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Philosopher Jason Stanley
contemplates Yale

“One of the bright lights of American philosophy,” Jason Stanley, will join Yale in July as a professor of philosophy and linguistics.

Stanley, currently at Rutgers University in New Jersey, specializes in philosophy of language and epistemology, or the study of knowledge. He creates “natural lines of communication with almost no gaps between linguistics and philosophy, all the way over to people doing work in political theory," Yale’s philosophy chair, Tamar Gendler, tells the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Stanley’s appointment bolsters a philosophy department that, “after struggling in the 1990s, is rising toward the top in various rankings,” the Chronicle says. Stanley himself calls Yale’s department “small, but stunningly good."

Does it matter how good a job the philosophers are doing? “Philosophy itself is and ought to be in continual crisis,” Stanley says in a magazine interview. “There is a grand tradition of skepticism about my field. . . . It’s healthy for philosophers to be forced to defend the worldly relevance of what they are doing.”

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