Simon Kow | University of King’s College

BA (Carl), MA, PhD (Tor)

Simon Kow teaches social and political topics, including cross-cultural thought, in the Early Modern Studies Program. He grew up in Britain and Calgary, before moving to Ottawa to take his BA in Political Science. Dr. Kow received both his MA and PhD in Political Science (specialising in political theory) at the University of Toronto, in 1996 and 2001, respectively. In 2001 Dr. Kow began teaching at the University of King’s College as assistant professor in the Early Modern Studies Program.

Current Research Projects

Dr. Kow is working on later Enlightenment views of China.

Selected Publications

  • China in Early Enlightenment Political Thought. Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought, 2017.
  • Rousseau and Desire. Co-edited volume with Mark Blackell and John Duncan, University of Toronto Press, 2009.
  • “Debating Ethical Nominalism in Early Enlightenment Thought on China.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 15:4 (December 2021): 530-548.
  • “Messing About in Books: Intertextual Visions in The Wind in the Willows.” In Academic Musings: The Legacy of the Euro-Méditerranée: A Festschrift in Celebration of the Reverend Doctor Thomas H. Curran. Eds. Peter Bryson, Susan Dodd, and Neil Robertson. Belfast, PE: Underhill Books, 2019. 69-79
  • “Early Modern Political Theology and the Question of China: Bayle, Leibniz, and Montesquieu.” In Political Theology in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Discourses, Rites, and Representations, eds. Montserrat Herrero, Jaume Aurell, and Angela Miceli, Brepols Press, 2016: 173-90.
  • “Enlightenment Universalism? Bayle and Montesquieu on China.” The European Legacy 19:3 (2014): 347-58.
  • “Politics and Culture in Hume’s History of England”. In Companion to Enlightenment Historiography, eds. Sophie Bourgault and Robert Sparling, Brill Press, 2013: 61-99.
  • “Confucianism, Secularism, and Atheism in Bayle and Montesquieu.” The European Legacy 16:1 (2011): 39-52.
  • “Rousseau’s Mandevillean Conception of Desire and Modern Society.” In Rousseau and Desire, eds. Mark Blackell, John Duncan, and Simon Kow, University of Toronto Press, 2009: 62-81.
  • “Necessitating Justice: Hobbes on Free Will and Punishment.” The European Legacy 10:7 (2005): 689-702.
  • “Corporeal Interiority and the Body Politic in Hobbes’s Leviathan.” Dalhousie Review 85.2 (2005): 239-248.
  • “Hobbes’s Critique of Miltonian Independency.” Animus (2004): 37-51.
  • “Maistre and Hobbes on Providential History and the English Civil War.” Clio 30:3 (2001): 267-288.


Early modern political thought, history of political thought, western conceptions of East Asia, East Asian thought and culture, early modern piracy, intercultural ideas of the sea and seafaring.

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