On April 7 the life of an outstanding philosopher, colleague, and friend, Tony Brueckner, came to an untimely end after a short illness. He will be, and is, sorely missed.
Attached is a flyer announcing the Memorial Service. The three endearing videos hyperlinked in the flyer capture Tony's spirit. If you do plan to attend the service, please RSVP to Leslie Brueckner (lesliebrueckner-at-cox-dot-net). There will be a party afterwards, and she wants to make sure that there's enough food and drink.
...seems unusually diverse in terms of institutional affiliation of those recognized. Here they are by school:
1. Harvard University (16)
2. Stanford University (11)
3. University of California, Los Angeles (8)
3. Yale University (8)
5. Massachussetts Institute of Technology (7)
5. Princeton University (7)
5. University of California, Berkeley (7)
5. University of Chicago (7)
9. Northwestern University (5)
9. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (5)
11. Duke University (4)
11. University of Pennsylvania (4)
13. California Institute of Technology (3)
13. New York University (3)
13. University of California, Davis (3)
13. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (3)
13. University of Virginia (3)
Two each: Syracuse University; UC Santa Barbara; UC San Diego; Columbia University; UC San Francisco; Indiana University, Bloomington; Cornell University; Stony Brook University; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Oregon.
One each: University of Southern California; University of Minnesota; Brown University; Louisiana State University; Rice University; Boston University; Georgia Institute of Technology; University of Maryland; University of Rhode Island; Johns Hopkins; UC Irvine; University of Connecticut; University of Georgia; Kent State University; Clark University; Georgetown; Colorado State University; UT Austin; University of Wisconsin, Madison; University of Colorado, Boulder; Baylor College of Medicine; Emory University.
Jon Stewart makes fun of a right-wing crazy in Nevada who has taken up arms to defend his theft of federal land to feed his cattle, and, in the process, Stewart works in references to Descartes and Locke!
I host a few of my papers on a personal website, mainly as a convenient way to share them with friends and colleagues. Lately, a few people have found my papers through search engines and emailed me for permission to cite them. I'm not sure how I should respond to this. None of these papers are currently published, although they are all pieces I would consider preparing for publication. Are there significant risks involved in allowing unpublished work to be cited? Given that these papers are evidently being read already, I worry that refusing permission now would just lead to my work being used without credit. Do others have experience with this kind of situation? What is the best thing to do at this stage?
I would appreciate your advice or that of your readers.
In the past we've done surveys of the "most important" or "influential" philosophers of the modern era or the last 200 years. This poll is slightly different: we've taken the philosophers ranked in the top 25ish of the earlier surveys, but are now asking which of these philosophers have had the most pernicious influence on philosophy. I've limited this to serious philosophers, so no charlatans like Derrida or amateurs like Rand, but only important philosophers (no longer living) whose influence might not be deemed to have been salutary. Rank order the philosophers from most to least pernicious in their influence on philosophy (not on the world at large)(you can choose "no opinion" as well, which is certainly a tempting choice for many of these no doubt). Have fun!
Also, don't rank philosophers unless you have read them!
MOVING TO FRONT--ORIGINALLY POSTED FEBRUARY 20, 2014
It's that time of year again...I am opening comments on this thread for people to post news about junior, tenure-track hires in philosophy departments or of philosophy PhDs, i.e., hires made during this year of new assistant professors who will be starting in summer or fall 2014 (or thereafter). (For schools outside the US, please list new Lecturers who are on presumptively permanent appointments--not temporary lecturers.) As in prior years, you may also post information about post-doc appointments, since there are an increasing number of those in philosophy, many quite attractive. No anonymous posts will be allowed. (Please e-mail me about any errors.)
The format of the postings should be as follows: candidate's name (name of PhD-granting school) hired by [name of school]. AOS: ________; any prior positions (e.g., a postdoc, a lectureship, a visiting asst prof position). In the case of a post-doc, it should say not 'hired by' but 'post-doc at' [name of school].
Here's a fictional example:
Jane M. Jones (Rutgers) hired by University of California, Santa Barbara. AOS: Philosophy of Language. Previously a post-doc at Yale.
"Hired by" means a tenure-track or permanent position; a post-doc should be listed as "John Smith (Harvard) post-doc at University of Michigan."
Remember: tenure-track jobs and postdocs only. Please submit information only once; postings should appear within 24 hours.
THE ONLY PERSONS ELIGIBLE TO POST INFORMATION ARE: the candidates themselves; the chair of the hiring department; or the placement chair of the candidate's department. Four years ago, however, a placement chair jumped the gun in posting, so please, placement chairs, make sure it is OK with your students that the information appear!
We touched on this seven years ago, and a current grad student, Sean, asked that I re-open it for discussion about what changes, if any, have take place in the intervening years. Thoughts from readers?
Ned Markosian, Professor of Philosophy at Western Washington University and a leading contributor to work in metaphysics, has a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.
Massimo Pigliucci (philosophy of science), Professor of Philosophy at Lehman College, has accepted the K.D. Irani Professorship in Philosophy at City College. He will continue to be part of the faculty at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York as well.
A student who has applied to PhD program this season writes:
I have a concern about how some departments are notifying PhD applicants of decisions. Most places send out acceptances, then waitlists, then (sometime after) rejections. And, the hope is, everyone gets the news at more or less the same time. But that does not always happen. Sometimes a number of students are left hanging, with no decision long after everyone else has heard. (In my case: I still have not been given a decision at a top twenty program--now months after acceptances, waitlists, and rejections have been sent out via the website. And this despite my contacting the department to ask what was happening.) I'm not sure exactly of the frequency with which programs leave students hanging, but it strikes me as unfair and unnecessary. Unfair because the applicants are not treated like everyone else, and in a way that's disadvantageous. Knowing what's going on is vital to the applicants when they are making important life decisions. And unnecessary because it seemingly could be avoided at zero-cost to the department. What's the harm in letting those in limbo know what's happening?
Would you consider posting this to your blog for comments? Perhaps there are good reasons why some programs leave people hanging. And, in that case, I think it would be helpful for applicants to know what they are. If not, however, it seems that this behavior should be stopped.
We recently had the latest Heidegger scandal, and now we have Louis Menand on the increasingly bizarre case of Paul DeMan, whom Menand plausibly describes as a "sociopath" rather than simply a Nazi collaborator and anti-semite, given his many years of fraud, misrepresentations, and lies. Of course, Menand has another aim, namely, to defend DeMan's work in literary theory, to defend (remarkably) its "rigor." At moments like this, one realizes that even words like "rigor" require indexicals attached, since "rigor a la Menand" has nothing to do with what you might have thought the word meant, as anyone who has read DeMan's "rigorous" misreadings of Nietzsche will know. In any case, a somewhat less forgiving account than Menand's of DeMan's bizarre life is here.
Given the time of year, I think it is important to note that several Cornell faculty are being recruited by (or have offers from) top ten departments. Students considering Cornell should inquire with the Department.
Christopher Shields, Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and a leading Aristotle scholar, has accepted the Shuster Professorship in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, where he will begin this fall. Notre Dame has long had a very strong profile in the history of philosophy (especially medieval, modern, and post-Kantian), and with the hire of Sean Kelsey from UCLA several years ago and now Shields, will now have a similar prominence in ancient philosophy.
They are: Eva Kittay (Stony Brook) and L.A. (Laurie) Paul (North Carolina).
UPDATE: I missed that John Palmer, a distinguished scholar of ancient philosophy at the University of Florida, Gainesville, also won a Guggenheim (he was listed under "Classics," though his appointment is in Philosophy). (Thanks to Dan Ferguson and Gene Witmer for flagging this omission.)
Mark LeBar (ethics, political philosophy, ancient philosophy), Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ohio University, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at Florida State University, where he will start in January 2015. That's a good development for prospective grad students interested in value theory considering FSU, which already has a strong cluster of faculty in the area (including David McNaughton, Simon May, and others).
Philosopher Justin Tiehen (Puget Sound) writes to share this curious story:
You might be aware that the Ultimate Warrior, an extremely famous professional wrestler, died yesterday. (It's been in the news, and the guy was famous enough that people who don't follow wrestling at all are still sometimes vaguely aware of him.) Anyway, after retiring from wrestling he became a motivational speaker and life coach. For reasons that are somewhat opaque, this involved him creating a website where he posted a glossary of "the world's philosophies," with entries on behaviorism, consequentialism, deontology, existentailism, general semantics, and on and on. Just to give you a sense, here is the entry on Kantianism.
"This is the exact opposite of Objectivism. It's epistemology is faith-eaten and mystic- appeasing. It's metaphysics is subjective, it's ethics are altruistic and it's politics are collectivistic. Kant created the exact opposite of what constitutes a philosophy based on reason. His "argument" consists of equivocations, elaborate straw-men (the entire Critique of Pure Reason for example), etc. He was quite an evil person."
As you can gather, the Ultimate Warrior was apparently a Randian. Many of his other entries also come from a Randian perspective.
A leading contributor to epistemology over the past thirty years, Professor Brueckner taught initially at Yale and then, for most of his career, at the University of California at Santa Barbara. I will post links to memorial notices as they appear. Those on Facebook have no doubt already seen the outpouring of affection and respect for a wonderful person and philosopher.
UPDATE: John Martin Fischer (UC Riverside), who taught with Brueckner at Yale in the 1980s, and collaborated with him on many papers over the years, writes:
I'm sending two videos taken by Rich Ivry (Berkeley Psychology) of Tony Brueckner talking to a co-author (we think it is me). It is informal, but those who deeply love Tony know that it captures the essence of Tony. Both Rich and I hope you will consider posting them.
ANOTHER: The UCSB Department has posted a memorial notice, which I reprint in full below:
On April 7, 2014, the Philosophy Department lost a very dear friend, teacher, and colleague, Professor Anthony Brueckner. Tony spent the bulk of his illustrious career here at UCSB, where he taught since 1988. An extremely careful and tenacious thinker, Tony was also humble, gentle, and kind. Generous with his time, he trained a large number of students over the years. He inspired his students, his colleagues, and his peers in philosophy. Tony was, and is, greatly admired by all who had the distinct privilege of working with him. He taught us and he made us smile. We will miss him.
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)