Religious Studies Program

The Cal Poly Philosophy Department houses a Religious Studies program with a wide variety of courses in GE and a Religious Studies minor.

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Between the Species

Between the Species online journal logoAn online philosophy journal about the relationship between humans and animals.
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Ethics Group

Cal Poly's Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group focuses on the implications and impact of emerging sciences and technologies.
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Paul S. Miklowitz


Contact Information


  • Ph.D., M.Phil., Yale University
  • M.A., University of Chicago
  • B.A., University of California


A new book, God, the Soul, and the Limits of Knowledge:  Foundations of Metaphysics and Epistemology in Plato, Descartes and Kant, is now complete and looking for a publisher.  As the title suggests, it covers the material I teach on a regular basis in PHIL 230.  Besides this project, I have a couple of papers in progress on topics that range from the status of philosophy as a discipline straddling the domains of art and science to an extrapolation of Descartes’ dreaming hypothesis through an insight of Kant’s.

Awards & Honors

  • Fulbright National Screening Committee for academic programs in Germany (2010, 2011, 2013)
  • Sabbatical Leave, Cal Poly (Fall 2015)
  • Sabbatical Leave, Cal Poly (Fall 2008 - Winter 2009)
  • Finalist, Cal Poly Distinguished Teaching Award (AY 2005 2006)
  • Visiting Fellow, Princeton University
  • Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Teaching, College of Liberal Arts, Cal Poly
  • Teacher of the Year, School of Liberal Arts, Cal Poly
  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities, Rice University
  • Prize Teaching Fellowship, Yale University
  • Mary Cady Tew Prize for Scholastic Excellence, Yale University
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Summer Stipend for study in Germany

Selected Publications

  • “The State of Things,” in The Bottom Line weblog for the exhibitions “Lebbeus Woods, Architect” (SFMOMA, February 16 – June 2, 2013; The Drawing Center, New York City, Summer 2014), posted May 9, 2014.  Link:
  • Metaphysics to Metafictions: Hegel, Nietzsche, and the End of Philosophy (State University of New York Press)
  • “Zarathustra's Secret: Releasing Nietzsche from Joachim Köhler's Closet” in New Nietzsche Studies
  • “Unreading Nietzsche: Nazi Piracy, Pyrrhic Irony, and the Postmodern Turn” in New Nietzsche Studies
  • “Same As It Ever Was: Plagiarism, Forgery, and the Meaning of Eternal Return” in Journal of Nietzsche Studies
  • “Diskussion: Response to John T. Wilcox” in Nietzsche-Studien
  • “The Ontological Status of Style in Hegel's Phenomenology” in Idealistic Studies

Selected Presentations

  • “Bach and the Enlightenment” (with David Arrivée), Cal Poly Bach Week, 19 January 2017
  • “Reflections on the Epistemology of Fanaticism,” Princeton University
  • “After Values: A Nietzschean Eschatology,” Nietzsche and the Coming Millennium: On the Music of the Best Future (international conference at Villa le Balze, Fiesole, Italy)
  • “Unreading Nietzsche,” Third Annual Conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, University of London


  • Chair, Philosophy Department (1996-99)
  • Chair, Academic Senate Library Committee
  • Chair, CLA Professional Leave Committee

Courses Taught

  • PHIL 429: Special Topics in the History of Philosophy - Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
  • PHIL 429: Special Topics in the History of Philosophy - Schopenhauer
  • PHIL 429: Special Topics in the History of Philosophy - Nietzsche
  • PHIL 400: Special Problems
  • PHIL 331: Ethics
  • PHIL 316: Contemporary European Philosophy
  • PHIL 315: German Philosophy: Kant to Nietzsche
  • PHIL 231: Philosophical Classics - Ethics & Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 230: Philosophical Classics - Knowledge & Reality
  • HUM X335: Fanaticism
  • HUM 361: Modernism - with Harry Helenbrand (former Dean of CLA) and Serim Denel/Bruno Giberti/Scott Schlimgen (Architecture)


  • Photography (image published as a journal cover and two juried awards in contests in New York, including first place black and white)
  • Painting (oil and acrylic)
  • Poetry and fiction writing (novel in progress)
  • Winemaking


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