UC Regents Appoint John Martin Fischer as University Professor

Congratulations to John Martin Fischer, the first professor of philosophy to be appointed as University Professor by the University of California Board of Regents. The title is reserved for scholars of international distinction who are recognized and respected as teachers of exceptional ability. You may read more on his prestigious award here.

Carl Cranor named Patricia McSweeny McCauley Chair in Teaching Excellence

Congratulations to Professor Carl Cranor on being named the Patricia McSweeny McCauley Chair in Teaching Excellence for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Chair was established in 1993 to encourage and reward excellence in teaching in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Professor Larry Wright Retires and named Professor of Graduate Division

Professor Larry Wright joined UCR in 1970. He was the longest reigning faculty in the UCR philosophy department in his tenure.  As Larry joins our other prominent philosophy faculty of Emeritus status, he will continue to service the University as a Professor of Graduate Division from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018. On behalf of the philosophy department, we invite you to join us in congratulating Larry.

Bernd Magnus: 1937 – 2014

Dear Colleagues,

I am saddened to inform you that Bernd Magnus, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, passed away on November 3, 2014, at the age of 76. He was a long-time member of UCR’s Philosophy Department, serving as its Chair from 1972 to 1976 and, again, from 1979 to 1983.

Born in Danzig, Germany, Prof. Magnus immigrated to the US in 1947, having survived the Holocaust as a child. After undergraduate studies at CCNY and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1967, he joined UCR in 1969, where he rose to Full Professor in 1974. Later he was appointed an Associate Dean in CHASS, served as senior advisor to several UCR Chancellors, especially Tomás Rivera, and was the founding Director of UCR’s Center for Ideas and Society.

Prof. Magnus was an internationally recognized expert on 19th/20th Century European Philosophy (“Continental Philosophy”) and, more specifically, a leading scholar of Friedrich Nietzsche. Besides publications on Marx, Heidegger, and various postmodern thinkers, he authored or co-authored two pioneering books on Nietzsche, co-edited the influential Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, served on the editorial board for the Complete Works of Nietzsche, and was the founder of the North American Nietzsche Society. He also received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for his research on Nietzsche.

Prof. Magnus was the driving force behind instituting a Ph.D. program in Philosophy at UCR; he also helped to turn its Philosophy Department into an internationally known center for European Philosophy. Over the years, the Department has attracted a large number of graduate students, many of whom remember him fondly for his energy, his generous support, and his influence on shaping their research interests. After his retirement, the Philosophy Department started the Magnus Lecture, which brings an internationally known philosopher to campus once a year to speak about Nietzsche or related topics.

Finally, “Bernie”, as he was known to his friends, was very enthusiastic about sports. Besides playing tennis, softball, and basketball himself, he owned season tickets for Anaheim Angels games for decades.
He is survived by his wife, Lore Woodcock Magnus, his children, David Magnus and Victoria Varnals, his grandsons, Tyler and Ryan Varnals, and his sister, Miriam Eis.  The Philosophy Department plans to organize a memorial conference in honor of Prof. Magnus’s many contributions to UCR.

-Erich Reck, Philosophy Department Chair


You may view his  Eulogy on the attached link.

Carl Cranor’s Mt. Kilimanjaro Travel

The Philosophy Department’s Distinguished Professor Carl Cranor climbed and then descended Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania this summer. Mt. Kilimanjaro, a collapsed former volcano, is the tallest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet. It is also the highest freestanding mountain in the world rising about 16,000 feet from its base in the plains below. Click the link to read and see more about his exciting trip.

Notes on Kilimanjaro climb

Mark Wrathall Fellowship

Professor Mark Wrathall has been awarded a faculty fellowship from The Templeton Foundation for his research titled “The Philosophy and Theology of Immortality.”  He will be on fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year at Christ Church, Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Congratulations to Professor Mark Wrathall!

Carl Cranor receives the Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Professorship

Carl Cranor has been selected to receive the Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Professorship for 2014-15.  He thus joins a group of distinguished philosophers who received it earlier including Penelope Maddy, Stanley Cavell, Susan Wolf, Kendal Walton, and Harry Frankfurt.

Join us in congratulating Professor Carl Cranor!