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Department of Philosophy
David Ciavatta

David Ciavatta


Associate Professor


B.A. Hon. (Toronto, 1994); Ph.D. (Penn State, 2003)




416-979-5000 ext. 2698

Email Address:

Research Interests:

Kant and 19th Century Continental Philosophy; Existentialism and Phenomenology; Philosophy of Art

[Letter to Prospective Graduate Students]

Selected Publications & Presentations:


Spirit, the Family, and the Unconscious in Hegel's Philosophy
(SUNY Press, 2009)


“Merleau-Ponty and Hegel:  Meaning and its Expression in History.”  In the Handbook of German Idealism and Existentialism, edited by Jon Stewart.  Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming.
“Hegel on the Aesthetic Basis of State Sovereignty.”  In Hegel’s Political Aesthetics, edited by Stefan Bird-Pollan and Vladimir Marchenkov.  Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming.
“Spiritualized Nature:  Hegel on the Transformative Character of Work and History.”  Argumenta 4: 2 (2019): 59-75.
"Merleau-Ponty and the Phenomenology of Natural Time."  In Perception and Its Development in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology. Edited by Kirsten Jacobson and John Russon.  University of Toronto Press (2017).
“Hegel and the Phenomenology of Art.”  In Phenomenology and the Arts.  Edited by Peter Costello and Licia Carlson.  Rowman and Littlefield Press (2016).
“Embodied Meaning in Hegel and Merleau-Ponty.”  Hegel Bulletin, vol. 38, 2017.
“Hegel on the Parallels between Action and the Ontology of Life.” Owl of Minerva, 47 (1/2), 2015.
“Merleau-Ponty and the Temporality of Practical Dispositions.”  In Time and the Philosophy of Action.  Edited by Roman Altshuler and Michael Sigrist.  Routledge, 2016.
“Hegel on the Idealism of Practical Life.”  Hegel Bulletin (2016), 37: 1, pp 1-28.
“Hegel and Existentialism.”  In Hegel:  Key Concepts. Edited by Michael Baur.  Routledge, 2014.
“The Event of Absolute Freedom:  Hegel on the French Revolution and Its Calendar.” Philosophy and Social Crtiticism 40: 6 (July 2014): 577-605.

Paper Presentations

“To Be is to Appear:  Hegel on Art, Nature and Intuition.”  October 2019.  Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.  Pittsburgh, PA.
“The Poetic Foundations of Political Self-Consciousness in Hegel's Aesthetics.”  October 2018, Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.  State College, PA.
“Hegel on the Beauty of Action.”  October 2017.  Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.  Memphis, TN.
“Animal Life and Ecstatic Temporality.”  June, 2016.  Canadian Philosophical Association.  University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.
“Beauty as Freedom.”  April 2016.  Athens Hegel Roundtable. Workshop at University of Ohio, School of Interdisciplinary Arts, Athens, Ohio.
“Merleau-Ponty on the Temporality of Dispositions.”  November, 2011.  Time and Agency. Conference at George Washington University, Washington.
“Action and Time in Hegel’s Account of Beauty.”  March 2015.  Hegel and Romantic Art.  Conference at Bishops University, Lennoxville, Quebec.
“Hegel on the Organic Conditions of Agency.”  October, 2013.  Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy, Toronto, Ontario.
“Action as the Materiality of Duration:  Towards a Bergsonian Philosophy of Action." November, 2010.  Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.  McGill University, Montreal. 
Current work:  

“The Impractical Beauty of Practical Life in Hegel’s Aesthetics” (article in preparation)

Book Manuscripts in Progress

“Art and Action”-  I am currently working on a book manuscript focused on Hegel’s philosophy of art and some of the epistemological and metaphysical implications it has for our understanding of human action.  Hegel’s philosophy of art, I argue, gives a privileged place to the artistic rendering of human action, and I show that this has interesting implications for how we are to understand the nature of aesthetic intuition and its role in practical life, as well for how we are to understand how actions express and give rise to a meaningful world.

“Lived Time”- This book project, co-authored with Kym Maclaren, involves an exploration of the implications of the phenomenology of time for understanding various everyday experiences and common psychological struggles.