Paul Kottman



Comparative Literature, The New School for Social Research, New York City


Paul is Professor of Comparative Literature and chair of Liberal Studies at the New School for Social Research. He edits the book series Square One: First Order Questions in the Humanities for Stanford University Press, and is the author of several books. Most recently, Love as Human Freedom (Stanford 2018), sees love as a practice that changes over time through which new social realities are brought into being. Love brings about, and helps us to explain, immense social-historical shifts—from the rise of feminism to the struggles for abortion rights and birth control and the erosion of a gender-based division of labor. Paul is also the author of Tragic Conditions in Shakespeare (2009) and A Politics of the Scene (2008). He is currently at work on a book on Objectivity in the Humanities (to be co-authored with Markus Gabriel), and project to explain how and with what implications moral meaning is articulated in and through social practices and the fate of aesthetic forms.

Paul has joined THE NEW INSTITUTE in the summer 2022 and is involved in the programme “The Foundations of Value and Values”.

  • What gives you hope?

    In principle, everything.

  • How does change happen?

    In two ways: tragically and comically.

  • Describe yourself in 3 Words?

    Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.


The Art of Hegel’s Aesthetics: Hegelian Philosophy and the Perspectives of Art History, 2018

The Insistence of Art: Aesthetic Philosophy after Early Modernity, 2017

Philosophers on Shakespeare, 2009

Tragic Conditions in Shakespeare, 2009

A Politics of the Scene, 2008

A Politics of the Scene, 2007

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