David Cerbone – Professor


20th Century Continental Philosophy (especially Phenomenology); Wittgenstein

Research Interests

Broadly construed, my ongoing research focuses primarily on two areas: (i) the phenomenological tradition, with an emphasis on the work of Martin Heidegger and Edmund Husserl; and (ii) Wittgenstein and early analytic philosophy. My research in (i) and (ii) overlaps considerably: I look to both areas for resources for understanding and criticizing traditional philosophical problems (e.g. problems oriented around skepticism, realism, and idealism), as well as currently dominant philosophical views, most notably naturalism in various forms (scientism, physicalism, materialism). My most recent work has primarily been concerned with the latter, with the often antagonistic relation between phenomenology and scientific naturalism. I’m interested in documenting both the attractions and dissatisfactions of naturalistic accounts of human beings and the world, so as to ascertain more fully just what phenomenology has to contribute to our self-understanding.

I’ve published two books (Understanding Phenomenology (Acumen, 2006) and Heidegger: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2008) in these areas. You can learn more about them at the following sites:



Other Interests

Apart from spending time with my wife, Lena, and three children (Henry, Lowell, and Margot), I have a serious interest in photography. I (still) work primarily with film, in various formats, and have lately become especially excited by the possibilities of pinhole photography. I also enjoy dog training (first, with Webster, who accompanied me to the office for several years, until his death in the summer of 2008, and now with Mickey, who has a long way to go before he’s ready for anything like that), spending time outdoors (both with and without my dog), reading fiction (Cormac McCarthy and Richard Ford are current favorites), and listening to music (my children have resurrected my college-days passion for punk and post-punk, and my even earlier love of Led Zeppelin).

Courses Offered

I regularly teach Philosophy 140 (Historical Introduction to Philosophy), Philosophy 354 (Themes in Continental Philosophy), and Philosophy 355 (Existentialism). I recently taught the Junior-Senior Seminar: the topic was Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations.

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