Pessin’s scholarly work has gone through several phases. His doctorate, and first few publications, were in contemporary philosophy of mind. But then his interest in the relationship between mind, brain, nature in general, and ultimately God led him backwards to the historical roots of philosophy of mind, and he spent some dozen-plus years publishing articles in early modern philosophy—on Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz, focusing on the themes of mind, perception, causation, and God.
His interest in these themes then expanded both backward in time and forward. First backward, as he did some work in medieval scholasticism (Aquinas and Suarez in particular), which in turn inspired an interest in medieval Jewish thinkers. Then forward, as the interest in Jewish thinkers spread to include modern and contemporary Jewish thought. His keen awareness of the hostility to Israel across college campuses has also led him to do some work on the history of Zionist thought. Finally, he has always enjoyed writing fiction, so all these interests have come together in the books he has recently published (or is about to publish): a novel based on the sad life and mysterious death of Descartes, an edited anthology on campus anti-Zionism, a book on the history of Jewish thought, and an edited anthology on antisemitism in the United States.
|Books by Andrew Pessin
|Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary America
|The Jewish God Question explores what a diverse array of Jewish thinkers have said about the interrelated questions of God, the Book, the Jewish people, and the Land of Israel.
|Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS (2018) Co-edited with Doron Ben-Atar (Fordham)
|The Irrationalist. A 2017 novel: historical murder mystery based on the difficult life and mysterious death of the famous philosopher, René Descartes
|The Study of Philosophy: A Text with Readings
7th edition, 2015.
|Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas From the Smartest Philosophers
|The Second Daughter
2014, novel, under the pen name J. Jeffrey
|The Philosophy of Mind
2010, Audio course and book
|The God Question: What Famous Thinkers From Plato to Dawkins Have Said About the Divine
|The 60-Second Philosopher: Expand Your Mind on a Minute or so a Day!
Other books by Pessin:
- Gray Matters: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (1997) Co-authored with Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern)
- The Twin Earth Chronicles: Twenty Years of Reflection on Hilary Putnam's "The Meaning of 'Meaning'" (1996) Co-edited with Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern)
For more information about Pessin and his work, visit his personal webpage.
View the philosophy department website.
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