Dr. Shiru Lim

Core areas

Intellectual history, history of political thought, Enlightenment, eighteenth-century Europe


Shiru’s primary research interests are in the history of political thought and of moral philosophy in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. Her doctoral work asked what Frederick II and Catherine II’s relationships with the philosophes reveal about what exactly made eighteenth-century conceptions of philosophical kingship ‘philosophical’. This research is now the basis of an in-progress monograph on Philosophy and Government in Enlightenment Europe: Frederick II, Catherine II, and the philosophes. Shiru is also currently working on the political, moral, and aesthetic philosophy of Denis Diderot; the eighteenth-century reception of the classical Greek idea of philosophical kingship; as well as conceptions and varieties of monarchical government in eighteenth-century Europe. At the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, she will undertake new research for a further book project on The Politics of Deception in Enlightenment Europe, exploring how seventeenth- and eighteenth-century authors conceived of the place of deception and artifice in their myriad forms—e.g. simulation, dissimulation, equivocation, lying, etc.—in three stages in civil society: its foundation, its maintenance, and its flourishing.


From 2018-19, Shiru was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute. She holds a PhD (2019) and a BA (2013) in History from University College London, as well as an MPhil (2014) in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge. She has extensive experience teaching both history and politics undergraduates the history of political thought from antiquity to the nineteenth century, and the history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe.


‘Frederick the Great and Jean Le Rond d’Alembert on philosophy, truth, and politics’, The Historical Journal 61:2 (2018), 357-78.