Lawrence Andy Amato
Areas of Specialization: Continental Philosophy, Aesthetics, Ethics
Office: JO 5.704
Mail Station: JO 31
I was originally trained as an artist, majoring in painting and drawing. In graduate school my focus shifted to theology, ethics, and philosophy. Even after this shift in emphasis, creativity has continued to play an important role in my thinking. My thesis, for example, compared utopian and Christian conceptions of ethics, while my doctoral dissertation explored the relationship between imagination and ethical reflection in the reading of select philosophical texts.
In addition to creativity, my research tends toward ethics. Whether I'm reading Plato, Emerson, Nietzsche, Heidegger, or Levinas, my research always comes back to ethics. Whatever my topic or materials, I want my work to raise serious questions about how we conduct ourselves through this life. My interests, however, lie not in prescribing particular courses of action, but in provoking critical inquiry and contemplation in order to see greater ethical possibilities. My current research reads Shakespeare alongside Heidegger to this effect.
My approach to teaching is Socratic and hermeneutical. That is, I pose questions and guide discussions on the one hand, and emphasize the close reading of key texts on the other. Students who have a genuine interest in asking good questions and participating in challenging conversations tend to succeed in my classes.
I advise the philosophy club at UTD (The Philosopher's Society) and write art reviews for local and regional publications. And when I'm not teaching, I'm usually reading, writing, making art, or gaming.
Before coming to the University of Texas at Dallas I worked as an illustrator and graphic designer.
Recent Courses: View courses taught by Lawrence Andy Amato
PhD in History of Ideas, University of Texas at Dallas
MTS in Theology at Brite Divinity School at TCU
BFA in Painting and Drawing at UNT
Curriculum Vitae: Lawrence Andy Amato's CV