Pascal Massie

Pascal Massie

Associate Professor

218 Hall Auditorium
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056


  • Ph.D. Vanderbilt University
  • Ecole Normale Supérieure
  • Maîtrise
  • DEA
  • Agrégation

Teaching Interests

I teach a variety of classes. Every fall semester I teach PHL 301, Ancient Philosophy. My special area is the history of Western philosophy, particularly ancient and medieval. In addition, I teach upper-level and graduate seminars in ancient philosophy.

On a regular basis I also teach various introductory courses, such as Theories of Human Nature, which is a popular introduction to philosophy.

What I enjoy most about teaching is the unexpected interaction with students. When they come up with something that I did not think of, this disrupts the lesson plan in a good way, in a way that is really creative and interactive.

Typically I do not follow one pedagogical format but use a combination of approaches. I lecture, then run a class discussion or break the class into groups. Just about every week we do a little bit of each. I believe in variety rather than the same format every class.

Courses Taught

Graduate level

  • Plato’s Republic
  • Hellenistic Philosophy
  • Aristotle’s Metaphysics
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Premodern Conceptions of the Soul
  • Heidegger’s Being and Time
  • Epistemology: The Limits of Thought
  • Capstone Seminar

Capstone Seminar

What is Philosophy?

Intermediate level

  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Modern Philosophy
  • Problems of Metaphysics and Knowledge


  • Theories of Human Nature
  • Society and the Individual

Research Interests

My work is primarily focussed on Ancient, Medieval, and some contemporary continental philosophy. My current research explores the metaphysical question concerning the distinction of the actual and the potential that was first posited by Aristotle. It explores the ontology of non-actuality, i.e., being insofar as it is not actual and yet is not reducible to non-being simpliciter (pure nothingness). Thus, potentiality, possibility, and virtuality seem to occupy an intermediate space between non-being and actuality. This question has important ramifications and the scholarly articles I plan on writing during the Assigned Research appointment explore how potentiality plays at the intersection of logic, philosophical psychology, and physics and put them in dialogue with contemporary philosophy. It is my contention that ancient thought is not merely of historical interest but raises questions and explores concepts that are highly relevant today.

Selected Publications

  • Contingency, Time and Possibility: An Essay on Aristotle and Duns Scotus, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books 2010, 303 pp.
  • 2022 “Contradiction, Being, and Meaning” Journal of Ancient Philosophy
  • 2020 “Seeing Darkness, Hearing Silence: Meta-Sensation and the Limits of Perception
    in Aristotle’s de anima” Epoche, Vol. 25 #1, 81-99
  • Masks and the Space of Play » Research in Phenomenology, Vol. 48, #1, 2018, 119-146.
  • Reflections on Robert C. Scharff, How History Matters to Philosophy Philosophy Today, Vol. 62, #2, 2018, 653-660.
  • “Diodorus’ Master Argument and the Logic of Time,” The Review of Metaphysics, Fall 2016, 279-309
  • “Ethics of Property, Ethics of Poverty” Saint Anselm Journal, Vol. 12, 1. Fall 2016, 38-62.
  • Touching, Thinking, Being: The Sense of Touch in Aristotle’s De anima and its Implications” Existentia, Vol. 23, 1-2, 2013, 155-174