William Desmond (philosopher)

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William Desmond
William Desmond.jpg
Born1951 (age 67–68)
  • Prix Cardinal Mercier (1995)
  • J.N. Findlay award of the Metaphysical Society of America (1994–95; 2018)
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests
Notable ideas

William Desmond (born 1951)[1] is an Irish philosopher who has written on ontology, metaphysics, ethics, and religion. Former president of the Hegel Society of America (1990–1992) and the Metaphysical Society of America (1994–1995),[2] Desmond is professor of philosophy at the Higher Institute of Philosophy[3] at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and also at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. He is a past president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.[4] In his trilogy, Being and The Between, Ethics and The Between, and God and The Between, Desmond works out an entirely new and complete metaphysical/ontological philosophical system based on what he calls the potencies of being and the senses of being.[5] His most original contribution in his metaphysics is the notion of the "metaxological", which will be explained below. Desmond's program consists mainly in exploring the senses in which modernity has devalued being and what "to be" and "the good" might mean.

The ethos[edit]

The ethos can be defined as the ontological matrix of value at any given time. For Desmond the human self always lives in what he calls the ethos. The ethos is where we bring morality and concrete good through our power of affirming. Simultaneously, we receive the hospitality of the ethos through what Desmond calls the "agapeic origin of the good".[6] The origin is the "original givenness that frees beings into their freedom"[6] and must be understood as an agapeic gift which is overdetermined and thus cannot be aptly described or determined univocally or dialectically. As a consequence of this overdetermined origin as gift, we both generate and are generated by the

The potencies of being[edit]

Within the ethos there are seven potencies of being. This "enabling repertoire of self becoming" has the "character of an endowment", and is thus seen as a gift. The potencies are not a program to follow; they simply are all together the powers from which ethical selvings, expressed through particular senses of being, take their endowment. The seven potencies are:

  1. The Idiotic: By definition something which cannot be defined specifically. Related closely to the aesthetic, the idiotic potency is always with us as we dwell in the ethos. It is the potency of being present before all dianoetic reduction or understanding. As incarnate beings (thus related to the aesthetic potency) the idiotic concerns our pre-determined being. It is the original intimation of the good of the "to be". Dwelling in the ethos we generally expect being to be good. This is seen in the immediate expectation of newborns to be healthy; when we see an unhealthy baby we are shocked and sad. Our original expectation of being is goodness.
  2. The Aesthetic: Our being in the world is always incarnate. We live through our bodies and basic to our being is our embodied relationship with the world. The aesthetic is the idiotic incarnate. In beauty and the sublime we get physical intimations of the good of the to be. The aesthetic potency refers to much more than the "Kantian" purified realm of the aesthetic. The aesthetic potency deals with our embodied sensual communication and interaction with the world. In the experience of the sublime, for instance-again not taken in the Kantian sense-we get an intimation of the overdetermination of the origin. The exceeding power and force of being is intimated aesthetically to us through the sublime; our reaction is a sensual one through which we come to know the overdetermined power of the "to be". Our relationship with the ethos is always communicative.
  3. The Dianoetic: The rational potency of lawmaking and determination. The dianoetic potency looks at the world through laws and determinate formulas. Within the equivocity of the ethos and the interplay of sameness and difference there emerge some subtle constancies which we can determine through the dianoetic potency. There are some regularities which prove helpful to live in the ethos, and these are determined by this potency. The dianoetic are constancies always already at work in forms of being together.
  4. The Transcendental: The potency of a binding universality or condition of possibility. Some constancies in the ethos are so prevalent so as to be called transcendental. The transcendental potency is that which empowers us within the ethos to look for the more general and unconditional condition of possibility. Taken in a Platonic sense, as opposed to Kantian, this condition of possibility is something more akin to the original "good" that always qualifies the ethos. We come to the realisation of the 'agapeic origin' thanks to the transcendental potency. Itself not free of equivocities, the search for the unconditioned condition of possibility must include evil and death in whatever condition of possibility it finds. The origin that gives the 'to be' is thus itself not free of equivocities. To see the transcendental we must die. The transcendental is not a metaphysical qualification but rather ontological as referring to the Good itself. The origin as the agapeic good that gives all being has an ontological determination as Good. There are two transcendental relationships: 1) that between the origin and the ethos: having the characteristic of agapeic; and 2) that between the self and other: having the characteristic of being metaxological.
  5. The Eudaimonistic: The sense of wholeness of how we are in the world. This potency, calling up the 'daimon' as the between is the potency of the possibility for a more general wholeness that calls up the idiotic and aesthetic as well as the dianoetic and transcendental. Seen metaxologically, eudaimonic wholeness in this sense might be made concrete by either the "erotic sovereign" (Nietzsche) or the "agapeic servant" (Jesus). Desmond finds it problematic whether the erotic sovereign can be regarded as being truly whole, given that it doesn't fully consider the otherness of the ethos, which is overdetermined. The erotic sovereign is in the end transcendence without transcendence, because it only transcends again into itself, even if as a higher form, and there is never another involved. The eudaimonistic, calling up Aristotle's original conception of a man of phronesis as happy, is the potency that can take both the dianoetic and transcendental as constancies and law, and apply them to specific instances within the chiaroscuro involved in the idiotic and aesthetic. This being in between of the daimon correlates to a higher sense of wholeness being both involved in and transcending the ethos.
  6. The Transcending: This is the potency of the "between" itself; the mystery of self-surpassing and the excess of the overdetermined milieu itself. The transcending potency can only be seen metaxologically because it is itself a move towards the open overdeterminate, which is only seen thus. A movement towards the agapeic cannot be done dialectically or univocally because both narrow and define, nor equivocally since transcending requires movement in the between, not mere equivocity.
  7. The Transcendent: The ultimate power that itself allows for the possibility of all transcending. "For this we have the extraordinary word God." The Good itself, the power behind everything, is what is always intimated in the between. It allows for self-development and transcending to the Good.

The senses of being[edit]

Within the ontological matrix of being, the different potencies can be expressed differently through the senses of being. These ways in which to express the potencies help explore the relations of sameness and difference within the ethos. The four potencies are:

  1. Univocal: This potency is that of intelligibility and identity. It is a potency most clearly seen as the driving force behind modernity. The univocal potency helps manifest intelligibility and gives determination to the ethos.
  2. Equivocal: The equivocal potency is marked by its indefiniteness and difference.
  3. Dialectic: Characterized by mediation, the dialectic sense places emphasis on self mediated wholeness.
  4. The Metaxological: From the Greek 'metaxu' meaning 'between', the metaxological is a view of the ethos from the between as overdetermined. Emphasizing mediation, it leaves the between open (as opposed to the dialectical) and emphasises the interplay between sameness and difference. The metaxological considers the between as overdetermined and does not attempt to constrict or define the between or the ethos as whole or progressing teleologically. It is a more robust consideration of the agapeic origin as overdetermined good

Critique of other philosophers[edit]

Different philosophers can be seen as embodying different potencies and senses of being throughout the history of philosophy. Kant, for instance, is best defined as a transcendental univocalist. Nietzsche would come close to something like an aesthete given his acknowledgment of the aesthetic/sensual part of being; he is, however, described by Desmond as being defined by the transcending potency and being both equivocal and a dialectician. Hegel might be defined as a dialectician. Desmond believes, however, that all of these philosophers are somehow haunted by those potencies which they seek to ignore or devalue. There is a dialectics in Kant and there are equivocities in Nietzsche. "Metaxological vigilance" shows a clearer picture of the ethos than do any views that restrict philosophical considerations to the other senses of being and potencies.[6]



  • Art and the Absolute: A Study of Hegel’s Aesthetics, SUNY Press, 1986.
  • Desire, Dialectic and Otherness: An Essay on Origins, Yale University Press, 1987; 2nd edition, Wipf and Stock, 2013.
  • Hegel and his Critics: Philosophy in the Aftermath of Hegel, (Editor) SUNY Press, 1989.
  • Philosophy and its Others: Ways of Being and Mind, SUNY Press, 1990; A Filosofia e seus Outros: Modos do Ser e do Pensar, trans., José Carlos Aquiar de Souza, Edicoes Loyola: Sao Paula, Brasil, 2000.
  • Beyond Hegel and Dialectic: Speculation, Cult and Comedy, SUNY Press, 1992.
  • Being and the Between, SUNY Press, 1995. (Winner of the Prix Cardinal Mercier, 1995, for a work in metaphysics; also winner of the J.N. Findlay award of the Metaphysical Society of America, for the best book in metaphysics, 1994-1995)
  • Perplexity and Ultimacy: Metaphysical Thoughts from the Middle, SUNY Press, 1995.
  • Het tragische en het komische, Boom: Amsterdam, 1998 (translation of essays from Beyond Hegel and Dialectic and Perplexity and Ultimacy)
  • Translation and introduction to L. Heyde, The Weight of Finitude: Concerning the Philosophical Question of God, SUNY Press, 1999.
  • Being and Dialectic, edited with Joseph Grange, SUNY Press, 2000.
  • Ethics and the Between, SUNY Press, 2001.
  • Beyond Conflict and Reduction: The Interplay of Philosophy, Science and Religion, ed. W. Desmond, Louvain University Press, 2001.
  • Art, Origins, Otherness: Between Art and Philosophy, SUNY Press, 2003.
  • Hegel’s God: A Counterfeit Double? Ashgate Press, 2003.
  • Philosophy and Religion in German Idealism, edited with Paul Cruysberghs and Ernst Otto-Onnasch, Kluwer Publishing, 2004.
  • Godsdienst/Filosofisch bekeken, edited with Ignace Verhack and Paul Cortois, Pelckmans Uitgeverij, Belgium, 2003.
  • Is There a Sabbath for Thought?: Between Religion and Philosophy, Fordham University Press, 2005
  • God and the Between, Blackwell, 2008.
  • Being Between: Conditions of Irish Thought, Leabhar Breac/Center for Irish Studies, 2008.
  • The William Desmond Reader, ed. Chris Simpson, SUNY Press, 2012.
  • The Intimate Strangeness of Being: Metaphysics after Dialectic, Catholic University of America Press, 2012.
  • The Intimate Universal: The Hidden Porosity among Religion, Art, Philosophy, and Politics, Columbia University Press, 2016.
  • The The Gift of Beauty and the Passion of Being: On the Threshold between the Aesthetic and the Religious, Wipf and Stock, 2018.

Articles and book chapters[edit]

  • “Collingwood, Imagination and Epistemology,” Philosophical Studies (Ireland), 24, 1976, 82–103.
  • “Hegel, Art and Imitation,” Clio, 7:2, 1978, 303–313.
  • “Memory and Metaphysics,” Seminar, 3, 1979, 21–31.
  • “Hegel, Philosophy and Worship,” Cithara, 19:1, 1979, 3–20.
  • “Plato’s Philosophical Art and the Identification of the Sophist,” Filosofia Oggi, 11:4, 1979, 393–403.
  • “Phronesis and the Categorial Imperative,” Philosophical Studies (Ireland), 27, 1980, 7–15.
  • “St. Augustine’s Confessions: On Desire, Conversion and Reflection,” Irish Theological Quarterly, 47:1, l980, 24–33.
  • “Hegel, History and Philosophical Contemporaneity,” Filosofia Oggi, 4, 1981, no.2, 211–226.
  • “The Child in Nietzsche's Menagerie,” Seminar, 5, 1981, 40–44.
  • “Hegel and the Problem of Religious Representation,” Philosophical Studies (Ireland), 30, 1984, 9–22.
  • “Hegel, Art and History,” Ch. 8, History and System, ed. R.L. Perkins (SUNY Press, 1984).
  • “Art, Philosophy and Concreteness in Hegel,” The Owl of Minerva, Spring 1985, 131–146.
  • "Dream Monologues of Autonomy," Ethical Perspectives no. 2 1998, 305–321. (PDF)
  • “Hegel, Dialectic and Deconstruction,” Philosophy and Rhetoric, 18:4, 1985, 244–263.
  • “Hermeneutics and Hegel’s Aesthetics,” The Irish Journal of Philosophy, 2, 1985, 94 104.
  • “Art as ‘Aesthetic’ and ‘Religious’ in Hegel,” in Hegel’s Philosophy of Spirit, ed. Peter Stillmann (SUNY Press, 1986).
  • “Schopenhauer, Art and the Dark Origin,” in Schopenhauer, ed. Eric von der Luft (Lewistown, NY: Mellen Press, 1988), 101–122.
  • “Philosophy and Failure,” in The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol. II, No. 4, 1988, 288–305.
  • “God, Kearney and Contemporary European Philosophy,” The Irish Theological Quarterly, 1988, 3, 237–242.
  • “Hegel, Legal Status and Otherness,” in The Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 10, Nos. 5–6, 1713–1726.
  • “Can Philosophy Laugh at Itself: On Hegel and Aristophanes,” in The Owl of Minerva, vol. 20, No. 2, Spring 1989, 131–149.
  • “Art, Origins, Otherness: Hegel and Aesthetic Self-Mediation,” in Philosophy and Art, ed. Dan Dahlstrom, (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1991).
  • “Being Between,” CLIO, 20: 4, 1991, 305–331.
  • “In Reply,” CLIO, 20: 4, 1991, 393–422.
  • “Evil and Dialectic,” New Perspective in Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion, ed. David Kolb (SUNY Press, 1992), 159–82.
  • “Being at a Loss: Reflections on Philosophy and the Tragic,” Tragedy and Philosophy, ed. Nenos Georgopoulos (Macmillan, 1993), 154–186.
  • “Jaspers, Marcel, Levinas,” chapter on these three thinkers in Routledge History of Philosophy: Contemporary Continental Thought, ed. Richard Kearney (Routledge, 1994), 131–174.
  • “Perplexity and Ultimacy: Metaphysical Thoughts from the Middle,” in Being Human in the Ultimate, eds. Michael Heim and Nenos Georgopoulos (Rodopi B.V. Editions, 1995), 101–133.
  • “Between Finitude and Infinity: Hegelian Reason and the Pascalian Heart,” Presidential Address for the Hegel Society of America, October 1992. In Hegel on the Modern World, ed. Ardis Collins (SUNY Press, 1995), 1–28; also in The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. IX, no. 2, 1995, 83–110.
  • “Creativity and the Dunamis,” in The Philosophy of Paul Weiss: Library of Living Philosophers, ed. L. Hahn (Open Court Publishing, 1995), 543–557.
  • “The Mathesis of Nature, the Poeisis of Naturing,” in Journal of Dharma, October–December, 1995, Vol. XX, No. 4, 321–333.
  • “Rethinking the Origin: Hegel and Nietzsche,” in Hegel, History and Interpretation, ed. Shaun Gallagher (SUNY Press, 1997), 71–94.
  • “Kant and the Terror of Genius: Between Enlightenment and Romanticism,” in Kant’s Aesthetics, ed. Herman Parret (de Gruyter, 1998), 594–614.
  • “Thinking on the Double: the Equivocities of Dialectic,” in special jubilee edition of the Owl of Minerva, 25, 2 (Spring 1994), 221–234, with other essays by past Presidents of the Hegel Society of America.
  • “Being, Dialectic and Determination: On the Sources of Metaphysical Thinking,” Presidential Address of the Metaphysical Society of America, The Review of Metaphysics, 48 (June, 1995), 731–769.
  • “The Solitudes of Philosophy,” Loneliness, ed. Lee Rouner (University of Notre Dame Press, 1998), 63–78.
  • “Serviceable Disposability and the Blandness of the Good,” Ethical Perspectives, 5 (1998), 2, 136–143.
  • “Autonomia Turranos: On Some Dialectical Equivocities of Self-determination,” Ethical Perspectives 5 (1998) 4, 233–252.
  • "Interview with Richard Eldridge," in Ethical Perspectives 5 (1998) 4, 285–304.
  • Reprint of “Hegel and the Problem of Religious Representation,” in The International Library of Classical Essays in the History of Philosophy: HEGEL, Volume II, ed. David Lamb (Ashgate Press, 1998), 405–418.
  • Reprint of “Hermeneutics and Hegel’s Aesthetics,” in The International Library of Classical Essays in the History of Philosophy: HEGEL, Volume II, ed. David Lamb (Ashgate Press, 1998), 335–345.
  • Reprint of “Thinking on the Double: the Equivocities of Dialectic,” in The International Library of Classical Essays in the History of Philosophy: HEGEL, Volume II, ed. David Lamb (Ashgate Press, 1998), 171–184.
  • “Philosophical Audacity - Shestov’s Piety,” in Lev Shestov Journal, Winter, No. 2, 1998, 45–80.
  • “Freedom beyond Autonomy,” in Freedom in Contemporary Culture (University of Lublin Press, 1999), 163–174.
  • “Art and the Absolute Revisited: The Neglect of Hegel’s Aesthetics,” in Hegel’s Aesthetics, ed. William Maker (SUNY Press, 2000), 1–12.
  • “God, Ethos, Ways,” in International Journal of the Philosophy of Religion, 45, 1999, 13–30; also published in God and Argument/Dieu et argumentation, ed. William Sweet (University of Ottawa Press, 1999), 65–83.
  • “Caesar with the Soul of Christ: Nietzsche’s Highest Impossibility,” in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 61/1999, 27–61.
  • “Gothic Hegel,” in The Owl of Minerva, 30:2 (Spring, 1999), 237–252.
  • “Hyperbolic Thoughts: On Creation and Nothing,” in Framing a Vision of the World: Essays in Philosophy, Science and Religion, eds. Santiago Sia and Andre Cloots (Leuven University Press, 1999), 23–43.
  • “Over Gott en het Transcendentale Ego,” in Reflectie en Fundering - Studies van het Centrum voor Duits Idealisme, 1999, 79–85.
  • “Chinese Philosophy and the Problems of Modernity - A Reply,” Contemporary Chinese Thought, Summer 1999, 75–80.
  • “Art and the Impossible Burden of Transcendence: On the End of Art and the Task of Metaphysics” in Hegel-Jahrbuch, 2000, 75–91.
  • “Philosophy of Religion,” in The Examined Life, ed. Stanley Rosen (Random House, 2000), 105–123.
  • “God beyond the Whole: Between Shestov and Solov’ëv,” in Vladimir Solov’ëv: Reconciler and Polemicist (Selected Papers of the International Solovyov Conference, University of Nijmegen, September, 1998), ed. Wil van den Bercken, et al. (Peeters Publishers, 2000), 185–210.
  • “On the Betrayals of Reverence,” in Irish Theological Quarterly, (3), 2000, 211-230; also in Beyond Conflict and Reduction: Between Philosophy, Science and Religion, ed. W. Desmond, J. Steffen, K. Decoster (Leuven University Press, 2001) (Selected Proceedings of the International Conference on The Interplay of Philosophy, Science and Religion, Leuven, November, 1998), 175–198.
  • “Neither Deconstruction or Reconstruction: Metaphysics and the Intimate Strangeness of Being,” International Philosophical Quarterly, 40, 1, March, 2000, 37–49.
  • “On Obedience and Conscience,” Studies van het Centrum voor Duits Idealisme, II, 2000, 53–56.
  • “Enemies,” in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 63/2001, 127-151; also in Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2001, 22–37.
  • “Exceeding the Measure: On Ethics and the Between,” Ethical Perspectives 8 (2001), 4, 319–331: Including "Response to Ignace Verhack," 250–253; "Response to Garrett Barden," 268-271; "Response to Cyril O'Regan," 303–306; Response to Arnold Burms, 313–318.
  • “Sticky Evil: On Macbeth and the Karma of the Equivocal,” in God, Literature and Process Thought, ed. Darren Middleton (Ashgate Press, 2002), 133–55.
  • “On the Secret Sources of Strengthening: Philosophical Reflections on Courage,” Courage, ed. Barbara Darling-Smith, (University of Notre Dame Press, 2002), 11–29.
  • “Surplus Immediacy and the Defect(ion) of Hegel’s Concept,” in Philosophy and Culture: Essays in Honor of Donald Phillip Verene, ed. Glenn Alexander Magee (Philosophy Documentation Center, 2002), 107–127.
  • “Religious Imagination and the Counterfeit Doubles of God,” Louvain Studies (Fall 2002), 280–305.
  • “Murdering Sleep: Shestov and Macbeth,” in Proceedings of Shestov-Fondaine Conference on Philosophy and Tragedy, Paris, October, 2000.
  • “A Second Primavera: Cavell, German Philosophy and Romanticism,” in Stanley Cavell, ed. R. Eldridge (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 143–171.
  • “Maybe, Maybe Not: Richard Kearney and God,” in Irish Theological Quarterly, 68 (2003), 99-118; revised version in After God: Richard Kearney and the Religious Turn in Continental Philosophy, ed. John Panteleimon Monoussakis (Fordham University Press, 2005), 55–77.
  • “Het intiem-universele: tussen religie en filosofie,” in Godsdienst/Filosofisch Bekeken, ed. W. Desmond, I. Verhack, P. Cortois (Pelckmans Uitgeverij, Belgium, 2003), 71–87.
  • “Religion and the Poverty of Philosophy,” in Philosophy and Religion in German Idealism, ed. W. Desmond, P. Cruysberghs, E. Otto-Onnasch (Kluwer Publishing, 2004),139–170.
  • “Tyranny and the Recess of Friendship,” in Amor Amicitiae: On the Love that is Friendship, ed. Thomas Kelly and Philipp Rosemann (Peeters, 2004), 99-125.
  • “Paidea: Anachronism or Necessity?” in Educating for Democracy: Paideia in an Age of Uncertainty, ed. Alan Olson et al. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004), 11–24.
  • “The Need of Finesse: The Information Society and the Sources of Ethical Formation,” in Ethics and Values in a Digital Age, Report of the Information Society Commission, Department of the Taoiseach, Government of Ireland, December 2004, 24–39.
  • “Neither Servility nor Sovereignty: Between Metaphysics and Politics,” in Theology and the Political: The New Debate, ed. Creston Davis, John Milbank, and Slavoj Žižek (Duke University Press, 2005), 153–182.
  • “Is there Metaphysics after Critique?” International Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 45, no. 2, June 2005, 221–41.
  • “Consecrated Thought: Between the Priest and the Philosopher,” Louvain Studies, (30) 2005, 92–106.
  • “Consecrated Love: A Philosophical Reflection on Marriage,” INTAMS Review, (11), Spring 2005, 4–17.
  • “Autonomy, Loyalty and Civic Piety,” in Civic Education and Culture, ed. Bradley C.S. Watson, (ISI Books, 2005), 15–28.
  • “Hegel's God, Transcendence and the Counterfeit Double,” The Owl of Minerva, 36 (2), Spring/Summer 2005, 91–110: Including, “Response to De Nys,” 165–74; “Response to Houlgate," 175–88; “Response to Hodgson,” 189–200.
  • Reprint of “Hegel, Dialectic and Deconstruction,” in Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism, ed. R. Whittaker, Gale, 2005, 271–80.
  • Reprint of “Philosophies of Religion: Jaspers, Marcel, Levinas,” in Emmanuel Levinas: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers, ed. Claire Katz (Routledge, 2005), Vol III, 80–120.
  • “Maybe, Maybe Not: Richard Kearney and God,” revised edition in After God: Richard Kearney and the Religious Turn in Continental Philosophy, ed. John Panteleimon Manoussakis (Fordham University Press, 2005), 55–77.
  • “Pluralism, Truthfulness and the Patience of Being," in Health and Human Flourishing: Religion, Medicine and Moral Anthropology, ed. Carol R. Taylor, Roberto Dell'Oro (Georgetown University Press, 2006), chapter 3.
  • “Doing Justice and the Practice of Philosophy,” Social Justice: Its Theory and Practice, American Catholic Philosophical Association, Proceedings of the ACPA, Vol. 79, 41–59.
  • “On the Way: Travelling with Sander Griffioen,” in Sander Griffioen, Een Weg Gaan: Cultuurfilosofie West en Oost (Damon, 2006), 120–28.
  • “Between System and Poetics: On the Practices of Philosophy,” in Between System and Poetics: William Desmond and Philosophy after Dialectics, ed. Thomas Kelly (Ashgate Press, 2007), 13–36.
  • “Filosofía del Arte a la Sombra de Hegel,” Estudios Filosóficos LVI (2007) 31–51.
  • “The Confidence of Thought: Between Belief and Metaphysics,” in Belief and Metaphysics, ed. Peter M. Candler and Conor Cunningham (SCM, 2007), 11–40.
  • “Despoiling the Egyptians – Gently: Merold Westphal and Hegel” in Gazing Through a Prism Darkly Reflections on Merold Westphal’s Hermeneutical Epistemology, ed. B. Keith Putt (Fordham University Press, 2009), 20–34.
  • “It is Nothing: Wording the Release of Forgiveness,” Presidential Address, ACPA, Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Society, vol. 82, 1–23.
  • “Ways of Wondering: Beyond the Barbarism of Reflection,” in Philosophy Begins in Wonder, eds. Michael Deckard and Peter Losonczi (Wipf & Stock, 2010), 310–348.
  • “Analogy, Dialectic and Divine Transcendence: Between St. Thomas and Hegel,” in Ramify: Journal of the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Spring 2010, 1, 1, 4–26 (Aquinas Lecture).
  • “On God and the Between,” in Between Philosophy and Theology: Contemporary Interpretations of Christianity, ed. L. Boeven and C. Brabant (Ashgate Publishers, 2010), 99–126.
  • Bulgarian translation by Dessislav Valkanov of “Tyranny and the Recess of Friendship,” originally in Amor Amicitiae: On the Love that is Friendship, ed. Thomas Kelly and Philipp Rosemann (Peeters, 2004), 99-125’ in IDEAS, I, 2, 2010, 59–80.
  • “Are we all Scholastics Now? On Analytic, Dialectical and Post-dialectical Thinking,” in Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2010–2011, 1–24.
  • “Between Finitude and Infinitude: On Hegel’s Sublationary Infinitism” in Hegel and the Infinite, ed. C. Crockett (Columbia University Press, 2012), 115–140.
  • “The Theater of the Metaxu: Staging the Between,” in Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy, Vol. 30, Number 2, 113–124.
  • “Neither Cosmopolis nor Ghetto: Religion and the Intimate Universal,” in The Future of Political Theology, ed. P. Losonczi, M. Luoma-aho and A. Singh (Ashgate Publishers, 2011), 87–113.
  • “Schopenhauer’s Philosophy of the Dark Origin” in Blackwell Companion to Schopenhauer, ed. Bart Vandenabeele (Blackwell, 2012), 89-104.
  • “Consecrating Peace: Reflections on Daniel Berrigan and Witness”, in Faith, Resistance and the Future: Daniel Berrigan’s Challenge to Catholic Social Thought, ed. James L. Marsh and Anna Brown (Fordham University Press, 2012), 100–118.
  • “Exceeding Virtue: Aquinas and the Beatitudes,” in Thomas Aquinas: Teacher and Scholar. The Aquinas Lectures at Maynooth, volume 2: 2002–2010, James McEvoy, Michael W. Dunne, Julie Hynes, editors (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 2012), 28–49.
  • “Wording the Between,” in The William Desmond Reader (SUNY, 2012), 195–227.
  • “On the Surface of Things: Transient Life and Beauty in Passing,” Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Philosophy, Politics, Vol. 1, Numbers 1 & 2 (August 2012): 20–54.
  • “Mysticism and the Intimate Universal: Philosophical Reflections on the Arnhem Mystical Sermons and Sri Aurobindo,” in Mystical Anthropology: Cross-Religious Perspectives and Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Arnhem Mystical Sermons and Sri Aurobindo, Edited by Ineke Cornet, Rob Faesen and Martin Sebastian Kallungal (Peeters, Leuven, 2012), 25–44.
  • “The Voiding of Being: The Doing/Undoing of Metaphysics in Modernity,” [retitled “The Metaphysics of Modernity”] in Oxford Handbook in Theology and Modern European Thought, edited Nicholas Adams, Graham Ward and George Pattison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 543–563.
  • “Ethics and the Evil of Being,” in What Happened in and to Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Philosophical Essays in Honor of Alasdair MacIntyre, Fran O’Rourke, ed. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2013), 423–459.
  • “Creation and the Evil of Being,” in To Discern Creation in a Scattering World, F. Depoortere and J. Haers (Leuven: Peeters, 2013), 171–206.
  • "Being in America," in Being in America: 60 Years of the Metaphysical Society of America, Rudopi, 2014, xvi–xxvii.
  • "Consecrated Beauty and the Witness of the Priest," in Priesthood Today: Ministry in a Changing Church, ed. Eamonn Conway, Veritas, 2014, 392–400.
  • “Agapeic Selving and the Passion of Being: Subjectivity in the Light of Solidarity.” In Post-Subjectivity, edited by Christoph Schmidt, Merav Mack, and Andy R. German, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014, 77–102.
  • "The Potencies of the Ethical" in An Ethics of/for the Future, Mary Shanahan ed. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014, 62–75.
  • "On Evil and Political Theology," Political Theology, vol 16, no 2, 2015, 93–100.


  1. ^ "Philosophical Seminar: Prof. William Desmond 'Flux-gibberish: For and Against Heraclitus'". Maynooth University. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  2. ^ "William Desmond". Leuven, Belgium: KU Leuven. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  3. ^ Institute of Philosophy, Leuven
  4. ^ https://ghum.kuleuven.be/lcis/members/desmond.html
  5. ^ William Desmond (1995). Being and the Between. SUNY. ISBN 0-7914-2272-0
  6. ^ a b c William Desmond (2001). Ethics and the Between. SUNY. ISBN 0-7914-4847-9

External links[edit]