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Dr. Joshua S. Parens

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Braniff Graduate Dean/
IPS Director  
Braniff Graduate School


Department of Philosophy
Location: Carpenter Hall, 1st floor
Office Phone: 972-721-5241


Islamic and Jewish Medieval Philosophy
Early Modern Philosophy
Political Philosophy


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1992
M.A., University of Chicago, 1988
B.A., St. John's College, 1984

Recent Courses

Phi 1301 Philosophy & the Ethical Life
Phi 2323 Philosophy of Man
Phi 3311 Philosophy of Being
Phi 3327 Early Modern Philosophy
Phi 3351 Junior Seminar
Phi 4141 Senior Thesis
Phi 4338 Philosophy of Religion
Phi 4341 Senior Seminar: Mind/Body Problems
Phi 5311 Philosophy of Law
Phi 5331 Philosophy of Law
Phi 5360 Islamic Political Philosophy
Phi 5360 Islamic Political Thought
Phi 5360 Selected Texts: Islamic Political Philosophy
Phi 6310 Text Seminar: Aristotle's Metaphysics
Phi 6310 Text Seminar: Plato's Protagoras and Philebus
Phi 6310 Text Seminar: Plato's Trilogy
Phi 6322 Aristotle (the Metaphysics)
Phi 6377 Maimonides (the Guide of the Perplexed)
Phi 6377 Philosophy of Mind
Phi 7333 Text Seminar: Maimonides
Phi 7333 Text Seminar: Maimonides (the Guide of the Perplexed)
Phi 7344 Early Modern Philosophy
Phi 7344 Text Seminar: Machiavelli, Bacon, Descartes
Phi 7344 Spinoza (the Ethics)
Phi 7355 Text Seminar: Heidegger & Aristotle
IPS 8321 Plato & Aristotle
IPS 8342 Hobbes and Rousseau

IPS 5381 Maimonides & Spinoza
Phi 5381-01 Leo Strauss

Fall 2015 Courses

IPS 8321-01 Plato & Aristotle

Representative Publications


Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting Views of Human Nature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

(Edited in collaboration with Joseph C. Macfarland:) Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook. 2nd edition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011.

An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions: Introducing Alfarabi. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2006.

Metaphysics as Rhetoric: Alfarabi's "Summary of Plato's Laws." Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1995.


“Strauss on Maimonides’s Secretive Political Science,” in Leo Strauss’s Defense of the Philosophic Life: Reading “What Is Political Philosophy?”, Rafe Major, ed., 116–36 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).
“Leaving the Garden: Maimonides and Spinoza on the Imagination and Practical Intellect Revisited,” Philosophy & Theology 18:2 (2006): 219–246.

"Maimonidean Ethics Revisited: Development and Asceticism in Maimonides?" Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 12:3 (2003): 33–62.

"Multiculturalism and the Problem of Particularism," American Political Science Review 88:1 (1994): 169–181.

"Theory and Practice in Medieval Aristotelianism," Polity 26 (1993): 317–330.

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