Faculty: Stephen Ott

Biography

Stephen Ott studied philosophy at Washington State University and classical languages at the University of Idaho. While at the latter he won first prize in the Eta Sigma Phi Classical Studies Honor Society’s national contest in Greek translation. He entered graduate school in Classics at Brown University on a University Fellowship and studied ancient philosophy under Martha Craven Nussbaum, who directed his PhD dissertation. He taught at Brown as a teaching assistant, teaching fellow and visiting lecturer and also taught at the University of Rhode Island. After graduating from Brown, he taught at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA. In 2000 he began teaching ancient philosophy at the Rhode Island School of Design and soon added Introduction to Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion and Schopenhauer & Nietzsche. He now teaches ancient and modern philosophy at RISD and has tutored Independent Study Projects in Plato, epistemology, philosophy of language, Wittgenstein, Hume and Kant. In 2008 he was nominated for the John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching. His RISD students challenge him to keep finding better ways to make ideas tangibleand reward him by showing how they turn their learning into the conceptual art and design that is RISD’s hallmark. His academic interests are in philosophy of religion, the Greek atomists, Plato, Epicurus, Lucretius, Hume, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. He is also a published author of fiction.

Academic Research/Areas of Interest

Ancient Philosophy

Philosophy of Religion

Free Will

David Hume

Arthur Schopenhauer

Friedrich Nietzsche

Stephen Ott

Stephen Ott

Senior Lecturer
sott@risd.edu
401-454-6572

  • BA, Washington State University
  • BA, University of Idaho
  • PHD, Brown University

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Courses
  • HPSS-S569
    ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE WESTERN MIND
  • HPSS-S660
    SCHOPENHAUER AND NIETZSCHE
  • HPSS-S101
    TOPICS: HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY, & THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
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Students in RISD's liberal arts classes benefit from animated group discussions and thinking about the
meaning and context of their work.