Leonidas Donskis, born on 13 August 1962 in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Foreign Docent of Social and Moral Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. Two doctorates: from Vilnius University (1990) and the University of Helsinki (1999). Professor and Dean of Vytautas Magnus University School of Political Science and Diplomacy in Kaunas, Lithuania. Extraordinary Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Theory at Tallinn University, Estonia.
Areas of interest: Niccolò Machiavelli, Giambattista Vico, history of ideas, philosophy of history, philosophy of culture, philosophy of literature, political philosophy, civilization analysis, history of consciousness, East European and Baltic studies.
The main theoretical focus of Leonidas Donskis research and teaching: the comparative study of civilizations; Baltic and East European studies with an emphasis on the comparative study of nationalism; cultural theory; cultural studies; intellectual history; philosophy of literature; philosophy of the social sciences; social and political philosophy; and history of East European ideas.
The key issues of recent research: theories of nationalism; philosophical anthropology of nationalism; concepts of Europe in Central and East European literature and philosophy; the literary sources of political consciousness; philosophical and sociological issues in prejudice and discrimination; an interpretative framework for civilization analysis; ideology and utopia as cultural imagination; the religious origins of Western individualism; the moral foundations of civil society; the origins of religious and political tolerance; the contemporary issues in toleration; and social and cultural criticism. These issues are addressed and discussed in his articles, chapters and reviews published in the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Israel, Poland, Estonia, and Lithuania.
As a teacher, Leonidas Donskis had a particularly interest in teaching interdisciplinary courses in social philosophy and history of ideas, which may be cross-listed with sociology or anthropology or politics or history or literature.