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Keith Ansell-Pearson

Professor of Philosophy, Warwick University, 1993-2021.Honorary President of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, 2021-

sleep of reason

"Shakespeare puts the lunatic, the lover, and the poet together, as being 'of imagination all compact.' The problem is to keep the lover and the poet, without the lunatic," Bertrand Russell.

Recent Research

In recent years I have contributed to research in several areas of philosophical inquiry, including the philosophy of the emotions & passions and philosophy as a way of life. I have also carried out quite extensive research on the reception of Hellenistic philosophy - especially Epicurean teaching - in modern European thought, including figures such as Kant, Marx, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bergson, Foucault, and Deleuze. This research has resulted in a number of published articles and book chapters, as well as the edition of Jean-Marie Guyau's The Ethics of Epicurus (1878), translated by Federico Testa and published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2021. In 2018 a study of Nietzsche's middle writings entitled Nietzsche's Search for Philosophy was published by Bloomsbury Academic. I wrote the Afterword to a new translation and edition of Dawn published by Stanford University Press in 2011 and co-authored a close reading of this text with Rebecca Bamford, which was published by Wiley Blackwell in 2021. No adequate understanding of Nietzsche is possible without a deep acquaintance with his middle writings, and these texts contain some of the most enduring aspects of his philosophical practice.

Current Research

I am currently researching a book that carries the working title The Sanity and Serenity of Philosophy. The book takes the form of a series of engagements with the writings of Emerson, Nietzsche, and Santayana. In staging an encounter with these three figures I seek to clarify what philosophy is and reflect on what it might mean to be a sage of our times.

Recently published essays and forthcoming essays include:

  • 'Philosophy as a Way of Life in Thus Spoke Zarathustra,' in Ansell-Pearson & Loeb, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Critical Guide (Cambridge University Press, 2022).
  • 'How to make sense of Nietzsche as a Sceptic,' in Nietzsche on Making Sense of Nietzsche, ed. M. Béland, C. Denat, C. Piazzesi et P. Wotling (Editions et presses de l’université de Reims, 2021).
  • 'Friedrich Nietzsche: Cheerful Thinker and Writer. A Contribution to the Debate on Nietzsche’s Cheerfulness' (with Lorenzo Serini), Nietzsche-Studien (2022).
  • 'Nietzsche on the Task of the Poets in his Middle Writings,' in James I. Porter, Nietzsche between Philosophy and Literature (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
  • Nietzsche on the Passions and Self-Cultivation,' Continental Philosophy Review, 2022: CPR article
  • 'Schopenhauer on Stoicism as a Way of Life and on the Wisdom of Life,' in David Woods & Timothy Stoll, The Schopenhaurian Mind, Routledge (forthcoming).
  • 'Bergson and Philosophy as a Way of Life,' in Alexandre Lefebvre and Nils Schott (eds.), Interpreting Bergson (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
  • 'Bergson on the Emotions,' in Mark Sinclair (ed.), The Bergsonian Mind (Routledge, 2022).
  • 'Jean-Marie Guyau on Epicurus and the Conduct of Life' (with Federico Testa), Introduction to Guyau, The Ethics of Epicurus (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).
  • 'Guyau on Life and Morality' (with Federico Testa), in Mark Sinclair & Daniel Whistler (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern French Philosophy (forthcoming).

Selected Book Publications



  • Nietzsche and Modern German Thought (Routledge, 1991).
  • The Nietzsche Reader (Blackwell, 2006), with Duncan Large.
  • Bergson: Key Writings (Bloomsbury Press, 2002, second edition 2014), with John O Maoilerca.
  • The New Century: Bergsonism, Phenomenology, and Responses to Modern Science (Acumen/University of Chicago Press, 2010). Read review 
  • Jean-Marie Guyau, The Ethics of Epicurus, ed. with Federico Testa, trans. F. Testa (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Critical Guide, co-edited with Paul S. Loeb (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

Book Series

Co-editor of two book series: Critical Guides to Nietzsche (Edinburgh University Press) and Re-Inventing Philosophy as a Way of Life (Bloomsbury).

Critical Guides to NietzscheLink opens in a new window

Re-inventing Philosophy as a Way of LifeLink opens in a new window

    Book Epicurus