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The Australian National University

Knox Peden

Position: ARC DECRA Research Fellow

Phone: 02 6125 4016
Location: HC Coombs Building, Room 2221


PhD (UC Berkeley, 2009)

MA (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2001)

BA (University of Pennsylvania, 2000)


Dr Knox Peden earned his PhD in European intellectual history from UC Berkeley in 2009 and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland between 2011 and 2014. Since joining the School of Philosophy as an ARC DECRA Research Fellow in 2014, he has extended his research beyond intellectual history into history of philosophy and philosophy of history. His current work explores debates over Spinoza’s ideas about truth and their pertinence to questions of political action. He is also involved in a multi-faceted, long-term project concerned with the politics of historical interpretation. This project calls upon a variety of philosophical traditions and methodologies, ranging from Donald Davidson’s project for a truth conditional semantics to Jacques Rancière’s inquiries into the nature of aesthetic judgment.

Research Interests

Spinoza, History of Philosophy, Modern French and German Philosophy, historical methodology, psychoanalysis, theories of ideology.



Spinoza Contra Phenomenology: French Rationalism from Cavaillès to Deleuze. Cultural Memory in the Present (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014).           

Concept and Form, Volume 1: Key Texts from the Cahiers pour l'Analyse, co-edited with Peter Hallward (London: Verso, 2012).

Concept and Form, Volume 2: Interviews and Essays on the Cahiers pour l'Analyse, co-edited with Peter Hallward (London: Verso, 2012). See also the companion website.

Articles and Book Chapters:

'Response to my Critics: On Seeming Right', Journal of Politics, Religion, and Ideology 17:1 (2016)

'Hayden White’s Metahistory and the Irony of the Archive', Journal of the Philosophy of History 9:2 (2015)

'The Aesthetics of Scale', co-authored with Ian Hesketh, Journal of the Philosophy of History 9:2 (2015)

'What Is to Be Done? (On The History Manifesto)', Los Angeles Review of Books, February 2015

'Untimely Hesitations', Modern Intellectual History (forthcoming)

'Alkaline Recapitulation: Haeckel’s Hypothesis and the Afterlife of a Concept'. Republics of Letters.

'The Abstractions of History' (On Thomas Piketty), Sydney Review of Books, July 2014.

'The Burden of Intelligibility', History of European Ideas 40:1 (Winter 2014).

'Anti-Revolutionary Republicanism: Claude Lefort's Machiavelli', Radical Philosophy, No. 182 (Nov/Dec 2013).

'The Fate of the Concept,' in Hallward and Peden (eds), Concept and Form, Volume 2: Interviews and Essays on the Cahiers pour l’Analyse (London: Verso, 2012).

'Foucault and the Subject of Method', Hallward and Peden (eds), Concept and Form, Volume 2: Interviews and Essays on the Cahiers pour l’Analyse (London: Verso, 2012).

'Neither/Nor', History and Theory, 51:3 (May 2012).

'Descartes, Spinoza, and the Impasse of French Philosophy: Ferdinand Alquié versus Martial Gueroult', Modern Intellectual History, 8:2 (2011).

'The Better Half', a review essay on Benjamin Noys’s The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory in Radical Philosophy, no. 168 (July/August 2011).

'The Rights of the Imaginary: On Jean-Claude Milner', S: Journal of the Jan Van Eyck Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique, 3 (2010).

Review essay on Ray Brassier’s Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction, in Continental Philosophy Review, 42: 4 (January 2010).

'The Maoist March through the Institutions', a review essay on Julian Bourg’s From Revolution to Ethics: May ‘68 and Contemporary French Thought in Radical Philosophy, no. 149 (May/June 2008).

'Analogical Nostalgias', a review essay on Antonio Negri’s The Political Descartes in Radical Philosophy, no. 145 (September/October 2007).

'Gilles Deleuze: From Hume to Spinoza (an attempt to make good on a Popkin request),' in Jeremy Popkin (ed), The Legacies of Richard Popkin (Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer, 2008).

'Breathing in the Eternal: Canetti and Spinoza', in William C. Donahue and Julian Preece (eds), The Worlds of Elias Canetti: Centenary Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007).


A podcast recorded in December 2015 in which Knox Peden discussed his work can be found here.

A video of his contribution to the Colloquium Spinoza France Etats-Unis, held in Paris, June 2016, is available here.


UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award (2014)


Australian Association of Philosophy

Australian Historical Associations

American Philosophical Association

American Historical Association

Projects and Grants

ARC DECRA, 2014-2017 for project: Secularism and Philosophy: The Challenge of Spinozism


PHIL1007, Philosophy, Society, Humanity

PHIL 2119, Foundations of Modern Philosophy

I welcome Honours and HDR students working on any subject in the history of modern European philosophy.

Updated: 4 July 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher