Michael Strawser

Michael Strawser, Ph.D.

  • Department Chair, Professor
  • Email: strawser@ucf.edu
  • Phone: 407-823-2799
  • Office Hours: Call department for current office hours or appointment.
  • Campus Location: PSY0223
  • View CV


Dr. Michael Strawser is Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida, where he has taught since 2002. Prior to coming to UCF he taught for a decade at Folkuniversitetet in Helsingborg, Sweden. Dr. Strawser is Senior Editor of the Florida Philosophical Review and served as President of Florida Philosophical Association in 2016. He has served on the Søren Kierkegaard Society (SKS) Executive Committee as the APA Representative. He is also a coach of student ethics bowl teams that have participated in the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl since 2004, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ethics Bowl since 2015 (Regional Champions in 2017), and the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in 2009, 2010, 2011 (National Champions), and 2018. Dr. Strawser is also the faculty adviser for the UCF Philosophical Society.


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from Florida State University (1993)
  • M.A. in Philosophy from Florida State University (1990)
  • B.A. in Philosophy & Religion and Social Sciences, magna cum laude, from Flagler College (1986)

Research Interests

Kierkegaard, Spinoza, Continental Philosophy (Modern & Contemporary), Ethics, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Love, Philosophy of Religion

Recent Research Activities

Michael Strawser is currently doing research on the phenomenology of emotion and Spinoza and the philosophy of love.

Selected Publications



Book Sections/Chapters

  • "Inside the Escritoire: Kierkegaard's Erotic Theory of Communication," Authorship and Authority in Kierkegaard's Writings, edited by Joseph Westfall (Bloomsbury), 59-73.
  • Forthcoming "[Love in] 19th Century Western Philosophy." The Routledge Handbook of Love in Philosophy. Ed. Adrienne Martin. Routledge.
  • “Love is the Highest Good,” Kierkegaard’s God and the Good Life, edited by Stephen Minister, J. Aaron Simmons, and Michael Strawser. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2017. 
  • "Kierkegaard's Erotic Reduction and the Problem of Founding the Self." Narrative, Identity, and the Kierkegaardian Self. Eds. John Lippitt and Patrick Stokes. Edinburgh University Press, 2015.
  • "Why Spinozists and Kierkegaardians Should Love Each Other." Irreconcilable Differences. Eds. Jason C. Robinson and David A. Peck. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, an imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2015.
  • "Kierkegaard filosofo del amor." Conversaciones sobre Kierkegaard. Coords. Catalina Elena Dobre, Rafael Garcia Pavon, Luis I. Guerrero, Leticia Valadez. Sociedad Iberoamericana de Estudios Kierkegaardianos. Mexico, 2014. 62-63.
  • "Teaching the Art of Erotics." Desire, Performance, and Classification: Critical Perspectives on the Erotic. Ed. Jessica Pfeffer. Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013. 
  • “A Place for Forgiveness? A Derridean Response to Terrorism.” Politics and Religion in the New Century: Philosophical Perspectives. Eds. Philip Quadrio and Carrol Besseling. Sydney University Press, 2009.
  • Forgiving Derrida: From Terrorism to Self-Forgiveness. Forgiveness: Probing the Boundaries. Eds. Stephen Bloch-Schulman and David White. Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2009.
  • “Looking for a Common Watermark: Loving Others in Kierkegaard and Levinas.” Despite Oneself: Subjectivity and Its Secret in Kierkegaard and Levinas. Eds. Claudia Welz and Karl Verstrynge. London: Turnshare, 2008. 127-140.

Book Reviews

Conference Papers/Presentations

  • "The Courtesan and the Lens-grinder: The Joys of Amor in Aragona and Spinoza," The Joys of the Erotic: Building Human Connections, Palermo, Italy, June 29-30, 2018.
  • "Spinoza and the Phenomenology of Joy," IISES 4th Arts & Humanities Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, June 25-28, 2018.
  • "The True Spinoza of Market Street," The Arts of Spinoza + Pacific Spinoza, University of Auckland, New Zealand, May 28, 2017.
  • "The Edified Mind: How Philosophy Can Unite People," Presidential Address, Florida Philosophical Association, 62nd Annual Meeting, Melbourne, Florida, November 4, 2016.
  • Lecture on Kierkegaard and the Philosophy of Love, Respondent René Rosfort, The Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, June 2, 2016. 
  • "Authors Meet Critics: Asking Good Questions," with Nancy Stanlick, Association for Practical and Professional Ethics 25th Annual International Conference, Reston, VA, February 18-21, 2016.
  • "Kierkegaard's Feeling for Love," The Redemption of Feeling: The Religious Existentialists Conference, Queens College, NY, December 3-4, 2015.
  • "Kierkegaard's Phenomenology of Love: Love's Immediacy," Søren Kierkegaard Society, American Academy of Religion, San Diego, CA, November 22, 2014.
  • "Asking Good Questions: Case Studies in Ethics and Critical Thinking," with Nancy Stanlick, Association of Practical and Profession Ethics 23rd Annual International Conference, Jacksonville, Florida, March 1, 2014.
  • "On Love and Fearful Trembling," Søren Kierkegaard Society Meeting at the Eastern Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, Baltimore, Maryland, December 2013.
  • “Why Spinozists and Kierkegaardians Should Love Each Other,” Kierkegaard Circle Conference: Celebrating SK at 200, Trinity College, University of Toronto, Canada, April 6, 2013.
  • "Kierkegaard's Phenomenology of Love," Kierkegaard on Love and the Passions International Conference, Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, August 24, 2012.
  • "Kierkegaard and Phenomenology," Conference on Kierkegaard and the Philosophical Traditions, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, August 10, 2012.
  • “Teaching the Art of Erotics,” 6th Global Conference on the Erotic: Exploring Critical Issues, Prague, Czech Republic, November 11, 2011.
  • “Kierkegaard and the Phenomenology of Selfhood,” Conference on Narrative, Identity, and the Kierkegaardian Self, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK, November 5, 2011.
  • “Deliberating on Love and Sin,” Søren Kierkegaard Society Meeting at the Pacific Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, San Diego, California, April 21, 2011.
  • “The Erotic Ideal in Saadia and Spinoza.” Florida Philosophical Association 56th Annual Conference. Daytona Beach, FL, November 6, 2010.
  • “Toward the Perfect: Putting on the Armor of Love in the Edifying Discourses,” Conference on Kierkegaard’s Upbuilding Discourses, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, April 16, 2010. (Unable to attend due to Icelandic volcanic ash storm.)
  • “Applying Creativity to Research in Ethics,” Engagement in Undergraduate Research: Florida Statewide Symposium, University of Central Florida, September 25, 2009.
  • “Slaughtering Spinoza’s Speciesism with the Help of Derrida.” Towards a Philosophy of Life: An International Conference in Continental Philosophy of Religion, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK, June 27, 2009.
  • “Is There a Self in Pre-reflective Consciousness?” International Interdisciplinary Conference on Self, Identity and Culture: East and West, Kolkata, India, January 6, 2009.
  • “Assessing Assessment: Toward a Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Perspective,” Engagement in Undergraduate Research: Florida Statewide Symposium, University of Central Florida, September 26, 2008.
  • “Between Terrorism and Forgiveness: Exploring Derrida’s Post-Secular Thinking,” First Global Forgiveness Conference, Salzburg, Austria, March 2008.
  • “The Inadequacy of Spinoza’s Speciesism,” North American Spinoza Society Meeting at The American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Pasadena, CA, March 20, 2008.
  • “A Place for Forgiveness? A Derridean Response to Terrorism,Dialogues in Place: Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, December 2007.
  • “Striving for Love in Spinoza and Kierkegaard,” Søren Kierkegaard Society Meeting at the Pacific Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, San Francisco, California, April 2007.
  • “Looking for a Common Watermark: Loving Others in Kierkegaard and Levinas,” Kierkegaard and Levinas Workshop, Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, February 8, 2007.
  • “A Panegyric on Saintly Jewish Heretics Striving Towards a ‘Pure Religion’,” Heresy, Blasphemy, and Freedom of Expression: Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, January 18, 2007.
  • “Onto-theology and the Practice of Love,” 57th Annual Meeting of the New Mexico/West Texas Philosophical Society Meeting, Las Cruces, New Mexico, April 8, 2006.
  • “The Ethics of Love in Spinoza and Kierkegaard and the Irrelevance of the Question of God,” North Carolina/South Carolina Philosophical Society Joint Meeting, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, February 11, 2006.
  • “Communicating Silence: The Gift of Kierkegaard’s Authorship,” Kierkegaard, Subjectivity, and Silence Conference, UCF Cocoa Campus, Cocoa, Florida, April 3, 2004.
  • “Creating Philosophy: Using a Collaborative Approach in the Classroom,” Florida Philosophical Association Conference, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida, November 14, 2003.
  • “Kierkegaard and Rorty: A Preliminary Study of Edifying Philosophy,” Winning Graduate Paper, Florida Philosophical Association, 35th Annual Meeting, Tallahassee, Florida, November 1989.
  • “Welcome to the Jungle: The Problem of Language in Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard,” Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Centennial Conference, Tallahassee, Florida, April 1989.

Miscellaneous Publications



Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
20809 PHP3786 Existentialism Face to Face Instruction (P) Tu,Th 03:00 PM - 04:15 PM Available

This course will explore the diverse existentialist philosophies that are expressed in the writings of the major seminal thinkers who focus their attention on problems central to human existence. We shall begin with the 19th century precursors to existentialism, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and see how their thematic concerns are appropriated and developed by the 20th century French existentialists, Sartre and Camus. Themes and topics dealt with will include angst, radical freedom, existential choice, commitment, authenticity, subjectivity, the absurd, bad faith, etc. The majority of reading assignments will be from primary sources and will include several complete works. Classes will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, and students will be expected to participate actively in class.

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
80815 IDH3600H Hon Case Studies in Ethics Face to Face Instruction (P) Tu,Th 03:00 PM - 04:15 PM Available

This is an interdisciplinary, case-study approach to practical contemporary ethical issues in, for example, education, engineering, law, medicine, personal relationships, politics, etc. Students will conduct significant research on the cases, the nature of which will be highly interdisciplinary. Students will also write position papers applying creative and critical thinking skills and theoretical ethical concepts and frameworks to the cases. They will present and defend positions on the cases both individually and in groups. Thus, in this course students will develop their moral understanding and critical thinking skills, their argumentation and writing skills, and they will engage in public speaking and consensus-building.

No courses found for Summer 2018.

Updated: Jan 13, 2019