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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

DVPR 52000. Foucault: Technologies of Power. Autumn 2005

PHIL 21202/31202. Spiritual Exercises and Moral Perfectionism. Autumn 2006.

PHIL 21209/31209. Contemporary European Philosophy and Religion. Winter 2010.

PHIL 21910/31910. Problems Around Foucault. Winter 2011.

PHIL 24790. Self Transformation-Political Resistance: Foucault-Hadot-Levi-MLK Jr. Autumn 2011.

PHIL 24800. Foucault: History Of Sexuality. Autumn 2007, Autumn 2008, Autumn 2009, Autumn 2012, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2014.

PHIL 25111/35111. Judaism and Philosophy of Religion in Contemporary Thought. Winter 2013, Autumn 2014.

PHIL 25112/35112. Philosophy, Talmudic Culture, and Religious Experience: Soloveitchik. Winter 2014.

PHIL 25401/35401. History, Philosophy and Politics of Psychoanalysis. Winter 2008.

PHIL 31209. Contemporary European Philosophy and Religion. Winter 2010.

PHIL 50008. Michel Foucault: Self, Government, and Regimes of Truth. Autumn 2013.

PHIL 50009. Contemporary French Philosophy: The Final Foucault. Autumn 2009.

PHIL 50211. Models of Philosophy/Religion as a Way of Life. Autumn 2012.

PHIL 50212. Moral & Political Philosophy of Foucault. Autumn 2008.

PHIL 50910. Improvisation as a Way of Life. Autumn 2010.

PHIL 51990. Spiritual Exercises, Relations of Power, Practices of Freedom. Autumn 2011.

PHIL 53357. Philosophy and Theology of Judaism. Autumn 2014.

PHIL 58500. French Philosophy. Winter 2007, Autumn 2007.

PHIL 58600. Workshop: Continental Philosophy. Spring 2006, Autumn 2006.

PHIL 58609. Workshop: Contemporary European Philosophy. Autumn 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Autumn 2010, Winter 2011, Autumn 2011.

PHIL 58702. Topics in Contemporary European Thought. Autumn 2004