Sanem Soyarslan

Associate Professor

Picture of Sanem Soyarslan


I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at NC State University. After receiving my D.S.U. (Diplôme Supérieur d’Université) in political science (2000) from Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and my M.A. in philosophy (2005) from Boğaziçi University in my native Istanbul, I earned my Ph.D. in philosophy (December, 2011) at Duke University. Before arriving in Raleigh in Fall 2013, I taught at Boston University for two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy.


Teaching and Research Interests

I work in the history of early modern philosophy, with a particular emphasis on Spinoza. In addition to early modern philosophy, I have an ongoing interest in ancient ethical theories, especially Aristotle’s. I am also interested in the history of ethics in general, with a comparative emphasis on ancient and modern ethical theories. I work on projects which, broadly construed, lie at the intersection of early modern philosophy and history of ethics. 


Soyarslan, S. (forthcoming) “From Humility to Envy: Questioning the Usefulness of Sad Passions as a Means towards Virtue in Spinoza’s Ethics,” European Journal of Philosophy

Soyarslan, S. (2019) “Two Ethical Ideals in Spinoza’s Ethics: The Free Man and The Wise Man,” Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 5:3, pp. 357-370.

Soyarslan, S. (2018) “Spinoza’s Critique of Humility in the Ethics, The Southern Journal of Philosophy,                      

Soyarslan, S. (2016) “The Distinction between Reason and Intuitive Knowledge in Spinoza’s Ethics,” European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1), pp. 27-54.

Soyarslan, S. (2014) “The Susceptibility of Intuitive Knowledge to Akrasia in Spinoza’s Ethical Thought,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22, pp. 725-747.

Soyarslan, S. (2014) “From Ordinary Life to Blessedness: The Power of Intuitive Knowledge in Spinoza’s Ethics,” in Matthew Kisner and Andrew Youpa (eds.) Essays on Spinoza’s Ethical Theory, Oxford University Press: Oxford, pp. 236-257. 

Translation from French to Turkish: Balibar, Etienne. (2004) Spinoza ve Siyaset (Spinoza et la Politique), Otonom Publishing, Istanbul.



  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duke University, 2011