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R. Lanier Anderson

J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor in Humanities
Professor of Philosophy
Professor, by courtesy, of German Studies
1993: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
1987: B.A., Yale University

My research concerns the history of late modern philosophy and connections between philosophy and literature.  In late modern history, I have focused primarily on Kant and his influence on 19th century philosophy.

My book on Kant’s critique of metaphysics (The Poverty of Conceptual Truth, 2015) came out with Oxford.  I have also written articles on Kant's theoretical philosophy, on Nietzsche, and on the neo-Kantian movement.  In the near future, I will be focusing on questions about Nietzsche’s moral psychology and on Montaigne’s philosophical and literary projects in the Essays, extending my reach to an earlier period.

With Joshua Landy (Comparative Literature, French), I have been instrumental in developing the program in Philosophy and Literature at Stanford, and we are currently collaborating in that area.

I was educated at Yale (A.B., 1987) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D., 1993), where I worked closely with Alexander Nehamas, Gary Hatfield, and Paul Guyer.  I have taught at Stanford since 1996, and have also taught as a visitor at Harvard, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr.  I was born and raised in Macon, GA, and I get back there as often as I can.


Selected Publications


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Research Unit Groups

Research Interests

  • Philosophy and Literature