Robert Clewis, PhD


Robert R. Clewis teaches philosophy at Gwynedd Mercy University and is director of the Honors Program. Students interested in the Honors Program are encouraged to reach out to professor Clewis through email at He earned a BA summa cum laude from Wake Forest University, MA from the University of Bologna, and PhD from Boston College. He specializes in modern philosophy, Kant, and aesthetics.

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 two 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 second project involves the editing and translation of philosophical works in German, French, and Italian, with a focus on the writings of Immanuel Kant. Students interested in either of these are encouraged to contact him.

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

“Heideggerian Wonder in Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line.” Film and Philosophy (2003) 7: 22-36

“Augustine’s Hermeneutics: How to Read the Confessions.” Auslegung (2000) 24 (1): 65-87

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