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Shawn Welnak

Shawn C. Welnak

Associate Professor of Philosophy

B.A., M.A. (Philosophy), University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeM.A. (Greek), University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeePh.D., Tulane University


Dr. Welnak's past research has centered on Plato and Aristotle as well as their Graeco-Arabic reception. Having come to the problem of prophecy in that tradition, he recently turned to investigating the intellectual grounds of Plato and Aristotle—and thus the grounds of the West itself: Homer.

He is currently working on philosophically accurate translations of the Iliad and Odyssey as a preparation for a book-length study of Homer as the Prophetic Father of Western Civilization.

Besides his scholarly work, Dr. Welnak is the director of the Institute for the Study of Democracy and Liberalism. The Institute’s mission is to promote a non-ideological inquiry into both ancient and modern forms of democracy and liberalism. It hosts events on and off the LIU Post campus, involving students, faculty, staff and the greater Brookville community.


Greek Political Philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, the Graeco-Arabic tradition, Homer.


“The Outlandish, Wonderful, Perplexing Philosophy of Aristotle,” in Conference Proceedings of the Aristotle 2400 World Congress. Forthcoming.
“Alfarabi’s Reestablishment of Philosophy in The Philosophy of Aristotle,” in Conference Proceedings: Aristotle and the Peripatetic Tradition, ed. M. Nyvlt. Forthcoming.
“Alfarabi: The Cave Redivivus,” in Reason and Revelation in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, eds. R. Paddags, G. McBrayer, W. El-Rayes. South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, forthcoming.
“Philosophy and Power in Averroës,” The Maghreb Review, vol. 41, no. 2, 2016.
“Alfarabi’s Unacknowledged Legislators,” The Maghreb Review, vol. 40, no. 3, 2015.
“The Discoverer of Being: Law or Philosophy?” Revue académique Les cahiers de l’Islam, vol.1, 2014.
“A Note on Alfarabi’s Rhetoric: Following Deeds, not Words,” The Journal of Islamic Philosophy, vol. 9, 2013.
“Priority, Nature, and Political Animals in Aristotle’s Politics,” in Cygnifiliana: Essays in Classics, Comparative Literature, and Philosophy Presented to Professor Roy Arthur Swanson on the Occasion of his Seventy-Fifth Birthday (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2005).

Lectures and Presentations

“On Hayek’s Muddleheadedness,” Loyola University, New Orleans, Human Action Seminar.

“On Hayek’s Muddleheadedness,” Association for Private Enterprise Education.

“An Analysis of First Matter,” Pacific Division, American Philosophical Association.

“The Outlandish, Wonderful, Perplexing Philosophy of Aristotle,” World Congress “Aristotle 2400 Years.” Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: International Centre for Aristotle Studies.

“Shakespeare and Political Philosophy,” Shakespeare Forever: Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death, Long Island University and Partners.

“Plato: The Allegory of the Cave,” Port Washington Library.

“Strauss: What is Liberal Education?” Port Washington Library.

“The Outlandish, Wonderful, Perplexing Philosophy of Aristotle,” International Conference on Ancient and Medieval Philosophy.

“The Tenor of Glaube in Kant,” Southern Political Science Association.

“Alfarabi’s Reestablishment of Philosophy in the Philosophy of Aristotle,” Aristotle and the Peripatetic Tradition.

“The Discoverer of Being: Law or Philosophy?” Revue académique Les cahiers de l’Islam.

“Platonic Education and the Idols of the City,” Southern Political Science Association.

“Platonic Education and the Idols of the City.” University of New Orleans’ Toqueville Project.

“Alfarabi’s Allegory of the Cave,” Midwest Political Science Association.

“The Master of Those Who Know,” Southern Political Science Association.

“Homeric Rhetoric in Plato’s Charmides,” Midwest Political Science Association.

“The Dialectical and Rhetorical Ways in Alfarabi’s Book of Religion,” Midwest Political Science Association.

“The Epistemic Tenor of Glaube in Kant,” American Philosophical Association.

“The First Great Democratization of Information: The Perils of the Written (and Lectured) Word,” Scholar-to-Scholar Symposium.

“Aristotle’s Sea-Battle,” University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Jonathan Edwards: Freedom of the Will,” University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.


David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching

Honorary member of Phi Eta Sigma

Institute for Humane Studies Fellowship

Murphy Institute, Center for Ethics and Public Affairs Fellowship

Professional Affiliations

  • American Philosophical Association
  • Midwest Political Science Association
  • Southern Political Science Association
  • Society for the History of Political Philosophy
  • Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy