Staff profile - Matthew Sharpe

Staff image

AsPr Matthew Sharpe

Position: Associate Professor of Philosophy
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts and Education
Department: SHSS Arts & Ed
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 72578 +61 3 522 72578



  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Melbourne, 1999
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Arts), University of Melbourne, 2002


Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy (MSCP)
Australasian Society of Continental Philosophy

Personal website


Teaching Interests

lecturer in philosophy, psychoanalytic studies

Knowledge areas

Modern receptions of classical Greek philosophy (I have published extensively on Leo Strauss and his students' and psychoanalytic readings of classical texts, as well as work by Pierre Hadot and those influenced by him).

Hellenistic philosophy

Roman philosophy


20th century European philosophy

Albert Camus

Student supervision

Presently: principal supervisions

Hellenistic philosophy and women recovering from domestic abuse

On Alexandre Kojeve

Somatic Countertransference


Leo Strauss and Islamic Philosophy

Maurice Merleau-Ponty and naturalism


Awards and prizes

2010 Deakin Arts Faculty Research Award (B/C Level)
2011 Deakin Arts Faculty Research Award (B/C Level)

2008, 2010: teaching commendations.
2012 member and CI in ARC Discovery team "Religion and Political Thought"

2014 membver and CI in ARC Discovery grant "Reinventing Philosophy as a Way of Life"


Research interests

Dr Sharpe has an eclectic array of research interests.  Increasingly, he works on classical philosophy and modern receptions thereof, and the early modern period, up to and including the French enlightenment.  I am interested in the history of Western receptions of its classical past, and the rich ethical legacy left by Stoic and academic schools in particular.  Amidst so many 'returns to theology', he is interested in the ways that we might 'return to classical philosophy', and in contesting reactionary versions of this idea and levelling historicising depictions of 'modernity' which don't reflect historical complexity and intellectual debates.

Dr Sharpe has expertise in Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis, and the the use of psychoanaytic theory to read comedies, tragedies, and more contemporary cultural forms like 'Reality television'.   He has published one single-authroed and one coauthored book on Slavoj Zizek's work, and with Joanne Faulkner, Understanding Psychoanalysis.

In the past, he has published on aesthetics, the theory of ideology, eschatology and political theology, and critical theory.  He has written on a host of different thinkers: for instance John Macdowell, Slavoj Zizek, Jacques Lacan, Montaigne, Voltaire, Maimonides, Pierre Hadot, and Epictetus.

Research grants

2012 member and CI in ARC Discoverygrant "Religion and Political Thought"

2014 membver and CI in ARC Discovery grant "Reinventing Philosophy as a Way of Life"

Research page





1. Camus, Philosophe (Brill, 2015 [in press, due with publishers, March 2015])
2. Philosophy as a Way of Life, from the Stoics to Today (Wiley-Blackwell [in process, due in 2016]), with Dr Michael Ure.
3. ??i??ek and Politics: A Critical Introduction (with Geoff Boucher) Edinburgh University Press, 2010.
4. The Times Will Suit Them: Australia’s Postmodern Conservatism (with Geoff Boucher) Allen & Unwin, 2008.
5. Understanding Psychoanalysis (with Joanne Faulkner) Acumen 2007.

Edited books and collections

7. With Dylan Nickelson Secularisation and Its Discontents, Springer, 2013.

Book chapters and refereed encyclopaedia entries, by date

10. “Cicero, Voltaire and the 18th Century Philosophes”, in Brill Companion to Cicero ed. W.H.F. Altman (Brill 2015).
11. “Psychoanalysis and Critical Theory”, in Stuart Sim ed. Edinburgh Companion to Critcical Theory [in press, 2015].
12. “Camus’ Hellenic Heart, Between Augustine and Hegel”, in Brill Companion to Classical Reception, ed. Adam Goldwyn et al (Brill, 2015 [in press])
13. “Puck, or the Agency of the Letter in a Midsummer Night’s Dream in Patricia Gherovici et al eds.  Lacan and Comedy (Cambridge UP 2015 [in press])
14. “Stoic Virtue Ethics” in Stan van Hooft ed. Handbook of Virtue Ethics. London: Acumen, 2014.
21. “Revaluing Megalopsychia: Some Remarks On the Alkibiades Minor”, in Socrates and Alkibiades: On Philosophical Education, edited by Harold Tarrant et al. Duckworth Press, 2013.
22. “Pierre Hadot (1922-2010)”, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011), pp. 1-14.

Selected Journal articles, 2015 back to 2013
1. “On a Forgotten Argument in French Philosophy: Sceptical Humanism in Montaigne, Voltaire, Camus,” Critical Horizons, 2015.
2. “Reading Hadot’s Last Book, N’Oublie Pas De Vivre” for Parrhesia 2015 [in press].
3. “The Plague and the Panopticon”, Thesis Eleven 2015 [in press].
4. “It’s Not the Chrysippus You Read: Epictetus and Hadot Contra Cooper on Philosophy as a Way of Life,” Philosophy Today ISSN 0031-8256 (2014).
5. “Georgics of the Mind and the Architecture of Fortune: Francis Bacon’s Philosophical Therapeutics,” Philosophical Papers (special edition on philosophy as therapy ed. Dylan Futter) 43: 1 (2014), 89-121..
6. “Between Genet's Bordello and Holy Communion: Lacan on Comedy in Seminar V" S-Journal special edition on comedy, edited by M. Sharpe et al 2014.
7. “A Just Judgment? Critical Remarks on Srigley’s Camus”, Thesis Eleven 120 (Feb. 2014), 43-58.
8. “The Black Side of the Sun: Camus’ Religiosity and the Problem of Evil”, in Political Theology, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 151-174.
9. “Publicizing the Essentially Private: Leo Strauss’ Platonic Aristophanes” in Symposium Journal Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy, vol. 18, no. 2, Fall 2014, pp. 3-32.
10. “Reading Leo Strauss’ On Plato’s Symposium: The Poetic Presentation of Philosophy”, Poetics Today vol. 34, no. 4, Winter 2013-2014, pp. 563-603.
11.  “On Eschatology and the ‘Return to Religion’”, Arena Journal, number 39/40 (2013): 203-228.
12.  “Camus' Askesis: Reading Camus in Light of the Carnets (and his L'impromptu des philosophes), Philosophical Practice, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1149-1164.
14.  “Controlling the Philosophical Imaginary: Reading Pierre Hadot with Luiz Costa Lima”, Culture, Theory, Critique, 2013.


Link to publications

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