Paul G. Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters
An extraordinary intellectual, “the kind one meets once or twice in a lifetime,” according to a Notre Dame colleague, Vittorio Hösle holds concurrent appointments in German, philosophy, and political science. He speaks seven languages with fluency and reads 10 more, including Sanskrit, ancient Greek, Pali, and Catalan.
The author of more than 20 books and 125 articles, Hösle has written on topics as diverse as the tragedies of Sophocles, ancient mathematics, Hegelian philosophy, and environmental ethics, as well as the comedy of Woody Allen and the spy fiction of John le Carré. In addition, he has developed a multimedia encyclopedia of philosophy that is used in schools throughout Europe and has himself been the subject of two documentary films.
Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1999, Hösle was the director of Germany’s Hanover Institute of Philosophical Research, established by the Catholic bishop in Hildesheim to explore philosophical issues in Catholicism. Today, he directs the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, which supports research aimed at ultimate questions and questions of value, especially as they engage the Catholic intellectual tradition.
In 2013, Hösle was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by Pope Francis. Established by Pope John Paul II in 1994, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences promotes such social sciences as economics, sociology, law and political science, and makes studies in them available to the Church for the development of social doctrine.
The Kimball Professorship was endowed by Paul G. Kimball (’73), a noted authority on global financial markets and former managing director and co-head of foreign exchange at Morgan Stanley. Kimball serves on the College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council; his wife, Kathleen, is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College.