Paul Boghossian is Silver professor of philosophy at New York University, where he was Chair of the Department for ten years (1994–2004) and responsible for building it into one of the very top philosophy programs in the world. His research interests include epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He is Director of the New York Institute of Philosophy and research professor at the University of Birmingham.
Boghossian earned his B.S. in physics at Stanford University in 1978, and his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University in 1987. In addition to his current position at NYU, he has been a professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a visiting professor at Princeton University. He has previously held research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Magdalen College, Oxford, the University of London, and the Australian National University. He is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities. He is on the editorial board of the journals Philosophical Studies and Philosophers' Imprint. In postmodern circles, Boghossian is known for his response to the Sokal hoax.
In his article 'Blind Reasoning', Boghossian argues that we are blind to our reasons for justifying our methods of inference (the epitome of a method of inference is taken to be modus ponens.) Rejecting both Simple Inferential Externalism for its inconsistency and Simple Inferential Internalism because it is difficult to accept, he opts for a third and new form of "rational insight". This paper, in conjunction with an ongoing correspondence between Boghossian and Crispin Wright, is part of a project to defend against epistemic relativism. Epistemic relativism claims that knowledge and reason are fundamentally cultural or subjective rather than objective. His book Fear of Knowledge won a Choice Award as an outstanding Academic Book of 2006.
He serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the World Knowledge Dialogue Foundation.
- Content and Justification: Philosophical Papers, Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism, Oxford University Press, 2006.
- "How Are Objective Epistemic Reasons Possible?" in Philosophical Studies, Dec 2001, pp. 340–380.
- "Inference and Insight," in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, November, 2001, pp. 633–641.
- "On Hearing the Music in the Sound," in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (2002).
- "The Gospel of Relaxation" (review of The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand), The New Republic, September 2001.
- "What is Social Construction?" in Times Literary Supplement, February 23, 2001, pp. 6–8.
- New Essays on the A Priori (co-edited with Christopher Peacocke), Oxford University Press 2000.
- "Knowledge of Logic," in New Essays on the A Priori, ibid.
- "Analyticity," in Bob Hale and Crispin Wright (eds.): The Philosophy of Language (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1997), pp. 331–368.
Notes and references
- Academic profile at NYU
- Boghossian, Paul (1996-12-13). "What the Sokal hoax ought to teach us". Times Literary Supplement. pp. 13–14. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- The World Knowledge Dialogue Foundation has a new Scientific Board, 16 July 2007
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2012 Fellows (and their affiliations at the time of election)
- An Interview with Paul Boghossian, Khatchig Mouradian Aztag Daily.