Wednesday, March 16, 2011

From Historical to Eliminative Materialism (via German Idealism), part 4: the 1990s

Please help me improve this essay by offering corrections, additions, suggestions, or comments.

The 1990s

One can gauge the reputation of the Department during the 1990s by considering that UCSD Philosophy Professors thrice gave Presidential Addresses to the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association during the 1990s: Pat Churchland, 'Can neurobiology teach us anything about consciousness?' (1993); Henry Allison, 'We Can Act Only under the Idea of Freedom’ (1997); and Philip Kitcher, 'Truth or Consequences?' (1998).
On top of these honors, Patricia Smith Churchland won a McArthur Fellowship in 1991. Later, in 1997, the department hired a 1994 McArthur Fellow, Professor Nancy D. Cartwright. As far as I can tell, UCSD is the only Philosophy Department in which there were, until the Churchlands’ retirement in 2010, simultaneously active in the same philosophy department two former McArthur Fellows.
By the end of the decade Nancy Cartwright had published The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science (Cambridge 1999). She added considerable strength to a Department whose profile in the philosophy of science was raised by Philip Kitcher who published two important books in the 1990s, The Advancement of Science (Oxford, 1993), and The Lives to Come: the genetic revolution and human possibilities (New York and London).
Robert Pippin chaired the Department for the first half of the decade (1990-1995), a period in which the history faculty continued an impressive streak of publications in history of philosophy: Henry Allison, Kant's Theory of Freedom (Cambridge, 1990); Nicholas Jolley, The light of the soul: theories of ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes (Oxford, 1990); Robert Pippin, Modernism as a Philosophical Problem: On the Dissatisfactions of European High Culture (Oxford, 1992); Patricia Kitcher, Kant's Transcendental Psychology (Oxford, 1993),; and Georgios Anagnostopoulos, Aristotle on the Goals and Exactness of  Ethics (California, 1994). The department also added two more faculty members in the area of German idealism. The first was Assistant Professor Wayne M. Martin in 1994, who published Idealism and objectivity: understanding Fichte's Jena project (Stanford, 1997). The department also added Associate Professor Michael Hardmon in 1995. Michael had recently published Hegel and Social Philosophy (Cambridge, 1994).
During this period the logician and epistemologist Gila Sher, who had been hired as an Assistant Professor in 1989, published The Bounds of Logic: A Generalized Viewpoint (Cambridge, MA, 1992). She won tenure in 1994 and remains Professor (as of 2001).
Patricia W. Kitcher was Chair for the second half of the decade (1995 -1999). In addition to her book on Kant published in 1994 mentioned above, and an impressively diverse and interesting set of articles, she published in 1996 Freud's Dream: A Complete Interdisciplinary Science of Mind (Cambridge MA).
In 1995 the department hired, in addition to Michael Hardimon, Associate Professors David O. Brink and Frederick W. Neuhouser in the field of social and political philosophy. Gerald Doppelt, who had developed several innovative undergraduate courses in the area, was honored for this by his colleagues with an Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997.

Major Publications by UCSD Philosophers 1990-1999


1990: Henry Allison, Kant's Theory of Freedom (Cambridge). Richard Arneson, 'Liberalism, distributive subjectivism, and equal opportunity for welfare', Philosophy and Public Affairs. Gerald Doppelt, 'The Naturalist Conception of Methodological Standards in Science: A Critique', Philosophy of Science. Nicholas Jolley, The light of the soul: theories of ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes (Oxford).
1991: Robert Pippin, Modernism as a Philosophical Problem: On the Dissatisfactions of European High Culture (Oxford). Gila Sher, The Bounds of Logic: A Generalized Viewpoint (Cambridge, MA).
1993: Patricia Kitcher, Kant's Transcendental Psychology (Oxford, 1993). Philip Kitcher, The Advancement of Science (Oxford). Stanley Moore, Marx versus Markets (University Park).
1994: Georgios Anagnostopoulos, Aristotle on the Goals and Exactness of  Ethics  (California). Pat Churchland, 'Can neurobiology teach us anything about consciousness?' (Presidential address delivered before the sixty-seventh annual Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in San Francisco, March 26, 1993), Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67. Michael O. Hardimon, Hegel's Social Philosophy (Cambridge); 'Role Obligations', Journal of Philosophy 91. Avrum Stroll, Moore and Wittgenstein on Certainty (Oxford).
1995: Paul Churchland, The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul: a Philosophical Journey into the Brain (Cambridge, MA); Nicholas Jolley, (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz (Cambridge). Patricia Kitcher, Freud's Dream: A Complete Interdisciplinary Science of Mind (Cambridge MA). Frederick A. Olafson, What is a Human Being? A Heideggerian view (Cambridge).
1996: Henry Allison, Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy (Cambridge). Philip Kitcher, The Lives to Come: the genetic revolution and human possibilities (New York and London).
1997: Henry Allison, 'We Can Act Only under the Idea of Freedom: Presidential address delivered before the seventy-first annual Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Berkeley, California, March 28, 1997', Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 71. Wayne Martin, Idealism and objectivity: understanding Fichte's Jena project (Stanford).
1998: Philip Kitcher, 'Truth or Consequences?' (Presidential address delivered before the seventy-second annual Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Los Angeles, California, March 28, 1998), Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 72. Frederick A. Olafson, Heidegger and the Ground of Ethics (Cambridge). Avrum Stroll, Surfaces (Minneapolis); Sketches of Landscapes: philosophy by example (Cambridge, MA); 'Proper names, names, and fictive objects', The Journal of Philosophy.
1999: Nancy Cartwright, The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science (Cambridge 1999). Gila Sher, 'Is There a Place for Philosophy in Quine's Theory?' The Journal of Philosophy 96.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From Historical to Eliminative Materialism (via German Idealism), part 3: the 1980s

Please help me improve this essay with corrections, comments, and suggestions.

The 1980s

During the 1980s, Professors in the UCSD Philosophy Department made seminal contributions to the history of philosophy, in particular to the study of German idealism. In 1982 Bob Pippin published an important study on Kant's Theory of Form: An Essay on the Critique of Pure Reason (New Haven). In the following year Henry Allison published a modern masterpiece of Kantian scholarship, Kant’s Transcendental Idealism (New Haven, 1983). This work has instigated a major revival in the study of Kant in Anglo-American philosophy and is a widely considered a classic interpretation; it has later been revised and expanded in a second edition. For the advanced student of the history of philosophy, it offers the most sensible and accessible inroads to Kant’s critical philosophy. Also, in 1984, Nicholas Jolley published Leibniz and Locke: a study of the New Essays on Human Understanding (Oxford). In 1989 Bob Pippin rounded off an extraordinarily productive decade of publication in the area of German idealism with his Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness (Cambridge).
In the area of social and political philosophy, Bob Pippin also edited, in collaboration with UCSD Philosophy Doctor Andrew Feenberg, a collection of critical essays on the by then deceased but still widely influential Marcuse: Critical Theory and The Promise of Utopia (1988). Richard Arneson and Jerry Doppelt also wrote numerous important articles on topics and figures including but also beyond the New Left and Marxism, in areas more of the mainstream of contemporary ethics, including essays on equality and welfare. 
In the area of contemporary philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology, the department enjoyed the affiliation of the influential Professor of Linguistics Sige-Yuki Kuroda as an active Adjunct Professor in the Philosophy Department at UCSD throughout the decade and until 1994. In this area Zeno Vendler also published in 1984 his The Matter of Minds (Oxford).
            The biggest development in the UCSD Philosophy department, arguably since the founding, was the ambitious effort in the 1980s to develop core strength in the philosophy of science and philosophy of mind. To this end, the Department hired the dynamic duo Professors Patricia Smith Churchland and Paul M. Churchland in the middle of the decade. Pat was later appointed Presidential Professor of Philosophy in 2000; Paul was appointed to the Valtz Family Chair in Philosophy 2005. Both took their turn as Chairs of the department, Paul from 1987-1990, and Pat from 2000-2007. As stated in their recent profile in the New Yorker and in their message in the departmental newsletter upon being appointed Professors Emeriti (in 2010), the work of Pat and Paul has been a largely collaborative effort. Their contributions to the philosophy of cognitive neuroscience have spearheaded the advancement of the new field of “neurophilosophy” (including “neuroethics”). Their robust defense of the thesis of eliminative materialism (which ironically came around the same time the department was winning renown for new researches into German idealism) has kept the department famous for hard-core materialism, which seamlessly replaced the department’s earlier fame for the advocacy of historical materialism, which had been taught, researched, and defended at UCSD by Marcuse, Moore, and others. Although there is no direct philosophical connection between historical and eliminative materialism, from the longer-range historical perspective it seems to be no accident that the proponents of such a radical materialist theses found their intellectual home in the same UCSD Philosophy department.
The second major development in the department’s effort to develop strength in philosophy of science came in 1986, when the Department of Philosophy, along with History and Sociology, established the Science Studies Program, an interdisciplinary program. The same year the Department of Philosophy also hired Professors Philip S. Kitcher (later appointed Presidential Professor of Philosophy, 1997), Stephen P. Stich, and Associate Professor Patricia W. Kitcher. These developments did in fact establish UCSD as a major center for research and teaching in the History and Philosophy of Science, despite the departure of Stitch and the Kitchers in the early to mid 1990s.

Monday, March 14, 2011

From Historical to Eliminative Materialism (via German Idealism), part 2: the 1970s

Please help me improve this essay with corrections, comments, or suggestions.

The 1970s

Although Paul Henry and Richard Popkin had left the Department by 1973, UCSD Philosophy continued to build on its strengths throughout the decade of the 1970s, adding several faculty members who remain among its most active and important.
In the history of philosophy, Georgios H. Anagnostopoulos had been hired as an Assistant Professor in 1969. His research focuses on Aristotle. Georgios chaired the department from 1983-1987 (and again from 1999-2001 before becoming Acting dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities in 2001-2002). In 1974 Professor Henry E. Allison, a major scholar of modern philosophy and extremely able replacement for Richard Popkin, was hired. Henry was later named Research Professor 1995 and is currently Emeritus (as of 1997). Henry chaired the department immediately before Georgios from 1979-1983. Rapidly adding to its strength in German idealism, the department hired as Assistant Professors Robert B. Pippin in 1975, and S. Nicholas Jolley in 1978. In 1976 UCSD added Professor Edward N. Lee to its roster of Greek philosophers, and he remains Emeritus Professor (as of 1995).
These five recruitments in the history of philosophy continued the strong tradition in history of philosophy that Popkin had established, and three other hires during the decade also strengthened its position in social and political philosophy, adding to the already formidable presence in the department of Herbert Marcuse and Stanley Moore.
In 1971, UCSD recruited away from Harvard’s School of Education Professor Frederick A. Olafson in 1971. Olafson soon became Chair of the Department from 1973-1977; he remains Emeritus Professor (as of 1992). The department made two further hires of Assistant Professors who remain active on the faculty today as full Professors: Richard J. Arneson joined the faculty in 1973, and Gerald. D. Doppelt in 1975.
In the area of philosophy of language, linguistics, metaphysics, and epistemology, an area in which Avrum Stroll had established a name for UCSD, the department hired Professor Zeno Vendler in 1975 (Emeritus, 1988). Vendler had been a founder of the Philosophy Department at the University of Calgary. Avrum Stroll and Fred Olafson wrote an interesting remembrance of him that was published in the Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association.
Avrum Stroll and Richard Popkin, having already written together two best-selling introductory philosophy textbooks (Philosophy Made Simple, New York, 1954; Introduction to Philosophy, New York, 1961), revised the Introduction to Philosophy into a second edition (New York, 1972), and also produced a companion volume, Introductory Readings in Philosophy (New York, 1972). Although Stroll and Popkin went on to produce two other introductory philosophy textbooks (!), the two published in 1972 are of particular interest because of what they show about the UCSD undergraduate philosophy curriculum in the 1960s and 1970s. The curriculum is grounded in the reading of extended passages from primary sources from the history of philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Spinoza, and Hume). This tradition of introducing students to philosophy through the reading of primary sources in the history of philosophy continues in the department to this day. For contemporary philosophy, the introductory students in the 1970s read J. L. Austin. In political philosophy, they were made to read Herbert Marcuse’s most influential piece of writing, the essay “Repressive Tolerance”, reprinted in Introductory Readings in Philosophy in its entirety. In the Introduction to Philosophy, Stroll and Popkin both explain and criticize Marcuse’s political philosophy. This shows an extraordinarily high level of collegiality, collaboration, and mutual criticism in the department. One can only hope that the UCSD Philosophy department remains as vibrant today.

Popkin papers at Clark Memorial Library (UCLA)

Professor Jeremy Popkin, the son of UCSD Philosophy Professor (and Department Founder; 1963-1973) Richard Popkin, has informed me that his father's papers are now available at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA.

Jeremy Popkin, as I pointed out before, has authored a biographical essay about his father entitled "In his own words: Richard Popkin's career in philosophy", pp. 259-293 of The Legacies of Richard H. Popkin (Dordrecht, 2008).  This is volume 198 of the International Archive of the History of Ideas, a book series established by Richard Popkin and Paul Dibon (visiting UCSD Professor 1964-1966). Jeremy Popkin tells me that he is now editing an interview of his father about his relationship to Herbert Marcuse. Should be very interesting-- I'll try to keep you posted.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

From Historical to Eliminative Materialism (via German Idealism), part 1: the 1960s

Below is a draft of the first section of the brief overview of the history of the UCSD Philosophy Department that I have been assigned to write. Please help me to improve it by offering corrections, comments, or suggestions.

The 1960s

As Nancy Scott Anderson has documented in her An Improbable Venture: a history of the University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, 1993) UCSD was planned from the beginning and top-down to be an instantly excellent University, and it is widely recognized that it has in fact become the best university established in the country since the end of World War II; among the best public universities in the country, if not the best; and one of the greatest scientific research institutions in the world. The origin and subsequent evolution of the Department of Philosophy has to be understood, of course, against this institutional backdrop.
The Philosophy Department at UCSD was founded on July 1, 1963. The first graduate and undergraduate courses were offered in Academic year 1963-1964, making Philosophy the first functioning non-science graduate program at UCSD. The first Ph.D. degree was awarded in 1965 to David Fate Norton. David was also the first Assistant Professor hired by the department, and the first Professor to earn tenure in the department (1970). In 1972, David went on to a Professorship at McGill University and has contributed greatly to the study of David Hume.
Richard Popkin was recruited as the first Chair in 1963. He had already published in 1960 his major work History of Skepticism, which he continued to revise and expand throughout his career at UCSD. It remains an authoritative work on the influence of ancient skepticism on the subsequent history of western philosophy. Simultaneously with the founding of the department in 1963, he established the Journal of the History of Philosophy (recently ranked as the best general journal in the history of philosophy by readers of Brian Leiter’s blog). Popkin also founded the book series International Archives of the History of Ideas, which has now published over 200 monographs.
The other founding Professors, recruited by Popkin in 1963, were Jason L. Saunders, a specialist in ancient philosophy, and Avrum Stroll, a contemporary metaphysician, epistemologist, and philosopher of language, who remains Research Professor Emeritus at UCSD. Avrum gave the first non-science faculty lecture at UCSD in 1964, and he organized what turned out to be a momentous seminar on contemporary Marxism for the scientists in 1964, with Stanley Moore and Herbert Marcuse invited as speakers. As a result of the success of this conference, UCSD hired both Moore and Marcuse the next year.
Stanley Moore, in a low point for academic freedom in the USA, had been fired from Reed College in 1954 after refusing to answer questions about his membership in the Communist Party before McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee. He was recruited as a senior lecturer at UCSD in 1965 and made a full Professor of Philosophy in 1967. During his time at UCSD, he produced several important books and dozens of articles on Marxism and social-political philosophy. He was affiliated with the department until he died in 1997, and a thoughtful and interesting remembrance of him has been written by Avrum Stroll, Fred Olafson, Dick Arneson and Georgios Anagnostopoulos.
Marcuse was a philosopher and political activist associated with the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, celebrated for his activities while he was a philosophy Professor at UCSD (1964-1979) as “the father of the New Left”. Interest in and research into Marcuse’s philosophy is flourishing: Routledge has recently published 5 volumes of translations of previously unpublished material. Like Moore two decades earlier at Reed, Marcuse became the subject of enormous controversy while he was a Philosophy Professor at UCSD. A death threat was sent to Marcuse at the Department in 1967, but he courageously vowed to continue living and teaching in La Jolla, bolstered by official letters of support published by both the Philosophy Department and the Academic Senate. In 1968 Marcuse participated in and spoke at the Paris demonstrations in the Summer before returning to teach at UCSD in the Fall. His radical activities were heavily criticized by the local media (especially the Union-Tribune) and other local right wing groups such as the John Birch Society and the American Legion. The American Legion started a campaign pressuring the UCSD administration to eliminate Marcuse’s contract. In a very low point in its brief history, William J. McGill (UCSD Chancellor 1968-1970) took the extraordinary cowardly measure of issuing an ad hoc arbitrary mandatory retirement policy in order to force Marcuse to retire (the policy was subsequently dropped and ignored). The Philosophy Department for its part stood by Marcuse and continued to provide him an office, assign him to teach classes and advise students, and to print his name on the official roster of the Department of philosophy in the UCSD General Catalog as Honorar Professor from 1971 until his death in 1979.
Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who came to UCSD to work with Marcuse, including Angela Davis, Lowell Bergman, and Andrew Feenberg were political activists and journalists. Some of them produced and contributed to a radical philosophy journal named Alternatives. Edited by Andrew Feenberg, Alternatives contained articles not only by Marcuse, but also by such left-wing luminaries as Linus Pauling, Günther Anders, Hans Meyerhoff, and Barry Commoner. Marcuse’s students also contributed to the vibrant underground newspaper scene, including San Diego Free Press and Street Journal. In their various conflicts with the local media and police, the graduate students and department in general had a strong friend in Roger Ruffin (Judge, Superior Court of California) who served as a Lecturer in the UCSD Philosophy Department from 1967 until 1973.
In the same year that the department hired Moore and Marcuse, they also recruited Professor Paul Henry, a major scholar of late ancient and medieval philosophy. He is best known as the co-editor of the critical edition of Plotinus for Oxford Classical Texts. While at UCSD he authored the entry on “medieval philosophy” for the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and also published a monograph on the logic of Peter Abelard.
By 1968, Richard Popkin could write of the new Philosophy Department that, in his opinion, “it has developed so rapidly and so well that it is now generally considered one of the leading departments in the country”.  In 1969, amidst all the controversy, Herbert Marcuse was elected President of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association and addressed its annual meeting in Portland, the first of six UCSD Professors to do so.

Pacific Division APA Presidential Addresses by UCSD Professors (corrected)

The American Philosophical Division will hold its eighty-fifth (2011) Pacific Division meeting in San Diego on April 20-23. In celebration I here feature the six past Presidential Addresses by UCSD Philosophy Professors. (Requires JSTOR access.)

The first is Herbert Marcuse's 1969 Presidential address, available here.
Herbert Marcuse, 'THE RELEVANCE OF REALITY' (Slightly expanded version of presidential address delivered before the Forty-third annual meeting of the Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Portland, Oregon, March 28, 1969.) Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 42 (1968-1969), 39-50.
The second is Patricia Smith Churchland's 1993 Presidential address, available here.
Patricia Smith Churchland, 'CAN NEUROBIOLOGY TEACH US ANYTHING ABOUT CONSCIOUSNESS?' (Presidential address delivered before the sixty-seventh annual Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association inSan Francisco, March 26, 1993), Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67 (1994), 23-40.
The third is Henry Allison's 1997 Presidential address, available here.
Henry Allison, 'WE CAN ONLY ACT UNDER FREEDOM' (Presidential address delivered before the seventy-first annual Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Berkeley, California, March 28, 1997), Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 71 (1997), 39-50.
The fourth is Philip Kitcher's 1998 Presidential address, available here.
Philip Kitcher, 'TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES?' (Presidential address delivered before the seventy-second annual Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Los Angeles, California, March 27, 1998), Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 71 (1998), 49-63.
The fifth is Paul M. Churchland's 2002 Presidential address, available here.
Paul M. Churchland, 'OUTER SPACE AND INNER SPACE: THE NEW EPISTEMOLOGY'. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 76 (2002), 25-48. 
The sixth is Nancy Cartwright's 2009 Presidential address, not yet available through JSTOR.
Nancy D. Cartwright, 'HOW TO DO THINGS WITH CAUSES'. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 83 (2009). 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Major Publications by UCSD Philosophers 1980-1989

Please help me make this a better list-- I know I have missed some important items.

1980: Stanley Moore, Marx on the Choice between Socialism and Communism (Cambridge, MA).

1981: Henry Allison and Nicholas Jolley, ‘Locke’s Pyrrhic Victory’, Journal of the History of Ideas 42.

1982: Robert Pippin, Kant's Theory of Form: An Essay on the Critique of Pure Reason (New Haven). 

1983: Henry Allison, Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense (New Haven).

1984: Paul M. Churchland, Matter and Consciousness (Cambridge, MA). Nicholas Jolley, Leibniz and Locke: a study of the New Essays on Human Understanding (Oxford). Zeno Vendler, The Matter of Minds (Oxford).

1985: Richard Arneson, ‘Marxism and Secular Faith’, American Political Science Review 7. Paul M. Churchland, ‘Reduction, qualia and the direct introspection of brain states’, Journal of Philosophy 82.

1986: Patricia Smith Churchland, Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain (Cambridge, MA).

1987: Frederick A. Olafson, Heidegger and the Philosophy of Mind (New Haven).

1988: Robert Pippin, Andrew Feenberg, C. Webel (eds.) Marcuse: Critical Theory and The Promise of Utopia

1989: Richard Arneson, 'Equality and Equal Opportunity for Welfare', Philosophical Studies. Paul Churchland, A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science (Cambridge, MA). Gerald Doppelt, 'Is Rawl's Kantian Liberalism Coherent and Defensible?' Ethics. Robert Pippin, Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness (Cambridge). 

Major Publications by UCSD Philosophers 1970-1979

Please let me know what I am missing from this list.

1970: Herbert Marcuse, Five Lectures: Psychoanalysis, Politics, and Utopia (Boston).

1971: Stanley Moore, 'Hobbes on obligation, moral and political', Parts one and two: Journal of the History of Philosophy 9-10 (1971-1972).

1972: Herbert Marcuse, Counterrevolution and Revolt (Boston). Richard Popkin and Avrum Stroll, Introduction to Philosophy (second revised edition, New York); Introductory Readings in Philosophy (New York). Edward Lee, 'Plato on Negation and Not-being in the Sophist', (The Philosophical Review).

1973: Henry Allison, The Kant-Eberhard controversy; an English translation, together with supplementary materials and a historical-analytic introduction of Immanuel Kant's On a discovery according to which any new critique of pure reason has been made superfluous by an earlier one (Baltimore). Frederick Olafson, 'Democracy, "High Culture," and the Universities', Philosophy and Public Affairs 2.

1974: Herbert Marcuse, 'Marxism and Feminism', Women's Studies 2. Frederick A. Olafson (& Robert Paul Wolff), 'Correspondence', Philosophy and Public Affairs 3.

1975: Henry Allison, Benedict de Spinoza (Boston). Stanley Moore, 'Marx and Lenin as historical materialists', Philosophy and Public Affairs 4.

1976: Edward Lee, 'Reason and Rotation: Circular Movement as the Model of Mind (nous)', Facets of Plato's Philosophy (a supplementary volume of Phronesis).

1977: Herbert Marcuse, 'Murder is not a political weapon', New German Critique 12. Stanley Moore, 'Justice and Imagination. The Necessity of Utopian Thinking to a Humane Social Order', World Futures 15. Frederick A. Olafson and Herbert Marcuse, 'Heidegger's Politics: an interview with Herbert Marcuse', Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 6. 

1978: Gerald Doppelt, 'Walzer's Theory of Morality in International Relations’,  Philosophy and Public Affairs. Herbert Marcuse, The Aesthetic Dimension: toward a critique of Marxist aesthetics (Boston).

1979: Herbert Marcuse, ‘Failure of the New Left’, New German Critique 18.
Frederick A. Olafson, The Dialectic of Action: a philosophical interpretation of history and the humanities (Chicago). 

Fred Olafson interview of Herbert Marcuse on Heidegger's politics

Herbert Marcuse (UCSD Philosophy Professor 1964-1979), was interviewed by Frederick Olafson (UCSD Philosophy Professor Emeritus 1971-present) on the topic of "Heidegger's Politics" in The Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 6 (1977), 20-40. The journal TOC is available here; I will update this post if I can manage to obtain or create an electronic copy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Henry Allison appreciation

Below, a notice of the extensive influence and importance for the field of philosophy of Henry Allison (UCSD Research Professor of Philosophy of Emeritus, 1974-present). It was prepared by the Harvard Review of Philosophy and edited by S. Phineas Upham, and published by on May 14, 2002.
The history of philosophy has allegedly not fared well in American philosophy departments in this past century, but this commonplace belief is belied by the immense influence that Immanuel Kant's work continues to exercise on contemporary thinking. Philosopher Kant was most well-known for his "Copernican Revolution" idea more than 100 years ago, which introduced the idea of the human mind as an active originator of experience rather than just a passive recipient of perception. Many contemporary metaphysicians work in a framework forged by Kant, and would call themselves, in some sense, neo-Kantians. Kant's ethical and political writings are the backbone of the work that stands at the very center of discussions in political philosophy: John Rawls's "A Theory of Justice." After Kant, the thinkers who deserve the most credit for this ongoing Kantian renaissance are those few scholars who have been able to couple sensitive historical understanding with acute analytical abilities: foremost among these philosophers is Henry Allison.  
Allison spent most of his early years in New York and its environs. Born in New York in 1937, he studied at Yale, Columbia, the Union Theological Seminary, and the New School for Social Research, where he received a doctorate in 1964. For more than two decades, Allison taught at the University of California, San Diego, where his colleagues included Frederick Olafson and Robert Pippin, and which became, during his tenure there, a locus for the historically minded study of European philosophy in America. Since 1996, Allison has taught at Boston University.  
Two books are almost always assigned in courses on Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason": the "Critique" itself, and Allison's "Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense." Allison's book is even more than a careful and insightful summary of the project of the "Critique." In delivering precisely what his subtitle promises, Allison resurrects Kant's theoretical philosophy, which most of his contemporaries had treated as a piecemeal assemblage of positions, as the systematic philosophy that Kant intended it to be.More important, through Allison's work, the "Critique" becomes an entirely viable philosophical system, one that holds its own against its most recent and sophisticated critics. This is not to say that Allison has convinced all of his colleagues to accept "Transcendental Idealism" -- since its publication in 1983, Allison's book has generated extensive debate. But both the idea that a book about the "Critique of Pure Reason" could ever be the subject of such debate and that one could be convinced by Kant's theoretical philosophy in its entirety would have seemed impossible before Allison's book.  
"Kant's Transcendental Idealism" was followed by "Kant's Theory of Freedom," which constitutes an extended explication and defense of that theory.Published in 1990, "Kant's Theory of Freedom" deals with a problem that had occupied Allison since he was a sophomore at Yale. In 1996, Allison published "Idealism and Freedom: Essays in Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy," a work that defends and extends the thoughts put forth in his previous two works. Most recently, Allison's thinking has turned, as Kant's did, from the theoretical and the practical to the aesthetic. He recently published "Kant's Theory of Taste: A Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment."  
Allison's writings on Kant, however, are only one aspect of his work and thought.Allison's earliest philosophical interests lay in the work of Soren Kierkegaard and Jean-Paul Sartre, and he has continued to focus his intellect on many of the central figures in the history of philosophy, helping us to understand, in the process, why these figures are as central as they are. Allison's broad interests have brought him to study many thinkers who have not fared as well as Kant among Allison's contemporaries. His first book was "Lessing and the Enlightenment" (1966), and since then he has written dozens of articles on Gotthold Lessing, Kierkegaard, John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, and George Berkeley, among others. The dissimilarity of these thinkers indicates the vast range of Allison's interests and his ability to incorporate the tangled and crossing routes that these thinkers have followed into a broad and sensitive vision of philosophy and its history. Allison is currently working on a major revision of Kant's "Transcendental Idealism" and a book on David Hume.
Read more:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Volume 5 of Herbert Marcuse's Collected Papers

Volume 5 of the Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse, edited by Douglas Kellner and Clayton Pierce, has been published in late 2010. There is much of interest here with regards to the history of the UCSD Philosophy Department, including a reprint of Marcuse's 1969 Presidential Address to the Pacific APA entitled 'The Relevance of Reality'; an interview with KPBS, a local San Diego radio station; and an afterward by UCSD Philosophy Alum Andrew Feenberg. In general, there is much of philosophical interest, including Marcuse's critiques of positivism and pragmatism, reflections on the philosophy of technology, and the ethics of science. Below I copy the blurb on the Routledge page, which usefully contains the table of contents (as well as links to descriptions and tables of content for the prior 4 volumes).

Edited by Douglas Kellner and Clayton Pierce, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and Emancipation is the fifth volume of Herbert Marcuse's collected papers. Containing some of Marcuse’s most important work, this book presents for the first time his unique syntheses of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and critical social theory, directed toward human emancipation and social transformation.
Within philosophy, Marcuse engaged with disparate and often conflicting philosophical perspectives - ranging from Heidegger and phenomenology, to Hegel, Marx, and Freud - to create unique philosophical insights, often overlooked in favor of his theoretical and political interventions with the New Left, the subject of previous volumes. This collection assembles significant, and in some cases unknown texts from the Herbert Marcuse archives in Frankfurt, including:
  • critiques of positivism and idealism, Dewey’s pragmatism, and the tradition of German philosophy
  • philosophical essays from the 1930s and 1940s that attempt to reconstruct philosophy on a materialist base
  • Marcuse’s unique attempts to bring together Freud and philosophy
  • philosophical reflections on death, human aggression, war, and peace
  • Marcuse’s later critical philosophical perspectives on science, technology, society, religion, and ecology.
A comprehensive introduction by Douglas Kellner, Tyson Lewis and Clayton Pierce places Marcuse’s work in the context of his engagement with the main currents of twentieth century politics and philosophy. An Afterword by Andrew Feenberg provides a personal memory of Marcuse as scholar, teacher and activist, and summarizes the lasting relevance of his radical thought.

Major Publications by UCSD Philosophers 1963-1969

Below is a list of the most significant publications by UCSD philosophers from the founding of the department in 1963 until the end of the 1960s. Please let me know what I have missed. I am compiling a master list of major UCSD Philosophy publications through 2010. Stay tuned for the 1970s. 

1963: Richard Popkin (founding editor), Journal of the History of Philosophy (periodical); Richard Popkin and Paul Dibon (founding editors), International Archive of the History of Ideas (Book series).
1964: Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man: Studies in the ideology of advanced industrial society (Boston). Richard Popkin, The History of Skepticism from Erasmus to Descartes (rev. ed., Assen); 'So, Hume did read Berkeley', Journal of Philosophy.
1965: Herbert Marcuse, 'Repressive Tolerance' in R. Wolff et al. (eds.), A Critique of Pure Tolerance (Boston).
1966: Richard Popkin (ed.), The Philosophy of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (New York). Avrum Stroll, 'On the first flowering of Frege's reputation', Journal of the History of Philosophy 4. Jason L. Saunders, Greek and Roman Philosophy after Aristotle (New York).
1967: Paul Henry, 'Medieval Philosophy' in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York); The Logic of St. Anselm (Oxford). Stanley Moore, 'Marx and the state of nature', Journal of the History of Philosophy 5. Avrum Stroll, Epistemology: new essays in the theory of knowledge (New York); 'Censorship, models, and self government', Journal of Value Inquiry 1.
1968: Herbert Marcuse, Negations: Essays in Critical Theory (London).
1969: Herbert Marcuse, Essay on Liberation (Boston); Herbert Marcuse, 'The Relevance of Reality’ (Slightly expanded version of presidential address delivered before the Forty-third annual meeting of the Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Portland, Oregon, March 28, 1969), Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 42. Richard Popkin, 'Comments on Professor Derrida's paper', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Richard Popkin and Avrum Stroll, The Theory of Knowledge (London).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

San Diego Historical Society Photo of Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse (second from left) after testifying on behalf of students at a hearing at UCSD.

A San Diego Historical Society Photo, included in a collection of their images of UCSD (link).

The Journal of San Diego History
Fall 2001, Volume 47, Number 4
Gregg Hennessey, Editor

The date is approximately 1966.

Can anyone identify anyone else in the photo, or any other details (such as date and exact location)?

Zeno Vendler (1921-2004)

Below is an obituary of Zeno Vendler (UCSD Philosophy Professor and Professor Emeritus 1977-2004), written by two of his colleagues in the department, Avrum Stroll (Research Professor Emeritus) and Frederick Olafson (Professor Emeritus). It was printed in the Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 77, No. 5 (May, 2004), pp. 172-173, and is available in PDF here (JSTOR access required). It is also available in a PDF version published by the UCSD Academic senate.
ZENO VENDLER, 1921-2004 
Zeno Vendler was born in Hungary in 1921. He was educated there until he joined the Society of Jesus and trained for the priesthood in Holland. His doctoral studies in philosophy were at Harvard University, where he took his degree in 1959. He left the order shortly thereafter, and taught philosophy in a number of American colleges and universities. In 1965 he was a founding member of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. 
In 1973 he moved to Rice University and then, the next year, to the University of California at San Diego. After his retirement in 1989, he lived on the Oregon coast for a number of years until he returned to Hungary, where he died on January 13, 2004. He was married twice, and had a son by each marriage. Zeno was raised in a German speaking family in Hungary, and thus started out bilingual in German and Hungarian. He became fluent in Latin and Dutch during his stay in a Jesuit seminary in Holland. He fell in love with English, though he learned it relatively late. Ordinary language philosophy was thus tailor-made for Vendler's passion and reflection. 
Vendler was also initiated into modern linguistics through his association with Zelig Harris. After completing his dissertation at Harvard, by lucky chance he got a position in Harris's project on grammatical transformations. Vendler regarded Harris as a true genius. The result of this tutorial was a famous monograph on adjectives and nominalizations. Vendler is well-known among linguists, most notably through two early works: "Each and Every, Any and All" and "Verbs and Times." The first is an analysis of subtle differences among four English words that correspond to universal quantifier in logic. The second concerns the often subtle effects of verb expressions on aspectual interpretation of sentences; the two terms Vendler introduced in the discussion of this topic area, 'achievement' and 'accomplishment,' have since become part of the basic technical vocabulary in modern linguistics. Both of these works have been very influential and served as sources for the later development of sophisticated and highly technical treatments of their respective topic areas. It may also be noted that Vendler's work on the order of prenominal modifiers provides a precursor to theories of parsing. 
Although much of Vendler's work involved the careful analysis of everyday language, such efforts were nearly always directed toward understanding traditional philosophical issues in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind and language. From his earliest writings to his last book, The Matter of Minds (1984), Zeno was a defender of a sophisticated form of Cartesianism. He argued that mental phenomena were different from and irreducible to physical phenomena, and used the resources of linguistics and ordinary language to support this point of view. He was a delightful conversationalist. Zeno's passion for language was eclipsed only by his infatuation with geography. He was a great traveler; his last major trip, when he was about eighty, was a cruise to Antarctica, the last continent for him to reach. He was a dedicated and accomplished photographer. He took pride in his ability to hold the camera still long enough to take pictures in dark places without a flash or a tripod. Zeno was the author of four books and more than thirty articles and reviews. The undersigned wish to thank Ernest Lepore and S.-Y. Kuroda for their help with this obituary.  
“Verbs and Times”, Philosophical Review 56 (1957): 143–60.  
Linguistics in Philosophy (Ithaca, 1967).  
Adjectives and nominalizations (The Hague, 1968).  
Res cogitans: an essay in rational psychology (Ithaca, 1972).  
The matter of minds. Oxford : Clarendon Press (New York, 1984).
Avrum Stroll and Frederick Olafson, University of California, San Diego
See also the obituary by Susan Fischer and S.-Y. Kuroda published in The Linguist List 15.286 (2004).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Paul Henry (1906-1984)

The following is an obituary of Paul Henry (UCSD Philosophy Professor 1965?-1969) written by Richard Popkin (UCSD Philosophy Professor 1963-1973) and printed in the Journal of the History of Philosophy 23 (1985), 453.

Paul Henry (1906-1984) 
Paul Henry was a renowned scholar of Plotinus and Neo-Platonism. Born in Louvain, the son of a chemistry professor at the university there, he was sent to school in England during World War I. He then returned to Belgium, and studied philosophy and theology at Louvain, and joined the Society of Jesus. He did further studies in Paris in Middle Eastern culture, and studied Arabic in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. In Rome he did further studies and received an S.T.D. from the Pontifical Gregorian University, as well as a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was appointed professor at the Institut Catholique in Paris. He published several fundamental studies on Plotinus and the development of Neo- Platonism in Western thought. He and Hans Rudolf Schwyzer of Zurich collaborated on the critical edition of Plotinus's Enneads,and he and his former student, Pierre Hadot, produced the critical edition of the theological treatises of Marius Victorinus.

Paul Henry made his first visit to the United States in 1952 where he was a visiting profes- sor at Fordham. At a meeting of the American Philosophical Association that year he met Richard Popkin. They became close friends. This led to Henry being invited to be a visiting professor at the University of Iowa, to give the Foster lecture on the immortality of the soul at the University of California, Berkeley, and to his later being appointed a regular professor at the University of California, San Diego. He also was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duke, Northwestern, the College of New Rochelle and St. John's University in New York.

Paul Henry was an important consultant and adviser to the Journal of the History of Philosophy in its early years. With his vast erudition, his understanding of the different kinds of scholarship being undertaken in Europe and America, in Catholic and non-Catholic institutions, he was able to assist us in finding the best scholarly articles, the best referees and reviewers of materials in many fields.

Paul Henry was a person of immense charm, vivacity and humanity. He was able to break down barriers between people of differing backgrounds, and to form deep, abiding friendships with students and scholars all over the world. He took great interest in a variety of ventures to increase learning and understanding in intellectual history. His concerns ranged from early Christian thought, pagan Neo-Platonism, the fusion of the two in Victorinus and Augustine, up to leading intellectual ideas in modern European thought such as the structuralism of Levi- Strauss and the theology of Teilhard de Chardin. He encouraged young and maturing scholars in America and Europe, and tried to bring out the very best of their abilities. He encouraged the understanding of different thought systems, the appreciation of their strengths and weak- nesses. And, perhaps as much as any one in the post-second-World-War period, he encouraged frank and open discussions between Catholic and non-Catholic scholars, and thereby built many bridges.

Those who knew him have profited immensely from his learning, wisdom and humanity. Those who worked to launch and develop theJournalare especially grateful for his help and support in the early days of this venture. We hope that his scholarship will encourage many others to develop fresh understandings of Neo-Platonism and its importance in the philosophical, theological and scientific world, from ancient times to the present. He will be sorely missed, but he has left a great legacy to those working in the history of philosophy.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pat Churchland's Braintrust

Patricia S. Churchland, author of "Braintrust," has long been interested in the source of moral values.
Today's San Diego Union Tribune has an interview with Patricia Churchland (UCSD Presidential Professor of Philosophy Emeritus) about her new book Braintrust: what neuroscience tells us about morality (Princeton 2011). From the interview:

The word “braintrust” has a certain meaning for most people, but you use it in a different way here. Please explain the significance of the title.
Yes, the expression has a meaning dating back to F.D. Roosevelt’s cabinet. My use of “braintrust” evokes the fact that trust is a fundamental feature of harmonious social life, and is essential for the development of social institutions of various kinds — including markets, courts, religions, medical services, schools and guilds. And we now know a little about the neurochemical platform that enables the formation of social bonds and relationships of trust.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Richard Popkin, Founder of the UCSD Philosophy Department

Richard Popkin was the founding Chair of the Department of Philosophy at UCSD in 1963, and a Professor in the department from 1963-1973.

Dr. R.H. PopkinHe was also the founding editor of the Journal of the History of Philosophy (the first volume of which was published in 1963) and the series International Archives of the History of Ideas.

Volume 198 of the International Archives of the History of Ideas is a Festschrift entitled The Legacies of Richard Popkins (ed. Jeremy Popkin, 2008). An electronic version is available (for those with access). Of special interest is Avrum Stroll's essay "Richard Popkin and Philosophy Made Simple" which discusses an introductory philosophy textbook they wrote together (one of four; on which see here). Jeremy Popkin also provides an account of his father's tenure at UCSD on pages 277-280.

Below I have excerpted from some obituaries that I am using in my research on the history of the department.

Richard Popkin: A philosopher grappling with notions of God and scepticism
By Sarah Hutton, in The Guardian, Saturday 7 May 2005.
The History Of Scepticism (1960) revolutionised the received picture of both the history of philosophy and the history of science, by demonstrating the influence, in the century before Descartes, of ancient Greek sceptical arguments about the impossibility of knowing God and the world.
      In making his case for this central contribution to the development of modern science and philosophy, Popkin gave attention to the intellectual context of the time, especially the role of religious disputes in the take-up of philosophical scepticism deriving from the discipline's Greek founder, Pyhrro. Instead of treating the history of science and philosophy as a series of breakthroughs by canonical figures, Popkin sought to view the thought of the past from within its own framework.
      His history brought him international recognition and was translated into four languages. He expanded his thesis in later editions of the book (most recently in 2003), and in The High Road To Pyrrhonism (1989), which took the story through to David Hume. His interest in the contribution of non-philosophical strands (especially religion) to the history of philosophy led to pioneering studies of the interaction of Jewish and Christian philosophy and theology, and of topics such as kabbalism and millenarianism.
     In his many books, the originality of his approach brought new perspectives, both on little-known figures, such as the French millenarian Isaac la Peyrère and the English bible scholar Joseph Mede, and on major figures, especially Spinoza and Newton. Popkin played a major role in generating interest in Newton's legacy of non-scientific manuscripts. The Newton Project, based at Imperial College, London, and Cambridge, which is currently editing these, owes much to his initiatives.
Richard Popkin, Historian of Philosophy and Skepticism, Dies at 81
By Wolfgang Saxon, New York Times, April 19, 2005.
He expanded the <1960> work to "The History of Scepticism From Savonarola to Bayle," now in its second edition, published by the Oxford University Press in 2003. The author documents an era pivotal to Western thought, an age of doubt as well as faith.
     Besides numerous articles and book chapters, Dr. Popkin wrote and edited 36 books, often in collaboration with others. Among the many still in print are a paperback, "Spinoza," published in England last year, as well as "Third Force in 17th-Century Thought" (1991) and "Skeptical Philosophy for Everyone" (2001), written with Avrum Stoll.
      He was the editor of the Columbia History of Western Philosophy, published by the Columbia University Press in 1999, and "Jewish Christians and Christian Jews: From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment" (1993). Also in print is "Scepticism and Irreligion in the 17th and 18th Centuries" (1993), which he edited with Arjo Vanderjagt.
     Forswearing philosophy for a spell in the 1960's, Dr. Popkin joined the chorus of doubters who prominently disputed the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In an article in The New York Review of Books and in a paperback he argued that the commission's single-assassin solution was not just implausible, but also impossible in terms of the commission's evidence.
     The book, "The Second Oswald" (Avon, 1966), promptly came under attack. Eliot Fremont-Smith, in a review in The New York Times, called it "a very hasty book, but fascinating reading."
      At his death, Dr. Popkin was working on a book about Rabbi Isaac of Troki in Lithuania, who composed a polemic against Christianity in the 16th century, and a collection of essays on philosophical skepticism.
UCSD keeps a collection of portraits of Richard Popkin.
See also the Wikipedia entry on Richard Popkin.