Harvard College Professor
Peter E. Gordon specializes in modern European Intellectual History from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century. He works chiefly on themes in Continental philosophy and social thought in Germany and France in the modern period. He has written extensively about the philosopher Martin Heidegger and varioius strains of phenomenology in modern German and French thought. He regularly teaches a survey of modern European intellectual history since Nietzsche. He has also written and taught courses on Martin Heidegger, the Frankfurt School, Theodor Adorno and music criticism, Weimar Intellectuals, Hannah Arendt and political theology, theories of secularization, theories of historical ontology and historical epistemology, social theory after the Holocaust, and modern Jewish thought.
His first book, Rosenzweig and Heidegger, Between Judaism and German Philosophy(California, 2003) won several awards, including 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. He is the editor of Weimar Thought: A Contested Legacy (Princeton, 2013). He also co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Modern Jewish Philosophy (Cambridge, 2007), and The Modernist Imagination: Essays in Intellectual History and Critical Theory in Honor of Martin Jay (Berghahn, 2008). His most recent book is major historical and analytical reconstruction of interwar German philosophy, entitled Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos (Harvard University Press, 2010), which received the Jacques Barzun Prize from the American Philosophical Society.
He serves on the editorial boards for Modern Intellectual History,The Journal of the History of Ideas, and New German Critique, and he is a regular contributor of book reviews to The New Republic, alongside other public journals and websites.. He is a faculty affiliate at the Center for European Studies and also has a permanent seat on the Standing Committee for Degrees in Social Studies. In 2005, Gordon received the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is currently working on a new book on secularization and social thought in the twentieth century. His newest book, entitled Adorno and Existence: Four Lectures is also forthcoming from Harvard University Press.