PROFILE: KARA RICHARDSON
Ph.D., University of Toronto, 2008 Assistant Professor of Philosophy
I am a historian of Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. One of the most distinctive aspects of my work as a historian of philosophy is my inclusion of Medieval Islamic authors. My current research takes Avicenna (Ibn Sina) as its starting point. Avicenna’s contribution to the history of philosophy is often seen through his influence on later philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, but his work is also interesting and challenging in its own right. My research aims first to explain why Avicenna himself holds a given view and then to consider why other philosophers disagree. I have found Avicenna’s work illuminating with respect to Medieval and Early Modern debates about enduring metaphysical issues, such as the nature of causality. I am pleased to join the Philosophy Department at Syracuse University and to participate in the Middle Eastern Studies Pro- gram. My courses in the history of philosophy will focus on Medieval philosophers such as Avicenna, Aquinas and Suarez, as well as Early Modern philosophers such as Descartes and Leibniz.