Nicholas Smith

Distinguished Visiting Professor


PhD., 1993, Department of Philosophy, University of Glasgow, UK.
M.A., 1985, Political Philosophy, Department of Politics, University of York, UK.
B.A., 1984, Joint Hons in Philosophy and Politics, 1st class, Newcastle University, UK.


Most of my research has been in critical theory, hermeneutics, political philosophy and philosophy of work, though I have recently branched out a bit into philosophy of higher education and philosophy of popular culture. I have taught a lot of history of philosophy, and my philosophical research is informed by an understanding of how we are placed historically. I have written monograph books on hermeneutics (Strong Hermeneutics: Contingency and Moral Identity, Routledge, 1997) and Charles Taylor (Charles Taylor: Meaning, Morals and Modernity, Polity, 2002), and I was co-author of The Return of Work in Critical Theory: Self, Society, Politics (Columbia University Press, 2018). I have edited or co-edited several books and journal issues, including Reading McDowell (Routledge, 2002), Social Hope (Critical Horizons, 2008), New Philosophies of Labour (Brill, 2012), Recognition Theory as Social Research (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and Philosophy and Work (Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 2016). My current research continues my career-long concern with interpretation and meaning-making in various contexts of life.


Smith, Nicholas H. (2023), ‘Hermeneutics as a Metaphilosophy and a Philosophy of Work’, in Michiel Meijer ed., Updating the Interpretive Turn: New Arguments in Hermeneutics, London, Routledge, pp. 117-136.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2022), ‘Punk as Praxis’, in Joshua Heter and Richard Greene eds., Punk Rock and Philosophy, Peru, Illinois, Carus books, pp. 29-36.

Smith, Nicholas H. and Dunstall, Andrew (2022), ‘Alasdair MacIntyre, Universities and the Common Good’, European Journal of Philosophy, Vol 30 (3), 1173-1186.

O’Neill, Shane and Smith, Nicholas H. (2022), ‘Social Freedom as the Purpose of the Modern University’, Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education, Vol 4 (1), 1-23.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2022), ‘Taylor and Liberal Naturalism’, in M. de Caro and D. Macarthur eds., The Handbook of Liberal Naturalism, London, Routledge, Ch. 19.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2022), ‘Work as a Realm of Social Freedom’, in K. Breen and J-P Deranty eds., The Politics and Ethics of Contemporary Work. Whither Work? London, Routledge, pp. 16-31.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2021), ‘Interpretation for Emancipation: Taylor as a Critical Theorist’, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Vol 29 (5), 673-688.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2021) ‘Basic Income, Social Freedom and the Fabric of Justice’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. Vol 24 (6), 845-865.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2021), ‘Speranza e democrazia’, in Paolo Costa ed., Charles Taylor: Modernità al bivio. L’eredità della ragione romantica, Bologna, Marietti, pp. 239-244.

Llanera, Tracy and Smith, Nicholas H. (2021), ‘A Culture of Egotism: Rorty and Higher Education’, in A. Mahon ed., The Promise of the University: Reclaiming Humanity, Humility and Hope. Springer Singapore, pp. 55-66.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2021) ‘Recognition and Multiculturalism’, in L. Siep, H. Ikaheimo, and M. Quante eds., Handbuch Anerkennung, Springer VS, Wiesbaden, pp. 483-490. (Online first, 2018).

Smith, Nicholas H. and Llanera, Tracy (2019) ‘Pragmatist Transcendence in Rorty’s Metaphilosophy’, Analyse & Kritik, Vol 41(1), 97-116.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2019), ‘Arendt’s Anti-humanism of Labour’, European Journal of Social Theory, Vol 22(2), 175-190.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2019), ‘Work in a Free Society’, The Philosopher, Vol 107(3), pp. 31-35

Dejours, C., Deranty, J-P, Renault. E., and Smith N.H. (2018), The Return of Work in Critical Theory. Self, Society, Politics, New York, Columbia University Press. (Translated into Slovenian).

Smith, Nicholas H. (2016), ‘Between Philosophical Anthropology and Phenomenology: on Paul Ricoeur’s Philosophy of Work’, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 4-2016, No. 278, 513-534.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2015), ‘Hermeneutics and Critical Theory’, in J. Malpas and H. Gander eds., Routledge Companion to Philosophical Hermeneutics, London, Routledge, pp. 600-611.

Smith, Nicholas H. (2015), ‘Solidarity and Work: A Reassessment’, in Arto Laitinen and Anne Birgitta Pessi eds., Solidarity: Theory and Practice, Lanham, Lexington, pp. 155-177.1.

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Office HoursTuesday/Thursday 10.45AM-11.45AM; and by appointment