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Adam Knowles, PhD

Adam Knowles, PhD

Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
Office: 5034 MacAlister Hall
Phone: 215.895.2433
Fax: 215.895.1071


  • BA, History, Philosophy, The University of Texas at Austin, 2001
  • Magister Artium, South Asian History, Philosophy, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, 2007
  • MA, Philosophy, The New School for Social Research, 2009
  • PhD, Philosophy, The New School for Social Research, 2014

Research Interests:

Continental Philosophy, Phenomenology, Ancient Greek Philosophy


My research focuses on 20th-century German philosophy, phenomenology, intellectual history and Holocaust studies. My first book, Heidegger’s Fascist Affinities: A Politics of Silence, will be published with Stanford University Press in 2019. It examines the affinities between Martin Heidegger’s philosophy of language and political alliance with fascist and ethno-nationalist political movements.

My second book project turns to social and political philosophy. Categories of Complicity: Philosophy under National Socialism will examine how philosophers participated in and contributed to fascist movements in their professional activities in Nazi Germany. My research has been funded by fellowships from the Holocaust Educational Foundation, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, and German Historical Institute. I am a translator of German philosophy and am currently working on translating two books by Heidegger, including his Black Notebooks (1942-48). I also pursue research in the philosophy of language, including analyzing gendered concepts of speech and silence and am applying the tools of critical phenomenology to analyze the legal right to silence.

At Drexel I teach Holocaust and Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology, Introduction to Western Philosophy, Ethics, Aesthetics, and Critical Reasoning. If you’re interested in Germany philosophy (or anything German), feel free to contact me.

Selected Publications:

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • “Hospitality’s Downfall: Kant, Cosmopolitanism and Refugees,” Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 31:3 (2017), 347-357.
  • “The Gender of Silence: Irigaray on the Measureless Measure,” Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 29:3 (2015), 302-313.
  • “Heidegger’s Mask: Silence, Politics and the Banality of Evil in the Black Notebooks,” in Gatherings: The Annual Journal of the Heidegger Circle, 5 (2015), 93-117.
  • “A Genealogy of Silence: Chōra and the Placelessness of Greek Women,” in philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism, 5:1 (2015), 1-24.
  • “Towards a Critique of Walten: Heidegger, Derrida and Henological Difference,” in Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 27:3 (2013), 265-276.

Book Chapters

  • “Martin Heidegger’s Nazi Conscience,” in Probing the Limits of Categorization: The Bystander in Holocaust History, ed. Christina Morina and Krijn Thijs (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018), 168-186.
  • “The Aristotelian Origins of Heidegger’s Thinking of Silence,” in Sources of Desire: Essays on Aristotle’s Theoretical Works, ed. James Oldfield (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), 94-110.
  • “Conjecturing Rudeness: James Mill’s Utilitarian Philosophy of History and the British Civilizing Mission,” in From Improvement to Development: Civilizing Missions in Colonial and Post-Colonial South Asia, ed. Michael Mann and Carey Watt (London: Anthem Press, 2011), 37-64.


  • “Fascism’s Charms: Philosophy under National Socialism,” The Philosopher, special issue on fascism entitled “Us and Them.”
  • University Student Groups in Nazi Germany,” Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • Co-author Debjani Bhattacharyya, “Le sujet ideal du totalitarisme,” Revue des Femmes Philosophes, special issue on Intellectuels, philosophes, femmes en Inde: des espèces en danger. No. 4-5 (2017), 127-138.
  • “The Moral Imperative to Assume the Worst,” Dec. 2016, Blog of the American Philosophical Association.


  • Risky Proximity to Life by Wolfram Hogrebe, The Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, Vol. 31:2 (2010).

In Progress

  • “Martin Heidegger’s Rectorate: The Philosopher as a Nazi Bureaucrat.”
  • “Heidegger’s Supposed Critique of Biological Racism.”
  • Categories of Complicity: Philosophy under National Socialism
  • Translation from German of Martin Heidegger, Remarks I-V (Black Notebooks 1942-1948) (Indiana University Press, manuscript submission 2019).
  • Translation from German of Martin Heidegger, On the Essence of Language and the Question of Art (Polity Press, manuscript submission 2020).