Carlos Fraenkel

Professor Carlos FraenkelJames McGill Professor

Joint Appointment with Department of Philosophy

Areas of Interest:

Philosophy; Jewish Thought


Carlos Fraenkel grew up in Germany and Brazil and studied in Berlin and Jerusalem with detours through São Paulo and Paris (MA summa cum laude 1999; Dr. phil. summa cum laude 2000, both FU Berlin in collaboration with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem). His scholarly work spans ancient, medieval, and early modern philosophy, as well as political philosophy. His publications include From Maimonides to Samuel ibn Tibbon: The Transformation of the Dalālat al-Ḥā'irīn into the Moreh ha-Nevukhim (Hebrew, Magnes Press, 2007), Philosophical Religions from Plato to Spinoza: Reason, Religion, and Autonomy (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and Teaching Plato in Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World (Princeton University Press, 2015).

His first academic job was at McGill University. From 2013 to 2015 he was a professor of comparative religion and philosophy at Oxford, as well as a fellow of Lady Margaret Hall. He is now a James McGill Professor at McGill with a joint appointment in Jewish studies and philosophy. Distinctions for his work include the Shlomo Pines Prize for outstanding young scholars from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a William Dawson Scholarship for outstanding young professors from McGill University, and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction, a Canadian literary prize.

Visiting appointments took him to various parts of the world including the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Al-Quds University, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He was also awarded a number of research fellowships, most recently from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the German Humboldt Foundation, and the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin.

Besides his scholarly work he also writes essays, commentary pieces, and book reviews on topics tied to his biography and interests: from the resistance to Brazil's military dictatorship in the 1960s and 70s to Quebec politics, the history of anti-Judaism, and Salman Rushdie. Venues include the New York Times, the Nation, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Jewish Review of Books, Boston Review, Dissent, Die Zeit, and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

For more information and to access his publications, see his websites: and


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