Faculty Profile

Robert Clewis, PhD


Robert R. Clewis teaches philosophy at Gwynedd Mercy University and is associate director of the Honors Program. He earned a BA summa cum laude from Wake Forest University with a double major in philosophy and French (Honors in philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa), MA from the University of Bologna, and PhD from Boston College. He specializes in the philosophy of emotion, aesthetics, and Kant. During 2019/20, he will be on sabbatical and research leave, supported in part by a grant by the American Council of Learned Societies. 

His article, "Beauty and Utility in Kant's Aesthetics," was awarded the 2018 Wilfrid Sellars Prize by the North American Kant Society. He was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, which he used to carry out research at the University of Munich (LMU). He received the Kristeller-Popkin Travel Fellowship of the Journal of the History of Philosophy and has had research fellowships in Germany (Tuebingen) and Vienna (Institute of Human Sciences).

He is currently developing three kinds of projects in his teaching and research. The first, The Origins of Kant's Aesthetics, examines Kant's philosophical development and the influence of eighteenth-century European writers. The project highlights the philosophical value of this period in the history of aesthetics. A second project involves the editing and translation of philosophical works in German, French, and Italian during the modern period. A third, interdisciplinary project, involves philosophical contributions to cognitive scientists and psychologists conducting empirical research on the experiences of awe and the sublime. Students interested in any of these are encouraged to contact him.

For more information, visit his personal website or Academia page.

Selected Scholarship:

Editor, The Sublime Reader. Bloomsbury, 2018, 450 pages

The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009. Paperback 2015, 258 pages

Editor, Reading Kant’s Lectures. Walter de Gruyter, 2015, 608 pages. Editor's Introduction: 1-29

Translator, in Kant's Lectures on Anthropology. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012

“Beauty and Utility in Kant’s Aesthetics: The Origins of Adherent Beauty.” Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (2) (2018): 305-336.

"The Feeling of Enthusiasm.” Kant and the Faculty of Feeling. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018

“Kant’s Physical Geography and the Critical Philosophy.” Epoche: A Journal for the History of Philosophy (2018) 22 (2)

“Does Kantian Ethics Condone Mood and Cognitive Enhancement?” Neuroethics (2017) 10 (3): 349-361

“A Theory of the Sublime is Possible.” Wassard Elea Rivista (2017) 4: 45-68. Reprinted in The Possibility of the Sublime. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2018

“Collaborate.”  American Society of Aesthetics Newsletter (2016) 36.3

“Sympathy: A Dream Dialogue.” Philosophy Now (2017) 119

“Ist Kants Interesse an der Französischen Revolution selbstwidersprüchlich?” (in German) Rechtstaatlichkeit [...]. Lodz, 2012.  Translation into Polish, forthcoming 2018

“Kant’s Natural Teleology? The Case of Physical Geography” Kant-Studien (2016) 107 (2): l-29

“What’s the Big Idea? Emily Brady's Sublime." The Journal of Aesthetic Education (2016) 50 (2): 104-118

“The Place of the Sublime in Kant’s Project.” Studi kantiani (2015) 28: 63-82

“Kant’s Empiricist Rationalism of the Mid-1760s.” Eighteenth-Century Thought (2014) 5: 179-225

“What Can Hume Teach Us About Film Evaluation.” Aisthema (2014) 1 (2): 1-22

Author / Critics Session: Responses to Melissa Zinkin and Paul Guyer. In: Critique. October 2013

“Kant’s Distinction between True and False Sublimity." Kant’s Observations and Remarks: A Critical Guide. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012, 116-143

“Film Evaluation and the Enjoyment of Dated Films.” Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind (2012) vol. 6 (2): 42-63

“How to Move Forward: Points of Convergence between Continental and Analytic Philosophy.” Balkan Journal of Philosophy (2011) 3 (2): 153-162

“A Case for Kantian Artistic Sublimity: A Response to Abaci.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2010) vol. 68 (2): 167-170

“Greenberg, Kant, and Aesthetic Judgments of Modernist Art.” AE: Canadian Aesthetics Journal (2008) vol. 18

“Kant’s Consistency Regarding the Regime Change in France.” Philosophy and Social Criticism (2006) 32 (4): 443-460

Additional German-English translations: articles by Werner Stark and Otfried Höffe