Philosophy Department

Sarah Marquardt Ph.D.

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Office Location

122 Payson Smith Hall, Portland Campus



Academic Degrees

  • PH.D. Philosophy, University of Toronto


I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto (2001). My area of expertise is the philosophy and intellectual history of the Early Modern period. The title of my dissertation was “The Freedom, Equality and Dignity of Human Reason: A Reconsideration of Cartesian Dualism.” That work situated Descartes' ideas about free will and autonomy in the context of an emergent egalitarian discourse in seventeenth century French thought, and in particular, a discourse of equality between men and women.

From 2002-2006, I was Harper Schmidt Collegiate Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. My time there taught me, among other things, the value of interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration, which continues to inform my work. My latest publication is “The Long Road to Peace: Descartes’ Modernization of Generosity in The Passions of the Soul (1649)” History of Political Thought, Volume 36(1), pp. 53-83 (2015). My current research focuses on Gabrielle Suchon (1631-1703), a French philosopher and former Jacobin nun living in the era of Louis XIV, who published a theory of freedom advocating active citizenship for both women and men.