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Keith Ansell-Pearson

I joined Warwick's Philosophy Department in 1993 and have held a Personal Chair since 1998.

Recent Research

In recent years I have sought to make a contribution to the appreciation of Nietzsche with a focus on his middle writings. These are writings that Nietzsche considered his most congenial, that Foucault aptly describes as 'strange, witty, and graceful', and that according to Havelock Ellis represent the maturity of his genius. In 2018 Bloomsbury Press published Nietzsche's Search for Philosophy: On the Middle Writings. A study of Nietzsche's text Dawn (Philosophy, Ethics, and the Passion of Knowledge), co-authored with Rebecca Bamford, has recently been published by Wiley-Blackwell. Though a groundbreaking text, Dawn remains the least studied text in Nietzsche’s corpus, but is experiencing a resurgence of interest as trends in contemporary research have focused on Nietzsche’s naturalism and his futurism. Our study articulates Dawn’s nascent contributions to the signature doctrines of Nietzsche’s mature scholarship, and examines the continuing relevance of his critique of fear, superstition, and moral and religious fanaticism. We highlight Dawn’s social-psychological insights and its critical reflections on traditional morality, making connections with recent scholarship on skepticism, ethical naturalism and experimentalism, and the art of living well.

In 2018 Bloomsbury Press published Bergson. Thinking Beyond the Human Condition, which received an Outstanding Academic Titles Award by CHOICE. The book seeks to illuminate Bergson's view that philosophy is the discipline of thinking that makes the effort to think beyond the human condition so as to enrich our sense of self and extend our perception of the universe. The book features chapters on Bergson on time and freedom, on memory, on his reformation of philosophy, on religion, on ethics, and on education and the art of life.

Current Research

With Federico Testa I have prepared an English edition and translation of Jean-Marie Guyau’s text, The Ethics of Epicurus (1878). Bloomsbury Academic will publish the text in 2021.

With Paul S. Loeb I am co-editing a new volume of essays on Thus Spoke Zarathustra for Cambridge University Press to be published in their 'Critical Guides' series. The volume will showcase new research.

I am currently researching a book on the passion of thinking that brings three thinkers and writers into rapport with one another: Emerson, Thoreau, and Nietzsche. Topics covered include: conceptions of the philosopher and the philosophical virtues; uses and limits of scepticism; emotions and moods; love and friendship; solitude and society; time and memory; education and the art of life; the relation each thinker has to Stoicism and Cynicism; encounters with nature and appeals to the sublime; poetry and the role of the poet; and the attraction to the Aurora. I draw inspiration from Lewis Mumford's claim about Emerson, which could equally apply to the reception of Nietzsche: 'he is denied a high place in philosophy largely because the content is so rich that it cannot be recognised, in the attenuated twilight of academic groves, as philosophy'.

Links to Book Series

Re-inventing Philosophy as a Way of Life Book Series

The Edinburgh Critical Guides to Nietzsche, Series Editors Keith Ansell-Pearson & Daniel Conway

Selected Book Publications

Authored

  • Nietzsche contra Rousseau (Cambridge University Press, 1991).
  • Nietzsche's Search for Philosophy: On the Middle Writings (Bloomsbury Press, 2018). Read Review | Read Review | Read Review | Read Review | Read Review
  • Nietzsche's Dawn: Philosophy, Ethics, and the Passion of Knowledge (co-authored with Rebecca Bamford) (Wiley Blackwell, 2020).
  • Bergson: Thinking Beyond the Human Condition (Bloomsbury Press, 2018). Read review | Read review | Read Review

Edited

  • Nietzsche and Modern German Thought (Routledge, 1991).
  • (with Duncan Large), The Nietzsche Reader (Blackwell, 2006).
  • (with John O Maoilerca) Bergson: Key Writings (Bloomsbury Press, 2002, second edition 2014).
  • The New Century: Bergsonism, Phenomenology, and Responses to Modern Science (Acumen/University of Chicago Press, 2010). Read review

    KAP

    Professor of Philosophy
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    "The sanity of society is a balance of a thousand insanities', Emerson.

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