Christopher Michael Turner

Assistant Professor

My interests span the history of philosophy from antiquity to the present day, focused around a series of central questions, including the following: To what extent is human flourishing under our control and to what extent is it outside of our control? If human flourishing essentially involves the use of reason in a good life shared with others, who is deemed capable of such reason and who is not, and why? What current obstacles prevent us from fulfilling our potential to lead fulfilling lives?  What would an ideal political community look like, and how has such a life been imagined within the history of utopian thought? I have extensively researched the relation between fortune and human happiness in ancient thought, explored a dozen different approaches to interpreting Plato's Socrates going back more than a century, as well as authored articles on a kind of fundamental errancy that belongs to human theory and praxis as it unfolds over time in the work of Jean-Paul Sartre and Theodor Adorno. My current research project focuses on the development of a thinking which aims to come to terms with tragic reversals and sudden plunges into misfortune and catastrophe. What will emerge from the analysis is that the essentially fallen and susceptible nature of ethical and political life turns out to be no excuse for impasse and failure, though it certainly does help illuminate their persistence. From the ancient Cynics to the contemporary theorist Peter Sloterdijk, an ethical art and political praxis of taking over one's own fallenness will be elaborated, on the basis of which it becomes possible to 'turn back' the turns of fortune, to wriggle free from the twists of fate, and to recoup the ends of praxis from the counter-finalities that would invert them.

Christopher Michael Turner
Contact Information

Building Location: Science 1
See Building #9: Map

Office Location: S 241 - See Map

Phone: (209) 667-3209




B.A. (summa cum laude), Northern Arizona Universiy (Philosophy), June 2009

M.A., DePaul University (Philosophy), December 2011

Ph.D. (with distinction), DePaul University (Philosophy), June 2016

Dissertation: "Aristotle and the Cynics on Happiness and Misfortune" (Awarded Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2014-2015)

Dissertation Committee: Sean Kirkland (Director), Michael Naas, Will McNeill, Richard A. Lee, Jr., and Julie Piering

Areas of Specialization

Ancient Philosophy

20th Century Continental Philosophy (especially the Frankfurt School and Western Marxism)

History of Philosophy

Areas of Competence:

Ethics (including Professional Ethics)

19th Century German Philosophy

Social and Political Philosophy


Argument Analysis of Plato's Laches. On-line, Edinburgh: Archelogos, 2016. Co-author George Rudebusch. 38,000 words (equivalent of 100-page book).  

( Project Archelogos is creating an argument database, using a new methodology for the analysis into arguments of Plato's and Aristotle's philosophical texts. Project Archelogos enjoys wide international collaboration and received the Henry Ford Foundation Award for the Preservation of European Culture in 1997.)

"Under Adorno's Spell: Bann as Fundamental Concept Rather Than Mere Metaphor." New German Critique 129, November 2016.

"Happiness, Time, and Perplexity: Aristotle's Ethical Epistemology in EN I.10." In: AKAN - Antike Naturwissenschaft und ihre Rezeption, Band 11, 2016.

"Cosmopolis: Towards a Positive Conception of Cynic Political Philosophy." Yearbook in Cosmopolitan Studies ( 2 (2015).

"A Philosophical Solution to the Problem of Socrates." Co-authored with George Rudebusch. Journal of Ancient Philosophy 8 (2), 2014.

"The Return of Stolen Praxis: Counter-Finality in Sartre's Critque of Dialectical Reason." Sartre Studies International, 20 (1), 2014.


Kritik der Rechte ('Critique of Rights'), by Christoph Menke. Ongoing with Polity, 2018

What Happened in the 20th Century? by Peter Sloterdijk [Was geschah im 20. Jahrhundert?, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2016]. Completed with Polity, 2018

I Am Not a Brain: Philosophy of Mind for the 21st Century, by Markus Gabriel 'Ich ist nicht Gehirn, Berlin: Ullstein, 2015]. Cambridge: Polity, 2017.

Not Saved: Essays After Heidegger by Peter Sloterdijk [Nicht gerettet: Versuche nach Heidegger, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp Verglag, 2001]. With co-translator, Ian Alexander Moore. Cambridge: Polity, 2016.

Play as Symbol of the World by Eugen Fink [Spiel als Weltsymbol, Freiburg: Karl Alber, 2010]. With co-translator, Ian Moore.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

Freedom to Fail - Heidegger's Anarchy by Peter Trawny [Freiheit und Irre: Heideggers Anarchie, Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2014]. With co-translator, Ian Alexander Moore. Cambridge: Polity, 2015.

"Correspondence between Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schiller." In: Philosophers and their Poets: Reflections on the Poetic Turn in German Philosophy Since Kant, SUNY Press, completed and forthcoming in 2017.

"The Universal and Annihilation: Heidegger's Being-Historical Anti-Semitism [Das Universale und die Vernichtung. Heideggers seinsgeschichtlicher Antisemitismus]" by Peter Trawny. With Ian Alexander Moore, translation of a Public Lecture delivered (in our translated English) at Södertörn Högskola, Stockholm, Sweden, 2014. To be published in Heiegger's "Black Notebooks": Philosophy, Politics, Anti-Semitism (ed. by Peter Trawny and Andrew Mitchell), completed and curently under review with Columbia University Press.

"Fragments on the History of Philosophy ["Fragmente über Geschichtsphilosophie"], by Peter Trawny. With Ian Alexander Moore. Philosophy Today 60 (4), 2016.

"On Machiavelli" by Johann Gottlieb Fichte [Über Machiavelli, als Schriftsteller, und Stellen aus seinen Schriften, 1807]. Translation with Ian Alexander Moore, in: Philosophy Today 60 (3), 2016.


"Under Adorno's Bann: Time for a Spell Check?" Southwest Seminar in Continental Philosophy at Northern Arizona University, May 29th-31st, 2015.

"Happiness, Time, and Perplexity: Aristotle's Ethical Epistemology in EN I.10." Applied Epistemology in Ancient Philosophy and Science, International Conference at the University of Trier, July 3-5, 2014.

"Aristotle's Ideal Polis and Political Exclusion." Northern Arizona University, Philosophy Department Colloquium Series, May 2014.

"Aristotle's Ideal Polis & Human Happiness: An Inclusive or Exclusive Politics?" Presentation at DePaul Philosophy Circle (with Esthefany Archila), April 2014.

Commentator on: Justin Humphries, "Plato's Theory of Writing in the Theaetetus" at the Ancient Philosophy Society, 13th Annual Independent Meeting, Notre Dame, April, 2013

"The Return of Stolen Praxis: Reading Sartre on Counter-Finality under the Spell of Adorno," Paper presentation as part of a panel on Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason (with Greg Trotter and Dr. Bill Martin) at the North American Sartre Society, Novemeber 2012.

"Bridging the Human/Animal Divide in Plato's Statesman," paper presentation at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum, July 2012.

"History of Cynic Philosophy" panel on Ancient Cynicism with Dr. Julie Piering and Dr. Bracht Branham at the Richard Wood Conference for Ancient Thought, Northern Arizona University, March 2008.