Joshua Landy

Joshua Landy, PhD

Andrew B. Hammond Professor in French Language, Literature and Civilization
Professor of Comparative Literature
Professor of French and Italian
Professor, by courtesy, of English
Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

104 Pigott Hall
Stanford, CA 94305
104 Pigott Hall
Stanford, CA 94305

(650) 723-4914 (voice)

Research Interests

Philosophical literature (Proust, Beckett); literary philosophy (Plato, Montaigne); philosophy of literature (Nietzsche, ethical criticism, narrative theories of selfhood); Symbolist poetry (Mallarmé); the first-person novel (Constant); the enchantments of modernity.


Joshua Landy is associate professor of French and co-director of the Literature and Philosophy Initiative at Stanford, home to new major tracks in philosophical and literary thought.

Professor Landy has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies (French) and Director of Graduate Studies (French). He has received the Walter J. Gores Award for Teaching Excellence (1999) and the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching (2001). Professor Landy is the author of Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust (Oxford University Press, 2004) and the co-editor of two volumes, Thematics: New Approaches (SUNY, 1995, with Claude Bremond and Thomas Pavel) and The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Stanford, 2009, with Michael Saler). Philosophy as Fiction deals with issues of self-knowledge, self-deception, and self-fashioning in Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, while raising the question of what literary form contributes to an engagement with such questions.

Professor Landy's next book will be entitled How To Do Things With Fictions. It will argue that the key benefit from engagement with literary texts is neither increased knowledge nor increased virtue (in the moral sense) but the fine-tuning of specific cognitive capacities.
Professor Landy has appeared on the NPR shows "Forum" and "Philosophy Talk," and has twice guest-hosted Robert Harrison's "Entitled Opinions," once with Lera Boroditsky and once with Michael Saler.

Other Affiliations

Department of French and Italian