JOB – Asst. Prof. of Phil., Purdue University, Interdisciplinary Focus on Sustainability

  • PurdueLocation: West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
  • Deadline: November 1, 2013

As part of a university-wide cluster hire in the new interdisciplinary focus area of “building sustainable communities,” the department of philosophy at Purdue University is seeking applications for an assistant professor, tenure-track position focused on human cooperative behavior, collective action, and the evolution of social norms.  Possible areas of specialization include philosophy of biology, philosophy of economics, experimental philosophy, moral psychology, or political philosophy.  Prior experience applying ideas from these areas to environmental and #sustainability issues is strongly preferred.  Depending on the candidate’s interests, joint appointments are possible in other participating cluster departments, including Political Science, Anthropology, Communication, and Engineering.  The successful candidate will have a demonstrated potential to play a vital role in Purdue’s new “building sustainable communities” initiative dedicated to finding new approaches to addressing major environmental and sustainability challenges.  Purdue’s Center for the Environment will serve as the interdisciplinary hub for this research community.  Purdue also hosts several interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs focused on sustainability, including undergraduate degrees in environmental & ecological engineering and natural resources and environmental science, as well as a graduate program in Ecological Sciences and Engineering.  The successful candidate will be expected to participate in and contribute to these programs as well.

Position Description

  • Assistant Professor, tenure track, beginning Fall 2014.
  • Teach 4 courses/year (2/semester), undergraduate and graduate.
  • Some thesis supervision. Usual non-teaching duties.
  • AOS/AOC: Open (subject to guidelines described in previous two paragraphs).
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy or related field required prior to appointment. Salary competitive.

Purdue CampusSubmission Procedure

Applicants should submit a letter of application including a discussion of the candidate’s interest and/or experience with interdisciplinary research relevant to the cluster, curriculum vitae, graduate transcript(s), three letters of recommendation, a sample of written work and evidence of teaching qualifications electronically via

Anyone for whom electronic submission is impossible should send those materials to Prof. Daniel Kelly, Department of Philosophy, Purdue University, 100 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098.

Questions should be addressed to search committee co-chairs Dr. Daniel Kelly or Dr. Leigh Raymond.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Collective Responsibility

Logo in Purple. Established in 1824Manchester Workshops in
Political Theory 2011

Eighth Annual Conference: August 31-September 2nd 2011.

Most of the discussion about collective responsibility is focused on backward-looking or retrospective responsibility of collectives for what they have done or brought about. By contrast, relatively little attention is paid to the idea that collectives such as states, nations, corporations, segments of society, or random collections of people might have forward-looking or prospective responsibility to perform actions from now on.  This workshop invites papers that discuss this idea of forward-looking collective responsibility, as well as the related ideas of collective obligations (what collectives are obliged to do) and collective oughts (what collectives ought to do).


May 31, 2011: Deadline for submission of abstracts:
June 15, 2011: Notification of acceptance
July 15, 2011: Registration deadline
August 15, 2011: Submission of full papers for circulation
August 31 – September 2: Workshop

Possible Paper Topics:

In terms of scope, this workshop invites papers about any aspect of forward-looking collective responsibility, collective obligations, and collective oughts. Papers about backward-looking or retrospective collective responsibility will also be considered if they concern the relation between such responsibility and forward-looking collective responsibility.

Submission Procedure:

If you are interested in presenting a paper, please submit an abstract of at most 500 words HERE. If you already have a full draft of the paper, you can also submit the draft prefaced by an abstract. Full drafts of accepted papers are due August 15 for circulation among workshop participants.

Conference Date & Location

Friday, September 23, 2011 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.


Manchester Workshops in Political Theory 2011

Download as a PDF

 Forward-Looking Collective Responsibility

The following is a non-exhaustive list of possible questions to discuss in submitted contributions:

1) Questions about investigating prospective collective responsibility in the first place:

  • What is the conceptual role of prospective collective responsibility in ethics? Where, if at all, do we need this concept?
  • What can we learn about prospective collective responsibility from the discussion about retrospective collective responsibility, and vice versa? Is a separate investigation into prospective collective responsibility necessary at all?
  • How did the strong emphasis on retrospective collective responsibility in the current philosophical discussion originate? Is it justified? 

2) General questions about prospective collective responsibility:

  • Which conditions must collectives meet to bear prospective collective responsibility?
  • How should we understand prospective collective responsibility? For example, is it analogous to individuals’ prospective responsibility, or of its own kind?
  • How does a collective’s prospective collective responsibility relate to the prospective responsibility of its members?
  • How does prospective collective responsibility relate to retrospective collective responsibility?

3) Questions about particular instances or candidates of prospective collective responsibility, e.g. concerning:

  • responsibility to assist the poor
  • responsibilities of environmental protection
  • responsibility to protect (R2P) / to engage in humanitarian intervention
  • responsibility of  collectives whose members are themselves collectives (e.g. the international community, the UN, the EU)