Dr Aurelia Armstrong


School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 52805


Dr Aurelia Armstrong’s research interests include: history of philosophy; Spinoza; Nietzsche; Foucault; Modern European philosophy; Social and Political philosophy; Ethics; and Gender studies.

Dr Armstrong holds a BA(Hons) from Australian National University, 1992 and PhD, from the University of Sydney, 1998. She is currently a Lecturer in Philosophy at UQ.

She teaches in the following courses: PHIL2500 Philosophy and Art; PHIL2300 Phenomenology and Existentialism; PHIL2013 Rise of Modern Philosophy; PHIL3002 Philosophy Today; PHIL3620 Advanced European Philosophy; PHIL3630 Advanced Moral and Political Philosophy.

Dr Armstrong's current research focuses on Spinoza's contribution to the affective turn in ethics and politics.

Research Interests

  • Social and political psychology
    The role of emotions in social and political processes and practices, with a particular emphasis on early modern contributions, especially Spinoza affect theory.
  • Ethics and self-cultivation
    Ethical theories centred on notions of self-cultivation and practices of freedom.
  • Relational autonomy
    Theories of autonomy that emphasise the relational, socially embedded nature of the self.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Armstrong, Aurelia (2018). Affective therapy: Spinoza’s approach to self-cultivation. Ethics and self-cultivation: historical and contemporary perspectives. (pp. 30-46) edited by Matthew Dennis and Sander Werkhoven. New York, NY, United States: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781315102269-3

  • Armstrong, Aurelia (2018). Spinoza's ethics and politics of freedom: active and passive power. Spinoza's authority: resistance and power in ethics. (pp. 33-56) edited by A. Kiarina Kordela and Dimitris Vardoulakis. London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Academic.

  • Mercon, Juliana and Armstrong, Aurelia (2012). Transindividuality and philosophical enquiry in schools: A Spinozist perspective. Philosophy for children in transition: Problems and prospects. (pp. 82-96) edited by Nancy Vansieleghem and David Kennedy. Hoboken, NJ, United States: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Armstrong, Aurelia (2009). Autonomy and the relational individual: Spinoza and feminism. Feminist interpretations of Benedict Spinoza. (pp. 43-63) edited by Moira Gatens. USA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Armstrong, Aurelia Frances (2003). Foucault and the Question of Autonomy. Australian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference 2003, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, 20 - 22 November 2003.

  • Armstrong, A. F. (2003). Who resists power? Foucault and the question of the subject. Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy 2002, Melbourne, Australia, 11-13 December 2002. Melbourne, Australia: Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision