M. Richard Zinman

Co-director, Symposium on Science, Reason and Modern Democracy

M. Richard Zinman

M. Richard Zinman is University Distinguished Professor of Political Theory in James Madison College, Michigan State’s residential college for undergraduates studying political affairs. He received his B.A. from Cornell University in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate School in 1976. In 1969 he helped found James Madison College and he has for many years served as Chair of its program in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy. He has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and in 2001 served as Distinguished Guest Professor in the Institute of Political Studies at Portuguese Catholic University.

Professor Zinman has focused on the challenges posed for the theory and practice of liberal democracy by the so-called “death of God” or nihilism. He has written and lectured widely on the political philosophy of the American Founding and on Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, and Nietzsche. He is a highly recognized teacher of undergraduates, having won Michigan State’s Distinguished Faculty Award, the State of Michigan’s Teaching Excellence Award, and Michigan States’s Honors College Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honors Students. His former students occupy distinguished positions in universities across the nation, in national politics, and in the legal and judicial professions.

His most recent papers are “Nietzsche’s Thucydides” and “Nietzsche, Democracy, and the Pathos of Distance.”

He is also co-editor of all the Lefrak Forum books.

zinmanm@msu.edu