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Arnold I. Davidson is the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the Divinity School.  The Executive Editor of Critical Inquiry, Professor Davidson’s major fields of research and teaching are the history of contemporary European philosophy, especially twentieth century French philosophy, the history of moral and political philosophy, the history and philosophy of the human sciences and the history of religion.  He teaches regularly in Europe, and his main publications are in French and Italian as well as in English.  He has edited the works of Michel Foucault in both French and English, as well as several books of the French historian of ancient philosophy, Pierre Hadot, with whom he has also co-authored a book of conversations.  In the area of Jewish thought and philosophy, he is interested in the ideas of spiritual exercises and moral perfectionism as they are expressed in the history of Jewish thought and practice, and in contemporary French Jewish philosophy in thinkers such as Léon Askénazi, Emmanuel Lévinas and Vladimir Jankélévitch.  He has edited an important Italian round table discussion on the “Jewish question” that includes Primo Levi’s first interview as well as a Spanish edition of Levi’s writings on Auschwitz, negationism, and fascism.


Past Courses

PHIL 58702. Topics in Contemporary European Thought. Autumn 2004

DVPR 52000. Foucault: Technologies of Power. Autumn 2005

PHIL 21202. Spiritual Exercises and Moral Perfectionism. Autumn 2006

PHIL 58500. French Philosophy. Winter 2007, Autumn 2007

PHIL 31209. Contemporary European Philosophy and Religion. Winter 2010