Steven Nadler

Steven M. Nadler (born 11 November 1958) is an American philosopher specializing in early modern philosophy. He is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy and Evjue-Bascom Professor in Humanities, and (from 2004–2009) Max and Frieda Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[1]

Education and careerEdit

Nadler received his PhD from Columbia University in 1986. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison since 1988, and has been a visiting professor of philosophy at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.[2]

In November, 2006, he presented at the Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival symposium.[3] In 2007, he held the Spinoza Chair at the University of Amsterdam.[4]

From 2010–2015 he was the editor of the Journal of the History of Philosophy.[5]

In April 2015, he was a Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.[6] Also in 2015 he was invited to sit on an advisory board at a symposium held by the Amsterdam Talmud Torah congregation to discuss the lifting of the cherem on 17th-century Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza, which had been imposed in 1656 on account of his views on the God of the Torah, which were condemned as heretical.[7]


In 2020 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[8]

Philosophical workEdit

His research focus has been devoted to the study of philosophy in the seventeenth century, including Descartes and Cartesian philosophy, Spinoza, and Leibniz. His research also includes antecedents of aspects of early modern thought in medieval Latin philosophy and (especially with respect to Spinoza) medieval Jewish philosophy.[1]

Selected publicationsEdit


  • Arnauld and the Cartesian Philosophy of Ideas. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 1989. ISBN 9780719025099.
  • Malebranche and Ideas. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1992. ISBN 9780195077247.
  • Editor, Causation in Early Modern Philosophy: Cartesianism, Occasionalism, and Preestablished Harmony. University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press. 1993. ISBN 9780271026572.
  • Editor, Causation in Early Modern Philosophy (Penn State Press, 1993) ISBN 0-271-02657-X
  • Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge, 1999) - Winner of the 2000 Koret Jewish Book Award ISBN 0-521-00293-1
  • Editor, The Cambridge Companion to Malebranche (Cambridge University Press, 2000) ISBN 0-521-62729-X
  • Editor, A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy (Blackwell, 2002) ISBN 0-631-21800-9
  • Spinoza's Heresy: Immortality and the Jewish Mind (Oxford, 2002) ISBN 0-19-924707-2
  • Rembrandt's Jews (Chicago, 2003) - Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2004.[9] ISBN 0-226-56737-0
  • Co-editor (with Manfred Walther and Elhanan Yakira), Spinoza and Jewish Identity (Konigshausen & Neumann, 2003) ISBN 3-8260-2715-9
  • Co-editor (with Daniel Garber), Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2006) ISBN 0-19-920394-6
  • Spinoza's Ethics: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2006) ISBN 0-521-83620-4
  • The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008; paperback, Princeton University Press, 2010)
  • 'A Book Forged in Hell': Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise (Princeton University Press, 2011)
  • The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes (Princeton University Press, 2013)
  • Editor, Spinoza and Medieval Jewish Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
  • Editor and Translator of Géraud de Cordemoy, Six Discourses on the Distinction Between the Body and the Soul and Discourses on Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • With Ben Nadler, illustrator: Heretics! The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy (Princeton University Press, 2017)
  • Menasseh ben Israel: Rabbi of Amsterdam (Yale University Press, 2018) Jewish Lives Series

Book reviewsEdit

Year Review article Work(s) reviewed
2018 Nadler, Steven (August 3, 2018). "Flesh-and-blood Descartes". The Times Literary Supplement. 6018. Cook, Harold John (2018). The Young Descartes: Nobility, Rumor, and War. University of Chicago Press.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Steven Nadler". Center for Early Modern Studies. 217. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  2. ^ Nadler, Steven. "Teaching".
  3. ^ "Edge: Beyond Belief". Edge. 2006-10-11. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  4. ^ Amsterdam, Universiteit van (2020-10-01). "Spinoza Chair Department of Philosophy". University of Amsterdam. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  5. ^ "JHP - Editorial Information". Retrieved 2020-02-29.
  6. ^ Naaman-Zauderer, Noa, ed. (2019). Freedom, Action, and Motivation in Spinoza's "Ethics". Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-000-73246-7.
  7. ^ Rutledge, David (3 October 2020). "The Jewish philosopher Spinoza was one of the great Enlightenment thinkers. So why was he 'cancelled'?". ABC News. ABC Radio National (The Philosopher's Zone). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Pulitzer website Archived March 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit