Office: On Leave
Ph.D. Boston University, 2003. Joined the Philosophy Department at USF in 2005. Heydt's research focuses on the history of ethics and political philosophy. He is the author of Rethinking Mill's Ethics: Character and Aesthetic Education (Continuum, 2006) as well as chapters in edited collections and articles published in Journal of the History of Philosophy, Journal of the History of Ideas, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, History of European Ideas, History of Philosophy Quarterly, and Hume Studies. He has been the recipient of fellowships from ACLS, NEH, the Institute for Advanced Study (School of Historical Studies), the Howard Foundation, and the USF Humanities Institute.
His most recent work is Moral Philosophy in Eighteenth-Century Britain: God, Self, and Other (Cambridge, 2018), which reconstructs the history of early modern practical ethics. Practical ethics analyzed our moral relations to God, self, and others, and systematically presented the duties, rights, and virtues we are bound to respect or realize. Practical ethics included, in other words, the content of morality—what we ought to do and be. The book focuses on the period from the 1670s, when Protestant natural law practical ethics gained an institutional foothold in England, to the early British responses to the French Revolution (c. 1790). The book identifies the conventional positions concerning the content of philosophical morality, thereby enabling both a novel history and the correction of errors about, for instance, the originality, intended audience, and aims of philosophical argument.