Thomas M. Scanlon, Jr.

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Professor Thomas M. Scanlon Jr. "was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1940. His father was a lawyer, and both his father and his mother had been interested in philosophy when they were at university...

"When Professor Scanlon was an undergraduate at Princeton, majoring in philosophy, he was mainly -- almost exclusively -- interested in logic and philosophy of mathematics. He wrote his senior thesis on philosophy of mathematics with Paul Benacerraf as his supervisor...

"After graduating from Princeton in 1962, Professor Scanlon went to Oxford as a Fulbright Scholar, and was mainly working with Michael Dummett, but reading moral philosophy on the side. Although Professor Scanlon enjoyed the technical aspects of formal work in ethics, he was coming to find this approach unsatisfactory as an overall view, and when he discovered Kant's moral philosophy he was immediately taken with it. In 1963, he went to study at Harvard and met John Rawls, who was the second great influence on him in philosophy. He continued to work in logic and completed his doctoral dissertation in proof theory in 1968, but was more and more committed to moral and political philosophy. When he went back to Princeton to teach in 1966, he gradually shifted over to this part of the subject, where he found that he had more to say. He was promoted to be Professor of Philosophy in 1977, but left Princeton for Harvard in 1984. He became Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy and Civil Polity at Harvard in 1988.

"Professor Scanlon was an Associate Editor of the leading journal Philosophy and Public Affairs during 1971-91, and became an Advisory Editor since 1991. In 2002, he became President of the American Philosophical Association (Eastern Division).

"Professor Scanlon received many honours and awards, among them: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (1975-76); Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford (1979-80); Tanner Lecturer (Brasenose College, Oxford, 1986); Guggenheim Fellow (1990); MacArthur Fellowship (1993); Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993); Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (since 1997)...

"Professor Scanlon is one of three or four truly top philosophers living today. His book is hailed by Oxford philosopher Derek Parfit (himself a truly top philosopher) as “the best book on ethics of the twentieth century” and “one of the best books on ethics that has yet been written.” Princeton philosopher Philip Pettit said in his review: “ What We Owe to Each Other brings to fruition a project that Tim Scanlon first outlined in a much-read article that he published in the early 1980s: to give morality, personal and political, a novel, contractualist reconstrual. That project has gripped the imagination of the philosophical community for the past decade, and this fuller description of it will be widely welcomed… I rejoice in the appearance of this magnificent book. It is not often that a work of ethics opens up a novel, arresting position on matters that have been debated for thousands of years. And What We Owe to Each Other does precisely that.” Professor Scanlon has also published The Difficulty of Tolerance (Cambridge University Press, 2003), a collection of his essays on political philosophy.

"Professor Scanlon is married and has two grown daughters. His wife, Lucy Scanlon, is a potter and teaches pottery at the Harvard Ceramics Studio.“ [1]

External links