Peter Gordon (historian)

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Peter E. Gordon is the Amabel B. James Professor of History at Harvard University. Gordon is an intellectual historian who focuses on Continental Philosophy and modern German and French thought.[1] Gordon has worked extensively on the philosopher Martin Heidegger, Continental philosophy during the interwar crisis, and most recently, secularization and social thought in the twentieth century.[2]

Born in Seattle, Washington, Gordon received his BA from Reed College (1988) after a stint at the University of Chicago. He studied with Martin Jay at University of California, Berkeley, from which he received his PhD (1997). Gordon spent two years (1998 - 2000) at the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University before joining the faculty at Harvard in 2000.[1] In 2006 he became a member of Harvard's permanent faculty, and in 2005 he received the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Excellence in Teaching.[3]

Gordon's first book, Rosenzweig and Heidegger, Between Judaism and German Philosophy (California, 2003), about Heidegger and the German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig, won the Salo W. Baron Prize from the Academy for Jewish Research for Best First Book, the Goldstein-Goren Prize for Best Book in Jewish Philosophy, and the Morris D. Forkosch Prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas for Best Book in Intellectual History.[1] His most recent monograph, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos (Harvard, 2010) reconstructs the famous 1929 debate between Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer at Davos, Switzerland, demonstrating its significance as a point of rupture in Continental thought that implicated all the major philosophical movements of the day. Continental Divide was awarded the Jacques Barzun Prize from the American Philosophical Society in 2010.[4]

Gordon sits on the editorial boards of Modern Intellectual History, The Journal of the History of Ideas, and New German Critique. He is co-founder and co-chair of the Harvard Colloquium for Intellectual History.[5]

Selected publications[edit]


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