Richard Velkley Professor Tulane University Department of Philosophy

Richard Velkley

Celia Scott Weatherhead Professor of Philosophy
111 Newcomb Hall


Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, 1978


Academic Interests

  • European philosophy since Kant
  • Political philosophy
  • Phenomenology, Metaphysics, Recent Continental Philosophy
  • Ancient philosophy
  • Early Modern philosophy

Honors and Awards

  • President, Metaphysical Society of America, 2017-18
  • Associate Editor, The Review of Metaphysics, 1997-2006
  • Fellowships from the ACLS, NEH, Earhart Foundation, Bradley Foundation,Templeton Foundation
  • Postdoctoral positions: University of Toronto, University of Iowa, Harvard University
  • Invited lecturer abroad: Canada, France, Germany, China, Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Denmark, Israel, Czech Republic, Poland, Japan


  • Sarastro's Cave: Letters from the Recent Past (philosophic novella) (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2021).
  • Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of Philosophy: On Original Forgetting (University of Chicago Press, 2011, reprint 2014; Chinese translation, 2016; French translation, 2017).
  • Being after Rousseau: Philosophy and Culture in Question (University of Chicago Press, 2002).
  • Freedom and the End of Reason: On the Moral Foundation of Kant's Critical Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 1989, reprint 2014; Farsi translation, 2023).

Books Edited

  • Leo Strauss on Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra (University of Chicago Press, 2017).
  • The Unity of Reason: Essays on Kant's Philosophy by Dieter Henrich (Harvard University Press, 1994).
  • Freedom and the Human Person. Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy, vol. 48 (Catholic University of America Press, 2007).
  • Kant's 'Observations' and 'Remarks': A Critical Guide, edited by Susan Shell and Richard Velkley (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • The Linguistic Dimension of Kant's Thought: Historical and Critical Essays, edited by Frank Schalow and Richard Velkley (Northwestern University Press, 2014).

Selected Articles

  • "Language, Embodiment, and the Supersensuous in Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation" in Kant and the Possibility of Progress: From Modern Hopes to Postmodern Anxieties, eds. P. T. Wilford and S. A. Stoner (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), pp. 153-64.
  • "The Ghosts of Kantian Philosophy in Fichte's Über das Wesen des Gelehrten" in J. G. Fichte, Über das Wesen des Gelehrten, eds. A. Denker, C. J. Kinlaw, H. Zaborowski (Verlag Karl Alber, 2020), pp. 203-17.
  • “The Personal, Evil, and the Possibility of Philosophy in Schelling’s Freiheitschrift,” in Schelling: Freedom, Nature and Systematicity, ed. A. Bruno (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 154-167.
  • "The Fate of Human Action: The Agency of 'Reason' in Modern Philosophy," The Review of Metaphysics, vol. 72/4, June 2019, pp. 717-39.
  • “The Tyranny of Beauty: On Art and Truth in Lessing’s Laocoon,” in Nature, Law, and the Sacred: Essays in Honor of Ronna Burger, ed. E. Speliotis (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2019), pp. 183-203.
  • “Self-Unity, Culture, and Aesthetic Education: Prolegomena to Schiller’s Rousseauian Mind,” in The Rousseauian Mind, eds. E. Grace and C. Kelly (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 411-425.
  • “Kant on Organism and History: Ambiguous Endings,” in Mastery of Nature: Promises and Prospects, eds. S. Minkov and B. Trout (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), pp. 155-70.
  • "Rousseau and Kant: Rousseau's Kantian Legacy," (with Susan Shell), in Thinking with Rousseau: From Machiavelli to Schmitt, eds. H Rosenblatt and P. Schweigert (Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 192-210.
  • "History, Tyranny, and the Presuppositions of Philosophy," in Philosophy, History, and Tyranny: Reexamining the Debate between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojève, eds. T. W. Burns and B.-P. Frost (State University of New York Press, 2016), pp. 251-63.
  • "David Hume on Principle, Nature, and the Indirect Influence of Philosophy," in Principle and Prudence in Western Political Thought, eds. C. Lynch and J. Marks (State University of New York Press, 2016), pp. 191-208.
  • "The Model of Human Nature and the Revision of Premises in Spinoza's Ethics" in In Search of Humanity: Essays in Honor of Clifford Orwin, ed. A. Radanasu (Lexington Books, 2015), pp. 263-78.
  • “Culture and the Limits of Practical Reason in Kant’s Religion,” in Kant’s ‘Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason’: A Critical Guide, ed. G. Michalson (Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 233-49.
  • “Transcending Nature, Unifying Reason: On Kant’s Debt to Rousseau,” in Kant on Moral Autonomy, ed. O. Sensen, (Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 89-106.
  • "The Measure of the Possible: Imagination in Rousseau’s Philosophical Pedagogy,” in The Challenge of Rousseau, eds. E. Grace and C. Kelly, (Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 217-29.
  • “Educating through Perplexity: Kant and the German Enlightenment,” in Kant and Education, ed. K. Roth and C. Surprenant (Routledge Publishing, 2012), pp. 69-80.
  • “Infinite Personality and Finite Custom: Hegel, Socrates’ Daimon and the Modern State,” in Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Globalization: Citizens without States, eds. K. Habib and L. Trepanier, (University of Kentucky Press, 2011), pp. 139-60.
  • “Heidegger, Strauss und der Nationalsozialismus,” in Heidegger und der Nationalsozialismus—Interpretationen. Heidegger-Jahrbuch, vol. 5, eds. A.. Denker and H. Zaborowski (Verlag Alber, 2009)