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Jason Stanley

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Jason Stanley
Born1969 (age 54–55)
Syracuse, New York
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisMeaning and Metatheory (1995)
Doctoral advisorRobert Stalnaker
Academic work
School or tradition
Notable worksHow Fascism Works (2018)

Jason Stanley (born 1969) is an American philosopher who is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. [1][2] He is best known for his contributions to philosophy of language and epistemology,[3] which often draw upon and influence other fields, including linguistics and cognitive science. He has written for popular audiences in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, and many other publications in the United States and abroad.[3] In his more recent work, Stanley has brought tools from philosophy of language and epistemology to bear on questions of political philosophy, for example in his 2015 book How Propaganda Works, and his 2023 book, The Politics of Language.[4]

Early life and education


Stanley was raised in upstate New York in a Jewish family.[5] He graduated from Corcoran High School in Syracuse, New York. During high school, he studied in Lünen, Germany, for one year as part of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange.[6] He enrolled in the State University of New York in Binghamton, New York, where he studied philosophy of language under Jack Kaminsky. In 1987 he transferred to University of Tübingen, but returned to the State University of New York in 1988, this time at the Stony Brook campus.[6] There, he studied philosophy and linguistics under Peter Ludlow and Richard Larson. Stanley received his BA in May 1990.[7] He went on to earn his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in January 1995, with Robert Stalnaker as his thesis advisor.[7]



After receiving his doctorate, Stanley accepted a position at University College, Oxford, as a stipendiary lecturer. He returned to New York and taught at Cornell University until 2000. He was appointed an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.[3] In 2004, he moved to the department of philosophy at Rutgers University, where he taught from 2004 to 2013. In March 2013 he accepted a professorship at Yale University.[8]

Stanley is the author of six books, including How Propaganda Works (2015)[9] and How Fascism Works (2018). As a philosopher of language[10] and an authority on propaganda and fascism, Stanley's work often views contemporary politics and foreign affairs through the lens of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.[11] He has been interviewed by Vox in 2018[12] and 2021;[13] NPR in 2020;[2] KCRW in Los Angeles in 2020;[14] and WBUR in Boston in 2021.[15]

Personal life


Both of Stanley's parents emigrated to the United States from Europe – his father from Germany in 1939, and his mother from Poland. He grew up in upstate New York. He is the grandson of Ilse Stanley, who secured the release of 412 people from Nazi concentration camps from 1936 to 1938, and the great-grandson of the Berlin Cantor Magnus Davidsohn. Stanley describes his Jewish background as informing his writing on fascism: "To me, my Judaism means an obligation to pay attention to equality and the rights of minority groups."[5]



His book Knowledge and Practical Interests won the 2007 American Philosophical Association book prize.[16]

In 2016, Stanley earned a PROSE Award in philosophy for his book How Propaganda Works.[17]


  • Stanley, Jason (2005). Knowledge and Practical Interests. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-922592-7.
  • Stanley, Jason (2007). Language in Context: Selected Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-923043-3.
  • Stanley, Jason (2011). Know How. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19969536-2.
  • Stanley, Jason (2015). How Propaganda Works. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-069116442-7.
  • Stanley, Jason (2018). How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-52551183-0.
  • Stanley, Jason; Beaver, David (2023). The Politics of Language. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691181981.


  1. ^ Hayden, Michael Edison (August 27, 2020). "The Fascist Underpinnings of Pro-Trump Media: An Interview With Author Jason Stanley". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Fascism Scholar Says U.S. Is 'Losing Its Democratic Status'". NPR. September 6, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Johnson, David V. (June 2015). "Thought Policing: A philosopher tries to parse the logic of propaganda in democracies". Bookforum. 22 (2).
  4. ^ "Jason Stanley". CCCB. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Edmonds, David (September 14, 2020). "Jewniversity: Jason Stanley". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "New APPS Interview: Jason Stanley". New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science. April 27, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Jason Stanley". campuspress.yale.edu. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  8. ^ Monaghan, Peter (April 15, 2013). "A Leading Philosopher is Drawn from Rutgers to Yale". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  9. ^ Min, John B. (2016). "Propaganda, ideology, and democracy: A review of Jason Stanley, How Propaganda Works". The Good Society. 24 (2). Penn State University Press: 210–217. doi:10.5325/goodsociety.24.2.0210. JSTOR 10.5325/goodsociety.24.2.0210. S2CID 148160901 – via JSTOR.
  10. ^ Marantz, Andrew (April 17, 2020). "Studying Fascist Propaganda by Day, Watching Trump's Coronavirus Updates by Night". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "Jason Stanley". The Guardian. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  12. ^ Illing, Sean (September 19, 2018). "How fascism works". Vox. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  13. ^ Illing, Sean (January 29, 2021). "American fascism isn't going away". Vox. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  14. ^ "Tear-gassing protestors, refusing to say he'll leave office: Has Trump brought fascism to US?". KCRW. July 20, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  15. ^ Bologna, Jaime; Dearing, Tiziana (January 19, 2021). "How to Combat Anti-Democratic Movements in America and Beyond". WBUR. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  16. ^ "Prizes and Awards: Book Prize", The American Philosophical Association.
  17. ^ "2016 Award Winners". PROSE Awards. Retrieved January 13, 2021.