Michael A. Gillespie

Michael A. Gillespie

Professor of Philosophy

Contact Information
204G Gross Hall, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
(919) 660-4308


Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, works in political philosophy, with particular emphasis on modern continental theory and the history of political philosophy. He is the author of Hegel, Heidegger and the Ground of History, Nihilism before Nietzsche, and The Theological Origins of Modernity. He is also co-editor of Nietzsche's New Seas: Explorations in Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Politics, Ratifying the Constitution, and Homo Politicus, Homo Economicus. He has published articles on Montaigne, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Existentialism, and various topics in American political thought and public philosophy, as well as on the relation of religion and politics. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Templeton Foundation, the Liberty Fund, the Jack Miller Foundation, the Smith Foundation, and the Earhart Foundation. He is the Director of the Duke Program in American Values and Institutions, the AB Duke Scholars Program, the Duke in Oxford Program, and the Visions of Freedom Focus Program.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 1981

Gillespie, M. A. “The Tragedy of the Goods and the Pursuit of Happiness.” In In Search of Goodness, edited by Ruth W. Grant. University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Gillespie, M. A. “Nihilism.” In , Edinburgh Critical History of Philosophy. : Edinburgh University Press, 2011.

Gillespie, M. A., and K. F. Callanan. “On the genealogy of morals.” In A Companion to Friedrich Nietzsche: Life and Works, 255–78, 2010.

Gillespie, M. A. “Hegel.” In The International Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Kurian et al, 2009.

Gillespie, M. A. “Toward a New Aristocracy: Nietzsche Contra Plato on the Role a Warrior Elite.” In Nietzsche, Nihilism and the Philosophy of the Future, edited by J. Metzger. London & New York: Continuum, 2009.

Gillespie, M. A. “Afterword.” In Homo Politicus, Homo Economicus, 2008.

Gillespie, M. A. “Players and Spectators: Sports and Ethical Training in the American University.” In Debating Moral Education, edited by Elizabeth Kiss and Peter Euben. Duke University Press, 2008.

Gillespie, M. A. “Nietzsche.” In The International Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Kurian et al. CQ Press, 2008.

Gillespie, M. A. “Plato and Nietzsche on Warriors.” In Nietzche’s Nihilistic Anti-Egalitarianism, edited by Jeffrey Metzger. Continuum, 2008.

Gillespie, M. A. “Sovereign Selves and Sovereign States: Political Theory for a New Millenium.” In Freedom and the Human PErson, edited by Richard Velkley. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press, 2007.


Gillespie, M. A., and Luc Perkins. “Political Anti-Theology: Mark Lilla’s The Stillborn God.” Critical Review, March 2010.

Gillespie, M. A. “Public Choice: Afterword.” Public Choice 137, no. 3–4 (December 1, 2008): 523–24. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-008-9323-9. Full Text

Gillespie, M. A. “'Slouching Toward Bethlehem to Be Born', On the Nature and Meaning of Nietzsche's Superman.” Journal of Nietzsche Studies 30 (2005): 50–70.

Gillespie, M. A. “Philosophy and Rhetoric in Kant's Third Antinomy.” Political Science Reviewer 30 (2001): 7–33.

Gillespie, M. A. “Martin Heidegger's Aristotelian national socialism.” Political Theory 28, no. 2 (January 1, 2000): 140–66. https://doi.org/10.1177/0090591700028002002. Full Text

Gillespie, M. A. “Nietzsche and the anthropology of nihilism.” Nietzsche Studien 28, no. 1 (January 1, 1999): 141–55. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110244458.141. Full Text

Gillespie, M. A. “The theological origins of modernity.” Critical Review 13, no. 1–2 (January 1, 1999): 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1080/08913819908443520. Full Text

Gillespie, M. A. “Nietzsche and the premodernist critique of postmodernity.” Critical Review 11, no. 4 (December 1, 1997): 537–54.

Gillespie, M. A. “Nietzsche and the Premodernist Critique of Postmodernity.” Critical Review 2, no. 2 (October 1997): 537–54.

Gillespie, M. A. “The New Hegel.” Political Theory 25, no. 4 (January 1, 1997): 584–97. https://doi.org/10.1177/0090591797025004005. Full Text


Gillespie, M. A. “Do Subsidies Keep Health Plan Afloat?.” Duke Dialogue, 1994.