Joseph originally hails from a small community in rural Newfoundland. After he completed his BA and MA in Philosophy at Memorial University of Newfoundland, he had the chance to do graduate work overseas at the Université catholique de Louvain, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, and Université Toulouse-II-Le Miral. He obtained his PhD in Philosophy from McGill University.
His work concerns 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy, with an emphasis on Hegel, German Idealism, and their legacy. Outside of academia, his favourite pastime is roasting coffee. He also has a side interest in Russian.
PhD, McGill University, 2020
MA, Erasmus Mundus Erophilosophie, 2012
MA Memorial Univeristy of Newfoundland, 2010
BA (Hons), Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2008
Joseph’s primary teaching interests are in the history of philosophy, more specifically early modern philosophy and 19th-century philosophy, and contemporary continental philosophy.
When teaching the history of philosophy, his objective is to not only reconstruct the cultural and intellectual world behind philosophical texts, but to also show how their concepts, isms, and arguments were a response to real-life problems plaguing their time and how they still have much to teach us today. He is strongly convinced that studying the history of philosophy is much more than studying relics of the past and tries to impart this to his students.
He also enjoys introducing students to philosophy. Being a first-generation university graduate, he understands how exciting, transformative, and challenging it can be to be exposed to its way of thinking for the first time.
Joseph’s current research interests centre on models of human experience proposed in German Idealism. In particular, he investigates how Kant and his successors argue that human reason is what makes possible our lived experience by making us aware of our perceptions and desires, creating ethical and political norms, and instilling in us the need for social recognition.
He also has a wide array of interests that span multiple traditions and disciplines including early modern philosophy, phenomenology (especially Heidegger), philosophy of religion, and aesthetics. Common themes of his research are what he calls “the deep structure” of human experience, our relationship to nature, meaning, and the unconscious. In his next project, he plans on exploring the relationship between reason and religion in Hegel’s philosophy of spirit and vision of modernity as well as its contemporary relevance.
Joseph has published numerous articles and book chapters on Hegel, Schelling, German Romanticism, and phenomenology as well as several translations. His major publications and works in progress are listed below and some can be found at Academia
• Hegel’s Realism: Rationality, Human Life, and the Discovery of Nature (under review)
• The Palgrave Schelling Handbook (forthcoming)
• Rethinking German Idealism (Palgrave, 2016)
• Ontological Catastrophe: Žižek and the Paradoxical Metaphysics of German Idealism (Open Humanities Press, 2014)