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Dr. Norman Whitman

Dr. Norman Whitman

Dr. Norman Whitman

Lecturer of PhilosophyHistory, Humanities, and Languages


Since receiving his Ph.D. in 2015 from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Norman Whitman has been a Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at Rhodes College, and in Fall 2016, joined UHD's philosophy program as a lecturer. His primary research is in the history of philosophy, especially medieval philosophy, Jewish and Islamic philosophy, philosophy of religion, and modern philosophy with a primary focus on Baruch Spinoza.

Dr. Whitman's recent book, An Examination of the Singular in Maimonides and Spinoza: Prophecy, Intellect, and Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), examines the affinities between medieval Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides and Baruch Spinoza.

Degrees Earned

Ph.D. in Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
B.A. in Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin

Courses Taught

  • Modern Philosophy
  • Jewish and Islamic Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Nineteenth Century Philosophy
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Moral Theory
  • Formal Logic
  • General Logic
  • Critical Thinking
  • Ethics
  • Business Ethics
  • Introduction to Humanities 1 (Ancient to Classical Antiquity Period)
  • Introduction to Humanities 2 (Late Antiquity to Early Modern Period)

Experience Qualifications

In addition to his seven years teaching at UHD, Dr. Whitman has extensive experience teaching humanities and philosophy at a wide-range of other institutions. These four universities include: a small liberal arts college (Rhodes College in Memphis), a private research university (Vanderbilt University, Nashville), a private Southern university (Belmont University, Nashville), and a nationally recognized historically black college (Tennessee State University, Nashville).

Dr. Whitman's varied research in the history of philosophy and ideas has appeared in a peer-reviewed academic book and peer-reviewed academic journals. His monograph, An Examination of the Singular in Maimonides and Spinoza: Prophecy, Intellect, and Politics, was published by Palgrave Macmillan Press in Fall 2020. Other research has been published by academic journals such as Idealistic Studies and The Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal.

Dr. Whitman has also presented conference papers at international and domestic institutions such as the University of Bucharest in Romania, University of Quebec at Montreal in Canada, Vanderbilt University, Villanova University, and Boston College. Additionally, he has presented work at the professional association meetings for academic philosophers. These include the Annual American Philosophical Association Pacific and Central Division Meetings and the Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Congress.

More Information

Selected Publications

An Examination of the Singular in Maimonides and Spinoza: Prophecy, Intellect, and Politics. (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

Singular Knowledge in Maimonides' and Spinoza's Philosophy. In The Unique, the Singular, and the Individual: The Debate about the Non-Comparable. eds. Ingolf Dalferth and Raymond Perrier, 209-224. (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022).

A Cartesian Misreading of Spinoza's Understanding of Adequate Knowledge. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 40-1: 103-130. (2019).

The Reality of Modes in Spinoza's Philosophy. Idealistic Studies 49-1: 85-102. (2019).


"The Art of Medicine in the Philosophy of Moses Maimonides: The Path to Living a Human Life," 46th Annual Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, April 9-10, 2021.

"Natural Individuals or (sive) Political Individuals: Self Identity and Knowledge in Spinoza's Politics," Spinoza Society of Canada Panel on Spinoza: Desire and Knowing: Bodies, Cognition, and Power at the Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Congress, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada, June 4-7, 2018.

"Out of Many: Prophecy and Sovereign Authority in Maimonides and Spinoza," Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy Panel on Prophecy, Paradox, and Intrinsic Change, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, March 28-31, 2018.

"Rhetoric and Dialectics Employed by Al-Farabi's Law-Giver," 49th North Texas Philosophical Association Conference, University of Dallas, March 31-April 1, 2017.

"Maimonides' Prophetic Truth or Spinoza's Singular Knowledge," Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy Panel on Maimonides and Spinoza, American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting, March 1-4, 2017.

"Rhetoric and Dialectics Employed by the Law-Givers in Medieval Jewish and Islamic Philosophy," 11th Annual Marquette Summer Seminar on Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition, Marquette University, June 27-29 2016.

"Finalism in Spinoza's Physics?" American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting Main Program, March 30-April 3, 2016.

"Spinoza's Use of Definition: A Historical Tool for Philosophical Emendation," 48th Annual Tennessee Philosophical Association Conference, Vanderbilt University, November 4-5, 2016.

"Finalism in Spinoza's Physics?" Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science Conference, Institute for Research in Humanities and the Center for the Logic, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Bucharest, November 6-7, 2015.


Nomination for Outstanding Lecturer of the Year at UHD

Berry Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Philosophy Teaching at Vanderbilt University

Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence Academic Support Toolkit Grant UHD

Udo Keller Stiftung Forum Humanum Travel Grant

Invited Lecturer for the Adult Education Series at Congregation Brith Shalom, Houston, TX

Phi Beta Kappa