Prof. Arnold I. Davidson
Arnold I. Davidson is the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, the Divinity School, and the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. European Editor of Critical Inquiry, he is also a director of the France-Chicago Center. His major fields of research and teaching are the history of contemporary European philosophy, the history of moral and political philosophy, the history of the human sciences, the history and philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of Judaism. He will be Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy and History at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem each spring for the academic years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.
He has been a visiting professor at many French institutions (including the Collège de France, the École Normale Supérieure, the University of Paris I and the University of Paris VII) and has also been Professor of the History of Political Philosophy at the University of Pisa and Professor of the Philosophy of Cultures at the University Ca'Foscari Venice, where he has been named an honorary member of the faculty. In addition, he has been the jazz critic for the Sunday cultural supplement, "Domenica", of the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
His current projects revolve around figures as diverse as Pierre Hadot, Joseph Soloveitchik, Michel Foucault and Primo Levi, and around themes that range from the history of spiritual exercises and practices of self-transformation to the relation between Talmudic and philosophical argumentation, and the aesthetics, ethics and politics of improvisation. He is also currently working on a critical edition of the manuscripts of Zalman Gradowski. Gradowski was assigned to the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz---he managed to write one of the most singular and powerful accounts of the Shoah, from both an historical and a literary point of view, composed during the time of the events themselves. His manuscripts were buried under the ashes of Birkenau and discovered after the war. This edition (under contract with the University of Chicago Press) will be the first complete critical edition in English. Davidson's main publications are in French, Italian and Spanish as well as in English.