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
Philosophy of Religion