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Philosophy is unique among liberal arts disciplines in that it understands its own history as part of its practice. The history of philosophy continues to inform philosophical thinking today.

The Emory Institute for the History of Philosophy was founded in 2006 to support the study of the history of philosophy at all levels: undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and professional. It welcomes all methods and approaches. As a place of interaction among the disciplines, the IHP hosts visiting scholars from institutions across the country and around the world.

Throughout the academic year, the IHP invites distinguished experts in different fields in the history of philosophy to give public lectures and conduct seminars and workshops for Emory students and faculty and public audiences. It also administers a summer seminar workshop for faculty from other universities and independent schoalrs. These seminars now result in many journal and book publications. In the future, the IHP hopes to establish several post-doctoral fellowships.

The IHP follows in a long tradition of strength in the history of philosophy at Emory, whose philosophy department grew to prominence under the leadership of Leroy E. Loemker (1904–85), the noted Leibniz scholar and educator, who helped found Emory’s graduate philosophy program more than fifty years ago. Today, almost all Emory's philosophy faculty specialize in some area of the history of philosophy and together we cover all of its canonical fields: ancient, medieval, Renaissance, early modern, modern, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This makes the IHP, the only institute of its kind in the United States, a natural extension of the Emory Philosophy Department. Besides strengthening Emory’s graduate and undergraduate programs, the IHP also seeks to support and revitalize the study of the history of philosophy within, and beyond, the broader academic community.

Image: John Frederick Peto, Take Your Choice, detail, 1885. John Wilmerding Collection, image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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Every summer, an Emory philosophy professor and a leading scholar from another institution co-direct an intensive seminar on an advanced topic in the history of philosophy. These workshops provide a forum for philosophical research and collaboration across departments and universities. Each seminar also establishes an alumni network of participants to facilitate the continued development of the seminar topic and issues. Here is a list of past, present, and future IHP summer workshops:

June 5-17, 2015

Kant's Political Thought
Dilek Huseyinzadegan
Angelica Nuzzo (Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY)

June 14-26, 2015

Aristotle on the Emotions
Marta Jimenez
Christof Rapp (Ludwig Maximilians Universität Munich)

June 9-21, 2013

Renewing the Ancient Quarrel: Plato, Hegel, Adorno
John Lysaker
John Russon (University Of Guelph)

June 4-14, 2012

Peirce, James, and the Origins of Pragmatism
John J. Stuhr
Vincent Colapietro (Penn State University)

June 6-17, 2011

Vico and the Humanist Tradition
Donald Phillip Verene
Brian Copenhaver (UCLA)

June 8-17, 2010

The Origins of Modernity: Montaigne, Machiavelli, Descartes, and Hobbes
Ann Hartle
Harvey C. Mansfield (Harvard University)

June 16–25, 2009

Heidegger and Nietzsche: The Issue of History
Andrew J. Mitchell
Peter Trawny (Universität Wuppertal)

June 9–17, 2008

Religion and Philosophy: Neoplatonism In the Late Ancient and Early Medieval Period
Steven Strange
Kevin Corrigan (Emory University)


The IHP hosts speakers throughout the year on selected theme in the history of philosophy. In addition to public lectures, speakers lead text-based seminars for graduate students.