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William McBride

William McBride

Arthur G. Hansen Distinguished Professor // Philosophy
Emeriti Faculty

Arthur G. Hansen Distinguished Professor // Philosophy and Literature // SIS
Emeriti Faculty

Affiliated Faculty // Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies // SIS
Emeriti Faculty

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William McBride was born in New York City and received his A.B. from Georgetown University. After a Fulbright year in Lille, France, he pursued graduate work in philosophy at Yale University, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. and then taught for nine years before going to Purdue. Here, he has been a member of the Graduate Council (’74-’77 and ’83-’86), of the University Press Editorial Board (’78-’81, the last year as Chair), of the Affirmative Action Awards Committee (’89-’91), and of the University Senate over several terms and partial terms (’80-’83, ’85-’88, ’94-’05). He was chair of the Senate in ’03-’04. He was named Arthur G. Hansen Distinguished Professor of Philosophy in February 2001.

Bill has been a member and chair of the Committee on International Cooperation of the American Philosophical Association and, in the latter capacity, a member of its Board of Directors; was co-founder and first Director of the Sartre Society of North America; was Executive Co-Director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy from ’77-’80; was first Vice-President and then President of the Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française between ’92 and ’96; and was President of the North American Society for Social Philosophy from 2000 to 2005. He was one of the two American members of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP) from 1998 to 2003, as well as a member of the Program Committee planning the quinquennial World Congress in Istanbul in 2003. There, he was elected Secretary General of FISP for a five-year term, the first American ever to occupy this position. He was then elected President for the following five-year term, 2008-2013, and in that capacity presided over the World Congress in Athens in 2013. He held a Fulbright Lectureship at Sofia (Bulgaria) University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’ in the fall of ’97. He is a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Palmes Académiques. He received a silver medal from the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2010 for “Outstanding Contribution to Philosophy by a Foreign Philosopher.” And he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, in 2015.

Among Bill’s 19 authored, edited, and co-edited books are Philosophical Reflections on the Changes in Eastern Europe (’99), From Yugoslav Praxis to Global Pathos (’01), (with Martin Beck Matuštík as co-editor) Calvin O. Schrag and the Task of Philosophy after Postmodernity (’02), Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 2 of the Istanbul World Congress Proceedings (’06), and The Philosophy of Marx (1977, reprinted 2015). In addition, he has published some 225 book chapters, articles, and critical reviews.


Social Political Philosophy, Legal Philosophy, Continental European Philosophy