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Rick Furtak

Associate Professor

My philosophical interests include the moral psychology of the emotions, the relations between philosophy and literature, and the tradition of existential thought (especially Søren Kierkegaard and his legacy).  See below for further information on some of my teaching areas and recent publications.

Link to CV

Read about the History of our Department

Representative Publications

Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2005). Paperback edition also published in 2005.

Rilke's 'Sonnets to Orpheus': A New English Version, With a Philosophical Introduction (University of Scranton Press, 2007).

Kierkegaard’s ‘Concluding Unscientific Postscript’: A Critical Guide, edited volume (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Paperback edition published in 2012.

Thoreau’s Importance for Philosophy, co-edited with Jonathan Ellsworth and James D. Reid (Fordham University Press, 2012).

Knowing Emotions: Truthfulness and Recognition in Affective Experience (Oxford University Press, 2018).

“Henry David Thoreau,” in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (online resource, updated most recently in 2017).

“Emotional Knowing: The Role of Embodied Feelings in Affective Cognition,” Philosophia 46 (2018): 575-587.

“The Heart of Knowledge: Kierkegaard on Passion and Understanding,” in Kierkegaard’s God and the Good Life, ed. by Stephen Minister, J. Aaron Simmons, & Michael Strawser (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2017), 114-129.

“Examining (and Displaying) Bias in Interdisciplinary Research on Emotions,” Kodikas/Code 39 (2016): 19-27.

“Introduction to Kierkegaard,” in The Nineteenth Century Philosophy Reader, ed. by Benjamin D. Crowe (London & New York: Routledge, 2016), 282-292.

"The Kierkegaardian Ideal of 'Essential Knowing' and the Scandal of Modern Philosophy," in Critical Guide to Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript, edited by Rick Anthony Furtak (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 87-110.

"Emotion, the Bodily, and the Cognitive," Philosophical Explorations 13 (2010): 51-64.

"Love and the Discipline of Philosophy," in Ethics, Love, and Faith in Kierkegaard, edited by Edward F. Mooney (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008), pp. 59-71.

"Skepticism and Perceptual Faith," Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society 43 (2007): 542-561.

" 'I Used to Care, but Things Have Changed': Passion and the Absurd in Dylan's Later Work," in Bob Dylan and Philosophy, ed. by Peter Vernezze (Chicago: Open Court, 2006), pp. 16-28.

"The Virtues of Authenticity," International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2003): 423-438.

"Thoreau's Emotional Stoicism," Journal of Speculative Philosophy 17 (2003): 122-132.

"Poetics of Sentimentality," Philosophy and Literature 26 (2002): 207-215.

Regular Classes

PH 101 Greek Philosophy

PH 141 Philosophy and Literature

PH 201 History of Modern European Philosophy

PH 210 Ancient to Early Modern Western Philosophy

PH 260 Existential Philosophy

PH 261 Philosophy of Mind

PH 361 Philosophy of Emotions


    University of Chicago, 1997-2003.  PhD in Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, 2003.

    Boston University, 1992-1996.  BA in Philosophy and English, summa cum laude, 1996.