Name: Dr. James G. Snyder
Title: Honors Program Director and Associate Professor of Philosophy
Office Location: Fontaine 203
Extension: (845) 575-3000 ext. 2375
Degrees Held:

Ph.D. Philosophy, The City University of New York Graduate Center (2008)

B.S. Philosophy and Psychology, Manhattan College (2000)


Management Development Program (2016)
Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Renaissance Studies (2008)
The CUNY Graduate Center


I grew up on Mount Ida in Troy, NY. After a decade in New York City, I now live in rural Dutchess County with my wife, son, and daughter.


Renaissance Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Plato & History of Platonism, History & Philosophy of Science

Awards & Honors:

Board of Trustees Distinguished Teaching Award, 2017

Student Government Association School of Liberal Arts Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year, 2016

Student Government Association Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year, 2015.

Student Government Association School of Liberal Arts Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year, 2012.


"The Galenic Roots of Marsilio Ficino's Theory of Natural Changes." With Janine Peterson. Viator (forthcoming). 

"Pregnant Matter: Ficino's Theory of Natural Change 'From Within' Matter." Rinascimento LI (2011): 139-155.

"Marsilio Ficino." The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: First published 28 February 2012.

"Theologia Platonica de immortalitate animae (Platonic Theology)." The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2012.

"Marsilio Ficino." The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 December 2011.

"Marsilio Ficino's Critique of the Lucretian Alternative." Journal of the History of Ideas 72 (2011): 165-181.

"Ficino and Patrizi on Ontological Priority of Matter and Space." Synthesis Philosophica 51 (2011): 229-239.

Review of The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Philosophy, edited by James Hankins. Vivarium 47 (2009): 140-143.

"The Theory of materia prima in Marsilio Ficino's Platonic Theology." Vivarium 46 (2008): 192-221.

"Materie: 1450-1850." In Enzyklopadie der Neuzeit, Vol. 8, edited by Friedrich Jaeger, 120-123. Stuttgart: J. P. Metzler, 2008.

Research Interests:

My research focuses mainly on Renaissance and early modern philosophies. At present I am studying the natural philosophy of the Renaissance Platonist Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499). I am especially interested in his theories of prime and corporeal matter, his view of natural change, and the purgative function that he considered natural philosophy to have on those who studied it. In the past few years I have been examining the role that the Epicurean poet Lucretius plays in Renaissance and early modern philosophies.


"Virtue Ethics and Academic Advising." Keynote Address, NACADA Conference, 2017. 

"The Ethics of Food." National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, Atlanta, 2017.

"Marsilio Ficino and Henry More Against Materialism." Renaissance Society of America, Boston, 2016. 

"The Priority of Matter in Ficino's Timaeus Commentary." Renaissance Society of America, New York, NY, 2014.

"Ficino and Galen on Natural Changes." Renaissance Society of America, San Diego, CA, 2013. 

"Platonic Natural Philosophy in the Renaissance." Philosophy Forum at the United States Military Academy at West Point, 2013. 

"Platonic Natural Philosophy in the Renaissance." Center for Neoplatonic Virtue Ethics, University of Copenhagen, 2012. 

"Ficino, Bruno, and Leibniz on Matter and Change." Renaissance Society of America, Montreal, 2011.

"Marsilio Ficino and Natural Philosophy as Purification." Renaissance Society of America, Venice, 2010.

"The Pregnancy of Matter: Ficino on Natural Change 'From Within.'" American Philosophical Association, Eastern Divisional Meeting, 2009.

"Marsilio Ficino and Natural Philosophy as Purification." Universita degli Studi di Verona, 2009.

"Ficino and Bruno on Natural Change 'From Within' Matter." Renaissance Society of America, Los Angeles, 2009.

"Marsilio Ficino's Critique of Lucretian Materialism." North Sea Early Modern Philosophy Workshop, Leiden University, 2008; and Renaissance Society of America, Chicago, 2008.

"Marsilio Ficino's Robust Theory of materia prima." Renaissance Society of America, Miami, 2007.

"Ficino and Patrizi on the 'Ontological Priority' of Matter and Space." Symposium on Francesco Patrizi, Croatian Philosophical Society, 2007.


I am currently the faculty adivsor to the Marist undergraduate Philosophy Journal and I serve on the board of directors of the Millbrook Arts Group