Professor, William and Trudy Ausfahl Professor
I have broad philosophical interests of both a systematic and a historical kind. These cross the boundaries of so-called “analytic” and “Continental” philosophy. From the latter tradition I have acquired a strongly historical bent. Over all I feel most indebted to Wittgenstein.
Among my systematic concerns are issues in the philosophy of logic (in particular the question how to conceive logic in naturalistic and historicist terms), the theory of meaning, and epistemology.
In recent years I have become increasingly concerned with political philosophy and specifically with what I call “the diagnostic tradition in political philosophy” which I see extending from Marx and Nietzsche to Carl Schmitt, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault. In reflecting on these matters I have asked myself how one might apply Wittgenstein’s lessons to political philosophy.
I have also been interested for a long time in the history of analytic philosophy (Frege, Moore, Russell, the Vienna Circle, Wittgenstein). And on the more Continental side in Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Foucault. In addition I have had a long-standing interest in ancient Greek thought and have also more recently acquired one in Chinese philosophy.