C. Allen Speight

Associate Professor of Philosophy; Chair
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Interests: Hegel and German Idealism, Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, Philosophy of Literature, Philosophy of Religion, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Agency

Currently Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Professor Speight has been a Fulbright Professor at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (2012), Berlin Prize Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin (2003), a fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, 1990) and a Fulbright Scholar at the Hegel Archive of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (1991-92). Professor Speight has twice won the Undergraduate Philosophy Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award and also received the College Honors Program Oustanding Teaching Award. Before coming to Boston University, Professor Speight taught at St. Xavier University of Chicago and the University of Chicago, where he chaired the university’s Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults.

Professor Speight’s current research interests concern two areas: the relation between philosophy and narrative; and the relation between the history of aesthetics and the history of art. His graduate level teaching has included courses on aesthetics, the history of ethics and the philosophy of literature, as well as topics such as the concepts of responsibility, toleration and suffering.

Selected Publications:


Narrative, Philosophy and Life, ed. (Dordrecht: Springer, forthcoming 2014)

Hegel’s Heidelberg Writings (with Brady Bowman; Cambridge University Press, 2009, first translation published in CUP’s Hegel Translations series)
Reviewed in: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (June 2010)

The Philosophy of Hegel (McGill-Queen’s University Press/Acumen, 2008)
Reviewed in: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (August 2008), Hegel Bulletin (August 2013)

Hegel, Literature and the Problem of Agency (Cambridge University Press, 2001)

  • Reviewed in:
  • Ethics 113,1 (October 2002): 176-9
  • Journal of the History of Philosophy 41,1 (January 2003):134-35
  • International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10,2 (May 2002): 228-232
  • Hegel-Studien 37 (2002): 225-27
  • Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 47/8 (2003): 105-114

Justice, Responsibility and Reconciliation in the Wake of Conflict, co-edited with Alice MacLachlan (Dordrecht: Springer, 2012)


“Religion in the Phenomenology of Spirit,” article commissioned for The Oxford Handbook of Hegel, ed. Dean Moyar (forthcoming, 2015)

“Hegel and Aesthetics,” article commissioned for The Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism, ed. Matthew C. Altman (forthcoming, 2014)

“The Narrative Shape of Agency: Three Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives,” in Narrative, Philosophy and Life (forthcoming, 2014)

“Hegel’s Philosophy of Art,” Hegel: Key Concepts, ed. Michael Baur (forthcoming, McGill University Press/ Acumen)

“Philosophy and Literature in the Nineteenth Century,” article commissioned for The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Literature, edd. Noel Carroll and John Gibson (forthcoming)

“Tragedy and the Human Image: German Idealism’s Legacy for Theory and Practice,” The Impact of Idealism: The Legacy of Post-Kantian German Thought, general editors Nicholas Boyle and Liz Disley; volume editors Christoph Jamme and Ian Cooper (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), vol. 3, pp. 46-68.

“Artisans, Artists and Hegel’s History of the Philosophy of Art,” Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 34:2 (October 2013): 203-222.

“On Re-reading Szondi: Schelling, Hölderlin and Hegel and the ‘Birth of the Tragic,’” in Mythos/Geist/Kultur, edd. Kerstin Andermann and Andreas Jürgens (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2013), pp. 143-56.

“The Wake of Conflict: Charting the Terrain,” Introduction to Justice, Responsibility and Reconciliation in the Wake of Conflict, co-authored with Alice MacLachlan (Boston Studies in Philosophy, Religion and Public Life, Dordrecht: Springer, 2012)

“Conscientious Agency and the Life of Modernity: Remarks on Dean Moyar, Hegel’s Conscience,” Owl of Minerva: Journal of the Hegel Society of America (2012)

“Arendt on Narrative Theory and Practice,” Arendt, Politics and Culture (College Literature, Special Issue) 38.1 (Winter 2011): 115-130

“Hegel and Lukács on the Novel,” Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 62 (2010): 23-34

“Hegel and the ‘Historical Deduction’ of the Concept of Art,” Blackwell Companion to Hegel, edd. Stephen Houlgate and Michael Baur (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011), pp. 353-368

“Hegel on Narrativity and Agency,” Hegel on Action, edd. Arto Laitinen and Constantine Sandis (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010), pp. 232-243

“Philosophy and Literature in the Eighteenth Century,” in Routledge Companion to Eighteenth Century Philosophy, ed. Aaron Garrett, 2014

“Skepticism, Modernity and the Origin of Hegelian Dialectic,” Hegel and Dialectic, ed. Nectarios Limnatis (New York: Continuum, 2010)

“Hegel and Aesthetics: The Practice and ‘Pastness’ of Art,” Cambridge Companion to Hegel and the Nineteenth Century, ed. Frederick Beiser (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

“Hegel on Conscience and the History of Moral Philosophy,” Hegel: New Directions, ed. Katerina Deligiorgi (Oxford: Acumen Press, 2006)

“Friedrich Schlegel,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

“Butler and Hegel on Forgiveness and Agency,” Southern Journal of Philosophy 43: 2 (Summer 2005): 299-316.

“‘Listening to Reason’: The Role of Persuasion in Aristotle’s Account of Praise, Blame and the Voluntary,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 38:3 (2005): 213-225.

“Arendt and Hegel on the Tragic Nature of Action,” Philosophy and Social Criticism 28,5 (September 2002): 523-536.

“The Beautiful Soul and the Language of Forgiveness,” in Die Metaphysik der praktischen Welt, edd. C. Jamme and A. Grossmann (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000), pp. 238-245.

“The Metaphysics of Morals and Hegel’s Critique of Kantian Ethics,” History of Philosophy Quarterly 14,4 (October 1997): 379-402.

Book Reviews

Review, Dean Moyar, Hegel’s Conscience, in Mind (Sept 2014)

Review, Benjamin Rutter, Hegel on the Modern Arts, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (April 2011)

Review, Susan Songsuk Hahn, Contradiction in Motion: Hegel’s Organic Concept of Life and Value, in Philosophical Review 118:4 (October 2009): 555-58

Review, John Gibson, Wolfgang Huemer, and Luca Pocci, edd., A Sense of the World: Essays on Fiction, Narrative and Knowledge in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (January 2009)

Review, Thomas A. Lewis, Freedom and Tradition in Hegel: Reconsidering Anthropology, Ethics and Religion, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (November 2005)

Review, Peter Pesic, Seeing Double: Shared Identities in Physics, Philosophy and Literature, in Endeavour 27:1 (March 2003): 9-10.

Review, Liam Murphy, Moral Demands in Nonideal Theory, in Review of Metaphysics (September 2002): 153-4.

Review, John M. Cooper, Reason and Emotion: Essays on Ancient Moral Psychology and Ethical Theory, in International Journal of the Classical Tradition 9 (2002/3): 307-309.

Review, Beat Wyss, Hegel’s Art History and the Critique of Modernity, in Owl of Minerva 33:1 (Fall/Winter 2001-2): 138-40.

Review, Frederick Neuhouser, Foundations of Hegel’s Social Theory: Actualizing Freedom, in Owl of Minerva 33:1 (Fall/Winter 2001-2): 141-44.

Review, Mark Roche, Tragedy and Comedy: A Systematic Study and a Critique of Hegel, in Owl of Minerva 32:2 (Spring 2001): 212-15.