Gregory Currie, a leading philosopher of art at the University of Nottingham, has accepted a professorial appointment in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York, effective this fall. This appointment should propel the York Department, which was already strong in aesthetics, into the very top ranks for philosophy of art internationally.
Jonathan Quong (political philosophy), currently a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester, has accepted appointment as a tenured Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, effective this fall.
Amelie Rorty, who has written widely in philosophy and its history, and whose current work focuses on issues in moral psychology, will be a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University for 2013-15, teaching a course each term. (She had previously held such an appointment at Boston University.) She will continue also as a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
A philosopher at a PhD program writes: "For the first time I'm involved with grad admissions, and we're already hearing from our candidates that we have waitlisted for fellowships that other schools are trying to impose deadlines for their fellowship offers in advance of the April 15 standard. (One offender is trying to impose a March 5 deadline.) Would you consider using your blog to let your grad school applicant readers know that they cannot be railroaded into a decision earlier than the April 15 standard?"
The American Philosophical Association's official position on offers of admission and aid is here:
Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.
Jason Stanley (philosophy of language, epistemology, history of analytic philosophy), Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at Yale University, where he will start July 1 (this is subject to Board approval, but that is expected). That's a significant appointment for Yale, which will continue that department's upward trajectory over the last decade.
Jack Zupko (medieval philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of religion), currently Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department at the University of Winnipeg, has accepted appointment as Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department at the University of Alberta, effective July 1.
Dorit Bar-On (philosophy of language and mind, metaethics) and Keith Simmons (philosophy of language and logi, philosophical logic), both Professors of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have accepted senior offers from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where they will start in fall 2014. This is the latest in a series of senior and junior hires that has almost doubled the size of the department in recent years, and given the program especially notable strengths in areas such as philosophy of logic and language.
Richard Holton (ethics, moral psychology, philosophy of action, philosophy of law) and Rae Langton (Kant, ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, feminist philosophy), both Professors of Philosophy at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, have accepted Professorships at Cambridge University, effective September 1. That is a major hiring coup for Cambridge, and coming on the heels of recent Professorial appointments of Tim Crane and Huw Price, as well as a number of junior appointments, probably puts Cambridge Philosophy in its strongest position in several decades.
John Broome, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University, will be teaching at Stanford for one quarter per year in 2014-15 and 2015-16, with a possibility of renewal for several years beyond that. He will continue to be at Oxford the rest of the time.
C. Kenneth Waters, a leading figure in philosophy of biology at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis-St. Paul, has accepted a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary (effective July 2014), a department which already boasts two philosophers of biology, Marc Ereschefsky and Megan Delehanty.
This is likely to move Calgary into the top half-dozen or so programs for philosophy of biology when we next do PGR surveys.
Lee Braver (19th- and 20th-century Continental philosophy, metaphysics, Wittgenstein), Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hiram College, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Florida. South Florida has had a strong commitment to history of philosophy, including the post-Kantian Continental traditions.
Mitchell Green (philosophy of language and mind), Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where he will begin this fall. U Conn has been doing a lot of hiring lately, and apparently has other senior offers outstanding.
This will be significant for PhD students interested in the Continental traditions in philosophy: Iain Thomson, a leading Heidegger scholar at the University of New Mexico, has a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Florida. Students considering either program will want to keep an eye on what happens.
UPDATED: Thomson has accepted a retention offer from New Mexico, and declined the South Florida offer.
Professor Dworkin, who was on the faculty at NYU Law School and Emeritus at both Oxford and University College London, was a prolific contributor to political and legal philosophy. I will post links to memorial notices as they appear.
UPDATE: There's a short AP obituary here, which is actually pretty good on the substance of his views. (Thanks to Les Green for the pointer.)
ANOTHER: The Guardian obituary is a bit hyperbolic, and contains some factual errors (e.g., Dworkin's daughter was a PhD candidate in philosophy at Cornell, not a philosophy professor there). But it also gives a fuller portrait than the short AP obituary.
AND ANOTHER: For more on the substance of Dworkin's jurisprudential views, and questions that have been raised about them, see my review essay of one of his recent books and a book of essays about his work.
SPIRITED PHILOSOPHICAL POLEMICS: Dworkin had many lively debates (with Richard Posner, G.A. Cohen, H.L.A. Hart, and others), but this famous one is on-line: Blackburn vs. Dworkin on the objectivity of ethics.
AS A LECTURER: Dworkin was famed for his skill as an extemporaneous speaker, and YouTube offers many fine examples. Here is but one example, a brief talk on equality at the Carnegie Council. But there are many others.
WIKIPEDIA DISASTER: Someone just called my attention to Dworkin's entry, which is pretty poor, even by Wikipedia standards for philosophy. Its description of his views ranges from partly accurate to inaccurate, and it is woefully incomplete in terms of the range of his work. Maybe some ambitious person can fix it up!
ANOTHER MEMORIAL NOTICE from the Oxford law faculty. The quote from John Gardner, the current Professor of Jurisprudence, is a classic of implicature!
Evan Thompson, a leading contributor to philosophy of mind and cognitive science at the University of Toronto, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, effective July 1, 2013. That's a quite major appointment for UBC, which will likely establish it as the top department in Canada in these areas (where Thompson will join Murat Aydede and Eric Margolis, among others), as well as one of the leading programs in North America in these fields.
UPDATE: Professor Thompson writes that, in addition to philosophy of mind and cognitive science, "I am increasingly doing work in cross-cultural philosophy, with a focus on bringing Indian philosophy into active exchange with philosophy of mind and cognitive science. So I'll also be working to build bridges between Philosophy and Asian Studies at UBC. And I'm excited to be joining a department where there is a strong presence in history and philosophy of science, as well as early 20th century European philosophy, which dovetails with my work on the Phenomenological tradition."
Best-known for his work in philosophy of physics, Professor Hughes taught for the last quarter-century in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina and, before that, for a number of years at Yale. An obituary, with information about a memorial, is here.
Gabriel Segal (philosophy of mind and psychology, philosophy of language and linguistics), who taught for many years at King's College, London, where he is presently Visiting Professor of Philosophy, has taken up a half-time post as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading.
Lewis Gordon (Africana philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism), currently the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, has accepted a senior offer at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where he will be Professor of Philosophy and African-American Studies, beginning fall 2013.
For a long time, my basic policy was not to report senior offers that had been declined unless I had also reported the fact of the offer. At least, I thought that was my policy (one designed to save me time), but some readers point out that there have been occasional exceptions going back a few years, and also point out that such information is useful, since, of course, the fact of a senior offer is a more tangible indication of how at least one other department evaluates the philosopher's work. That latter point strikes me as especially persuasive, so I am officialy revising the practice going forward: I will report senior offers declined when it is confirmed by the candidate or his/her (home or hiring) department chair. I will periodically post an aggregation of such information, like the one below.
What follows is a list of philosophers who declined senior offers in 2012 or 2011. I am opening comments, and invite additions either by the candidate or the candidate's chair of department of other offers those years that were declined that are not listed below. Here are those I know about during this period (and which were not otherwise posted because the fact of the offer had been posted):
Thomas Christiano (political philosophy) at the University of Arizona turned down an offer from the University of Southern California.
Carl Craver (philosophy of neuroscience and biology; metaphysics, moral psychology) at Washington University, St. Louis turned down an offer from Duke University.
Joshua Dever (philosophy of language) at the University of Texas at Austin turned down an offer from the University of St. Andrews.
John Martin Fischer (philosophy of action, metaphysics, ethics) at the University of California at Riverside turned down an offer at the University of California at Irvine.
Mark Johnston (metaphysics) at Princeton University turned down an offer from the University of Notre Dame.
Niko Kolodny (ethics) at the University of California at Berkeley turned down an offer from Harvard University.
David Owens (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics) at the University of Reading turned down an offer from the University of Texas at Austin.
Adam Pautz (philosophy of mind) at the University of Texas at Austin turned down an offer from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Agustin Rayo (philosophy of language and logic) at Massachussetts Institute of Technology turned down an offer at Stanford University.
Mark Schroeder (ethics) at the University of Southern California turned down an offer from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Elisabeth Camp (philosophy of mind and language, aesthetics), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, has accepted a tenured offer from the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, an appointment which can only further solidify Rutgers's leading position in those areas.
Penn has had a tough year, with Paul Guyer (Kant) moving to Brown, Charles Kahn (ancient philosophy) phasing into full retirement this year, and now Camp departing. Penn did retain my friend and occasional co-author Michael Weisberg, one of the leading philosophers of biology and science of his generation, in the face of outside offers, and a bit before that, Penn also retained the distinguished political philosopher Samuel Freeman in the face of offers as well. I expect Penn will be doing some rebuilding in the next couple of years. Given that Penn is a university with top ten English and History departments, to name two important humanities fields, it really ought to have at least a top twenty philosophy department once again. It is an unusually small department, relative to the size of the university, something which handicapped Yale for a number of years as well.
It wasn't long ago, with the departures of two professors--Helen Beebee (metaphysics) to Manchester and Alex Miller (philosophy of language, metaethics) to Otago--that the situation looked dicey for philosophy at Birmingham. But things have really turned around since the appointment of Scott Sturgeon to a Professorial position from Oxford, apparently with a good deal of administrative support for building the program.
At the senior level, Birmingham is appointing six Distinguished Visiting Research Professors, and it is a distinguished line-up indeed: Paul Boghossian (NYU), Hartry Field (NYU), Kit Fine (NYU), Stephen Neale (CUNY), Susanna Siegel (Harvard), and Ralph Wedgwood (Southern California). Each initial appointment is for three years, with the expectation of renewal. Each visitor will supervise postgraduate research for at least four weeks each year in Birmingham, and will also present their own work in seminars and be the focus of colloquia and workshops led by postgraduates.
In addition, the Department of Philosophy has been able to appoint three faculty to "Birmingham Fellowships"--the first five years of the appointment for research (in residence at Birmingham, of course), followed by a permanent teaching post on the faculty--and they have recruited a very impressive group of younger philosophers: Justin Clarke-Doane (meta-ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics), Nicholas Jones (metaphysics), and Jeremy Williams (ethics, applied ethics, political philosophy). (I will add as a point of personal privilege that Clarke-Doane, whom I wrote for but did not teach, strikes me as one of the handful of truly outstanding young philosophers on the job market in the last couple of years.)
Most remarkable of all, perhaps, is that Professor Sturgeon tells me that Birmingham will be filling "multiple" additional permanent open-rank, open-area positions in the current international job cycle.
It's nice to see that at a time when some departments are cutting back in philosophy, a leading research university is making a major investment in the field.
UPDATE: Alison Jaggar (political philosophy, feminist philosophy) from the University of Colorado at Boulder has also been appointed a Distinguished Research Professor.
Janice Dowell (philosophy of language and mind, metaphysics, meta-ethics), Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and David Sobel (ethics, political philosophy), Chambers Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and the Moral Sciences, also at Nebraska, have accepted senior offers from the Department of Philosophy at Syracuse University, where they will start in fall 2013. (Sobel will take up the Guttag Professorship in Ethics and Political Philosophy previously held by Michael Stocker, now emeritus at Syracuse.) Syracuse now has an especially strong cohort of younger philosophers working in and around issues in ethics and meta-ethics.
Philosopher Michael Weber, Chair of the Department at Bowling Green, writes:
It is with sadness that I report that Ray Frey (1941-2012) passed away yesterday. Ray was Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), and a Senior Researcher at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at BGSU. He joined the faculty at BGSU in 1986, having previously taught at Liverpool from 1974-86. He is well-known for his numerous books and articles in moral and political philosophy. His work is wide-ranging, and included important contributions in applied ethics. Ray was also instrumental in launching Bowling Green’s innovative and highly successful Ph.D. in Applied Philosophy. No memorial service is scheduled.
Timothy Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford University and a leading contributor to epistemology, metaphysics, philosophical logic and philosophy of language, will be a regular Nelson Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, teaching an intensive three-week graduate seminar each March, beginning in 2013. The initial appointment is for three years.
Peter Anstey, Professor of Early Modern Philosophy at the University of Otago, has accepted a four-year Australian Future Fellowship at the University of Sydney, which will then convert into a permanent position in the Department of Philosophy. He commences at Sydney in December.
Professor Baier, a longtime member of the philosophy faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, passed away last night in her native New Zealand. She was best-known for her seminal contributions to moral philosophy and to the study of the philosophy of David Hume. I will post memorial notices as they appear.
UPDATE: Charles Pigden (Otago) has sent me the memorial from the Otago Department:
It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Annette Baier, who passed away at two o’clock this morning (Friday the 2nd of November) in Dunedin hospital where she had been admitted, following heart problems, earlier this week. She was 83.
Annette C Baier (nee Stoop) was born in 1929 in New Zealand, and remembered swag men coming to the house for food during the Great Depression. Her father, a keen amateur astronomer would show her the craters of the moon and the rings of Saturn on cold clear nights. She studied Philosophy at the University of Otago where her teachers included D. D. Raphael and John Passmore, both of whom helped to foster her interest in Hume. She went on to do a B.Phil at Oxford where she wrote a dissertation on ‘Precision in Poetry’ under the supervision of J.L Austin (whose shoes sometimes bore the evidence of recent visits to see his pigs). She had a teaching post at St Andrews and another at Auckland, and it was on her way to take up this latter position that she started a shipboard romance, as a result of which she became pregnant. The conventions of the day meant that she had to have the baby in secret, giving her up for adoption. It was only many years later that she was happily reunited with her long-lost daughter, Sarah, and discovered that she was already the grandmother of four grandchildren.
Annette had a rather stormy career at Auckland due to tensions with her boss R P. Anschutz (who she describes as an enemy but a generous one). She eventually left to take up a post at Sydney, but not before meeting and marrying Kurt Baier in 1958. They had a long and happy marriage lasting till Kurt’s death in 2010, partly for the usual reason that they laughed at the same jokes. However, she did not stay long at Sydney, as Kurt had a job in Canberra, and she disliked the moralistic cult of free-love, then current amongst some members of the Sydney department. In 1962 Kurt was offered a chair at Pittsburgh and the Baiers left Australasia for the States. At first Annette taught at Carnegie Mellon, before joining the Pittsburgh Department in the 1970s.
It was at Pittsburgh that her career really took off. She became famous as a moral philosopher, a Hume scholar and a feminist, with books such as Postures of the Mind: Essays on Mind and Morals (1985), A Progress of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume's Treatise (1991), Moral Prejudices (1995)(including the essays "What Do Women Want in an Ethical Theory?" and "The Need For More Than Justice") and The Commons of the Mind (1997). She was also an inspiring and much loved teacher. She served as President of the Eastern Division of the APA (as did Kurt), gave the Paul Carus Lectures in Philosophy (as did Kurt) and was invited to be a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (as was Kurt), making them perhaps the only husband and wife duo to achieve this trio of distinctions.
In 1995, the Baiers retired to New Zealand dividing their time between Queenstown and Dunedin where Annette was an active and much-valued regular at the Otago Departmental Seminar. After a brief pause to write up her husband’s life, she returned to philosophy, publishing four more books during her retirement: Death and Character: Further Reflections on Hume (2008), The Cautious, Jealous Virtue: Hume on Justice (2010), Reflections on How We Live (2010) and The Pursuits of Philosophy (2011). Friends and students of Annette – and we know she had friends the world over - will be pleased to know that she was active in philosophy right up to the last, attending and contributing to the Otago Departmental Seminar with her usual wit and acuity to within a few weeks of her death. Her last comment was a criticism of the error theory of her friend and former colleague J.L Mackie. She will be sorely missed.
The distinguished philosopher was emeritus at the Australian National University, and spent almost his entire career in Australia from 1950 onwards. He was perhaps best-known for his defense of physicalism in the philosophy of mind and of utlitarianism in ethics. I will link to memorial notices as they appear.
UPDATE: Remembrances from former colleagues at Monash. (Thanks to Josh May for the pointer.)
Murali Ramachandran (philosophical logic, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language), Reader in Philosophy at the University of Sussex, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, effective January 2013.
John Hawthorne, Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Oxford University, who had previously been a regular Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University for six weeks each year, has now accepted appointment as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, where he will be in residence and teaching part of each Fall and Spring (for a total of ten weeks per academic year) for the next five years (starting in fall 2013).
Tom Sorell, who holds a Chair in Global Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Politics at the University of Warwick, where he will also be affiliated with the Philosophy Department--this is effective January 2013.
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Professor Kurtz was best known to the wider world as a leading advocate for secular humanism. The Center for Inquiry, which he founded, has a memorial notice here. John Shook, a philosopher at the Center, has a webpage about Kurtz's work here.
Carl Hoefer (philosophy of science and physics), currently ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has accepted a full professorship and Directorship of the Rotman Institute at the University of Western Ontario, effective summer 2013. That's the second major, senior hire for UWO and Rotman this year. In addition, UWO has appointed Genoveva Marti (philosophy of language), also an ICREA Research Professor at Barcelona, to a full professorship effective July 1, 2014.
Beth Lord (history of modern philosophy, esp. Spinoza, Kant, Deleuze), Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Dundee, has accepted appointment as Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen.
Michael Forster (Kant, 18th-, 19th-century and 20th-century German philosophy, ancient philosophy, Wittgenstein, philosophy of language, epistemology) at the University of Chicago has accepted the Humboldt Professorship and the Chair in Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Bonn, effective February 2013. That's a major coup for Bonn, needless to say. The good news for those of us here in Chicago is that Forster will continue to be here as a regular Visiting Professor of Philosophy for most of the Winter Quarter each year (he and I will also offer a joint seminar each Winter).
Susan Schneider (philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of cognitive science), currently at the University of Pennsylvania, has accepted a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where she will start in January 2013.
Campbell Brown, a moral philosopher at the University of Edinburgh (one of whose papers was recognized in this year's Philosopher's Annual), has accepted a permanent post in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, effective January 2013. This is the second recent lateral hire for Glasgow this year.
A longtime member of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, Professor Linsky was well-known for his work in philosophy of language and the history of analytic philosophy. There is a page for remembrances here. I will add links to memorial notices as they appear.
Thom Brooks, Reader in Political and Legal Philosophy at Newcastle University, has accepted appointment as Reader in Law at the University of Durham, where he will also be an associated faculty member of the Department of Philosophy. The appointment is effective December 1 of this year.
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin has made two senior hires: Galen Strawson (metaphysics, philosophy of mind and action, history of early modern philosophy, Nietzsche), currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading, will take up a new Chair in philosophy at Texas; and Michelle Montague (philosophy of mind, metaphysics), currently at the University of Bristol, will come in as an Associate Professor with tenure. Montague and Strawson are teaching at UT in 2012-13, will be back at their UK institutions in fall 2013, and then return to UT full time in spring 2014.
In addition to these hires, UT made two additional junior appointments, and a lateral junior hire of Katherine Dunlop (Kant, philosophy of math) from Brown University. Taken together, these five appointments will probably push UT back towards the overall top 15 in the US.
Professor Nakhnikian was largely responsible for leading two different departments to positions of national prominence: Wayne State in the 1950s and 1960s, and Indiana/Bloomingon in the late 1960s and 1970s. The memorial notice from the Indiana department is here.
Michael Otsuka (political philosophy, ethics), Professor of Philosophy at University College London, has accepted a senior appointment in the Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method at the London School of Economics, effective September 2013. That's a good break for LSE, after the departure of Nancy Cartwright, and will make the program an attractive choice for students interested in political philosophy and cognate issues in social choice and rational choice theory.
Chris Bertram (Bristol) points out to me that Durham (not philosophy) has recently hired the political theorist David Held from LSE. Held, like Nancy Cartwright (who is also moving to Durham, as noted), was involved in supervising Saif Gaddafi's PhD thesis (which is suspected to have been plagiarized), and both were implicated in the resulting scandal about the Libyan government's involvement with the LSE. (The full report is here, and the key bits are at pp. 28 ff.) What role the unpleasantness of this affair played in the decion of these two scholars to leave I do not know, but several readers remarked on it.
Nancy Cartwright (philosophy of science, physics & social science), who is roughly two-thirds time at the London School of Economics, and her former student Julian Reiss (philosophy of science and social science), currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at Erasmus University, have accepted appointments at the University of Durham, where they will work together to run a new center for "Knowledge, Culture and the Public Good." Cartwright will be half-time at Durham (she is leaving LSE altogether) and Reiss full-time. These hires are likely to push the Durham department into the ranks of the top 15 UK programs.
UPDATE: Just to be clear, Professor Cartwright will continue to teach every Winter Quarter in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, which she has done for many years now. She will also continue to supervise PhD students there throughout the year. The new Durham appointment only replaces her LSE appointment.
Fraser MacBride (metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, history of analytic philosophy), currently Lecturer in Philosophy at Cambridge University, has accepted the Chair in Logic at the University of Glasgow. That's a significant appointment for Glasgow, which could move it into the ranks of the top 15 UK programs.
Robert Hopkins, a leading writer in aesthetics and philosophy of mind at the University of Sheffield (who also has a serious side interest in Nietzsche), has a senior offer from the Department of Philosophy at New York University, where he will visit next year (2012-13). Students interested in aesthetics, in particular, will want to keep an eye on this.
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)