Department of Philosophy

Michael Olson

BA Grinnell College, PhD Villanova UniversityMichael Olson

After completing his PhD at Villanova in 2013, Michael was a Lecturer at Loyola University Chicago until joining the Department at Macquarie in 2015. His research interests include Kantian theoretical philosophy, the history of early modern philosophy, and contemporary French philosophy.


Michael teaches or has taught the following units:

  • PHL 132 Philosophy, Morality and Society
  • PHL 250 Philosophy of Art and Literature
  • PHL 254 Freedom and Alienation
  • PHL 351 Social Philosophy
  • PHL 703 Foundations of Research in Modern European Philosophy
  • PHL 704 Research Topics in Modern European Philosophy

Current Research

Michael is currently at work on two projects. The first investigates the degree to which Kant's transcendental idealism retains elements of rationalist metaphysics that Kant is often thought to have overcome. The second project is an historical study of the history of materialism in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophy.

Selected publications

  • Michael J. Olson, 'The Camera Obscura and the Soul: On a Tension between the Mechanics of Sensation and the Metaphysics of the Soul,' forthcoming in Intellectual History Review.
  • Michael J. Olson, 'A Materialist Transcendental: On the Onto-logy of Logics of Worlds,' Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, vol. 18, no. 2 (2013), 143-159.
  • Michael J. Olson, 'The Intuition of Simultaneity: Zugleichsein and the Constitution of Extensive Magnitudes,' Kant-Studien: Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft, vol. 101, no. 4 (2010), 429-444.
  • Michael J. Olson, 'Philosophy, Non-Philosophy, and the Axiomatization of Matter,' Philosophy Today, vol. 53, SPEP Supplement (2009), 257-262.
  • Michael J. Olson, 'Transcendental Arguments, Axiomatic Truth, and the Difficulty of Overcoming Idealism,' in Laruelle and Non-Philosophy (eds. J. Mullarkey and A.P. Smith; New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), 169-190. ISBN 0748645349.
  • Michael J. Olson, 'Kant, Deleuze and Guattari, and the Metaphysics of Objects,' in Thinking Between Deleuze and Kant (eds. E. Willatt and M. Lee; London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2009), 151-170. ISBN 1847065945.

Contact Details

Location: Building W6A Room 723
Phone: (61 2) 9850 6895
Fax: (61 2) 9850 8892
Office hours: by appointment