Eileen O'Neill

Eileen O’Neill (1953-2017) is probably the most significant historian in early modern philosophy of her generation and may prove to be one of the most important historians of the past several decades. Although her untimely death has put an end to her own work, it will not curtail the movement she created, one that is already changing the way we think of philosophy’s past. Thanks to O’Neill’s philosophical acumen, scholarly tenacity, and personal generosity, there is now a growing awareness among experts that philosophy’s past is richer and more diverse than previously understood. It has become clear that canonical figures are best studied in a broad context and that our philosophical heritage contains long-forgotten innovative ideas, movements, and thinkers. To make the point another way, when our students wonder in twenty years what led philosophers both to reconsider the early modern canon and to embrace the philosophical richness of the early modern period, the answer will be short: Eileen O’Neill. 

One of the many important projects that Eileen O’Neill was working on was co-editing the Oxford New Histories of Philosophy series with Professor Christia Mercer, Director of the Center for New Narratives in Philosophy.  The CNNP has set up and is managing the Eileen O’Neill Memorial Fund at Columbia University, which will continue Eileen’s legacy by supporting projects that give voice to understudied women in the history of philosophy.  

If you would like to donate to the Eileen O’Neill Memorial Fund, there are three options:

  1. Online via this link.
  2. Via an invoice – please contact Skye Cleary
  3. A check sent through the mail as follows:
    • Please make checks payable to “Columbia University”.
    • Please include on the memo line of the check: “CNNP allocation #24743”.
    • Mail checks and letters to:

Columbia University Gift Systems
Columbia Alumni Center
622 W. 113th Street, MC 4524
New York, NY 10025


The Center for Science and Society, Columbia University
1180 Amsterdam Avenue
511 Fayerweather Hall, MC 2509
New York, NY 10027

If you have any questions, please contact Christia Mercer or Skye Cleary .  

Read more about Eileen O’Neill in Christia Mercer’s Obituary here.