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May 3rd, 2006

Cornell Hires

I’m very happy to announce that the Sage School at Cornell has hired three new faculty. They are:

Michelle and Nico will be starting in Fall this year, while Derk will be starting in Fall 07.

We’re obviously very happy with the new hires!

I’ve already mentioned Nico’s hiring, so let me say something about Michelle and Derk.

Michelle specialises in post-Kantian philosophy, and you can get a very good idea of her interests from looking at her forthcoming book on Freedom and Reason in Kant, Schelling, and Kierkegaard. I obviously don’t have any standing to say how good her scholarship is, though I trust the optinion of the many who speak very highly of her work. I will say that I’ve never heard anyone talk on early 19th Century philosophy who has done as good a job at making clear what those philosophers’ philosophical interests were, and how this relates to contemporary philosophical concern.

Derk’s role in the department will be to make it the case that I’m not the most general of the generalists. Well, that and cover philosophy of mind, free will and action theory, philosophy of religion, early modern philosophy, and whatever other interests take his fancy. There aren’t many philosophers around who are (justly) held in as high esteem as Derk is across such a wide range of fields, and at (relatively) small departments like Cornell, such generalists are worth their weight in gold. Derk was also a great colleague to have while I was at ANU last year, so I’m looking forward to getting back together with him at Cornell.

Obviously it’s been a tough couple of years for Cornell with a few very talented colleagues (and close friends) departing for greener (or at least other) pastures. But adding people like Derk, Michelle and Nico adds a lot back to the department.

Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized

6 Comments »

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6 Responses to “Cornell Hires”

  1. Neil says:

    Being a generalist and a specialist are not incompatible: Derk’s an existence proof of that. He’s a free will specialist, and a bloody good one. Free will may be on its way to recognition as a speciality in its own right: at least there is an emerging pattern in recent hires that suggests this (Randy Clarke and Michael McKenna to FSU, now Derk).

  2. Brian Weatherson says:

    Oh I agree entirely. My terminology here wasn’t very good I guess. ‘Generalist’ isn’t a great term for Derk because he is best viewed as being an expert, a specialist perhaps, in many different fields. There are multiple areas such that Derk’s work in that area alone would have been enough to warrant recruiting him, which isn’t something one might say about the paradigmatic generalists.

  3. Kris McDaniel says:

    Those are some fantastic hires! Great news for Cornell, and for all the departments in Cornell’s vicinity.

  4. Patrick says:

    Hey Brian, Congrats on the great hires.

    One of the things I would like to see discussed in the philosophical blogosphere is the anatomy of a successful job search from the perspective of a department. What works? What doesn’t? Why?

    I think a sharing of those kinds of experiences would be pretty beneficial, and it would be interesting to see how different types of departments (big vs small, teaching college vs research institution etc).

    It has been my impression, from several departments, that job searches are kind of haphazard and rely too much on luck. Do you agree?

  5. Ancient Philosopher says:

    “Obviously it’s been a tough couple of years for Cornell with a few very talented colleagues (and close friends) departing for greener (or at least other) pastures. But adding people like Derk, Michelle and Nico adds a lot back to the department.”

    You will have to do a lot of “adding back” to replace Irwine and Fine, and I strongly doubt you’ll succeed here…

  6. Brian Weatherson says:

    Funny, I hadn’t heard anything about Gail leaving. But I suppose some anonymous jerk on the internet knows a lot more about this than I do.