It appears some readers missed this item added as an update to the Parfit post earlier this week, so I post it again here:
Jeff McMahan (Oxford) writes: "I believe that the last public talk he gave was to the moral philosophy seminar here in Oxford in November. In it he presented some new ideas that he was continuing to develop up until the moment of his death. Fortunately the talk was recorded. Here is the link if you think it would be worth posting it on your blog: http://media.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/moral/MT16_DP.mp4."
Peter Lewis (philosophy of physics and science, formal epistemology) and Amie Thomasson (metaphysics, philosophy of art, philosophy of mind, phenomenology), both tenured philosophers at the University of Miami, have accepted tenured offers from the Department of Philosophy at Dartmouth College, where they will start in the 2017-18 academic year. That's a significant loss for Miami, though that department generally enjoys strong administrative support so I imagine they will make new hires in an effort to replace them.
Derek Parfit, the hugely influential English moral philosopher, passed away unexpectedly last night. He spent his entire academic career at Oxford University, though he also taught on a regular visiting basis at Harvard University, New York University, and Rutgers University at New Brunswick.
I will post links to memorial notices as they appear.
ANOTHER: Via John Tasioulas, I came across this nice video of Derek Parfit discussing personal identity from a British documentary:
AND ANOTHER: Jeff McMahan (Oxford) writes: "I believe that the last public talk he gave was to the moral philosophy seminar here in Oxford in November. In it he presented some new ideas that he was continuing to develop up until the moment of his death. Fortunately the talk was recorded. Here is the link if you think it would be worth posting it on your blog: http://media.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/moral/MT16_DP.mp4."
The passing of the following philosophers was noted on the blog during 2016: Jose Benardete, Klaus Brinkmann, Desmond Clarke, William Craig, Clement Dore, Jr., Solomon Feferman, Robert Fogelin, Mary Hesse, Dale Jacquette, Tomis Kapitan, Justin Leiber, Hugh McCann, Hilary Putnam, Jerome Shaffer, Morton White. You can find more information, including (often) links to obituaries by scrolling through the "Philosophy Updates" category (in which this post also appears).
Philip Pettit (moral & political philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of social science) and Victoria McGeer (philosophy of mind, moral psychology) have turned down part-time offers from Stanford University, which would have replaced their half-time posts at Princeton. (They will both continue to spend half the year at the Australian National University as well.)
Perhaps best-known for his 1968 text on Philosophy of Mind in the famous Prentice-Hall series of major introductions to various areas of philosophy, Professor Shaffer also published widely in that area. He taught at Swarthmore College and spent most of his career at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. There is a memorial notice from the U Conn department here.
Best-known for his scholarship on Hegel and on Aristotle, Prof. Brinkmann taught for two decades at Boston University. He passed away last month. There is a brief memorial notice from the BU Department here.
Max Kölbel (philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics, metaethics), currently ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, will take up the Professorship in Analytic Philosophy at the University of Vienna, effective September 2017.
The ad and details about the post. Next year's Fellow will teach the Law & Philosophy Workshop with Martha Nussbaum on the "'Environment and Animal Rights' (including, e.g., philosophical discussions of the moral status of nonhuman animals and the philosophical basis for claims involving them, the ethics of climate change, the ethical basis for valuing ecosystems, and the upshot of all of this for both domestic and international law)." This year's Fellow is Max Etchemendy, and recent Fellows also include Amanda Greene, Sarah Conly, and Justin Coates.
Best-known for his important work on Wittgenstein, Hume, and philosophical skepticism, he taught for most of his career at Yale University and Dartmouth College. There is an obituary here, and I will post links to other memorial notices as they appear.
...has been updated with some recent moves. I had been moving that post to the front, but doing so changed the URL which then affects the embedded links in the PGR specialty ranking updates (which will be continuing soon). So henceforth, I will occasionally just post a link to it when there are some new additions (which are in bold).
Katherine Brading (history and philosophy of physics and modern philosophy), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at Duke University, where she will begin in 2017-18.
Professor Jacquette passed away in August, after teaching for many years at Pennsylvania State University and then the University of Bern. He was perhaps best-known for his work on early analytic philosophy, especially Frege, Russell and Meinong, though his interests ranged very broadly. There is a nice memorial notice from Nicholas Rescher here.
Jonardon Ganeri, a leading expert on Indian philosophy who is Professor of Philosophy at NYU Abu Dhabi and a Global Professor at New York University in NYC, has been offered the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Chair at Yale-NUS. Students interested in South Asian Philosophy will want to keep an eye on what happens here.
Professor David Buller (Northern Illinois) asked me to share this memorial notice:
Tomis Kapitan, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University, passed away October 12 in London, where he had been living since his retirement in 2014. He was 66. Professor Kapitan was a member of the Philosophy Department at NIU for 23 years, during which time he served as a model philosopher, teacher, and colleague, enriching the life of the department and inspiring generations of students through whom his example and influence live on.
Professor Kapitan, who studied with Hector-Neri Castenada at Indiana University, Bloomington, published many articles on topics in philosophy of language, metaphysics, and philosophy of logic, and also wrote extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Rachana Kamtekar (ancient philosophy, ethics), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at Cornell University (effective 2017-18), where she will join Tad Brennan and Charles Brittain in continuing Cornell's strong tradition in ancient philosophy. (Gail Fine officially retires from Cornell at the end of 2016-17.)
Sally Sedgwick (Kant, German Idealism), Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has declined the senior offer from Berkeley. That's a significant retention for UIC.
MOVING TO FRONT (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 13, 2016)
Back in the old days (from 1989 through the late 1990s), the PGR consisted in my assessement of professional opinion about the quality of graduate programs in the form of an annual guide to prospective PhD students in philosophy in the Anglophone world. This was my assessment of professional opinion, not my own opinion about quality. I was sufficiently good at that that the PGR became hugely influential throughout the profession, so much so that faculty at departments not doing so well began protesting back in 2001. I gradually shifted to more systematic measurements--elaborate on-line surveys of senior and junior faculty--which just amplified the influence of the PGR. The results were not very dissimilar from when I was doing it from the armchair, but the evaluations of particular areas of specialization were clearly improved.
Brit Brogaard's plan is try to undertake new PGR surveys in fall 2017, but that doesn't obviate the need for some updated guidance. What follows is my best judgment as to how the faculty changes in the interim should lead prospective PhD students to think about the relevant hierarchy of PhD programs in the U.S. and elsewhere compared to the 2014 survey results. Rather than offer a guestimate about an ordinal rank, I put the PhD programs into "clusters" of what I think should reasonably be considered "peer" programs among which students should choose based on considerations other than "overall prestige." But I generally think it's reasonable to choose between programs in adjacent peer groups based on other considerations (financial aid, location, particular faculty, specialty strength etc.). I'll try to update the "specialty rankings" in the coming weeks.
An * indicates a program that arguably belongs in the next highest peer grouping.
Group 1 (1) Anglophone Programs outside the U.S.
New York University
Group 2 (2-8)
Princeton University *Oxford University
*Rutgers University, New Brunswick
University of California, Berkeley
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
University of Pittsburgh
University of Southern California
Group 3 (9-15)
Columbia University University of Toronto
Massachussetts Institute of Technology
University of Arizona
University of California, Los Angeles
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Group 4 (16-22)
Brown University Cambridge University
City University of New York Graduate Center Australian National University
University of California, San Diego
University of Chicago
University of Notre Dame
University of Texas, Austin
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Group 5 (23-27)
*Cornell University University of St. Andrews/University of Stirling Joint Program
Duke University University of Edinburgh
Indiana University, Bloomington King's College, London
University of California, Irvine University College London
Washington University, St. Louis University of Sydney
The distinguished historian and philosopher of science, she spent most of her career teaching in the HPS program at Cambridge University. A memorial notice from Cambridge HPS is here. I will add links to obituaries as they appear.
Glen Pettigrove (ethics, moral psychology, early modern philosophy), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland, has accepted the Chair in Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, where he will start in April 2017.
Russ Shafer-Landau (ethics, metaethics), who moved from the University of Wisconsin at Madison to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, will be returning to Wisconsin beginning in 2017-18. Since this is significant for the metaethics specialty ranking (esp. for Wisconsin, Chapel Hill has other prominent figures in that area), I will be posting a revised version shortly.
Professor Clarke, who taught for many years at University College Cork, was best-known for his work on Descartes. From an e-mail forwarded by a colleague in Ireland:
Professor Desmond Clarke, one of Ireland's leading philosophers, died on 4 September.
He is best known for his work on Descartes, including Descartes: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Descartes’s Theory of Mind (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003).
His most recent book appeared this year: French Philosophy, 1572-1675 (Oxford University Press, 2016). He published widely on the 17th Century, in particular on theories of science, the work of Blaise Pascal, and women in philosophy, including: The Equality of the Sexes: Three Feminist Texts of the Seventeenth Century, trans. Desmond M. Clarke (Oxford University Press, 2013) and 'Pascal’s Philosophy of Science' in The Cambridge Companion to Pascal (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Des Clarke was co-editor of the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series. Apart from history of philosophy, he published widely on political philosophy, human rights and legal theory, including the highly influential Church & State (Cork University Press, 1984.) In 2015 he was awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Humanities.
He is survived by his wife, the philosopher Dolores Dooley, two daughters and grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at 11am on Wednesday 8 September at Newlands Cross Crematorium. Further details here.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (philosophy of science, biology, and mind; American pragmatism), currently Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center, will take up a senior position in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney, effective January 2017. That's a big catch for Sydney, which already had one of the world's outstanding HPS groups.
Daniel Korman (metaphysics, philosophy of language), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign has accepted appointment as Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, effective fall 2017.
Professor Feferman, an eminent figure in mathematical logic and the foundations and philosophy of mathematics, was emeritus in both the Math and Philosophy Departments at Stanford University, where he had taught since 1956. I will add links to memorial notices when they appear.
Mikkel Gerken (epistemology, philosophy of mind/cognitive psychology), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, has accepted a tenured offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Southern Denmark, where he will begin this fall.
Fraser MacBride (metaphysics, philosophy of math), holder of the Chair in Logic & Rhetoric at the University of Glasgow, has accepted a Professorial appointment in philosophy at the University of Manchester, where for the first three years he will be working mainly on an AHRC-funded project on the unpublished work and correspondence of David Lewis (recently donated by his widow, Steffi Lewis, to Princeton's library).
Luca Ferrero (philosophy of action, moral psychology), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, has accepted a tenured offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calfornia, Riverside, effective for 2016-17. With John Martin Fischer, UCR is already a major destination for students interested in philosophy of action and agency, and this appointment will further enhance that status.
Andrew Chignell (Kant, early modern philosophy, philosophy of religion), Associate Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University, has accepted a tenured offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, where he will start in January 2017. That's a big catch for Penn; with Chignell and Gary Hatfield, Penn will once again be a top destination for students interested in Kant.
They are: Jonathan Dancy ("Research Professor" at Reading; also Professor at UT Austin); Miranda Fricker (Sheffield, but who is moving to CUNY); and (as a Corresponding Fellow), Judith Jarvis Thomson (emerita, MIT). In addition, the political theorist Michael Walzer (emeritus, IAS) was also elected a Corresponding Fellow.
UPDATE: Philosopher Rob Stainton (Western Ontario) writes: "Robyn Carston, a linguist but also a very influential figure in empirically oriented Philosophy of Language, was also just elected to the British Academy. She's been one of the key figures working on the Semantics-Pragmatics boundary since her pioneering work in the 80s."
Michael Rescorla (philosophy of mind & psychology, philosophy of language), Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Alexander Guerrero (political and legal philosophy), who is currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Pennsylvania, has been voted a tenured offer from the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
UPDATE: Guerrero has accepted the offer from Rutgers, to start September 1.
Manuel Vargas, Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco and a leading contributor to the philosophy of action (esp. issues about free will) as well as Latin American philosophy, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, to start in summer 2017 (Vargas also has interests in philosophy of law). With Vargas and Dana Nelkin, UCSD will become a leading choice for students interested in issues in philosophy of action and free will.
Tamar Schapiro (ethics), Associate Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, has accepted a tenured offer from the Department of Philosophy at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, where she has been a visiting professor during 2015-16.
A philosopher and historian of ideas, Professor White spent the bulk of his academic career at Harvard University and then the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; the IAS memorial notice is here. His 1949 book Social Thought in America: The Revolt Against Formalism was probably his most important and influential, enjoying a wide audience among intellectual historians, legal scholars, and others.
Mark Alfano (moral psychology), Associate Professor of Philosophy at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, will also take up a half-time post as Professor of Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne.
Ophelia Deroy (philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience), currently Deputy Director of the Institute of Philosophy in London, has accepted appointment as Chair of Philosophy of Mind at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich, effective January 2017. She will also continue to be an Associate Researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Senses in London.
Tim Crane (philosophy of mind), currently Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University, has accepted appointment as Professor of Philosophy at the Central European University in Budapest beginning in 2017-18. CEU has long had a strong department, but this will be a big boost for their international visibility.
The moral philosopher Alan Thomas, currently at the University of Tilburg, has accepted appointment as Professor of Philosophy at the University of York in the U.K., where he will also be Head of Department, effective September 1. That's a great hire for York!
Jonathan Wolff (political philosophy, ethics & public policy), a longtime member of the faculty at University College London, has accepted a Chair in Oxford's relatively new public policy school, the Blavatnik School of Government, effective this fall (though he will be part-time at UCL for 2016-17, moving full-time to Oxford thereafter).
Kenneth Shockley (environmental philosophy, ethics), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at Colorado State University, where he starts this August.
One week ago, I received an email from APA Development Director Robert Audi asking me to donate to the APA, and I posted about it here. Commenting on that post, Joshua Smith, gave some reasonable and constructive advice on the APA’s email practices. Another commenter Curt as well as Brian Leiter made important comments to the APA about donation requests.
The email, which I will provide in full below the fold for context, had the subject line: Help Expand Philosophy’s Influence.
If you have been reading my guest posts, you will know that I am all about expanding the influence of philosophy. The problem I have with this email request from the Executive Director is that the email doesn’t explain what the funds are going to support or how it is going to expand philosophy’s influence. Supporting work that is relevant to philosophers and supporting the work of philosophers is not the same thing as expanding philosophy’s influence. I would suggest that no matter the development goal, tell people what that money is going to support. How are the funds going to “expand” philosophy’s influence or “represent” philosophy in the public arena? If it’s just to support another newsletter, conference, or maintain current activities, then that’s not enough of an explanation. It certainly doesn't justify a second request so soon after Audi's.
Is it too much to ask the Executive Director of the APA to provide a vision for expanding philosophy’s influence before asking for money? I don’t think so. Full letter below. Comments are open.
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)