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Patrick Hassan

Dr Patrick Hassan


School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 29208 70729
John Percival Building, Room 1.37, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Lecturer as part of the School's philosophy team. My primary areas of interest are moral and existential philosophy. Currently, I work on 19th century philosophy (particularly Nietzsche and Schopenhauer), ethics and its relation to aesthetics, and environmental philosophy.










Book sections



​My current research centres around the history of philosophy (especially the post-Kantian tradition), ethics, aesthetics, and environmental philosophy. Much of my published work has focused upon the thought of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, and I am interested in how the ideas of these philosophers--among others in the 19th century--can make positive contributions in contemporary axiological domains.


My book Nietzsche's Struggle Against Pessimism (Cambridge University Press, 2023) is an investigation into Nietzsche's place in the Pessimismusstreit or 'pessimism dispute' of 1860-1900. It attempts to elucidate and disentangle Nietzsche's various criticisms of the view that life is not worth living, or that non-existence is preferable to existence. It does so, partly, by placing Nietzsche's evolving critique back into its appropriate historical context via a consideration of his axiological and epistemic claims in dialogue with his 19th century interlocutors. I argue that Nietzsche's career-long interest in the question of the value of life is a fruitful backdrop for considering more familiar themes in his philosophy (e.g. aesthetic justification, eternal recurrence, will to power, his critique of Christian morality).

In articles, I continue to work on themes pertinent to philosophical pessimism and the opposing project of life affirmation. I also continue research on the philosophy of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and other 19th century figures more broadly.


My next major project is essentially an amalgamation of my interests in 19th century philosophy, aesthetics, ethics and environmental philosophy. It concerns the phenomenon of sublime feeling, and will investigate how this category of aesthetic experience--once a major feature of 18th and 19th century European thought--ought to be understood in relation to the pursuit of the good life. In particular, it aims to address sublime feeling in the aesthetic appreciation of nature, and draws upon the insights of the likes of Kant, Schopenhauer, Herder, and the British empiricists to (re)capture a secular notion of 'sacredness' which has the dual function of endowing life with a felt meaningfulness, as well as facilitating an appropriate respect for the natural world, even when confronted with its various horrors.


Independently of these projects, I have an interest in environmental philosophy. I am currently pursuing a range of articles on ecological holism (esp. Aldo Leopold's 'Land Ethic'). In particular, I am investigating the ethics and aesthetics informing such a view, and what the political implications might be, especially in the face of impending climate change.


Current undergraduate teaching:

  • Moral & Political Philosophy (Y1)
  • Four Great Works (Y1)

Current MA Seminars:

  • Climate Change & Global Justice


Lecturer in Philosophy, Cardiff University, 2021--present

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, The American University in Cairo, 2017-2021

Ph.D in Philosophy, University of Reading, 2016

MA in Study of Religions, School of Oriential and African Studies, University of London, 2012

BA in Philosophy, University of Reading, 2011


Currently, I would be interested to supervise PhD students on any topics pertaining to Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, philosophical pessimism, nihilism, and sublime aesthetic experience.

Current supervision

Joseph Chapman

Joseph Chapman

Graduate Tutor

Research themes


  • History of philosophy
  • Schopenhauer
  • 19th Century Philosophy
  • nietzsche
  • Moral Philosophy