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Dennis J. Schmidt

Dennis J. Schmidt

Liberal Arts Professor of Philosophy, comparative Literature, and German

209 Sparks
Office Phone: (814) 865-1919


  1. Ph.D., Boston College, 1982
  2. B.A., Bucknell University, 1974


Rather than describe my work as inter- or multi-disciplinary, I would prefer to describe it as not respecting disciplinary differences.  By that I mean that I find the questions that animate me to have been developed and explored in various literatures, theoretical approaches, and art forms.  To that end, I find myself writing about painting (Twombly and Klee most recently), music, poetry (above all, Celan, Rilke, Trakl, and Hölderlin), and tragedy (Sophocles and Aeschylus).  Likewise, my theoretical concerns span a range of figures and traditions (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Heidegger, Gadamer, Derrida, and others).  Finally, I work mostly in four languages (Ancient Greek, German, French, and English).


Idiome der Wahrheit, Klostermann Verlag, 2014


Between Word and Image, Indiana University Press, 2013


Edited and revised translation, with a new foreword, of Heidegger's Being and Time, SUNY Press, 2010.


The Difficulties of Ethical Life, Fordham UP, 2008. Co-edited with Shannon Sullivan


Lyrical and Ethical Subjects: Essays on the Periphery of the Word, Freedom, and History (SUNY Press, 2005)


On Germans and Other Greeks: Tragedy and Ethical Life (Indiana University Press, 2001)


Hermeneutishce Wege: Hans-Georg Gadamer zum Hundertsten, J.C.B. Mohr Verlag, 2000. Co-edited with Günter Figal


The Ubiquity of the Finite: Hegel, Heidegger and the Entitlements of Philosophy, MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusettsm, 1988


Natural Law and Human Dignity, a translation of Naturrecht und menschliche Würde by Ernst Bloch, MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1986



Areas of specialization

  • Post-Kantian Philosophy
  • Hermeneutic theory
  • Ancient Greek Philosophy and Literature
  • Aesthetic theory
  • Contemporary literary theory and criticism
  • Translation theory and practice