Recruitment for the positions of Academic Director, and of Editor(s) of Philosophy

Recruitment for the positions of Academic Director, and of Editor(s) of Philosophy.

 

In anticipation of the retirement of the current Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and Editor of the journalPhilosophy, Professor Anthony O’Hear, the Executive Committee of the Institute seeks to make two appointments, one to each of these positions.

 

In the case of both it is expected that handover of responsibilities would take place in the early part of 2019, on a schedule to be agreed with the Chair and the Executive Committee.

Initial expressions of interest for the posts should be sent by email to the Secretary Dr James Garvey at j.garvey@royalinstitutephilosophy.org and copied to the Chair Professor John Haldane at jjh1@st-andrews.ac.ukto arrive on or before by 26th October 2018.

These should include a CV, together with a brief statement of purpose. Selected applicants will then be invited to provide a more extensive account of how they would envisage pursuing the purposes and aims of the Royal Institute of Philosophy either as Academic Director or as Editor(s).

Applicants wishing to apply for both of the positions should do so separately, sending two separate letters and cvs.

Information about the Royal Institute of Philosophy and further particulars of the posts are available below.

 

 The Royal Institute of Philosophy

Recruitment for the positions of Academic Director, and of Editor(s) of Philosophy.

General Information and further Particulars

After a quarter century of continuous and effective service as Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and as Editor of its journal Philosophy, and of its annual supplements based on the London Lecture series, Professor Anthony O’Hear OBE, is retiring from these positions. Through the period of his service the Institute has increased the range and scale of its activities and the Executive Committee is now looking to make two separate appointments: that of Academic Director, and that of Editor (or Editors) of Philosophy, the responsibilities of which are outlined below.

It is important at the outset to emphasise the distinctive character, aims and purposes of the Royal Institute of Philosophy which stands partly outside the sphere of university-based academic study, seeking to serve a broader public interest in philosophy and in philosophical aspects of issues of general interest.

The Institute originated in 1925 as the ‘British Institute of Philosophical Studies’ – it acquired the title ‘The Royal Institute of Philosophy’ in 1947. Its founders included the former Conservative Prime Minister Lord Balfour, the Labour economic and political theorist Harold Laski, and the Liberal political theorist L.T. Hobhouse, and as well as the philosophers Samuel Alexander, Bertrand Russell, and Sydney Hooper, the last of whom served as the first editor of Philosophy.

One significant feature of the Institute is the long service of its officers and associated figures which has served to provide a degree of continuity of vision and direction:

Presidents

Lord Balfour (1925-30), Lord Samuel (1930-59), Lord Halsbury (1959-91), Lord Quinton (1991-2006), Sir Anthony Kenny (2006-09), and Lord Sutherland (2009-18).

Chairs

Sir David Ross (1947-65), H.D. Lewis (1965-88), Lord Sutherland (1988-2005), Ted Honderich (2006-10) and John Haldane (2010-present).

Directors.

Sydney E. Hooper (1926-56), Leo Robertson (1956-64), Godfrey Vesey (1964-79), A Phillips Griffiths (1979-93), and Anthony O’Hear (1994-present).

Editors of Philosophy

Sydney E. Hooper (1926-56) H.B. Acton (1956-72), Renford Bambrough (1972-94), and Anthony O’Hear (1994-present).

The first issue of the journal carried an editorial referring to the purposes of the Institute and of what was then titled The Journal of Philosophical Studies:

“The British Institute of Philosophical Studies was formed with the object of promoting the advancement of philosophical studies by teaching, discussion and research. … A journal which is to prove of value to the many must avoid being too severely technical, and aim at making philosophy intelligible to the well-informed student. This will be a guiding principle in the general policy of the Journal and in every number it is hoped to have articles which can be fully appreciated by every educated person. No philosophical periodical, however, would be fulfilling its complete function if it did not welcome original contributions to any of the great themes with which Philosophy deals. It is, therefore, proposed to include articles which may be of special interest to the expert, and at the same time stimulating to the learner.

Close to a century later, many aspects of university scholarship and research, and of the general culture have changed, but the Royal Institute of Philosophy and Philosophy remain committed to the task of promoting general interest in philosophy presented in ways that minimize technicality and avoid narrow specialization, as well as presenting original work of the highest intellectual standard. This is reflected in the current statements of purpose of Philosophy which is subscribed to by over two and a half thousand individuals and libraries across the world:

The journal continues to fulfil a dual role: it is one of the leading academic journals of philosophy, but it also serves the philosophical interests of specialists in other fields (law, language, literature and the arts, medicine, politics, religion, science, education, psychology, history) and those of the general reader. Contributors are required to avoid needless technicality of language and presentation.

Through the opportunity provided by its annual London lecture it has published essays by Simon Blackburn, Ned Block, Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, Noam Chomsky, Jerry Fodor, Jurgen Habermas, Anthony Kenny, Christine Korsgaard, Rae Langton, John McDowell, Alasdair MacIntyre, Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit, T.M Scanlon, John Searle, Amartya Sen, Mary Warnock, Bernard Williams, and Timothy Williamson. Over the years it has also published important essays by figures such as Elizabeth Anscombe, Jonathan Bennett, C.D. Broad, Cora Diamond, Michael Dummett, Antony Flew, Philippa Foot, Aurel Kolnai, David Lewis, J.R Lucas, Norman Malcolm, Mary Midgley, Michael Polanyi, Arthur Prior, Richard Sorabji, Peter Singer, P.F. Strawson, and David Wiggins.

Philosophy is a quarterly journal published on behalf of the Royal Institute by Cambridge University Press. The Institute has a second journal Think also published by CUP and edited by Dr Stephen Law (see https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/think). As well as receiving submissions in the usual way, since 2012 Philosophy has run an essay competition awarding £2,500 and publication of the prize winning essay (and often runners up). The themes of the competition have been as follows:

2012 The Value of Truth

2013 Materialism, Non-materialism, and Immaterialism

2014 What is Philosophy? How is it Possible?

2015 Do Life and Living Forms Present A Problem for Materialism?

2016 Can There Be a Credible Philosophy of History?

2017 Philosophy and Education

2018 Philosophy and International Relations.

For further information on Philosophy see www.cambridge.org/core/journals/philosophy

The Royal Institute of Philosophy operates out of an office at 14 Gordon Square in the architecturally distinctive building of the Dr Williams’s Library, formerly University Hall. It also uses the Hall of the Library to host its annual London lectures series. The 2017/18 series was on the theme of The Passions and the Emotions.

In addition. since 2014 there has been an annual London Debate chaired by Melvyn Lord Bragg, the themes of which thus far are as follows:

2014 Religion is a Consolation not Worth Having (Simon Blackburn and Roger Scruton)

2015 Human Nature is better understood through Science than through Philosophical and Artistic Reflection (James Ladyman and Raymond Tallis)

2016 The proper aim of Art is Aesthetic excellence not Moral efficacy (Jonathan Jones and Matthew Keiran).

2017 Cultural Appropriation is an inappropriate method for writers (Sarah Churchwell, Bonnie Greer, and James Young)

There are also four annual lectures held in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin begun in 1998, 2014, and 2018, this year’s being:

London. Kwame Anthony Appiah, What is a Science of Religion?

Cardiff. Michael Lynch, Fake News and the Politics of Truth.

Dublin. Martha Nussbaum, Fear, Anger and the Politics of Blame.

Edinburgh. Melissa Lane, ‘The Idea of Accountable Office in Ancient Greece and Beyond’

 

Additionally, the Institute supports regional conferences and events including postgraduate and schools conferences, promotes philosophical work in schools, and provides research studentships and postgraduate bursaries. Further information about all of these activities can be found through the website http://royalinstitutephilosophy.org/ and by contact with the Secretary Dr James Garvey.

 

The principal figures and officers of the Institute are as follows:

Professor John Haldane FRSE, University of St Andrews, Chair of the Council and Executive Committee of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Professor Lucy O’Brien, University College London, Vice-Chair of the Council and Executive Committee of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Professor Anthony O’Hear OBE, Director of Studies and Editor of Philosophy.

Dr James Garvey, Secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Mr Tony Philip, Treasurer of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Further Particulars of advertised posts

Academic Director of the Royal institute of Philosophy

The principal responsibilities of the Academic Director are the organising and implementation of the Institute’s scholarly and educational activities, as determined by the council and executive committee. These activities include the following:

  1. The annual London lectures, typically consisting of sixteen lectures delivered each Friday between October and March.
  2. The annual London Debate, hitherto held in association with London University School of Advanced Study ‘Festival of the Humanities’ at the Senate House Building.
  3. The annual London Royal Institute of Philosophy lecture. The annual Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh annual lectures have been arranged by the Chair Professor Haldane but this responsibility would be expected to transfer to the new Director.
  4. The Director is also formally responsible for the administration of the Jacobsen Postgraduate Fellowship Scheme and the Jacobsen Schools scheme, for the Institute’s own postgraduate bursary scheme, and also for the conduct of the Royal Institute’s branches.

In these matters the Academic Director is currently assisted by the Secretary and as part of the ongoing development of the Institute the latter role is being redesignated Managing Director.

Because the Gordon Square office is the administrative centre of the Institute’s activities and the Director chairs the Friday evening lectures on the same site it is expected that a successful applicant will live within the London area or somewhere with reliable and speedy communications to London. While applicants will be able to do some of the Directorial tasks from off-site they should expect to spend at least one day a week at Gordon Square.

The appointment will be for a period of three years. If the holder wishes to be considered for a further three year term they may apply for re-appointment.

Editor(s) of Philosophy

Philosophy, is published quarterly by Cambridge University Press and sent to all Institute members. It has over two and a half thousand individual and library subscribers across the world. It is a general philosophy journal publishing articles, discussions and book reviews across the range of the subject including aesthetics, ethics, social philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind and of action, philosophy of science, and the history of philosophy. Contributions are favoured which take care to be intelligible to the serious non-specialist reader. It is expected that applicants will already be familiar with the journal but those interested in being considered for the position should review the online website of the journal https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/philosophy. The expectation is that the journal will move to online submission via ScholarOne.

In addition to the quarterly journal there is a supplementary volume consisting of essays deriving from the annual London lectures. Currently the Editor is directly responsible for this but given the separation of the roles of Academic Director and Editor(s) this task will be transferred to the Director.

The Executive committee is open to considering joint applications, and the Editor(s) may be located anywhere within the British isles. While he, she or they should have a secure broad knowledge of contemporary academic philosophy it is not required that they hold a position in a philosophy department. whoever is appointed will have resources for editorial assistance either based in the London office or elsewhere.

Applications

In the case of both the positions of Academic Director and of Editor(s) it is expected that handover of responsibilities would take place in the course of 2019, on a schedule to be agreed with the Chair and the Executive Committee.

Initial expressions of interest for the posts of Director and of Editor should be sent by email to the Secretary Dr James Garvey at j.garvey@royalinstitutephilosophy.org and copied to the Chair Professor John Haldane at jjh1@st-andrews.ac.ukto arrive on or before by 26th October 2018.

These should include a CV, together with a brief statement of purpose. Selected applicants will then be invited to provide a more extensive account of how they would envisage pursuing the purposes and aims of the Royal Institute of Philosophy either as Academic Director or as Editor(s).

It is important that those holding these positions be able and willing to ensure that a wide range of fields within philosophy is represented through lectures, conferences, articles and reviews.While the Institute would expect to make different appointments to the two posts this does not preclude the same applicants applying for each but in that event separate applications should be made.

The appointment process will involve interviews in which applicants will be expected to show evidence of familiarity with the activities of the Institute and explain further how they would propose to exercise the relevant offices in ways that further its purposes.

Applicants wishing to apply for both of the positions should do so separately, sending two separate letters and cvs.

Remuneration for the position of Academic Director is in the range £12,000 -15,000.

Remuneration for the position of Editor is in the range £12,000 -15,000.