Department of Philosophy

Nicholas Smith

Nicholas SmithBA Newcastle (UK), MA York (UK), PhD Glasgow

Nick moved to Macquarie as a Lecturer in Philosophy in July 1997. Before that he was a Research Fellow in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University. He was Director of Macquarie University's Centre for Research in Social Inclusion from 2003 to 2007 and was Head of the Department of Philosophy from 2008 to 2012. He was an international research fellow at Queen's University Belfast from 2006 to 2008 and held a Mercator Gastprofessur position at Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt from October 2010 to March 2011.


Nick currently teaches or has taught the following units:

  • PHL 131 Mind, Meaning and Metaphysics
  • PHL 132 Philosophy, Morality and Society
  • PHL 246 Philosophy of Religion
  • PHL 254 Freedom and Alienation
  • PHL 351 Social Philosophy
  • PHL 354 Philosophy Capstone Unit
  • PHL 359 History of Philosophy II (renamed "Pragmatism" from 2010)
  • PHIL703 Foundations of Research in Modern European Philosophy: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
  • PHIL704 Research Topics in Modern European Philosophy
Postgraduate Supervision
Past Students
  • Onni Hirvonen, 'Concepts of Group Recognition', PhD, 2013.
  • David Wild, 'Recognizing Capital and the Politics of Theory', PhD, 2013.
  • Dale Tweedie, 'Theories of Work and Contemporary Workplace Organisation', PhD, 2011.
  • Michaela Baker, 'From Phenomenology to Ethics: A reconstruction and defence of the early Sartre', PhD, 2010
  • Titus Stahl, 'Towards a Critical Theory of Social Practices: on the social-ontological foundations of immanent critique', PhD, 2010 (co-tutelle, shared supervision with Axel Honneth, University of Frankfurt), awarded with VC's commendation.
  • Ruth Cox, 'The Theory of Recognition and the Ethics of Immigration', PhD, 2010.
  • Deane-Peter Baker, 'Reformed Epistemology and Charles Taylor's Phenomenology of Morals', PhD, 2006.
  • Dale Tweedie, 'Economics in Social Policy: a Philosophical Analysis', Masters by Research, 2005.
  • Damion Buterin, 'Between Reason and Voluntarism: Boehme, Scotus, Fichte, Hegel', PhD 2004, awarded VC's Commendation.
  • Wendy Double, 'The Role of Imagination and Reflective Critique in the Philosophical Anthropology of Paul Ricoeur', masters by research, 2003.
  • Peter Schmiedgen, 'In Excess of the Typical: Towards a Phenomenology of Alterity', PhD 2001.
Current Students
  • Stephen Reid, PhD candidate, Topic: The Wisdom Tradition
  • Karl Moll, PhD candidate, Topic: Philosophy of Work
  • Dan Anderson, PhD candidate, Topic: Forgiveness
  • Bernard Ripperger, PhD candidate, Topic: Recognition theory and law.

Selected publications

  • Charles Taylor: Meaning, Morals and Modernity, Cambridge, Polity, 2002.
  • Strong Hermeneutics: Contingency and Moral Identity, London and New York, Routledge, 1997.
Edited Collections
  • Recognition Theory as Social Research: Investigating the Dynamics of Social Conflict, co-edited with Shane O'Neill, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 
  • New Philosophies of Labour: Work and the Social Bond, co-edited with Jean-Philippe Deranty, Brill, 2012.
  • special issue ('Schwerpunkt') on Work after Liberalism of Deutsche Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie, vol 60, no. 4, Oldenbourg Akademie Verlag, September 2012.
  • special issue on Social Hope of Critical Horizons, vol. 9 no. 1, co-edited with Shane O Neill, Stocksfield, Acumen, 2008.
  • Critique Today, co-edited with Robert Sinnerbrink, Jean-Philippe Deranty, and Peter Schmiedgen, Leiden, Brill, 2006.
  • Perspectives on the Philosophy of Charles Taylor, co-edited with Arto Laitinen, Helsinki, Acta Philosophica Fennica, vol. 71, 2002
  • Reading McDowell: On Mind and World, London and New York, Routledge, 2002.
Chapters of Edited Books
  • 'Hermeneutics and Critical Theory', in Jeff Malpas and Hans-Helmut Gander eds, Routledge Companion to Philosophical Hermeneutics, London, Routledge, 2015.
  • 'Der Solidaritaetsbegriff von Charles Taylor', in Ulf Bohmann ed., Wie wollen wir leben?, Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2014.
  • 'Work and Solidarity: A Reassessment', in Arto Laitinen and Anne Birgitta Pessi eds.,Problems of Social Solidarity, Lexington, 2014.
  • 'Introduction: A Recognition-Theoretic Research Programme for the Social Sciences', in O'Neill and Smith eds, Recognition Theory as Social Research, 2012.
  • 'Work as a Sphere of Norms, Paradoxes and Ideologies of Recognition', in O'Neill and Smith eds, Recognition Theory as Social Research, 2012.
  • 'Work, Recognition and the Social Bond: Changing Paradigms', in Smith and Deranty eds, New Philosophies of Labour (with J-P Deranty), 2012.
  • 'Three Normative Models of Work', in Smith and Deranty eds, New Philosophies of Labour, 2012.
  • 'Recognition, Culture and Economy: Honneth's Debate with Fraser', in D. Petherbridge ed., Axel Honneth: Critical Essays, Leiden and Boston, Brill 2011.
  • Language, Work and Hermeneutics', in Andrzej Wiercinski ed., Gadamer's Hermeneutics and the Art of Conversation, International Studies in Hermeneutics and Phenomenology, vol 2, LIT Verlag, Berlin, 2011, pp. 201-22.
  • 'From the Concept of Hope to the Principle of Hope', in Rochelle Green and Janet Horrigan eds, Hope after Hope, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2010, pp. 3-22.
  • 'Multiculturalism and Recognition', in Duncan Ivison, ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Multiculturalism, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010, pp.159-177.
  • 'Expressivism in Brandom and Taylor', in James Chase, Edwin Mares, Jack Reynolds and James Williams eds., Postanalytic and Metacontinental: Crossing Philosophical Divides, London: Continuum, 2010, pp. 145-156.
  • 'Rorty on Religion and Hope', in James Tartaglia ed., Richard Rorty (Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers), 4 Vols, Vol 4, ch. 83, London and New York, Routledge, 2009.
  • 'Levinas, Habermas and Modernity', in David Rasmussen and James Swindal eds, Habermas II, 4 Vols, Vol.1, ch. 11, Sage Masters in Modern Social Thought, New Delhi, Sage, 2009.
  • 'Hope and Critical Theory', in R. Sinnerbrink, et al eds, Critique Today, Leiden and Boston, Brill, 2006,pp. 45-61.
  • 'Is Monotheism Compatible with Pluralism? Reflections on Richard Rorty's Critique of Religion', in Avery Plaw ed., Frontiers of Diversity: Essays in Contemporary Pluralism, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2005, pp.17-32.
  • 'Taylor in the Hermeneutic Tradition', in Ruth Abbey ed., Charles Taylor (Contemporary Philosophy in Focus), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 29-51.
  • 'Overcoming Representationalism', in Arto Laitinen and Nicholas H. Smith eds., Perspectives on the Philosophy of Charles Taylor, 2002, pp. 29-43.
  • 'Introduction', Reading McDowell: On Mind and World, 2002, pp. 1-5.
  • 'Hans-Georg Gadamer', in Jon Simons ed., From Kant to Levi-Strauss: the Background to Contemporary Critical Theory, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2002, pp. 181-196.
  • 'Critical Theory Today: An Interview with Thomas McCarthy', with Thomas McCarthy and Shane O'Neill, in William Rehg and James Bohman eds, Pluralism and the Pragmatic Turn: The Transformation of Critical Theory, Cambridge MA, MIT Press, 2001, pp. 413-29.
  • 'Philosophy, Contingency and Social Criticism', in Iain Mackenzie and Shane O'Neill eds, Reconstituting Social Criticism: Political Morality in an Age of Skepticism, London, Macmillan, 1999, pp. 123-137.
  • 'Rationality and Engagement: McDowell, Dreyfus and Zidane', Hegel Bulletin, Vol 34, No. 2, 2013, 159-180.
  • 'Work and the Politics of Misrecognition', Res Publica, vol 18, February 2012, 53-64 (with Jean-Philippe Deranty).
  • 'Taylor on Solidarity', Thesis Eleven, no. 99, November 2009, 48-70 (with Arto Laitinen).
  • 'Work and the Struggle for Recognition', European Journal of Political Theory, vol. 8, no. 1, 2009, 46-60.
  • 'Levinas, Habermas and Modernity', Philosophy and Social Criticism, vol. 34, no. 6, July, 2008, 643-664.
  • 'Analysing Hope', Critical Horizons, vol. 9, no. 1, May, 2008, 5-23.
  • 'The Hermeneutics of Work: On Richard Sennett', Critical Horizons, vol. 8, no. 2, December, 2007, 186-204.
  • 'Ekspressivisme hos Brandom of Taylor, Slagmark: tidsskrift for idéhistorie, summer, 2007, vol. 49, 99-112 (Danish translation of 'Expressivism in Brandom and Taylor').
  • 'Hope and Critical Theory', Critical Horizons, 2005, vol. 6, no. 1, 45-61.
  • Rorty on Religion and Hope', Inquiry, vol. 48, no. 1, February, 2005, 76-98.
  • 'Levinas, Subjectivity and the Sacred', Synthesis Philosophica, 29-30, 1-2, 2000, 129-43. (Croation translation: 'Levinas, subjectivnost I sveto', Filozofska Istrazivanja, 81-82, 2-3, 2001, 397-408).
  • 'Contingency and Self-Identity: Taylor's Hermeneutics vs. Rorty's Postmodernism', Theory, Culture and Society, 13:2, 1996, 105-20.
  • 'Charles Taylor, Strong Hermeneutics and the Politics of Difference', Radical Philosophy 68, Autumn, 1994, 19-27.
  • 'The Spirit of Modernity and its Fate - Jürgen Habermas', Radical Philosophy, 60, 23-29, 1992.

Current research

Nick's general research interests lie in modern European Philosophy, social and political philosophy, theories of subjectivity, and religion and modernity. He has led two ARC funded projects: 'Applying the Ethics of Recognition: Work and the Social Bond' with Jean-Philippe Deranty; and  'Work and Self-Development: A Philosophical Reappraisal' with Jean-Philippe Deranty, Christophe Dejours and Emmanuel Renault.

Administrative responsibilities

  • Philosophy Master of Research Convenor

Contact details

Location: Building W6A Room 735
Phone: (61 2) 9850 8881
Fax: (61 2) 9850 8892
Office hours: by appointment

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