PhotoJoel Anderson / Department of Philosophy / Universiteit Utrecht

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

I am a researcher-lecturer (universitair docent-onderzoeker) in the Department of Philosophy (Wijbegeerte) at Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands.  I specialize in moral psychology and social theory, and especially on issues of autonomy, agency, and normativity. The working title of the book I am currently writing is Scaffolded Autonomy: The Construction, Impairment, and Enhancement of Human Agency.  I recently edited a special issue of Philosophical Explorations entitled Free Will as Part of Nature: Habermas and His Critics (March 2007, with commentaries by Searle, Quante, Clarke, and Schroeder) and co-edited, with John Christman, of Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism (Cambridge UP, 2005).

Dutch-language Profile:
Na studie aan Princeton University, Northwestern University (USA) en Goethe-Universität (Frankfurt) – en na 9 jaar doceren aan Washington University in St. Louis – werd ik vanaf januari 2004 universitaire docent-onderzoeker wijsgerige antropologie aan de Universiteit Utrecht.  Mijn onderzoekszwartepunten liggen op het gebied van wijsgerige antropologie (vooral zelfbeschikking, maar ook de rol van normativiteit in het menselijke handelen), ethiek (zowel theoretische vragen in verband met “Diskursethik” als ook onderwerpen op het gebiedt van “neuro-ethiek”) en sociaaltheorie (in het bezonder de rol van wederzijdse erkenning bij het bereiken van noodzakelijke condities voor de ontwikkeling van fundamentelen menselijken competenties).

Interview with me in De Filosoof ( PDF, in Dutch)
A Bit of Personal History

After growing up in Dubuque, Iowa (USA), I went to Princeton University, where Raymond Geuss, Rüdiger Bittner, and Michael Smith were especially strong influences. After graduating, I went to Frankfurt, Germany on a Fulbright to study philosophy of the social sciences with Axel Honneth and Jürgen Habermas at the J.W.Goethe-Universitität (Frankfurt).  My work there focussed on the role of meaning and normativity in social action. After the year in Frankfurt, I spent the 1988-89 school year teaching English and German at a high school in Wuhan, P.R. China, under the auspices of Princeton-in-Asia.

My Ph.D. is from Northwestern University (December, 1996), where I studied primarily with Thomas McCarthy, John Deigh, Nancy Fraser, and Michael Williams. I spent my third year (1992-3) in Frankfurt again, as a DAAD Doctoral Research Fellow, working with Jürgen Habermas. During my fourth year (1993-4), I was a "Graduate Fellow" at the Center for the Humanities, Northwestern University.

In the fall of 1994, I began teaching at Washington University in St. Louis as a Visiting Instructor and then Visiting Assistant Professor.  In July 1997, I started in a rather unusual position, a joint appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences (where I developed programs for sophomores and chaired the university committee on alcohol). In the spring of 2003, I accepted another joint position at Washington University: as Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Associate Director of the Program in Social Thought & Analysis, but a few weeks before I was to start the job, I was offered my current position at Utrecht University. I spent the fall of 2003 on several new initiatives for the Social Thought and Analysis program (which was closed down after I left), before beginning my current position in Utrecht in January 2004.