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Peter Fosl

Professor of Philosophy

Haupt Humanities 207
Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508-1797

Phone: (859) 233-8129
e-mail Peter Fosl


“Teaching is to some extent creating lovers. The word philosophy means love of wisdom. So there’s a kind of love of learning and inquiry and reflection that I try to ignite in students.”

Peter S. Fosl is a past winner of the Acorn Award as Kentucky’s outstanding professor. As a teacher, he strives to make sure students are involved in the class.

“I’ve found that teaching is not just about conveying a body of information, but it’s cultivating certain passions and sentiments in the students, so that students find the material interesting, important, and something they can invest their own passions in,” he says. “One thing that is delightful and very satisfying to me is to see that passion for learning take root in students.”

Fosl’s two-year Bingham-Young Professorship on Liberty, Security, and Justice brought prominent guest speakers who focused the Transylvania community on heightened issues of liberty, security, and justice in the era following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

“I’ve devoted a great deal of my professional energy to coming to terms with the history of western philosophy,” Fosl says. “I think understanding where we’ve been, how we got where we are, and perhaps what we’ve mistakenly left behind is essential to a strong education and a life of reflection.”

www.PeterFosl.us

Awards

  • David Hume Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, 2013–14
  • Acorn Award, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and the Governor’s Conference on Postsecondary Education Trusteeship for outstanding professor at a Kentucky public or independent college or university, 2006
  • Professor of the Year, Transylvania University, 2005
  • Monroe Moosnick Award for Service to Transylvania University, 2004
  • Bingham-Young Professorship for program on Liberty, Security, and Justice, Transylvania University, 2004–06
  • Bingham Award for Teaching Excellence, Transylvania University, 1998

Want to know more about Transylvania's philosophy or philosophy, politics, and economics program?

Academic history

Courses taught

Publications

Areas of specialization

Academic history

  • Ph.D., Emory University, 1992
  • M.A., Emory University, 1990
  • B.A., Bucknell University, 1985

Courses taught

  • Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
  • History of Early Modern Philosophy
  • The Ancient Polis
  • Environmental Ethics

Publications

  • Editor, The Big Lebowski and Philosophy: Keeping Your Mind Limber with Abiding Wisdom (Wiley, 2012)
  • Co-author with Julian Baggini, The Philosopher’s Toolkit, second edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
  • Co-editor with David E. Cooper, Philosophy: The Classic Readings (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)
  • Co-author with Julian Baggini, The Ethics Toolkit (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007)
  • Co-editor of two volumes of The Dictionary of Literary Biography, including British Philosophers: 1500-1799 (Gale, 2002) and British Philosophers: 1800-2000 (Gale, 2002)
  • Contributing editor to The Philosophers’ Magazine, 2002–08

Areas of specialization

  • Skepticism
  • History of philosophy
  • Early modern philosophy
  • David Hume
  • Philosophy of religion


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