Institute of Philosophy

Staff A-Z

PD Dr. David Machek

Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Ambizione, SNSF)

SNF Project "Carving up moral motivation in ancient Chinese and Greco-Roman thought"

+41 31 684 35 69
S 201, Lerchenweg 36
Postal Address
University of Bern
Institute of Philosophy
Länggassstrasse 49a
3012 Bern

Academic Career

  • Since January 2019: Universität Bern, Institut für Philosophie. Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow (AMBIZIONE, Swiss National Science Foundation)
  • 2016-2018: Universität Bern, Institut für Philosophie. Post-Doc (Swiss National Science Foundation), supervised by Richard King
  • 2009-2015: University of Toronto, Ph.D. (East Asian Studies)
    Thesis: Virtuosos of the Ordinary: Comparative Interpretations of Stoic and Daoist Thought, supervised by Vincent Shen, Brad Inwood and Curie Virág
  • 2003-2008: Studium der Philosophie und Sinologie an der Karlsuniversität in Prag (Magister)

Publications (forthcoming and recent)

  • „Aristotle on the Goodness of Unhappy Lives”. Journal of the History of Philosophy. Im Erscheinen.
  • „Expert Impressions in Stoicism”. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, on-line first, 2021. (mit Máté Veres)
  • „Freunde aufgrund des Lebens: Eine aristotelische Auffassung der Freundschaft zwischen Eltern und Kindern”. Zeitschrift für praktische Philosophie 8.1, 37–60, 2021.
  • „Is the Life of a Mediocre Philosopher Better Than the Life of an Excellent Cobbler? Aristotle on the Value of Activity in Nico-machean Ethics x.4-8”. The Journal of Value Inquiry, on-line first, 2021.
  • „Mengzi on Nourishing the Heart By Having Few Desires”, Philosophy East & West 71.2, 2021.
  • „Aristotle on How Pleasure Perfects Activity (Nicomachean Ethics x.4-5). The Optimising View”. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, on-line first, 2020.
  • „Two Stoic Accounts of Conflict between Reason and Passion”, Ancient Philosophy 40.2, 389–409, 2020.

Research Interests

I work in ancient philosophy, Græco-Roman and Chinese, from both comparative and non-comparative perspective. My research interests are mostly in ethics and moral psychology. So far, I have published mainly on Stoicism, Aristotle, Mengzi and Zhuangzi. I believe that doing history of philosophy across two wholly different philosophical traditions can be conducive to doing a better history of philosophy. My most current research project is a book on Greek and Chinese theories of moral self-cultivation (Bloomsbury Press).