Bulletin Board

The Bulletin Board has been suspended as the UPDirectory undergoes a transition to new management. For the past five years, the Directory has been maintained by a group of volunteers, but it will be soon be owned and managed by the American Philosophical Association. We thank Amy Ferrer and Cheshire Calhoun of the APA for taking over the Directory. It is our hope that with their greater resources, the UPDirectory will thrive and grow. The Directory will continue to function as it currently does in all respects except for the Bulletin Board, which duplicates resources already available at the APA. Please stay tuned for an announcement for when the transition to the APA is complete! In the meantime, please continue to use the UPDirectory!


JOB – TT RYERSON U in Toronto – Non-Western Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy at Ryerson University (www.ryerson.ca/philosophy) in Toronto invites applications for a full-time tenure-track appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor. The position will commence on July 1, 2017 (subject to budgetary approval).

The area of specialization is either (i) Non-Western Philosophy or (ii) Metaphysics and/or Epistemology. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in Philosophy (or equivalent) by no later than June 30, 2017. The successful candidate will be expected to teach a variety of philosophy courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Candidates should have a strong research profile and/or evidence of an emerging scholarly record, evidence of high-quality teaching and student training, as well as capacity for collegial service.

We strongly encourage applications from those who would contribute to the further diversification of our faculty and its scholarship including, but not limited to, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Ryerson University and our Department are strongly committed to fostering diversity within our community. Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply but applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to and meaningful experience with the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will be expected to demonstrate their ability to work with a diverse student population.

The Philosophy Department, consisting of 16 tenured and tenure-track faculty members, prides itself on the quality of its teaching and the breadth and excellence of its research in both analytic and continental approaches and traditions.

Applicants should submit their application online via the Faculty Recruitment Portal at www.ryerson.ca/jobs. Applications should include the following components uploaded, in the following order, as a single PDF:

  • a letter of application
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a statement of research interests (including plans for dissemination)
  • two recent writing samples
  • and results of teaching surveys (or equivalent evidence, such as a teaching dossier).

Applicants should arrange for at least two confidential letters of reference to be sent to Mr. Ryan Walters at r2walter@ryerson.ca.

Any inquiries regarding the Faculty Recruitment Portal can be sent to Mr. Lindsay Wiener, HR Consulting Advisor, at l2wiener@ryerson.ca.

Aboriginal candidates who would like to learn more about working at Ryerson University are welcome to contact Ms. Tracey King, M.Ed., Aboriginal HR Consultant, Aboriginal Recruitment and Retention Initiative, at t26king@ryerson.ca.

Applicants are asked to indicate in their application if they are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Applications must be received by December 6, 2016. Confidential inquiries can be directed to David Hunter, Chair of the Departmental Hiring Committee (david.hunter@ryerson.ca). Mailed and emailed applications will not be accepted.

As an employer, Ryerson University is working towards a “people first” culture and we are proud to have been selected as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and a Greater Toronto’s Top Employer for 2015 and 2016. To learn more about our work environment and innovative educational environment, visit http://www.ryerson.ca, check out @RyersonU@RyersonHR and @RyersonEDI on Twitter, and visit our LinkedIn company page.

This position falls under the jurisdiction of the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA). The RFA collective agreement can be viewed on the RFA collective agreement page. A summary of RFA benefits can be found on the RFA benefits page. The RFA’s website can be found at: www.rfanet.ca.

Ryerson University is strongly committed to fostering diversity within our community. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our staff, our faculty and its scholarship including, but not limited to, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply but applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of November 2016: Linda Martín Alcoff

Linda Martín Alcoff

Professor, City University of New York: Hunter College and the Graduate Center

2016-03-18 18.54.56AOS: 19th & 20th Century Philosophy, African American Philosophy, Contemporary Continental Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Critical Theory, Epistemology, European Philosophy, Existentialism, Feminist Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Indigenous Philosophy, Metaphysics, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Education, Philosophy of Intersectionality, Philosophy of Gender, Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of the Americas, Post-Structuralism, Social and Political Philosophy

My recent scholarly work has concerned questions of social identities, such as race, ethnicity and gender, in terms of their status as social kinds and their epistemic and political relevance. I argue for a post-positivist realist approach to identities in general, and have looked extensively at the specific issues concerning gender identity, the concept of race, the formation of white identity, mixed race identities, and pan-Latino or Hispanic identity. I argue against eliminativism in regard to each of these, and address the idea that white identity should be abolished, and the differences between race and gender. The theory of social identity I develop includes both hermeneutic and phenomenological components, and argues that identities are organic, historically emergent formations in constant flux, incorrectly understood as created wholly by language or as ‘markers’ with little purchase on lived experience that can be transcended or repudiated. Some of the main philosophers that inform my work on identity are Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Marx, and Gadamer. My work on identity overlaps with my recent concerns in feminist and social epistemology, including the epistemology of ignorance. I also work on the issue of sexual violence and questions concerning how to understand the experience of sexual violence given the social constitution of experience, the question of sexual norms and the limitations of consent, and also how best to foment effective collective resistance to sexual violence. This work has been an engagement with Foucault, both making use of his ideas as well as arguing against some aspects of his approach. I teach and write in the area of Latin American philosophy, particularly on the work on Enrique Dussel, Walter Mignolo, and José Carlos Mariátegui. This interest overlaps with general work I have been doing in decolonial philosophy, with a focus on what it would mean to decolonize epistemology and philosophy in general. The decolonial turn has helped to bring the category of race and colonialism into the center of our understanding of class formation and the emergence of capitalism as well as modern social philosophy. This requires a more intensive intersectional and contextual approach to ideas of all sorts to assess their genealogy, meanings, and effects. More information about my publications, including forthcoming ones, can be found on my website, as well as a number of my papers.


LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Fellowship Period: July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019

Application Deadline: November 7, 2016

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) at the University of Michigan is excited to

announce the LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, a major initiative aimed to

promote a diverse scholarly environment, encourage outstanding individuals to enter academia,

and support scholars committed to diversity.

This two-year fellowship program provides early career faculty with dedicated research time,

mentorship, travel funding, and professional development opportunities to prepare scholars for

possible tenure-track appointments in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Fellows

will teach one course each year.

LSA hopes for multiple fellows to be selected each year and placed throughout the College, so we

encourage wide dissemination of this announcement to networks in any LSA discipline.

Candidates whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity, equity, and

inclusion in LSA are encouraged to apply.

Program Description:

See a full description of the program on our diversity, equity, and inclusion website:



Review committees will evaluate applicants in all eligible fields according to their potential for

success in an academic career and potential to contribute to higher education through their

demonstrated commitment to diversity in scholarship and service. Applicants who will have

completed the doctoral degree no later than July 1, 2017 and no earlier than July 1, 2014 are

eligible to apply. Applicants in the fields of Economics and Political Science must complete their

doctoral degree by July 1, 2018. Individuals awarded a Ph.D. from U-M or currently holding a

postdoctoral or faculty position at U-M are not eligible. Candidates from any discipline within

LSA’s academic units are eligible to apply.


LSA invites scholars to apply beginning October 6, 2016, with the application closing November 7,


The application and instructions are available at: http://webapps.lsa.umich.edu/apply/1043


The LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is administered by the National Center for

Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Inquiries may be sent to:

Devin Walker, National Center for Institutional Diversity, lsacollegiatepostdoc@umich.edu


Check out this site with new data on women in philosophy!




It is well established that women are under-represented in philosophy at all levels. There is also some data on the under-representation of women in philosophy journals. But better data is essential for setting targets and evaluating performance in attempting to improve the situation for women in the field. This project attempts to fill some of the gaps. It ranks about 100 departments in terms of the proportion of women on their faculty and looks at the number of women publishing in 20 top journals over several decades. How does yours perform?


To learn more check out our site women-in-philosophy.org and the introductory video.


JOBS – TT Chinese Philosophy – U Michigan

The University of Michigan invites applications for a tenure-track position in Chinese Philosophy beginning September 1, 2017. This position is held jointly between the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of Philosophy.


All applicants should possess a high level of oral and reading proficiency in Chinese and supply evidence of a research program in Chinese Philosophy. Successful candidates are expected to teach a range of courses in Chinese thought, from introductory undergraduate lecture courses through graduate seminars; to supervise doctoral dissertations in Asian Languages and Cultures and in Philosophy; and to participate actively in the programs of the departments as well as in area studies initiatives within a larger university community that encourages interdisciplinary efforts.


The Ph.D. is expected at the time of appointment. Evidence of excellent teaching and research abilities is essential. Please submit a letter of application, CV, statement of teaching philosophy and experience, teaching evaluations (if available),  a statement of current and future research plans, representative publications or writing samples, and at least three letters of recommendation.  


Application materials must be submitted electronically. Please go to https://webapps.lsa.umich.edu/Apply/1050 to apply.


To be assured consideration, applications must be received by November 22, 2016.  This is a university year appointment. The University of Michigan is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. The University is supportive of the needs of dual career couples. All applications will be acknowledged.


JOB – TT AOS: Metaphysics, Mind, Language, Epist; AOC: Feminist Philosophy – Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, Assistant Professor. The Philosophy Department at Johns Hopkins University seeks to hire a relatively advanced Assistant Professor (at least two years beyond the Ph.D.). AOS: One or more sub-fields in analytic philosophy, such as Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind or Philosophy of Language, broadly understood (which could include the history of analytic philosophy). AOC: Open, but we have particular interest in feminist philosophy. Applications should include cover letter, CV, letters of reference, and writing sample. To ensure full consideration, applications should reach the department by November 10, 2016. Applications should be sent via Interfolio to https://apply.interfolio.com/37487. Any questions about the application process should be directed to Veronica Feldkircher-Reed at vfeldki1@jhu.edu. We plan to interview a shortlist of candidates by Skype in early-mid January, and to invite finalists to campus in late January and early February. Johns Hopkins University is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body. The University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Consistent with the University’s goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will assess the comprehensive qualifications of each applicant.

JOBS – TT OPEN Virginia Commonwealth



Tenure-Track Assistant Professor. Full-time, tenure-track position starting August 16, 2017. AOS and AOC: Open within the analytic tradition. Ph.D. in Philosophy by August 1, 2017. Preference will be given to applicants with clear evidence of scholarly productivity and teaching effectiveness. Please apply online at https://www.vcujobs.com/postings/56043, including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample and contact information for at least three references. Applications completed by November 14th, 2016, or earlier are guaranteed consideration, but later applications may be considered at the discretion of the hiring committee. We will recruit a candidate with demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU. Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

JOB – TT Mount Holyoke – AOS open

The Department of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level to begin fall 2017. We seek a candidate with broad philosophical interests and a strong commitment to teaching at the undergraduate level in a liberal arts environment. The teaching load is four courses per year.

AOS is open, but we are especially interested in philosophy of mind (broadly construed). AOC is open, but we have teaching needs in introductory logic. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated record of strong teaching at the undergraduate level and experience mentoring students who are broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. A doctorate (anticipated or completed) is required.

Applications must be made online at https://jobs.mtholyoke.edu/Please submit a cover letter addressing your interest in Mount Holyoke, your CV, a writing sample, evidence of teaching effectiveness (such as teaching evaluations, uploaded as one pdf), and three statements concerning (1) teaching philosophy, (2) research interests, and (3) mentoring a diverse student body. Applicants should also arrange to have three letters of reference submitted on their behalf. We recommend early submission because electronic prompts to referees will be generated automatically (and letters of reference accepted) only after the completed application has been submitted. To be assured full consideration, applications should be completed by November 1, 2016. Please contact Natalina Tulik (ntulik@mtholyoke.edu) with any questions.

Mount Holyoke is an undergraduate liberal arts college for women with 2,200 students and 220 faculty.  Over half the faculty are women; one-fourth are persons of color.  Mount Holyoke College is located about 80 miles west of Boston in the Connecticut River valley, and is a member of the Five College Consortium consisting of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts. 

Mount Holyoke College is committed to enriching the educational experience it offers through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff members.  Mount Holyoke seeks to recruit and support a broadly diverse faculty who will contribute to the college’s academic excellence, diversity of viewpoints and experiences, and relevance in a global society.  In furtherance of academic excellence, the College encourages applications from individuals from underrepresented groups in the professoriate, including faculty of color, faculty with diverse gender identities, first generation college students, individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to college due to exceptional talent and motivation in the face of adversity, such as societal, economic or academic disadvantages, and individuals with a demonstrated commitment to applying and including diverse backgrounds and perspectives to learning, scholarship, service, and leadership in the academy.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of October 2016: Christine Marion Korsgaard

Christine Marion Korsgaard

Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy

Harvard University

Korsgaard.taglessAOS: Ancient Greek and Roman, Ethics, Meta-Ethics, Metaphysics, Moral Psychology, Normative Ethics, Philosophy of Action, Practical Reason, Social and Political Philosophy

I work on moral philosophy and its history, practical rationality, the nature of agency, personal identity, related issues in the philosophy of mind, and the ethics of our treatment of animals. In all of these areas, I draw on the ideas of Kant, Plato, and Aristotle: philosophers whose work I admire for its depth and systematicity. I am the author of four books. Creating the Kingdom of Ends (Cambridge, 1996) is a collection of papers on Kant’s moral philosophy and Kantian approaches to contemporary problems in moral philosophy. The Sources of Normativity (Cambridge, 1996) is an exploration of the development of modern views about the basis of obligation, culminating in a defense of the Kantian view. The Constitution of Agency (Oxford, 2008) is a collection of papers on practical reason and moral psychology. Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity (Oxford, 2009), is an account of practical reason and morality grounded in the nature of human agency. I am currently working on two books: Fellow Creatures, a book about the moral and legal standing of non-human animals, and The Natural History of the Good, a book about the place of value in nature.

JOB – OPEN RANK – M & E – U of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is searching for an assistant, associate, or full professor of philosophy. Full-time tenure-track or tenured appointment. AOS: metaphysics and/or epistemology broadly construed (so as to encompass, e.g., logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, etc.). AOC: open.

We are especially interested in someone engaged in investigating philosophical issues in particular sciences, and/or the conceptual and epistemic foundations of the sciences more generally. The University of Illinois is world-renowned as a center for scientific research, with outstanding programs in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology, among others, and we are committed to a plan of growth that builds to those strengths.

Target start date: August 16, 2017. Qualifications: Ph.D. by mid-June for the preferred start date, appropriate background in AOS, and evidence of ability to contribute significantly to the department and discipline through both research and teaching.

Duties: normal teaching load of two courses per semester, one introductory or intermediate and one advanced; independent study and thesis supervision; committee assignments; active and independent research program. Some summer teaching possible.

Salary: competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Applicants for the position of assistant professor (tenure-track) should submit a letter of application, CV, writing sample, evidence of teaching ability and the Interfolio ID or contact information for at least three professional references.

Applicants for the position of full or associate professor (tenured) should upload a letter of application, CV, evidence of teaching ability, and contact information for at least three professional references.

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by November 4, 2016. Only applications submitted through the University of Illinois Job Board will be considered.  http://jobs.illinois.edu

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

For further information about the application process, contact Erin Tarr, (217) 300–3887erintarr@illinois.edu. Information about the department can be found athttp://www.philosophy.illinois.edu.
Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu).

JOB – Open Rank History and Phil of Science – Pittsburgh HPS

Open Rank Professor of History and Philosophy of Science

University of Pittsburgh, Department of History and Philosophy of Science is searching to fill two tenured or tenure track positions. Rank:  Open in History and Philosophy of Science beginning September 1, 2017, pending budgetary approval. AOS:  Open, but with strong preference for History and Philosophy of Biology; AOC: Open. Candidates should exhibit interest in integrating history and philosophy of science as well as in-depth knowledge of the science or sciences relevant to their research.   Four courses per year; graduate and undergraduate advising; usual non-teaching duties.   Ph.D. prior to appointment is required.  

Tenured applicants should submit a cover letter and a CV, references not required at this time, through the following URL: https://facultysearch.as.pitt.edu/apply/index/MTY0.

Untenured Applicants should submit a cover letter, a CV, at least three confidential references, a research statement, teaching experience, and a writing sample through the following URL: https://facultysearch.as.pitt.edu/apply/index/MTY0. For each reference, you will have the opportunity to input a personal email address or an email address generated through Interfolio’s Online Application Delivery.  In both cases, an email notification will be sent to the designated address with instructions about uploading the letters to our system.  

Review of applications will begin on October 31, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

Please direct any questions to Natalie Schweninger, HPS Department Administrator, nas151@pitt.edu

The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled


Many entries in the UPDirectory are in need of updating. Since all information is hand-entered, mistakes happen. Now is a great time to check the accuracy of your entry. Please go to www.theupdirectory.com and search for yourself and ensure your entry is accurate. You can make any changes by filling out the Request to Edit Information form.

Thank you for using the UPDirectory. This directory is being used by editors, conference organizers, and hiring committees so please make sure your entry is accurate and up-to-date.

JOB POSTING – TT Butler University, Indianapolis

Assistant Professor of Philosophy – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 

Position Overview 

The Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics at Butler University seeks to hire a philosopher with scholarly expertise that extends beyond the Anglo-American analytical philosophical tradition, with facility and teaching ability in continental philosophy and the history of modern philosophy. Teaching competency in one or more of the following is also highly desirable: environmental philosophy, Asian/African/African-American/Latin American philosophy, ethics, philosophy of race/class/gender. In addition to the undergraduate philosophy program, candidates should be prepared to teach regularly in Butler’s first year seminar program, and able to contribute to one or more of the college’s interdisciplinary programs: Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies; Neuroscience; Peace and Conflict Studies; and/or Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. The successful candidate will demonstrate clear signs of being a program builder, and will possess an infectious enthusiasm for undergraduate teaching. Candidates should expect to complete PhD by August 1st, 2017. Direct search inquiries to Chad Bauman, Chair of the department/search committee at cbauman@butler.edu.

To Apply 

Applicants must submit a:

 Curriculum Vitae

 1- or 2-page cover letter briefly outlining research interests and teaching philosophy/experience

 Unofficial transcripts

 Three (3) letters of recommendation

 Writing sample

 Thorough evidence of teaching experience/excellence (evaluations, etc.)

Completed materials should be submitted via email to:

Claudia Johnson, Administrative Specialist – Department of Philosophy, Religion and Classics


Or via mail to:

Claudia Johnson, Administrative Specialist

Department of Philosophy, Religion and Classics

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Butler University

4600 Sunset Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46208

Complete applications must be received by October 28, 2016 to be assured consideration. Only completed applications will be considered.


UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of September 2016: Naomi Zack

Naomi Zack

Professor, University of Oregon

garden-4-nov-14AOS: African American Philosophy, Applied Ethics, Early Modern Philosophy, Existentialism, Feminist Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Pragmatism, Social and Political Philosophy

Naomi Zack received her PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University and has been Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon since 2001. Zack’s newest book is The Theory of Applicative Justice: An Empirical Pragmatic Approach to Correcting Racial Injustice (2016). Related recent books are: White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of US Police Racial Profiling and Homicide (2015) and The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy (2011, 2015). Additional monographs include: Ethics for Disaster (2009, 2010), Inclusive Feminism: A Third Wave Theory of Women’s Commonality (2005), the short textbook, Thinking About Race, 1998, 2006); Bachelors of Science: 17th Century Identity Then and Now (1996); Philosophy of Science and Race (2002); Race and Mixed Race (1993). In production is a 51-contributor Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race (2017).

Zack has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses at the University at Albany, SUNY and the University of Oregon, including ethics, existentialism, newly designed courses on disaster and homelessness, as well as seminars on race, early modern philosophers, the history of political and moral philosophy, and twentieth century analytic philosophy. Zack generally considers herself a common-sense philosopher, able to engage both abstract and real world problems with methods from a plurality of traditions. Her early work on race focused on the biological emptiness of human racial categories and the conundrum of mixed-race identities (especially black and white mixed race). But since 2010, Zack’s work on race has been more broadly concerned with concrete injustice and abstract theories of injustice that extend beyond race. Zack’s treatment of disaster emphasizes the ethical dimensions of obligatory preparation and her emerging scholarly work on home and homelessness proceeds from a class-based, contemporary cosmopolitan perspective, as does her treatment of feminist issues. Zack has organized the project on home and homelessness for the University of Oregon Philosophy Department, and maintains the multimedia website: http://homelessness.philosophy.uoregon.edu/.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of August 2016: Manuel Vargas

Manuel Vargas

Professor of Philosophy

University of California, San Diego (starting in Fall 2017)

USF-Law_Ries©2015_3220AOS: Moral Psychology, Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of the Americas

Most of my philosophical work is about the overlap of moral, psychological, and legal issues concerning human agency and freedom. I try to understand how the kinds of creatures we are does or does not ground a wide range of our social practices—especially those that appeal to ideas like culpability, freedom, capacities, moral credit and blame.

Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly convinced that, despite the many riches of traditional work on these issues, there is an under-appreciated set of puzzles about the significance of our sociality, the content of social norms, and the structural and institutional context of action, as they pertain to and structure our agency. That is, many important forms of agency are structured from the outside in. However, a range of moral, legal, and political practices (and attendant theories) tend to presume that our agency is best understood as a roughly atomistic thing, best characterized in a way abstracted from context. This leaves us with some rich and interesting philosophical puzzles, the general form of which is this: to what extent should our existing practices, built on broadly atomistic presumptions about agency, be abandoned, retained, or transformed once we relinquish an atomistic picture of our agency?

In the face of these kinds of questions, philosophers and scientists of a certain predilection have leapt to headline-grabbing eliminativist conclusions about, for example, free will, moral responsibility, desert, and punishment. Much of my work has tried to urge that this is too quick. There is plausibly a middle ground on at least some of these things: i.e., we might have good reasons to retain various moral, political, and legal practices even if we lack the sorts of agency that are oftentimes taken to have figured in standard justifications of these practices. How such a story goes for moral responsibility (and one notion of free will) is the subject of my book Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.

Beyond my work on agency, moral psychology, and philosophical issues in the law, I have a deep affection for various strands of philosophy produced in Latin America. I’m particularly interested in the history of Mexican philosophy, especially from the late 19th century to the middle parts of the 20th century. I’ve also found it instructive to reflect on the history of philosophical work on race in Latin America, where there is a very old tradition of seriously engaging with questions about identity and putative human kinds.

I’m inclined to think that everyone doing contemporary philosophy benefits from having a foot placed deeply in something outside of contemporary philosophy—whether it is in some part of the historical tradition, some counter-canonical body of work, or a different field. Besides being good for one’s intellectual biome, as it were, it also helps remind one of the contingency of the social relations that structure contemporary philosophical attention.

Research Program on Love – Call for Participation




A major thrust into the arena of LOVE was undertaken by a group of interdisciplinary scholars among who were a group of Philosophers. Philosophers who contributed to the conversation along the way were:


Alan Soble

Harris Friedman

Julie Tannenbaum

Agnieszka Jaworska

Cecilea Mun

Daniel Harris Sumner Smyth


The symposium was live streamed and the video is available and will be posted at www.Love-Decoded.com.


We are looking for philosophers who feel human beings getting LOVE is a major philosophical issue. Especially since we know the positive effect loving behaviors have in cell healing, the immune system, depression, stress and chronic illnesses – not to mention on having loving relationships. This conference was organized by Stefan Deutsch.


The 2nd symposium is now in the planning stages.


To get on the LOVE TEAM email us at – symposium@thdc.org.


UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of July 2016: Sally Haslanger

Sally Haslanger

Ford Professor of Philosophy & Women’s and Gender Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT-Philsopher-Sally-Haslanger-2-2013AOS: Child, Family, Parenting, and Reproduction Ethics, Critical Theory, Epistemology, Feminist Philosophy, GRIDS+, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Disability, Philosophy of Intersectionality, Philosophy of Gender, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of Social Science, Pragmatism, Social and Political Philosophy

My philosophical interests are broad. I began my philosophical life specializing in analytic metaphysics and epistemology, and in ancient philosophy (especially Aristotle’s metaphysics). Over time I shifted to work more in social and political philosophy, feminist theory and critical race theory. I have published on the problem of persistence through change, pragmatic paradox, and Aristotle’s hylomorphic theory of substance. In feminist theory I have written on the objectivity and objectification, and Catharine MacKinnon’s theory of gender. For many years I was devoted to making metaphysical sense of the notion of social construction. My book Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique (Oxford 2012), collects papers published over the course of twenty years that link work in contemporary metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language with social and political issues concerning gender, race, and the family.

More recently I have been working on social practices, social structure, structural explanation, and ideology. Mainstream philosophy has, to my mind, systematically ignored the social domain, focusing its normative attention on individuals and states. This is a problem because the social domain structures our day to day lives and is a site of substantial and durable injustice. Attention to the social domain is hampered by misunderstandings about social ontology and commitments to methodological individualism. So there is much work to be done, not only on normative issues, but also issues in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. For example, what is a social structure and how can reference to social structures be explanatory? How and why do agents enact social structures, and to what extent, under what conditions, and by what methods are we justified in destabilizing them? What is the epistemology of consciousness raising, of ignorance? What is social meaning, and how is it learned, reproduced, modified? How is social meaning related to social justice? To answer these questions I believe philosophers can benefit from a broad background social science (not just cognitive science!) and the other humanities.

Although I am trained in the analytic tradition, I draw on resources, authors, and methods that cross traditional divides. I am very interested in Frankfurt School Critical Theory, Foucault, Bourdieu, the materialist feminism of Christine Delphy, and many others. Another theme in my work is how to preserve a kind of (Marxian) materialism in thinking about the social world, without endorsing a crude economic determinism. In this I am most influenced by Iris Young (esp. “Socialist Feminism and the Limits of Dual Systems Theory.”) The basic idea, put nicely by Jennifer Einspahr, is:

…if inequality is ‘structural’, that is, linked to the distribution of goods and resources and embedded in everyday rules and interactions, but is also continually reactivated through agency, then neither ‘structural’ changes nor changes in ‘consciousness’ will on their own disrupt the mutually reinforcing facets of domination: We can neither ‘think ourselves’ out of oppression nor will freedom result automatically from a redistribution of goods and resources, although both are important contributors to freedom. (Einspahr 2010,17)

PART-TIME LECTURER JOB – University of West Georgia

The Philosophy Program at the University of West Georgia (Carrollton, GA) is seeking a part-time instructor to teach two sections of Critical Thinking in the fall semester (MW schedule).  We are also looking for a part-time instructor to teach one section of Ethics and one of World Religions in fall (TR schedule).  There will likely be opportunities to teach courses in the spring semester as well.  Applicants should have completed at least 18 hours of graduate course work in philosophy.  Questions and applications can be sent via e-mail to Dr. Walter Riker (wriker@westga.edu).  Applications should include a letter of intent and curriculum vitae.


UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of June 2016: Ruth Chang

Ruth Chang

Professor of Philosophy

Rutgers University

hsafmovingshotchangAOS: Ethics, Meta-Ethics, Moral Psychology, Normative Ethics, Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of Law, Practical Reason

My current philosophical interests center on the nature of value, practical reasons, normativity and agency. One of my main concerns has been to understand the structure of practical normativity. Take, for instance, value. It is commonly assumed that every value can normatively relate two items in only one of three ways, by one being better than, worse than, or as good as the other. I have argued that this assumption, which underwrites normative work in ethics, rational and social choice theory, politics, law, health care and business studies, and so on, should be rejected. Items can be normatively related not only by being better than, worse than, or as good as one another but also by being on a par. I suggest that thinkers have overlooked parity because they have unreflectively assimilate the normative to the nonnormative: lengths and weights are non-normatively related by ‘more’, ‘less’, and ‘equal’, which are the analogoues of ‘better’, ‘worse’, and ‘equal’. But we shouldn’t assume that value and reasons have the same structure as non-normative considerations like length and weight.

The structure of practical normativity is important because it opens up a novel way of thinking about practical agency. The slogan, ‘recognize and respond to reasons,’ as summarizing the job description of a rational agent, is too impoverished to allow agency itself – that is you, yourself, sometimes called your ‘will’ – to play any significant role in determining what it is rational for you to do. My current work explores alternative views both about the structure of normativity – practical and theoretical – and about what it is to be a rational agent that take seriously the possibility that the normative is fundamentally different in structure from the nonnormative and that we, ourselves, our very agency per se, can play a direct role in determining what we should do.

Other current projects include work on issues in population ethics, the nature of indeterminacy, both semantic and metaphysical, and the philosophy of law, in particular, how the law evolves through legal adjudication. I’ve also worked on issues concerning value pluralism, the incommensurability of values, the nature of practical reasons, social choice, and some issues in metaethics.


To be awarded for the first time in 2016, the Berggruen Philosophy Prize will honor a living thinker whose ideas are of basic importance for contemporary life. It is intended to call attention to the role of ideas, of deep and careful thought, and with them humanistic scholarship and social research. The winner will receive $1 million dollars.


1. Nomination Criteria
The Berggruen Prize Jury is responsible for selecting the Prize Laureates. Nominations for the Prize may be submitted by any person; however,  a nomination for yourself will not be considered valid.
2. Nomination Process

2.1 The nomination need not be lengthy, but should include:

• Information on the nominee

• Information on the nominator
• An explanation of why the individual is considered by the nominator to be a worthy candidate for the Prize

To nominate, go to: