Department News

David Harrah, In Memoriam

When David Harrah joined the UCR Philosophy Department in 1955, he arrived with an already unusual background. Growing up in Seattle, he had a conventional education as a child and teenager, attending Lakeside private school, where he was on the track team and an excellent student, graduating at the top of his class. Continued here

The Pollution Prevention RoundTable Selects Carol Cranor as Educator of the Year for 2022

The Pollution Prevention RoundTable, an organization of state environmental employees, chose Carl Cranor as, "Educator of the Year for 2022," for explaining the relevant law concerning environmental toxics in his “unique and powerful" 2011 book, Legally Poisoned.

Eric Schwitzgebel receives Mellon Dean's Fellowship

Congratulations to Professor Eric Schwitzgebel on being named the Mellon Dean's Professor for 2020-2021 at the Center for Ideas and Society. You may view his abstract here

Howard Wettstein invited to give Dewey Lectures at University of Vermont 

Professor Howard Wettstein was invited to give the John Dewey Lectures at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this event has been postponed until 2021 or 2022.

Erich Reck named Bertrand Russell Visiting Professor, McMaster University

Professor Erich Reck was named the Bertrand Russell Visiting Professor at McMaster University, Canada, for the Winter Term 2017.  He will teach a class in the McMaster Philosophy Department and do research in the Bertrand Russell Research Archives during that period.

UC Regents Appoint John Martin Fischer as University Professor

Congratulations to John Martin Fischer, the first professor of philosophy to be appointed as a 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.

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 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!