So it’s been a complex six months or so, but my family and I have finally decided that we are moving to Chicago next summer, where I will take up a Chair at the University of Chicago Law School and Direct Chicago’s new Center for Law, Philosophy, & Human Values, which will support “the reflective, critical and philosophical study of human values, with a particular emphasis on the conceptual, historical, and empirical foundations of the normative systems—moral, political, and legal—in which human beings live.” In addition, my treasured part-time colleague here at UT, Leslie Green (who is now Professor of the Philosophy of Law at Oxford) will switch his visiting professor stint from Texas to Chicago, starting in 08-09.
This has been such a difficult decision because of my great colleagues in the Law School at Texas, and the tremendous support from our wonderful Dean, Larry Sager, and our former Dean and now UT President, Bill Powers. The University of Texas School of Law has been an extraordinarily stimulating place to teach and write about law and philosophy for the past dozen years. The University of Chicago Law School is, of course, renowned as the leading center for law and economics in the country, and now, with the generous support of Saul Levmore, the Chicago Law Dean, and my new colleagues there—especially Martha Nussbaum--I am hopeful we will be able to make Chicago as strong a presence in law and philosophy and, in particular, make Chicago the top choice for philosophically-minded law students, especially those thinking of teaching careers.
Martha Nussbaum and I will continue to offer the Law and Philosophy Workshop at Chicago (which students take for credit); sometimes we will do it jointly, sometimes just one of us will do it with the new Law and Philosophy Fellow that the Law School will host each year. I’ll be offering a basic jurisprudence course every year (similar to what I do here), as well as a new course covering from a philosophical point of view topics in moral, political, and social theory of interest to lawyers and legal scholars. Martha and I will both continue to offer a variety of seminars on topics in moral, political, and legal philosophy, as will Les Green when he visits each year, and the new Center will sponsor additional speakers and conferences. I suppose the main thing that will distinguish Chicago from the other leading law-and-philosophy centers in the country is that Chicago will have both a stronger historical orientation than is typical among those working in law and philosophy (whether it is attention to Aristotle or Mill or Marx or Nietzsche) and a more interdisciplinary conception of philosophical work. Interested students should feel free to contact me.