Deborah Achtenberg, Ph.D.

Professor, Emeritus
Deborah Achtenberg



Ancient Greek philosophy (especially Plato and Aristotle); recent continental European philosophy (especially Levinas and Derrida), psychoanalytic theory.


Professor Achtenberg is the author of Essential Vulnerabilities: Plato and Levinas on Relations to the Other (Northwestern University Press, 2014) and of Cognition of Value in Aristotle's Ethics: Promise of Enrichment, Threat of Destruction (State University of New York Press, 2002).

Her essays on Aristotle's ethics have appeared in Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy IV: Aristotle's Ethics (State University of New York Press), Crossroads of Norm and Nature: Essays on Aristotle's 'Ethics' and 'Metaphysics' (Rowman and Littlefield) and Feminism and Ancient Philosophy (Routledge).

Her essay, "The Eternal and the New: Socrates and Levinas on Desire and Need" appeared in Levinas and the Ancients (Indiana University Press, 2008). Another essay, "Plato and Levinas on Violence and the Other," appeared in the Spring 2011 edition of Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy.

Her recent conference papers include "Dogs," an essay on the figure of the dog in Emmanuel Levinas's writings, delivered at "Readings of Difficult Freedom," Toulouse, France, 2010, and "Derrida Between Moses and Elijah," delivered at "Derrida Today," London, England, 2010.


  • Phil 211 — Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
  • Phil 314 — Survey of 20th Century Continental European Philosophy
  • Phil 323 — Problems in the Philosophy of Religion
  • Phil 409/609 — Recent French Philosophy: Emmanuel Levinas
  • Phil 409/609 — Recent French Philosophy: Jacques Derrida
  • Phil 410/610 — Plato
  • Phil 411/611 — Aristotle
  • Phil 476 — The Self: Philosophic and Psychoanalytic Explorations
  • Phil 477 — Sigmund Freud: Philosophic and Cultural Approaches


  • Ph.D., New School for Social Research, 1982