Professor Dennis Des Chene who joined the Department of Philosophy in 2003 is retiring this summer.
Des Chene's research has focused especially on early modern philosophy and the history of philosophy and early modern science in the seventeenth century. He has authored multiple books, including Spirits and Clocks. Organism and Machine in Descartes, Cornell University Press, 2001; Life's Form. Late Aristotelian Conceptions of the Soul, Cornell University Press, 2000; and Physiologia. Natural Philosophy in Late Aristotelian and Cartesian Philosophy, Cornell University Press, 1996.
More recently he has been working on theories of the passions and on animals and automata. Other interests include aesthetics and the philosophy of art, especially of music, and the history and philosophy of mathematics. A recent project focuses on Paul Strand's abstract photographs.
Throughout the course of his tenure Des Chene has been the recipient of numerous awards including a 2007 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Award and an NEH Fellowship on Cartesian Psychology.
As professor, Des Chene taught core undergraduate and graduate courses in aesthetics, early modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant, medieval philosophy, and 19th century philosophy. Within the Department of Philosophy, he has been a valued colleague and researcher. Des Chene will now assume emeritus status.