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Keith Ansell-Pearson

Profile

I joined Warwick's Philosophy Department in 1993 and have held a Personal Chair since 1998. I did my graduate studies at the University of Sussex. I have presented lectures around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. In 2013/14 I was Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Humanities at Rice University.

Research Interests

I specialise in modern European philosophy. I am the author of monographs on Bergson, Deleuze, and Nietzsche, co-editor of Bergson: Key Writings (Bloomsbury Press) and co-editor of The Nietzsche Reader (Blackwell). I am also the co-editor of two new book series: Philosophy as a Way of Life, with Matthew Sharpe & Michael Ure (Bloomsbury Press), and The Edinburgh Critical Guides to Nietzsche, with Daniel Conway (Edinburgh University Press). I am a member of GIRN (Groupe International de Recherches sur Nietzsche). I serve on the editorial boards of Cosmos and History, Deleuze Studies, Journal of Nietzsche Studies, and Nietzsche-Studien.

Recent and Current Research

Bergson Studies

In 2018 Bloomsbury Press published my book, Bergson. Thinking Beyond the Human Condition. As Pierre Hadot notes, Bergson's philosophy offers the promise of a new way of seeing the world and transforming perception. The task is to think beyond our habitual, utilitarian perception, which is necessary for life. Hadot calls it the paradox and scandal of ‘the human condition’ that we live in the world without properly perceiving it. In eight chapters I explore Bergson's major preoccupations - such as the nature of time and memory, his reformation of philosophy and conception of creative evolution, his approach to ethics, his thinking on religion, and his conception of the tasks of education and the art of life - and seek to illuminate just what it means to think beyond the human condition. This book has received an Outstanding Academic Titles Award (OAT) 2018 by CHOICE.

I have recently completed an essay on 'Bergson and Philosophy as a Way of Life', to be published in a new volume of essays on Bergson by Cambridge University Press, Interpreting Bergson: Critical Essays, and edited by Alexandre Lefebvre and Nils Schott. I am now researching an essay on Bergson and intuition for The Bergsonian Mind (Routledge), and edited by Yaron Wolf and Mark Sinclair.

I have been appointed the co-general editor of a publication venture by Bloomsbury Press. This is the translation into English of the recently published series by PUF (2016-18) of three public lecture courses by Bergson: The History of the Idea of Time (1902/3), The History of Theories of Memory (1903/4), The Evolution of the Problem of Freedom (1904/5). I am working on this project with Donald A. Landes.

Deleuze Studies

My recent publications on Deleuze include essays on Deleuze and new materialism, on Deleuze's affirmative naturalism, and on Deleuze's thinking beyond the human condition in relation to his appreciation of Bergson.

Nietzsche Studies

In recent years I have sought to make a contribution to Nietzsche studies with a focus on his middle writings. I have written the Afterword to the new edition and translation of Dawn published by Stanford University Press in 2011 and as part of The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche. I am now completing a study of the text, co-authored with Rebecca Bamford, and to be published by Wiley-Blackwell.

In 2018 Bloomsbury Press published my book, Nietzsche's Search for Philosophy: On the Middle Writings. Topics covered include: Nietzsche's conception of philosophy and the philosopher; Nietzsche on fanaticism; Nietzsche on the passion of knowledge; Nietzsche's philosophy of modesty; the meaning of Nietzsche's philosophical cheerfulness; and his conceptions of happiness and joy. At this time, I hold, Nietzsche is in search of his own Epicurean-inspired garden philosophy, which he renders as 'heroic-idyllic philosophizing': it is a condition in which, as Nietzsche memorably puts it, we enduringly feel that we exist in the world and the world exists in us.

Jean-Marie Guyau

I have also published essays on the neglected nineteenth century French philosopher, Jean-Marie Guyau (1854-1888). With Federico Testa I am editing the English edition and translation of Guyau’s text, The Ethics of Epicurus (1878). With him I am also working on an essay on Guyau and ethics for the Oxford Handbook of Modern French Philosophy (edited by Mark Sinclair and Daniel Whistler).

Selected Book Publications

  • Nietzsche contra Rousseau (Cambridge University Press, 1991).
  • (ed. with Duncan Large), The Nietzsche Reader (Blackwell, 2006).
  • Bergson and the Time of Life (Routledge, 2002). Read Review
  • (ed. with John O Maoilerca) Bergson: Key Writings (Bloomsbury Press, 2002, second edition 2014).
  • (ed.) The New Century: Bergsonism, Phenomenology, and Responses to Modern Science (Acumen/University of Chicago Press, 2010). Read review
  • Bergson: Thinking Beyond the Human Condition (Bloomsbury Press, 2018). Read review | Read review
  • Nietzsche's Search for Philosophy: On the Middle Writings (Bloomsbury Press, 2018).

Selected Essays

  • "Nietzsche on Transforming the Passions into Joys: On the Middle Writings and Thus Spoke Zarathustra", Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra. Nietzsche et la philosophie de l'affirmation, sous la direction de C. Bertot, J. Leclercq et P. Wotling,
    (Presses Universitaires de Louvain, forthcoming 2019).
  • "'Holding on to the Sublime': On Nietzsche's Early 'Unfashionable' Project", in K. Gemes & J. Richardson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to Nietzsche (Oxford UP, 2013), pp. 226-51.
  • "Heroic-Idyllic: Nietzsche on Philosophy and the Philosopher in Human, all too Human", in Celine Denat & Patrick Wotling (eds.), Human, trop humain, et les debuts de la reforme de la philosophie (Éditions et presses de l'université de Reims, 2017), pp. 219-243.
  • "Nietzsche and Epicurus", in Mark Conard (ed.), Nietzsche and the Philosophers (Routledge, 2017), pp. 121-145.
  • "Nietzsche on Enlightenment and Fanaticism: On the Middle Writings", in Paul Katsafanas (ed.), The Nietzschean Mind (Routledge, 2018), pp. 11-27.
  • "Questions of the Subject in Nietzsche and Foucault: A Reading of 'Dawn'", in J. Constancio (ed.), Nietzsche and Subjectivity (Walter de Gruyter, 2015), pp. 411-435.
  • "The Need for Small Doses: Nietzsche, Fanaticism, and Epicureanism", in Celine Denat and Patrick Wotling (eds.), Aurore : un tournant dans l'oeuvre de Nietzsche (Éditions et presses de l'université de Reims, 2015), pp. 193-225.
  • "Care of Self in Dawn: On Nietzsche's Resistance to Bio-political Modernity", in Manuel Knoll & Barry Stocker (eds.), Nietzsche as a Political Thinker (Walter de Gruyter, 2014), pp. 269-86.
  • "Bergson and Philosophy as a Way of Life", in Alexandre Lefebvre (ed.), Interpreting Bergson: Critical Essays (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2019).
  • "Bergson on Memory"& "Deleuze on the Overcoming of Memory", both in S. Radstone & B. Schwarz (eds.), Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates, Fordham University Press (2010), pp. 61-77 & pp. 161-79.
  • "Bergson", in Dean Moyar (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Nineteenth Century Philosophy (Routledge, 2010), pp. 403-33.
  • "Responses to Evolution: Spencer's Evolutionism, Bergsonism, and Contemporary Biology" (with Paul-Antoine Miquel & Michael Vaughan), The History of Continental Philosophy, volume three (Acumen/University of Chicago Press, 2010), pp. 347-79.
  • "Morality and the Philosophy of Life in Guyau and Bergson", Continental Philosophy Review, 47: 1, 2014, pp. 59-85.
  • "Bergson and Ethics", in Hugh LaFollette, The International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), pp. 513-520.
  • "Bergson and Politics", The Encyclopedia of Political Thought (Wiley-Blackwell 2014).
  • "Henri-Louis Bergson (1859-1941)", The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (on-line version, published 2017).
  • "Bergson, Education, and the Art of Life", in A. J. Bartlett & Justin Clemens (eds.), What is Education?, (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), pp. 115-136.
  • "Bergson's Reformation of Philosophy in Creative Evolution, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, XXIX: 2 (2016), pp. 84-105; a modified version of this essay is also published as 'Bergson's Reformation of Philosophy' in Dissertatio Volume Supplementar 4: Revista de Filosofia, Dossie Bergson 2016 (Brazil), pp. 51-62.
  • "Beyond the Human Condition: Bergson and Deleuze", in Jon Roffe (ed.), Deleuze and the Non/Human (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 81-102.

  • "Affirmative Naturalism: Deleuze and Epicureanism", Cosmos and History,10: 2, 2014, pp. 121-137.

  • "Deleuze and New Materialism: Naturalism, Normativity, and Ethics", in Sarah Ellenzweig and John Zammito (eds.), The New Politics of Materialism (Routledge, 2017), pp. 88-109.

  • "Naturalism in the Continental Tradition" (with John Protevi), in Kelly James Clark (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), pp.34-49.

  • "Beyond Obligation? Jean-Marie Guyau on Life and Ethics", in Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, Volume 77, October 2015, pp 207-225.

  • (with Michael Ure), "Contra Kant: Experimental Ethics in Nietzsche and Guyau", in T. Bailey & J. Constancio (eds.), Nietzsche and Kantian Ethics (Bloomsbury Press, 2018), pp. 257-291.
  • "Contra Kant and Beyond Nietzsche: Naturalizing Ethics in the Work of Jean-Marie Guyau", The Hegel Bulletin (Cambridge University Press), 35:2, 2014, pp. 185-203.

KAP

Professor of Philosophy
Office Hours:

Currently by appointment

MA Modules:

Nietzsche

UG Modules (open to MA students in 2018/19):

Philosophy and the Good Life


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