I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bard College and an affiliated member of Bard's Classical Studies program. I also direct the Thinking Animals Initiative, an interdisciplinary community of students and faculty interested in animals and human-animal relationships.

My research and teaching interests center on the concepts of life, agency, character, community, virtue and happiness. I pursue these concepts through a range of disciplines, traditions and conversations, including: ancient Greek ethical and political thought; ancient discourses around life-writing and ways of life; medieval and early modern discussions of the soul, personal identity and free will; the logic and metaphysics of substance, kinds and identity; contemporary ethical and political philosophy in both the "analytic" and "Continental" traditions; philosophical (auto)biography and the evolution of philosophical traditions, institutions and practices; critical theories of sexism, racism, capitalism and other forms of social injustice; topics in the philosophy of action and mind, including intention, practical reason, emotion and collective action; connections between these philosophical issues and related topics in social and developmental psychology; philosophical and literary treatments of animals and human-animal relationships; topics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art such as realism and genre; and ethical aspects of fiction, biography and film.

My work has been published in a number of major philosophical journals, including Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy and Literature, Revue de Metaphysique et de MoraleReview of Philosophy and Psychology, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, and Film and Philosophy. I am also a regular contributor to Revenant Quarterly, an online arts and culture magazine based in New York City:

I have presented my research at many universities in the U.S. and abroad, including Yale University, Temple University, Vassar College, Dartmouth College, Auburn University, Fordham University, the New School for Social Research, Universidad Carlos III (Madrid), Universidade de Lisboa, Université de Picardie (Amiens), Institut d'Histoire des Sciences (Paris), Saint-Petersburg State University, Universität Potsdam, and Nihon University (Tokyo). 

I regularly teach the following courses at Bard: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy, History of Philosophy I and II, Political Theory, and Medieval Philosophy. In recent years I have taught advanced seminars on virtue ethics, Plato, Aristotle, and animal ethics. I also teach in Bard's First-Year Seminar.

You can view my complete CV here.  

Recent news:

-I will present my paper "Aristotle on the Archai of Practical Thought" at the Upstate Ancient Philosophers Mini-Conference, Cornell University, May 5, 2018 (

-Character will be released in paperback in October 2018!

-My article "Aristotle on Virtue, Happiness and External Goods" has now appeared in Ancient Philosophy

-My essay "Other Minds and Unknown Women: The Case of Gaslight" is forthcoming in Stanley Cavell on Aesthetic Understanding, edited by Garry Hagberg

-My article "Virtue Ethics and Literary Imagination" is forthcoming in Philosophy and Literature

-I will present my paper "Aristotle on the Voluntariness of Vice" at the 2019 Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in New York City

-Diogenes Laertius: Lives of the Eminent Philosophers will be released by Oxford University Press on May 14, 2018.

-The Norton Anthology of Western Philosophy, After KantThe Analytic Tradition is now available: buy it from Amazon. 

-I will present my paper "Aristotle on the Archai of Practical Thought" at the annual meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, Fordham University, Oct. 20-22, 2017.

-You can listen to James Conant and I discuss the analytic tradition on the Elucidations podcast. 

-The Norton Anthology of Western Philosophy: After Kant has been released!

-My monograph Character (Bloomsbury) was released on April 20, 2017

-I will present my paper "Aristotle on the Voluntariness of Vice" at the University of Texas-Austin workshop in ancient philosophy, Feb. 24-25, 2017

-My article "Anscombe on Practical Truth" appears in the  Klesis:

-I gave a talk on Stanley Cavell and Hollywood melodrama, entitled "Pursuits of Unhappiness", at the New School for Social Research on December 14, 2016.

-My essay "Pottersville, U.S.A" was published in vol.2, issue 3/4 of Revenant Quarterly:

-I presented my paper "Aristotle on the Voluntariness of Vice" at the annual meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy in New York City, October 28-30, 2016

-My article "Aristotle on Vicious Choice" has now appeared in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy

-My article "Platonic Ethical Skepticism" is forthcoming in The International Journal for the Study of Skepticism

Contact me:

Philosophy Program
Bard College
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
(845) 758-7280

Jay Elliott,
Dec 18, 2016, 11:36 AM