Peter Carruthers to Deliver the 2017-18 Romanell Lecture


Peter Carruthers, professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, has been awarded the honor of delivering the 2017–2018 Patrick Romanell Lecture at the American Philosophical Association’s 2018 Pacific Division meeting in San Diego, CA, according to an announcement from the APA.

The award was created in 1981 and involves the giving of lecture on some topic concerning “philosophical naturalism.” Patrick Romanell, who endowed the lecture and died in 2002, described what he had in mind for the lecture:

Typically, naturalism as a philosophy may be discussed for critical purposes from four significant angles, taken separately and/or jointly. First, as the oldest tradition in Western philosophy (from Thales to contemporary American naturalism), the topic may be treated from an historical angle. Secondly, as a particular philosophical position, it may be treated from a systematic angle, including its peculiar temper and method, its basic categories, its characteristic concepts of nature and man, and its general bearings on such areas of human interest as science, economics, politics, art, morality, religion. Thirdly, the subject may be treated from a comparative angle (e.g., naturalism and materialism, naturalism and idealism, naturalism and positivism). Fourthly and finally, the topic may be treated from an individual angle (e.g., the naturalism of Aristotle, Spinoza, John Dewey).

A press release from the APA reports the selection committee’s comments:

Peter Carruthers is the author of 13 books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters on a great array of topics, including self-knowledge, consciousness, animal cognition, imagination, and creativity. His work has been deeply influential within philosophy of mind and in neighboring disciplines, including cognitive, developmental and comparative psychology. His work engages closely with empirical research on the mind, often challenging the foundational structuring assumptions of this work, while also directing close attention at its consequences for major questions of philosophical interest.

The lectureship includes travel to and accommodation at the meeting, as well as $1,200. You can learn more about the Romanell Lecture, including previous awardees, here.

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