Pippin, Mind, Vol. 124, No. 493 (January 2015), pp. 380-84.
  • 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 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

  • Werner Herzog and Philosophy, University of Paris VIII, November 2019
  • American Society for Aesthetics, Pacific Division (Asilomar, 2018)
  • German Classical Philosophy and Naturalism (Georgetown, 2017)
  • German Studies Association (Denver, 2013)
  • American Comparative Literature Association, Providence, RI (2012)
  • German Studies Association (Milwaukee, 2012) 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

  • University of Ottowa, Conference: “Inheriting Cavell,” plenary, June 2020
  • Monroe Beardsley Memorial Lecture (ASA Eastern Division/Temple University) April 2020
  • Middle Tennessee State University, April 2020
  • Karl Jaspers Society of North America, invited session on Werner Herzog––Filmmaker and Philosopher, at the APA, Philadelphia, January 2020
  • Wittgenstein and Literature, Boston University, November 2019
  • Boston University, Institute for Philosophy and Religion, “Wisdom and  Transformation” project, October 2019
  • Wittgenstein and Culture, University of Oxford, September 2019
  • Conference on Self-Opacity, Ethics, and Agency, Yale University, April, 2019
  • NYU Deutsches Haus, “Thinking Herzog,” April 2019
  • Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium/Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Three Session Series on Werner Herzog Documentaries, March-April 2019
  • American Society for Aesthetics (Toronto, 2018)
  • North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (Providence, 2018)
  • Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, Book Session on Images of History (Villanova, 2018)
  • The New School (2018)
  • The Romanticism Association, Annual Conference, Keynote Address, Strasbourg, France, 2017
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, 2017
  • “Situating Lyric,” Boston University, 2017
  • “Conference: Particular, Possible, Universal: Reflections on History, Literature, and Philosophy, Boston University, 2017  
  • Seton Hall University, 2017
  • Technische Universität Dresden, Philosophisches Kolloquium (2016)
  • Tulane University (2016)
  • Shakespeare Association of America (New Orleans, 2016), Invited Seminar on Cavell and Shakespeare
  • American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division (San Francisco, 2016),
  • Conference: Nature and Culture in German Romanticism and Idealism, University of Sydney (2014)Invited Symposium, Modern German Philosophy and Poetry
  • Rutgers University, Emily Dickinson: Philosophy and Literature (2015)
  • American Society for Aesthetics (Savannah, 2015)
  • International Conference on Romanticism: Plenary Lecture (2015)
  • Colorado State University (2015)
  • Temple University (2015)
  • 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)

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  • American Philosophical Association
  • American Society for AestheticsBritish Society for Aesthetics

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Recent Professional Activities

  • External Reader, Ph.D. dissertation, James Kent, Monash University
  • Philosophy on Film Series: Werner Herzog––Exploring Selfhood, Bryn Mawr Film Institute and Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, March- April 2019
  • External Reader, Ph. D. dissertation, José Fernandez, Temple University
  • External Reader, Ph.D. dissertation, Zachary Calhoun, Tulane University
  • Project proposal reviewer, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2017
  • Editor in Chief Search Committee, Estetika: The Central European Journal of Philosophy
  • Conference Co-Organizer (with Robert Chodat), “Particular, Possible, Universal Reflections on Literature, History, and Philosophy,” Boston University (2017)
  • External Reviewer, Swiss National Science Foundation, 2016
  • Proposal Reviewer, Sawyer Humanities Seminars, Mellon Foundation (2015, 2016-19)
  • External Department Review, Colorado College (2015)
  • External Department Review, Bard College (2015)
  • Creative Artists Residency: Sensuous Thinking and the Artistic Process, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant, 2015
  • 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 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

  • Comparative Literature Committee, 2016-17, 2017-18, Coordinator 2018-19
  • Associate Dean Search Committee, 2016-17
  • Humanities Librarian Search Committee, 2015
  • Chair, Interpretation Theory, 2008-09, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2015-16
  • Committee on Fellowships and Prizes, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17
  • Committee on Academic Requirements, 2014-15
  • Middle States Periodic Review Report (PRR) Steering Committee, 2012-13Chair, Interdisciplinary Programs, 2011-12
  • Curriculum Committee, 2011-12, 2012-2013
  • Advisory Council to the Dean of Admissions, 2011-12
  • Library Committee, 2011-12, 2012-2013

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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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