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Kara Richardson

Kara Richardson

Kara Richardson

Associate Professor


541C Hall of Languages


Women's and Gender Studies


Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Middle Eastern Studies

Research and Teaching Interests

Kara Richardson works primarily in the history of philosophy. She focuses on Medieval Aristotelians, especially Avicenna, Aquinas and Suarez, as well as on Descartes. Her research interests are in the history of metaphysics, with a focus on causality. In addition to teaching courses in the history of philosophy, she regularly teaches PHI 297 Philosophy of Feminism.

Selected Publications

“Avicenna on Teleology: Final Causation and Goodness,” in Teleology: The History of a Concept, ed. Jeff McDonough. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.

“Agent Intellect and Human Understanding in Avicenna and Aquinas” in The History of the Philosophy of Mind, vol. 2: Boethius to Scotus, ed. Margaret Cameron. London: Routledge, 2018.

“Averroism” in The Routledge Companion to the Sixteenth Century, eds. Benjamin Hill and Henrik Lagerlund. London: Routledge, 2017, 137-156.

“Causation in Arabic and Islamic Thought” in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Zalta (Fall 2015 Edition) URL=

“Formal Causality: Giving Being by Constituting and Completing” in Suárez on Aristotelian Causality, ed. Jakob Leth Fink. Leiden: Brill, 2015, 64-83.

“Two arguments for natural teleology from Avicenna’s Shifā’” in History of Philosophy Quarterly 32.2 (2015): 123-140.

Review of Philosophical Psychology in Arabic Thought and the Latin Aristotelianism of the 13th century, eds. Luis Xavier López-Farjeat and Jörg Alejandro Tellkamp in Vivarium 53.1 (2015): 120 –122.

“Efficient Causation from Ibn Sīnā to Ockham” in Oxford Philosophical Concepts: Efficient Causation, ed. Tad Schmaltz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 105-131.

“Avicenna and the Principle of Sufficient Reason” in Review of Metaphysics 67.4 (2014): 743-768.

“Avicenna’s Conception of the Efficient Cause” in British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21.2 (2013): 220-239.

Review of The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy, eds. Robert Pasnau and Christina Van Dyke in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2011.11.24.

Review of Walter Ott, Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy in Review of Metaphysics 65.1 (2011): 177-179.

“Avicenna and Aquinas on Form and Generation” in The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna's Metaphysics, eds. Dag Hasse and Amos Bertolacci. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011, 251-274.

Review of Averroes (Ibn Rushd) of Cordoba, Long Commentary on the De Anima of Aristotle, trans. Richard C. Taylor in Journal of the History of Philosophy, 48.3 (2010): 398-99.