I joined the Philosophy Department at Warwick in 1993 and have held a Personal Chair since 1998. I previously taught at the University of Malawi in southern Africa and Queen Mary College of the University of London. I did my graduate work at the University of Sussex. Since my graduation I have published widely and with a concentration on the work of figures such as Nietzsche, Bergson, and Deleuze. I have presented lectures around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the USA. In 2013/14 I have been a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Center at Rice University.
I serve on the editorial boards of, amongst others, Cosmos and History, Deleuze Studies, Journal of Nietzsche Studies, and Nietzsche-Studien. I am an editorial board member of the new book series 'Nietzsche Now', edited by Stefan Sorgner and Yunus Tuncel, and to be published by Cambridge Scholars Press, and on the scientific committee of 'Nietzscheana' edited by Giuliano Campioni and Maria Cristina Fornari (ETS, Pisa). With Christian Emden I have recently guest edited a special issue of the Journal of Nietzsche Studies on Nietzsche and the ethics of naturalism (volume 47: 1, Spring 2016). I am now guest editing a special issue of The Agonist on Nietzsche and Epicureanism for publication in spring 2017. My own book series, The Edinburgh Guides to Nietzsche, co-edited with Daniel W. Conway, will launch with Edinburgh University Press in 2018.
Research Specialisms and Supervision
My research interests centre on ancient philosophy (especially the Hellenistics); philosophy as a way of life and its modern re-invention; modern German philosophy (especially Schopenhauer and Nietzsche); and modern French philosophy (especially Jean-Marie Guyau, Bergson, Deleuze, and Foucault). I welcome inquiries about PhD supervision focused on these interests.
Recent research includes:
- essays on Nietzsche and the sublime; Nietzsche and Epicurus; Nietzsche's reception of Guyau; Nietzsche and Foucault on questions of the subject and the care of the self; and the project of Human, all too Human. I have devoted research to illuminating the nature of one of Nietzsche's most neglected texts, Dawn, from 1881, including writing the Afterword to a new translation and edition of the text published by Stanford University Press.
- essays on Bergson on ethics and the philosophy of life; on his conception of education and the art of life; on his conception of philosophy as the discipline that 'thinks beyond the human condition'; on his reformation of philosophy in Creative Evolution; and on his early appreciation of Lucretius' naturalism as a melancholy science. I am the co-editor of Bergson: Key Writings (Bloomsbury Press, 2nd edition 2014). I am the author of the entries on Bergson and Guyau in The International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley Blackwell) and of the new entry on Bergson in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- essays on Deleuze's reading of Epicureanism; on his new materialism and relation to the so-called 'new materialism'; and on his relation to Bergson. With John Protevi I am editing a new research volume on Deleuze covering all aspects of his oeuvre.
I am currently co-editing two new book series, "The Edinburgh Guides to Nietzsche" and "Philosophy as a Way of Life". I am also completing a new co-authored book on Nietzsche's text Dawn and researching a new book.
- Epicureanism and Modern European Philosophy. Although rarely noted in the literature significant receptions of Epicurean philosophy take place in nineteenth century and twentieth century European thought. It is the name of Epicurus that once again becomes an issue for philosophy and its reformation. For Marx, writing in the 1840s, and in defiance of Hegel’s negative assessment, Epicurus is the greatest representative of the Greek enlightenment, whilst for Jean-Marie Guyau, writing in the 1870s, Epicurus is the original free spirit. For Nietzsche, Epicurus is the inventor of the heroic-idyllic mode of philosophizing and is to be revered as a thinker in whom wisdom assumes bodily form: there is a need to hear the voice of reason and philosophy and to actually see embodied wisdom. For Bergson Epicureanism provides a melancholy science; for Deleuze it provides a 'joyful' science in the synthesis of science and pleasure. I now propose to collate and extend the research I have done to date on the reception of Epicureanism in modern European philosophy with a book-length examination. The research I am carrying out builds on the following recent publications: "Heroic-Idyllic Philosophizing: Nietzsche and the Epicurean Tradition", in A. O' Hear (ed.), Philosophical Traditions (Cambridge University Press, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 74, 2014), pp. 237-263; "Beyond Selfishness: Epicurean Ethics in Nietzsche and Guyau", in R. Bamford (ed.), Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Free Spirit (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2015), pp. 49-69; "When Wisdom Assumes Bodily Form: Marx and Nietzsche on Epicurus", in Manuel Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on Consciousness and the Embodied Mind (Walter de Gruyter, forthcoming 2016); "Affirmative Naturalism: Deleuze and Epicureanism", Cosmos and History,10: 2, 2014, pp. 121-137; "A Melancholy Science? On Bergson's Appreciation of Lucretius", Pli, 27, 2015, pp. 83-101.
- The Re-invention of Philosophy as a Way of Life. With colleagues in Australia (Michael Ure at Monash and Matthew Sharpe at Deakin) I am working on a three-year long 'Discovery Project' funded by the Australian Research Council. Many ancient philosophical schools thought the goal of philosophy was to enable individuals to achieve happiness or flourishing. This research examines modern reinventions of this ancient philosophical ideal. It asks whether these reinventions give us sound reasons for believing that contemporary philosophy can and ought to facilitate well-being, and it acknowledges the need to undertake a fresh inquiry into what well-being means for us today. The research has resulted in a book series with Bloomsbury Press that will feature a number of publications, including translations of neglected texts in post-Kantian European philosophy, scholarly monographs, and a Companion volume. Thinkers to be examined include Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Emerson, Guyau, Bergson, Camus, Deleuze, Foucault, and Hadot.
Keith Ansell-Pearson interviewed by Joe Gelonesi, The Philosopher’s Zone, ABC 2015
An Interview with the BBC on Nietzsche, July 1999
A Lecture on the Ethics of Self-Cultivation, University of Warwick, September 2014
An interview with Simon Critchley about his book, 'Bowie': Bowie: Everything and Nothing
Keith Ansell-Pearson and Michael Holroyd discuss Shaw’s ‘Man and Superman’ at the National Theatre, 2015.
“Philosophy as a form of Non- Religious Grace”: Keith Ansell-Pearson interviewed by Dr Andrius Bielskis, 2015.
Nietzsche contra Rousseau (Cambridge University Press, 1991/1994).
(ed.) Nietzsche and Modern German Thought (Routledge 1991).
Germinal Life: The Difference and Repetition of Deleuze (Routledge, 1999).
Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual: Bergson and the Time of Life (Routledge, 2002). Read Review
(ed. with John Mullarkey), Bergson: Key Writings (Bloomsbury Press, 2002, second edition 2014).
(ed.) The New Century: Bergsonism, Phenomenology, and Responses to Modern Science (Acumen/University of Chicago Press, 2010). Read review
Henri Bergson Centennial Series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Thinking Beyond the Human Condition with Bergson (Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming).
- "'Holding on to the Sublime': On Nietzsche's Early 'Unfashionable' Project", in K. Gemes & J. Richardson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to Nietzsche (Oxford UP, 2013), pp. 226-51.
- "Heroic-Idyllic Philosophizing: Nietzsche and the Epicurean Tradition", in A. O' Hear (ed.), Philosophical Traditions (Cambridge University Press, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 74, 2014), pp. 237-263.
- 'Afterword', Friedrich Nietzsche, Dawn: On the Presumptions of Morality, trans. Brittain Smith (Stanford University Press, 'Collected Works', volume 5, 2011), pp. 363-409.
- "The Philosophy of the Morning: Philosophy and Phenomenology in Nietzsche's Dawn", in Elodie Boublil and Christine Daigle (eds.), Nietzsche and Phenomenology: Power, Life, Subjectivity (Indiana University Press, 2013), pp. 217-236.
- "Nietzsche", in F. Joseph, J, Reynolds, & A. Woodward (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Existentialism (Continuum, 2011), pp. 290-300.
- "Questions of the Subject in Nietzsche and Foucault: A Reading of 'Dawn'", forthcoming in J. Constancio (ed.), Nietzsche and Subjectivity (Walter de Gruyter, 2015), pp. 411-435.
- "Nietzsche, the Sublime, and the Sublimities of Philosophy", Nietzsche-Studien, Band 39, 2010, pp. 201-32.
- "For Mortal Souls: Philosophy and Therapeia in Nietzsche's Dawn", (Royal Institute of Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 137-165.
- "On Nietzsche's Moral Therapy in Dawn", Continental Philosophy Review, 44: 2, 2011, pp. 179-204.
- "True to the Earth: Nietzsche's Epicurean Care of Self and World", in Horst Hutter & Eli Friedland (eds.), Nietzsche's Therapeutic Teaching (Bloomsbury, 2013), pp. 97-116.
- "Attachment to Life, Understanding Death: Nietzsche and D. H.Lawrence", Parrhesia, 18, 2013, pp. 22-35.
- "Care of Self in Dawn: On Nietzsche's Resistance to Bio-political Modernity", in Manuel Knoll & Barry Stocker (eds.), Nietzsche as a Political Thinker (Walter de Gruyter, 2014), pp. 269-86.
- (with Michael Ure), "Contra Kant: Naturalism and Ethics in Nietzsche and Guyau", in T. Bailey & J. Constancio, Nietzsche and Kantian Ethics (Walter de Gruyter, forthcoming 2016).
- "The Need for Small Doses: Nietzsche, Fanaticism, and Epicureanism", in Celine Denat and Patrick Wotling (eds.), Aurore : un tournant dans l'oeuvre de Nietzsche(Éditions et presses de l'université de Reims, 2015), pp. 193-225.
- "Nietzsche and Epicurus: In Search of the Heroic-Idyllic", in Mark Conard (ed.), Nietzsche and the Philosophers (forthcoming 2017).
- "Beyond Selfishness: Epicurean Ethics in Nietzsche and Guyau", in R. Bamford (ed.), Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Free Spirit (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2015), pp. 49-69.
- "When Wisdom Assumes Bodily Form", in Manuel Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on Consciousness and the Embodied Mind (Walter de Gruyter, forthcoming 2016).
- "Nietzsche's 'Human, all too Human'", in Paul Katsafanas (ed.), The Nietzsche Handbook (Routledge, 2017, forthcoming).
- "Naturalism as a Joyful Science: Nietzsche, Deleuze, and the Art of Life", Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 47: 1, Spring 2016, pp. 119-141.
- "Bergson's Encounter with Biology: Thinking Life", Angelaki, 10: 2, 2005, pp. 59-72.
- "Beyond the Human Condition: An Introduction to Deleuze's Lecture Course", Substance, 36: 3, 2007, pp. 1-15.
- "Bergson on Memory"& "Deleuze on the Overcoming of Memory", both in S. Radstone & B. Schwarz (eds.), Memory: Histories, Theories, Debates, Fordham University Press (2010), pp. 61-77 & pp. 161-79.
- "Bergson", in Dean Moyar (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Nineteenth Century Philosophy (Routledge, 2010), pp. 403-33.
- "Responses to Evolution: Spencer's Evolutionism, Bergsonism, and Contemporary Biology" (with Paul-Antoine Miquel & Michael Vaughan), The History of Continental Philosophy, volume three (Acumen/University of Chicago Press, 2010), pp. 347-79.
- "Morality and the Philosophy of Life in Guyau and Bergson", Continental Philosophy Review, 47: 1, 2014, pp. 59-85.
- "Bergson and Ethics", in Hugh LaFollette, The International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), pp. 513-520.
- "Bergson and Politics", The Encyclopedia of Political Thought (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming, 2014).
- "A Melancholy Science? On Bergson's Appreciation of Lucretius", Pli, 27 (2015), pp. 83-101.
- "Bergson, Education, and the Art of Life", in A. J. Bartlett, Justin Clemens, Jessica Whyte (eds.), What is Education?, (forthcoming 2016)
- "Bergson's Reformation of Philosophy in Creative Evolution, forthcoming in Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, (2016).
- "Contra Kant and Beyond Nietzsche: Naturalizing Ethics in the Work of Jean-Marie Guyau", The Hegel Bulletin (Cambridge University Press), 35:2, 2014, pp. 185-203.
- "Jean-Marie Guyau", in Hugh LaFollette, The International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, forthcoming).
- "Beyond Obligation? Jean-Marie Guyau on Life and Ethics", in Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, Volume 77, October 2015, pp 207-225.
- "Naturalism in the Continental Tradition" (with John Protevi), forthcoming in Kelly James Clark (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming).
- "Beyond the Human Condition: Bergson and Deleuze", in Jon Roffe (ed.), Deleuze and the Non/Human (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 2015), pp. 81-102.
- "Affirmative Naturalism: Deleuze and Epicureanism", Cosmos and History,10: 2, 2014, pp. 121-137.
- "Deleuze and New Materialism: Naturalism, Normativity, and Ethics", in Sarah Ellenzweig and John Zammito (eds.), Engaging with New Materialism (forthcoming 2017).
- "Deleuze's Posthuman Bergsonism", in Christine Daigle (ed.), Posthumanism through Deleuze (forthcoming 2017).