Stephen Ott

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

    Fall 2017 Courses

  • HPSS-S590-01 Consolations Of Philosophy
  • HPSS-S655-01 Philosophy Of Religion
  • BA, University of Idaho
  • BA, Washington State University
  • PHD, Brown University


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