Martha Woodruff

Associate Professor of Philosophy

 Twilight Hall 311

Martha K. Woodruff earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University with support from the Mellon Humanities Fellowship. She also studied for two years at Universität-Freiburg with a grant from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and received her B.A. from Haverford College. Her main areas of research and teaching include Ancient Greek philosophy and its influences on 19th and 20th Century German thought. A more recent interest focuses on women and gender in Greek philosophy and tragedy.

 Her publications have examined Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, considered both individually and comparatively. She has completed one book manuscript and started another; both examine retrievals of the Greeks by contemporary thinkers. In addition, she served a three-year term as Co-Director of the Ancient Philosophy Society and a five-year term as Chair of the Philosophy Department at Middlebury. She has also participated in the German-language Philosophy Reading Group at the German School (summers 2012 to 2015), with support from a One Middlebury grant.



Course List: 


Recent Publications

Why I Love Socrates,” Middlebury Magazine, Fall 2014

Why the Humanities Still Matter,” New York Times, leading letter, August 2014

“Katharsis Revisited: Aristotle on the Significance of the Tragic Emotions.” Newsletter of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Vol. 8.2 (February 2008)

 “Untergang und Übergang: The Tragic Descent of Socrates and Zarathustra.” Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Vol. 34 (Fall 2007)

 “Plato’s Different Device: Reconciling the One and the Many in the Philebus.” In Philosophy in Dialogue: Plato’s Many Devices. Edited by Gary Alan Scott.  Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2007

“The Cat at Play: Nietzsche’s Feline Styles.” In A Nietzschean Bestiary. Edited by Ralph Acampora and Christa Davis Acampora. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004

“The Music-Making Socrates: Plato and Nietzsche Revisited, Philosophy and Tragedy Rejoined.” International Studies in Philosophy, Vol. 34:3 (Fall 2002)

“The Ethics of Generosity and Friendship: Aristotle's Gift to Nietzsche?” In  The Question of the Gift. Edited by Mark Osteen. New York, NY: Routledge, 2002

Recent Presentations

“From the Kantian Sublime to the Nietzschean Tragic: A Commentary.”American Society for Aesthetics, Philadelphia, March 2015

Participant, “Classics in Extremis,” Centre for Classical Reception, Durham University, July 2014

“Plato’s Other Pharmakon: A Commentary.” Ancient Philosophy Society, University of South Florida, April 2014

“Aristotle on Truth in Fiction: A Commentary.” American Society for Aesthetics, Philadelphia, March 2014

Participant and presenter, “Renewing the Ancient Quarrel: Plato, Hegel, Adorno,”Institute for the History of Philosophy, Emory University, June 2013 (with research grant)

“Plato on Belief and Persuasion: A Commentary.” University of Texas at Austin, 35th Annual Workshop on Ancient Philosophy, March 2012

“Heraclitus and Nietzsche: Flux, Play, Logos.” Invited paper, Haverford College, February 2011

“On Platonic Education: Four Commentaries,” Conference on “Greek Paideia Revisited: Ancient Remedies/Contemporary Ills,” University of South Florida, February 2011

“Aristotle on Soul and Self-Movement: A Commentary,” Ancient Philosophy Society, Michigan State University, April 2010

“Art after the End of Art: A Commentary.” APA Eastern Division, Panel on Continental Aesthetics, Philadelphia, December 2008

“Antigone on Eros, Friendship, and Androgyny.” Invited paper, “Year of Antigones” conference, DePaul University, May 2008

“Katharsis Revisited: Aristotle on the Significance of the Tragic Emotions.” Refereed paper, Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, APA Pacific Division, Pasadena, March 2008

“Über die deutsche Sprache und die deutsche Philosophie.” Invited presentation in German, Middlebury College Summer School of Languages, August 2007

“Plato’s Self-Enacting Methods in the Philebus,” Refereed paper, International Plato Society, Trinity College, Dublin, July 2007

“What Makes the Liberal Arts Liberal?” Invited paper, Haverford College, Symposium for Professor Aryeh Kosman, November 2006

“The Style and Substance of Aristotle’s Language: Challenges for Translation.” Invited paper, Ancient Philosophy Society, DePaul University, April 2006

Program in International and Global Studies

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