Robert Pippin

Robert B. Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books and articles on German idealism and later German philosophy, including Kant's Theory of Form; Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness; Modernism as a Philosophical Problem; and Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations.  In addition he has published on issues in political philosophy, theories of self-consciousness, the nature of conceptual change, and the problem of freedom. He also wrote a book about literature and philosophy: Henry James and Modern Moral Life. A collection of  his recent essays in German, Die Verwirklichung der Freiheit appeared in 2005, as did The Peristence of Subjectivity: On the Kantian Aftermath, and his book on Nietzsche, Nietzsche, moraliste français: La conception nietzschéenne d'une psychologie philosophique appeared in 2006. His most recent book, Fatalism in American Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy, will be published on February 17, 2012 by the University of Virginia Press. He was twice an Alexander von Humboldt fellow, is a winner of the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the Humanities, and was recently a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the American Philosophical Society. He is also a member of the German National Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Robert Pippin's recorded lectures & interviews


office: Foster 307
office hours: Spring Quarter, Wednesdays: 2:00 - 3:30 pm
The best way to contact me: is by email
office phone: 773/702-5453
The Committee on Social Thought


Recent News

  • 2018 (June) - One week Philosophy and Film Course, Athens
  • 2018 (May) - One week Film Seminar, University of Valencia, Spain
  • 2018 (March) Kneller Lecture, Philosophy of Education Society, Chicago
  • 2018 (February) - Steiner Lecture, St. John's College
  • 2017 (December) - Peking University, Beijing, Global Scholar; two week stay; four lectures.
  • 2017 (fall) - The Friedrich Nietzsche Lecture (Inaugural) - Basel, Switzerland
  • 2017 (fall) - Thomas Scholl Lecturer, Purdue University
  • 2017 - Elected to Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • International Congress "Wirklichkeit" interview, June 3-5, 2015, Padua, Italy.
  • From September 19 - 23, Robert Pippin delivered the 2016 Townsend Lectures (three lectures) to the philosophy department at The University of California, Berkeley.
  • Wisconsin Public Television Interview with Robert Pippin about his book, Hollywood Westerns and American Myth. Link
  • In January 2014 Robert Pippin received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Robert Pippin gave the following lectures in 2013-14: 2014 (fall) - Leibniz Lecture, University of Vienna; 2014 (March) – Farber Lecture in Film, Princeton University; 2014 (March) – Baldwin-Dahl Lecture in Comparative Literature, Yale Univesity; 2014 (March) - Clough Distinguished Lecture in Jurisprudence, Boston College; 2013 (fall) – Shearman Lectures, University College, London; 2013 (November) – Guang Hua Lectures, Fudan University, Shanghai, PRC.
  • Robert Pippin's article, “Kant on the Spontaneity of Mind,” selected as one of the twenty-two “best articles in the forty year existence of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.” 
  • Robert Pippin spoke at Wright College on "Portrait of a Lady by Henry James" in January, 2013 - youtube
  • 2014 (fall) - Robert Pippin has been invited to give the Leibniz Lecture, University of Vienna. There will also be a conference after the lecture on his work in philosophy and film.
  • 2014 (January) – Robert Pippin will receive an Honorary Doctorate, University of Uppsala, Sweden.
  • 2014 (March) - Robert Pippin has been invited to give the Clough Distinguished Lecture in Jurisprudence, Boston College.
  • 2013 (fall) – Robert Pippin was invited to give the Shearman Lectures, University College, London (three lectures, the general title of the series "Hegel: Logic, Metaphysics, and Art".
  • 2013 (spring) – Robert Pippin was invited to give the  Ernst Robert Curtius Lecture, University of Bonn, "Hegels Reich der Schatten".
  • DIETER THOMÄ discusses Robert Pippin's Hegel on Self-Consciousness in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 1st, 2012, No. 3, p. 28 - Link (.docx)
  • Robert Pippin for two hours on WGN, February 16, 10-12, on the Milt Rosenberg show, about his book Hollywood Westerns and American Myth.
  • "Robert Pippin on Oren Izenberg and Paul Grimstad" -, December 30, 2011 - Link
  • In 2012-13 Robert Pippin will be in residence in Munich, having been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from the Friedrich von Siemens Foundation.
  • Summer 2011, Robert Pippin will be giving a one week seminar at the National Humanities Center on "Form and Politics in the Work of J.M. Coetzee" - Link
  • Robert Pippin is among the keynote speakers at a conference on Philosophy, Film, and Skepticism at the University of Bonn, Germany, from November 28 - 30, 2011.
  • From July 9 to 13, 2012, Robert Pippin will teach a Journal of the History of Philosophy Master Class on “Post-Kantian Idealism” in Chicago.
  • The University of Jena celebrates Robert Pippin, the 2011 holder of the Schiller-Professorship, featured on their website, October 2011 - Link
  • Robert Pippin latest Schiller Professor at the University of Jena, Office of Communications / Press Office Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena , September 5, 2011- Link
  • Robert Pippin, "In Defense of Naïve Reading" in the New York Times Opinionator, October 10, 2010 -Link
  • Robert Pippn, "Tea Party as Western movie" in the Washington Post, June 2010 - Link
  • "Myths go west: U. of C. professor sees Obama, Palin themes in old films" Chicago SunTimes profiles Robert Pippin and his work in the Chicago Lit Section, June 20, 2010 Link
  • Pippin, a leader in interdisciplinary work, elected to oldest learned society, May 14, 2009, The University of Chicago Chronicle - Link
  • Robert Pippin gave The Adorno Lectures from June 6th to 8th, 2011, at the University of Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Robert Pippin, along with David Wellbery, a faculty member at the School of Criticism & Theory at Cornell University from June 19 - July 28, 2011.
  • Robert Pippin gave the 2010 Page-Barbour Lectures at the University of Virginia on the topic "Fatalism in Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy" on April 6 - 8, 2010.
  • Robert Pippin has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society (May 2009).
  • Robert Pippin delivered the 2009 Spinoza Lectures on the topic of "Hegel's Concept of Self-Consciousness" at the University of Amsterdam in May, 2009.
  • Additional past news and announcements can be found on our "News" and "Announcements" pages here.


  • The Philosophical Hitchcock: Vertigo and the Anxieties of Unknowingness (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017)
  • Die Aktualität des Deutschen Idealismus (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2017)
  • Interanimations: Receiving Modern German Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2015)
  • After the Beautiful. Hegel and the Philosophy of Pictorial Modernism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013)
  • Kunst als Philosophie. Hegel und die Philosophie der modernen Bildkunst (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2012)
  • Introductions to Nietzsche, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)
  • Fatalism in American Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012)
  • Hegel on Self-Consciousness. Desire and Death in the Phenomenology of Spirit (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011)
    Italian Translation, 2015
  • Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy (New Haven: Yale Universtiy Press, 2010) - Link
  • Hegel's Concept of Self-Consciousness (2009 Spinoza Lectures) (Amsterdam: van Gorcum, 2010) - Link
  • Nietzsche, Psychology, First Philosophy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010) - Link
    Spanish Translation, 2015
  • Hegel's Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life, Cambridge University Press, 2008 - Link
  • "Introduction" to Thus Spoke Zarathustra, aned edited with Adrian del Caro, Cambridge University Press, 2006
  • Nietzche, moraliste francais: La conception nietzcheenne d'une philosophique (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2005)
  • The Persistence of Subjectivity: On the Kantian Aftermath, Cambridge Univesity Press, 2005 - Link
  • Die Verwirklichung der Freiheit, forward by Axel Honneth and Hans Joas (Frankfurt a.M.:Campurs Verlag, 2005)
  • Henry James and Modern Moral Life (Cambridge University Press, 2000)
  • Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness
  • Modernism as a Philosophical Problem: On the Dissatisfactions of European High Culture
  • Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations (Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  • Hegel on Ethics and Politics (with O. Höffe)
  • Marcuse: Critical Theory and The Promise of Utopia, ed. with An Feenberg, C. Webel (MacMillan; Bergin and Garvey) (Link)
  • Kant's Theory of Form: An Essay on the 'Critique of Pure Reason' (Yale University Press) (PDFs in 3 parts - CH 1-3 CH 4-6 CH 7-8)

Selected Publications

  • "Hegel on Social Pathology: The Actuality of Unreason," Crisis and Critique vol. 4, no. 1 (2017)
  • "What Does the Childhood of Jesus Have to do with J.M. Coetzee's Novel, The Childhood of Jesus, Raritan vol XXXVI no. 2 (Fall 2016).
  • "Just Who Is It That We Have Become," The Hedgehog Review (Summer 2016).
  • "Hegel über die politische Bedeuting kollektiven Selbstbetrugs," in Gechichte, Gesellschaft, Geltung, ed. M. Quante (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 2016).
  • "On Honneth's Interpretation of Hegel's Phenomenology of Self-Consciousness," in Debates in Nineteenth Century Philosophy, ed. K. Gjesdal (New York: Routledge, 2016)
  • "Reply to Critics," in Ein Filmphilosophie-Symposium mit Robert B. Pippin, ed. Ludwig Nagl, Waldemar Zacharasiewicz, de Gruyter, 2016
  • "Kantian Metaphysics: On Lanier Anderson's The Poverty of Conceptual Thought," The New Rambler, November 4, 2015.
  • Symposium on Robert Pippin's book, After the Beautiful, with a Précis by Robert Pippin and response by Robert Pippin to essays by Fred Rush and Adrian Daub, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73:3 (Summer 2015)
  • "Psychology Degree Zero. On the Representation of Action in the Films of the Dardenne Brothers," in Critical Inquiry 41 (Summer 2015)
  • Symposium Robert Pippin's my book, After the Beautiful, ed. M. Farina. Five commentators; responses by Robert Pippin. Lebenswelt 7 (2015) (Appeared 2016).
  • "Williams on Nietzsche on the Greeks," in Tragedy and the Idea of Modernity, ed. by J. Billings and M. Leonard, Oxford University Press, 2015.
    IDEALIST THEORIES OF LOGIC - Meeting of the Aristotelian Society held at Senate House, University of London, on 27 January 2014, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol. cxiv, Part 2 - PDF
  • "Cinematic Irony: The Strange Case of Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar" in, September 11, 2014 - Link
  • "The Given as a Logical Problem," The International Yearbook for German Idealism, Fall 2014 (appeared 2017).
  • "Passive and Active Skepticism in Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place", March 18, 2012, - Link
  • " Philosophical Film: Trapped by Oneself in Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past" - New Literary History, 2010, Issue 41- PDF
  • "Agency and Fate in Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai" - Critcal Inquiry, Winter 2011 - PDF
  • "Hegel on Political Philosophy and Political Actuality" - Inquiry, October 2010, volume 53, issue 5 - Special Issue: Hegel's Practical Philosophy - PDF
  • "The 'logic of experience' as 'absolute knowledge' in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit," in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit: A Critical Guide, ed. Dean Moyar and Michael Quante (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) PDF
  • "In Defense of Naïve Reading" in the New York Times Opinionator, October 10, 2010 - Link
  • "Tea Party as Western movie" in the Washington Post, June 2010 - Link
  • "The Paradoxes of Power in the Early Novels of J.M. Coetze" in JM Coetze Ethics: Philosophical Perspetives on Literature (PDF)
  • "Participants and Spectators" Position paper on On the Human: a project of the National Humanities Center - Link
  • "How to Overcome Oneself: Nietzsche on Freedom" - in Nietzsche on Freedom and Autonomy, ed. Ken Gemes and Simon May (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • "Natural and Normative", Daedelus, Summer, 2009 Vol. 138, No. 3, Pages 35-43 - Link
  • What Is a Western? Politics and Self- Knowledge in John Ford’s The Searchers. Critical Inquiry 35 (Winter 2009) (PDF)
  • Angels and Devils in Almodóvar's Talk to Her, in Talk to Her, ed. A.W. Eaton (New York: Routledge, 2009) PDF
  • "The Absence of Aesthetics in Hegel's Aesthetics," forthcoming in second volume of The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth Century Philosophy, ed. F. Beiser. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • On Maisie's Knowing Her Own Mind, in A Companion to Henry James, ed. by Greg W. Zacharias (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008) PDF
  • Can There Be ‘Unprincipled Virtue’? Comments on Nomy Arpaly
    Philosophical Explorations, Volume 10, Issue September 2007 , pages 291 - 301 Link
  • Mine and Thine? The Kantian State,” Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy, ed. Paul Guyer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). PDF
  • "Introduction" to Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006): pp.  viii-xxxv. PDF
  • Concept and Intuition: On Distinguishability and Separability. Hegel-Studen, Vol. 40, 2005. (PDF)
  • "On 'Becoming Who One is' (and Failing): Proust's Problematic Selves," in The Persistance of Subjectivity: On the Kantian Aftermath (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) PDF
  • Authenticity in Painting: Remarks on Michael Fried's Art History. Critical Inquiry, Volume 31, Issue 3, (Mar 2005). (PDF)
  • The Unavailability of the Ordinary: Strauss on the Philosophical Fate of Modernity. Political Theory, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Jun., 2003), pp. 335-358 - Link
  • "Agent and Deed in Nietzsche's Genealogy," in A Companion to Nietzsche, ed. Keith Ansell Pearson (Blackwell) PDF
  • What Was Abstract Art? (From the Point of View of Hegel)Critical Inquiry, vol. 29, no.1 (Fall 2002). Link
  • Author's Précis of Henry James and Modern Moral Life. Inquiry, Volume 45, Number 3, 1 September 2002 , pp. 313-317(5) Link
  • Responses to Conway, Mooney, and Rorty. Inquiry, Volume 45, Issue 3 September 2002 , pages 359 - 372 Link
  • "Gadamer's Hegel," in The Cambridge Companion to Gadamer, ed. Robert Dostal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). PDF
  • A Mandatory Reading of Kant's Ethics? (Critical Study of Paul Guyer's Kant on Freedom, Love and Happiness).The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 204 (July 2001). Link
  • Liberation and the Liberal Arts: The Aims of Education - Talk to Incoming Chicago Class, Sept 2000 - Link
  • What is the Question for which Hegel's Theory of Recognition is the Answer? The European Journal of Philosophy, vol. 8, no. 2 (August 2000) (PDF)
  • Kant's Theory of Value: On Allen Wood's Kant's Ethical Thought (PDF)
    Inquiry, Vol. 43 (Summer 2000)
  • "Hegel's Practical Philosophy: The Realization of Freedom", in The Cambridge Companion to German Idealism, edited by Karl Ameriks,  Cambridge University Press, 2000 - Link
  • "Naturalness and Mindedness: Hegel's Compatibilism,"European Journal of Philosophy, vol. 7. no. 2 (1999) (PDF)
  • Nietzsche and the Melancholy of Modernity. Social Research, Vol. 66, 1999 Link
  • "Hegel on Historical Meaning: For Example, the Enlightenment," Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain, no 35 (Spring/Summer 1997). (PDF Part 1 | Part 2)
  • "Avoiding German Idealism: Kant and the Reflective Judgment Problem," in Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). PDF
  • "On Being Anti-Cartesian: Heidegger, Hegel, Subjectivity and Sociality," in Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). PDF
  • "Hegel's Ethical Rationalism," in Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997):417-50. PDF
  • Heideggerean Postmodernism and Metaphysical Politics. European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 4 Issue 1 Page 17-37, April 1996 Link
  • The Modern World of Leo Strauss. Political Theory, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 448-472 Link
  • Idealism and Agency in Kant and Hegel. The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 88, No. 10, Eighty-Eighth Annual Meeting American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division (Oct., 1991), pp. 532-541 Link
  • "Hegel and Category Theory", The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Jun., 1990), pp. 839-848 Link
  • "Blumenberg and the Modernity Problem", The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Mar., 1987), pp. 535-557 - Link
  • "Kant on the Spontaneity of Mind", Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Jun., 1987), pp. 449-475 (PDF)
  • Hegel's Political Argument and the Problem of Verwirklichung. Political Theory, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Nov., 1981), pp. 509-532 Link
  • Hegel's Phenomenological criticism. Man and World, Volume 8, Number 3 / August, 1975 Link
  • Agent and Deed in Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals in A Companion to Neitszche Ed. K. Ansell-Pearson Link
  • ‘Philosophy is its own time comprehended in thought’Topoi Volume 25, Numbers 1-2 / September, 2006 Link
  • Hegel's Metaphysics and the Problem of Contradiction. The Hegel Myths and Legends, Ed. J. B. Stewart Link
  • Lightning and Flash, Agent and Deed (GM 1: 6-17). Nietzsche's on the Genealogy of Morals: Critical Essay. Ed. C. D. Acampora Link
  • Horstmann, Siep, and German Idealism. European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 2 Issue 1 Page 85-96, April 1994 Link
  • Being, Time, and Politics: The Strauss-Kojeve Debate. History and Theory, Vol. 32, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 138-161 Link
  • "You Can't Get There From Here: Transition Problems in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit," in The Cambridge Companion to Hegel (Cambridge UP, 1993) - PDF
  • Modern mythic meaning: Blumenberg contra Nietzsche. History of the Human Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 4, 37-56 (1993) Link
  • Negation and Not-Being in Wittgenstein's Tractatus and Plato's Sophist pp 179-196 Kant-Studien, Bd. 70, 1979. (PDF)
  • "Kant on Empirical Concepts", Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Volume 10, Issue 1, March 1979, Pages 1-19 - Link
  • Recognition and Reconciliation. Actualized Agency in Hegel’s Jena Phenomenology. Recognition and Power: Axel Honneth and the Tradition of Critical Social Theory. Ed. Bert van den Brink Universiteit Utrecht, Tand David Owen - Link
  • Fichte's Alleged Subjective, Psychological, One-Sided Idealism. The Reception of Kant's Critical Philosophy: Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel . Ed. S.S. Sedgwick Link

Please see my CV (PDF) for a complete list of publications.

Selected Reviews and Responses by Robert Pippin

  • Response to critics - Inquiry, October 2010, volume 53, issue 5 - Special Issue: Hegel's Practical Philosophy - PDF
  • "Horstmann, Siep, and German Idealism" (Review of Die Grenzen der Vernunft. Eine Untersuchung zu Zielen und Motiven des Deutschen Idealismus by Rolf-Peter Horstmann and Praktische Philosophie im Deutschen Idealismus by Ludwig Siep),  European Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 2, Issue 1 - Link
  • Review article, Bernard Reginster, The Affirmation of Life: Nietzsche On Overcoming Nihilism, by Bernard Reginster, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research vol. 77, No. 1 (July 2008) PDF
  • Review article, Bernard Williams, In the Beginning Was the Deed, Journal of Philosophy, vol. CIV, No. 10 (October 2007) PDF
  • McDowell‘s Germans: Response to "On Pippin‘s Postscript" European Journal of Philosophy, 2007 Link
  • Brandom's Hegel. European Journal of Philosophy. Volume 13, Issue 3, Date: December 2005, Pages: 381-408 - Link
  • "Leaving Nature Behind (on John McDowel's Mind and World)," and the "Postscript" thereto, from The Persistence of Subjectivity (Cambridge University Press, 2005) PDF, Postcript PDF
  • Reviewed Work(s): Liberal Pluralism: The Implications of Value Pluralism for Political Theory and Practice by William A. Galston Political Theory, Vol. 31, No. 6 (Dec., 2003), pp. 891-896 - Link
  • Responses to Conway, Mooney, and Rorty. Inquiry, 45, 359–72. June 2002. (PDF)
  • Reviewed Work(s): Encyclopedia of Aesthetics by Michael Kelly
    The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 97, No. 2 (Feb., 2000), pp. 99-106 - Link
  • Review: A Mandatory Reading of Kant's Ethics? Reviewed Work(s): Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness by Paul Guyer The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 204 (Jul., 2001), pp. 386-393 - Link
  • Kant’s Theory of Value: On Allen Wood’s Kant’s Ethical Thought. Inquiry, 43, 239-66. April 2000 (PDF)
  • Reviewed Work(s): Encyclopedia of Aesthetics by Michael Kelly
    The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 97, No. 2 (Feb., 2000), pp. 99-106 - Link
  • "The Significance of Taste: Kant, Aesthetic and Reflective Judgment", Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 34, Number 4, October 1996, pp. 549-569 - Link
  • Reviewed Work(s): Kant et le pouvoir de juger: Sensibilité et discursivité dans l'Analytique transcendentale de la Critique de la raison pure by Béatrice Longuenesse The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 94, No. 6 (Jun., 1997), pp. 318-324 - Link
  • Review: A Postmodern Sensibility Reviewed Work(s): Political Theory and Postmodernism by Stephen K. WhiteThe Review of Politics, Vol. 55, No. 1 (Winter, 1993), pp. 180-182 - Link
  • Reviewed Work(s): Between Frankfurt and Freiburg: Toward a Critical Ontology by Fred Dallmayr Political Theory, Vol. 21, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 322-325 - Link
  • Reviewed Work(s): The Rise of Neo-Kantianism: German Academic Philosophy between Idealism and Positivism by Klaus Christian Kohnke; R. J. Hollingdale The Philosophical Review, Vol. 102, No. 4 (Oct., 1993), pp. 594-596 - Link
  • Reviewed Work(s): Hegel's Dialectic: The Explanation of Possibility by Terry Pinkard The Philosophical Review, Vol. 100, No. 4 (Oct., 1991), pp. 710-713 - Link
  • Reviewed Work(s): Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth Century France by Judith P. Butler The Philosophical Review, Vol. 99, No. 1 (Jan., 1990), pp. 129-131 - Link
  • Reviewed Work(s): The Philosophy of F. J. Schelling: History, System, and Freedom by Werner Marx; Thomas Nenon The Philosophical Review, Vol. 96, No. 4 (Oct., 1987), pp. 620-623 - Link
  • "Hegel's Metaphysics and the Problem of Contradiction", Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 16, Number 3, July 1978, pp. 301-312 - Link

Selected Reviews of Robert Pippin's Work

  • Reviewed work: Robert B. Pippin, After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Pictorial Modernism, University of Chicago Press, 2014, 159pp., $30.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780226079493. Reviewed by Ingvild Torsen, University of Oslo, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, August 7, 2014. Link
  • Reviewed work: Robert B. Pippin, Fatalism in American Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy. Reviewed by Jerrold Levinson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, June 17, 2013. Link
  • Reviewed work: Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy, reviewed by Clive Sinclair, Times Literary Supplement, Feb. 10, 2011
  • James Bohman, "Is Hegel a Republican? Pippin, Recognition, and Domination in the Philosophy of Right" - Inquiry, October 2010, volume 53, issue 5 Special Issue: Hegel's Practical Philosophy - PDF
  • David Ingram, "Recognition Within the Limits of Reason: Remarks on Pippin's Hegel's Practical Philosophy" - Inquiry, October 2010, volume 53, issue 5 Special Issue: Hegel's Practical Philosophy - PDF
  • Hans-Herbert Kögler, "Recognition and the Resurgence of Intentional Agency" - Inquiry, October 2010, volume 53, issue 5 Special Issue: Hegel's Practical Philosophy - PDF
  • Richard T. Peterson, "Violence and Historical Learning: Thinking with Robert Pippin's Hegel" - Inquiry, October 2010, volume 53, issue 5 Special Issue: Hegel's Practical Philosophy - PDF
  • Theodore R. Schatzki, "Pippin's Hegel on Action" - Inquiry, October 2010, volume 53, issue 5 Special Issue: Hegel's Practical Philosophy - PDF
  • Review by Ludwig Siep of "Hegel's Practical Philosophy, Rational Agency as Ethical Life" in Hegel-Studien, Vol 44, 2010 (German) - PDF
  • Reviewed by Thomas E. Wartenberg, Mount Holyoke College: Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy, Notre Dame Philosophical Reivew, Sept. 17, 2010 - Link
  • "Where Does Ethan Edwards Go?" (Review of Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy), David Thomson, Online Review at the New Republic, August 4, 2010 - Link
  • Review by Helmut Mayer, Work reviewed: Hollywood Westerns and American Myth: The Importance of Howard Hawks and John Ford for Political Philosophy, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 7, 2010 (German) - Link
  • "Myths go west: U. of C. professor sees Obama, Palin themes in old films" Chicago SunTimes profiles Robert Pippin and his work in the Chicago Lit Section, June 20, 2010 Link
  • On Pippin's Postscript. European Journal of Philosophy. Volume 15, Issue 3, Date: December 2007, Pages: 395-410 John McDowell - Link
  • William J. FitzPatrick Reviewed Work(s): The Practice of Value by Joseph Raz; Christine Korsgaard; Robert Pippin; Bernard Williams; R. Jay Wallace
    Ethics, Vol. 116, No. 4 (Jul., 2006), pp. 805-809 Link
  • Richard Rorty, Reviewed Work(s): The Persistence of Subjectivity: On the Kantian Aftermath by Robert Pippin. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (2005) Link
  • Responses to Pippin, Macbeth and Haugeland. European Journal of Philosophy Volume 13, Issue 3, Date: December 2005, Pages: 429-441
    Robert B. Brandom - Link
  • Elizabeth Brake Reviewed Work(s): Henry James and Modern Moral Life by Robert Pippin The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 208 (Jul., 2002), pp. 397-398 Link
  • Richard Rorty: Comments on Pippin on James. June 2002. Inquiry, 45, 351–8 (PDF)
  • Alice Crary Reviewed Work(s): Henry James and Modern Moral Life by Robert Pippin Ethics, Vol. 112, No. 2 (Jan., 2002), pp. 403-406 Link
  • Richard Rorty Reviewed Work(s): Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations by Robert Pippin Ethics, Vol. 111, No. 2 (Jan., 2001), pp. 438-441 Link
  • Joshua Foa Dienstag Review: What Is Living and What Is Dead in the Interpretation of Hegel? Reviewed Work(s): Hegel's Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit by Michael N. Forster, Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations by Robert B. Pippin, Hegel and the State by Eric Weil; Mark A. Cohen, Hegel's Ethics of Recognition by Robert R. Williams
    Political Theory, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 262-275 Link
  • Comment on Robert Pippin's 'Naturalness and Mindedness: Hegel's Compatibility'. European Journal of Philosophy. Volume 7, Issue 2, Date: August 1999, Pages: 213-216 Richard Rorty - Link
  • Review: Ralf Meerbote Reviewed Work(s): Kant's Theory of Form: An Essay on the Critique of Pure Reason by Robert B. Pippin The Philosophical Review, Vol. 92, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), pp. 419-422 Link


PHIL 2XXXX/3XXXX. Philosophical Fiction: Proust's In Search of Lost Time. (=SCTH XXXXX) We will discuss all seven volumes of Proust's magisterial novel, In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927). In order to be able to do so in a ten week quarter, students must announce their intention to register for the course before the end of the Spring quarter of 2018, and pledge to have read the entire novel before the March, 2019 beginning of the seminar. (They can do so by emailing Robert Pippin at

The novel is well known for its treatment of a large number of philosophical issues: including self-identity over time, the nature of memory, social competition and snobbery, the nature of love, both romantic and familial, the role of fantasy in human life, the nature and prevalence of jealousy, the nature and value of art, the chief characteristics of bourgeois society, and the nature of lived temporality. Our interest will be not only in these issues but also in what could be meant by the notion of a novelistic "treatment" of the issues, and how such a treatment might bear on philosophy as traditionally understood.

We shall use the Modern Library boxed set of seven volumes for the English translation, and for those students with French, we will use the Folio Collection paperbacks of the seven volumes. (I) With J. Landy; Spring 2019

PHIL 55550. Film and Philosophy: Issues in Melodrama. (=GRMN 35550, GRMN 45550, SCTH XXXXX) The general question to be addressed: might film (realist fictional narratives especially) be a reflective form of thought, and if so, might that form of reflection be considered a philosophical one? The genre to be interrogated with this question in mind will be melodramas, narratives of great suffering and extreme emotional experiences, the best of which explore how we might make sense of such suffering. A prominent question: the difference between tragedy and melodrama, and the bearing of that difference on the general question. We shall watch several films in connection with these questions, including Max Ophuls's Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), King Vidor's Stella Dallas (1937), Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959), Written on the Wind (1956), and Rainer Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972). We shall also explore different cinematic treatments of a common melodramatic plot, and consider together Sirk's All that Heaven Allows (1955), Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974), and Todd Haynes's Far from Heaven (2002), the last two of which are variations on Sirk's plot. Readings will include Stanley Cavell's The World Viewed and Contesting Tears, essays by André Bazin, work by Peter Brooks, Fassbinder, and Thomas Elsaesser, and selected essays on the films. (I) With D. Wellbery; Winter 2019

PHIL 50305. Oedipus and Hamlet: On the Philosophy of Tragedy. (=GRMN 40305, SCTH 40305, TAPS 40305) In this class we will consider closely attempts to understand tragedy philosophically. Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Shakespeare's Hamlet, two texts that have particularly attracted philosophical attention will serve as constant reference points, but other paradigmatic tragedies (Euripides Bacchae, Goethe's Faust, Beckett's Endgame) will also be considered. Among the philosophical contributions to be considered are works by Aristotle, Schiller, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Scheler, Schmitt, Benjamin, Murdoch, and Menke. Major issues to be dealt with: the structure of tragic plot; the tragic affects; catharsis; ancient and modern tragedy; tragedy and the tragic; the aesthetics of tragedy; tragedy and society; tragedy and the sacred. Spring 2018. With D. Wellbery

PHIL 24709/34709. Nietzsche's Critique of Morality. (=SCTH 38005) A close reading of Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals, supplemented by passages from The Gay Science, and Bernard Williams's book, Shame and Necessity. Of special importance: the appeal to "psychology" in the critique of morality. Winter 2018

PHIL 28203/38203. Hegel's Philosophy of Right. (=FNDL 28204) Spring 2017.

PHIL 51903. On Aesthetic Form. (=SCTH 50605, GRMN 51917) This seminar is part of a joint research project (The Idealist Project: Self-Determining Form and the Foundation of the Humanities) sponsored by the Neubauer Collegium. The focus of the year's activities is the topic of aesthetic form. There will be two conferences on this topic with the participation of leading international scholars in Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017, with the conference participants returning for seminar sessions devoted to readings of their work. Particular (but not exclusive) attention will be paid to the theory of tragedy. Important points of reference are works by Goethe, Schelling, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Benjamin, and Cavell. Winter 2017. With D. Wellbery

PHIL 20208/30208. Film Aesthetics. (=SCTH XXXXX, CMST 27205, CMST 37205) This course will examine two main questions: what bearing or importance does narrative film have on philosophy? Could film be said to be a form of philosophical thought? a form moral reflection? of social critique? Second, what sort of aesthetic object is a film? This question opens on to several others: what is the goal of an interpretation of a film? Is there a distinct form of cinematic intelligibility? What difference does it make to such questions that Hollywood films are commercial products, made for mass consumer societies? What role does the “star” system play in our experience of a film? We will raise these questions by attempting close readings of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Films to be discussed: Shadow of a Doubt; Notorious; Strangers on a Train; Rear Window; Vertigo; North by Northwest; Psycho; Marnie. Selected critical readings will also be discussed. (I) With J. Conant

57609. Philosophical Revolutions in the Concept of Form.(=SCTH XXXXX, GRMN XXXXX). Primary readings will be from Plato, Aristotle, Goethe, Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein. Our topics will include Platonic conceptions of eidetic form and Aristotelian conceptions of hylomorphism, their subsequent inheritance in the philosophical tradition, their transformation into German Idealist conceptions of endogenous (self-determining) form, and their significance for the philosophy of logic, mind, life, and art. Our central secondary readings will be from Gabriel Lear, Aryeh Kosman, John McDowell, Matt Boyle, Stephen Engstrom, Andrea Kern, Thomas Khurana, and Sebastian Rödl, all of whom will be invited to campus to present recent work on these topics and participate in the seminar. With J. Conant, D. Wellbery.

PHIL 51835. Philosophical Issues in Literary Criticism. Readings will include seminal theoretical works by Frye, Empson, Auerbach, Barthes, Cavell, Kittler. With D. Wellbery. Spring 2015.

PHIL 50602. Hegel’s Logic of the Concept. A discussion of the third and final part of Hegel’s Science of Logic. (V). Winter 2015.

23410/33410. Heidegger’s Being and Time.(=FNDL 27903) (III) Spring 2014.

50601. Hegel’s Science of Logic. (=SCTH 50601) PQ: Prior work in Kant's theoretical philosophy is a prerequisite. Hegel's chief theoretical work is called The Science of Logic. An abridged version is the first part of the various versions of his Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. We shall read and discuss representative passages from both versions, and attempt to understand Hegel's theory of concepts, judgment, and inference, and the place or role of such an account in his overall philosophical position. Several contemporary interpretations of these issues will also be considered. (V) Spring 2014.

2XXXX. Nietzsche. (= GRMN 28711, CMLT 28711).  This course will provide, in lectures and discussion sections, an introduction to Nietzsche’s major writings from Birth of Tragedy to The Antichrist. Nietzsche’s evolving philosophical position as well as his cultural criticism and his literary and music criticism will be examined. Topics will include: the tragic, pessimism and affirmation, nihilism, antiquity and modernity, philosophical psychology, the critique of morality, and the interpretation of Christianity.  Nietzsche’s biography, the major influences on his thought, and his impact on twentieth-century culture will also be considered, if only in glimpses. The primary instructor of the course will be David Wellbery, but James Conant and Robert Pippin will also join the class to discuss certain aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy. With David Wellbery, James Conant. Autumn 2011

23409/33409. Introduction to Heidegger. An introduction to the most important elements of Heidegger's philosophy, including: his account of the distinctness of human existence, his basic ontological theory, his account of Western modernity, his philosophy of art, and his relation to other philosophers, especially to Nietzsche. Prior work in philosophy is advisable. Spring 2012.

50601. Hegel's Science of Logic. Prior work in Kant's theoretical philosophy is a prerequisite. Hegel's chief theoretical work is called The Science of Logic. An abridged version is the first part of the various versions of his Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences.We shall read and discuss representative passages from both versions, and attempt to understand Hegel's theory of concepts, judgment, and inference, and the place or role of such an account in his overall philosophical position. Several contemporary interpretations of these issues will also be considered. (V) Winter 2012.

50010. The Modern Regime in Art I. The Ends of Romanticism (=SCTH 38111, GRMN 38111, CMLT 37300) This two quarter seminar (Fall, Winter) will discuss and evaluate efforts to conceptualize modernism in the arts from the eighteenth century to the present.  Modernism is widely thought to challenge traditional notions of aesthetic success (theories of perfection, the beautiful, harmony, etc.) and by doing so to raise large philosophical questions about perception, experience, language and the modern condition itself. Who first understood this massive change in aesthetic practices? Who best understood why it occurred? Is there such a thing as modernist philosophy? Did modernism “end”? Of what significance is that fact?
Readings in the first quarter will include a range of philosophical and critical texts by Hölderlin, Schiller, Schlegel, Schelling, Hegel, Baudelaire, Benjamin, Vincent Descombes, Michael Fried, and a consideration of some of the paintings of Édouard Manet. With D. Wellbery. Autumn 2010

50011. The Modern Regime in Art II: The Ends of Modernism (=SCTH 50011, GRMN 50011, CMLT 50001) A continuation of the Fall Quarter Seminar. Readings this quarter will include work by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, von Hofmannstahl, Greenberg, Clark, Fried, Benjamin, Adorno, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, and a consideration of abstractionism in art. With D. Wellbery. Winter 2011

59100. Workshop: German Philosophy  The workshop encompasses all of the following six dimensions of German Philosophy: (1) German Idealism and its precursors (with a special emphasis on the close reading of Kant's and Hegel's major works), (2) 19h-century Germany philosophy (especially Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, neo-Kantianism, neo-Hegelianism, and Marxism), (3) 20th-century German philosophy (especially the phenomoneological and hermeneutic traditions), (4) the elucidation and development within the Anglophone tradition of central concepts, methods, and concerns from the German tradition (such as transcendental argument, genealogical critique, phenomenological method, etc.), (5) the German tradition in analytic philosophy (from its roots in Frege, through the Vienna Circle, up until the present), and, last but not least, (6) cutting-edge work by contemporary German philosophers on topics in all areas of philosophy. All auditors are welcome. Only graduate students may enroll in the workshop for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor in order to enroll in workshop for credit. This Workshop meets over three quarters. Co-taught with James Conant.  Autumn 2010 

59200. Workshop: Literature and Philosophy  The workshop explores questions at the intersection of philosophy and literature. We work across traditional disciplinary boundaries to encourage a conversation that transcends historical and geographical divisions. Topics of interest to the workshop include (though they are not limited to): the philosophy of literature, philosophy in literature and literary philosophy, the influence of philosophy on literature and vice-versa, the overlap of philosophy and literature in the intellectual imaginary of an era, intellectual and/or literary exchange between philosophers and literary figures, and hybrid forms of cultural production (e.g. myth). All auditors are welcome. Only graduate students may enroll in the workshop for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor in order to enroll in workshop for credit. This Workshop meets over three quarters. Co-taught with Thomas Pavel.  Autumn 2009; Winter 2010; Spring 2010 

Kant's Transcendental Deduction. A close reading and discussion of Kant’s First Critique, focusing on the Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding. We will also explore carefully explore a handful of proposals for how to interpret the First Critique and especially the Transcendental Deduction, including ones put forward by Henrich, Strawson, Sellars, Allison, and McDowell. Co-taught with J. Conant. Spring 2010. Syllabus

Film Aesthetics: Agency and Fate in Film Noir. (= GERMN 30209) This course is a discussion of how philosophical issues are raised and addressed by movies through an examination of a particular film genre. The genre to be considered: film noir. We focus on ten Hollywood film noirs from the 1940s and 1950s. Topics include the pictorial and dramatic representation of the relation between thought and action, the nature of agency, and the problem of fate. We also secondarily touch on questions concerning the ontology and aesthetics of film (e.g., What is a movie? What is it to give a reading of a movie? What is a film genre?). We see and discuss a film each week and read several pieces of criticism about each film. Co-taught with J. Conant. Autumn 2009. Syllabus

Kant's Critical Philosophy. This course will be a survey of the major themes in all threes components of Kant's critical philosophy: his theory of transcendental idealism in his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics; his moral theory in his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, and selected passages dealing with aesthetics from his Critique of Judgment. We shall be especially interested in how Kant understands the relationship among these components. The course will presuppose no prior knowledge of Kant, but prior courses in philosophy, especially modern philosophy, would be helpful. Winter 2009.

31400. Modern Theories of State Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. This seminar concentrates on voluntarist or contractarian theories of the state in Rousseau and Kant, and the revisions and criticisms of that understanding by Fichte and Hegel. Autumn 2002.

Hegel's Aesthetics (=Fndmtls xxx; Germ 486; Soc Th 387). A discussion of Hegel's Lectures on Fine Art. Special attention to Hegel's theory of beauty; his account of the historical character and development of art; his account of poetry, especially dramatic poetry; and his theory about the"end of art" in the modern period. Not an introductory course.

Beauty (=SocTh 355). Various authors on the nature of the beautiful. What is beauty? How important is it? What is its relation to truth and goodness? Is modern art (visual art, poetry, novels, films) beautiful? We shall read and discuss work by philosophers, critics and artists, and shall discuss some art works that are themselves about their own beauty.

51300. Adorno Open to grad students. The aim of this seminar will be to achieve a comprehensive perspective on the most important elements of Adorno's version of critical theory. Special attention will be paid to the relation between Adorno's position and Kantian and Hegelian alternatives, to Adorno's theory of modernity, and to Adorno's ethical theory. Readings will include Dialectic of Enlightenment; Negative Dialectics; Hegel: Three Studies; Minima Moralia; Problems of Moral Philosophy, and selected essays on art, modernism, and aesthetics. Winter 2003.

51704. The Philosophy of Visual Moderism Open to grad students. Much of the reading for this course will be work by Michael Fried. Other material to be discussed will be by Denis Diderot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Stanley Cavell. Persons expecting to take Fried's spring seminar are stongly encouraged to enroll in this seminar as well. See the announcement below. The Committee on Social Thought announces a Spring Quarter 2005 Graduate Seminar Thursdays, 3-5:50 Modern Photography and Other Themes Instructor: Michael Fried The guest professor for this seminar will be Michael Fried from Johns Hopkins University. The topics will be Fried's aesthetic theory, art criticism and art history, especially but not exclusively his views on photography. Co-taught with James Conant Winter 2005. Syllabus

43920. Action and Perception.Open only to grad students. The course will be devoted to exploring and assessing John McDowell's treatment of problems in the philosophy of perception (especially as set forth in his already classic work Mind and World) and the possibility of a parallel treatment of problems in the philosophy of action. In addition to some texts by McDowell and some selections from Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein, the seminar will focus mostly on writings on perception and/or action by Elizabeth Anscombe, Robert Brandom, Donald Davidson, Jennifer Hornsby, Brian O'Shaughnessy, John Searle, Michael Thompson, and Wilfrid Sellars. In the Winter Quarter, the course will be conducted by James Conant and Robert Pippin; in the Spring Quarter, the course will consist mostly of presentations of recent work on the philosophy of action by John McDowell and discussion of those presentations. Although the course meetings will be distributed over two quarters, it will count for only one quarter of credit. Students who wish to take the course for credit must attend the entire two-quarter sequence of the course Robert Pippin and James Conant . Winter 2007. Syllabus