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Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

119 Sparks Building
Office Phone: (814) 865-1438


  1. B.A. in Philosophy (1989), Morehouse College – Cum Laude, Highest Honors in Philosophy
  2. M.A. in Philosophy (1996), Rutgers University
  3. Ph.D. in Philosophy (1997), Rutgers University
  4. Dissertation: Reconstructing Aesthetics: John Dewey, Expression Theory, and Cultural Criticism. Committee members: Peter Kivy (chair), Howard McGary, Bruce Wilshire, Cornel West.
  5. M.P.A. (2014) Harvard University [Masters in Public Adminstration, Kennedy School of Government]


Areas of Specialization

  • Race Theory
  • Aesthetics
  • Pragmatism
  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Africana Philosophy

Recent Courses

  • Pragmatism and American Thought
  • African American Philosophy
  • Black Aesthetics (seminar)
  • Pragmatism and Democracy (seminar)

Recent Publications


  • Race: A Philosophical Introduction (Cambridge, UK: Polity – Blackwell, 2004; 2nd ed., 2013)
  • Black Is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics (under contract, Blackwell)
  • On Obama (under contract, Routledge)
  • The Philosophy of Race (edited series of reference works; Routledge)
  • The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race (under contract, co-edited with Linda Martín Alcoff and Luvell Anderson)

Articles and Essays

  • “Taking Post-Racialism Seriously: From Movement Mythology to Racial Formation,” The Du Bois Review 11.1 (Spring 2014)

  • “Bare Ontology and Social Death,” Philosophical Papers (South Africa), Vol. 42, No. 3 (November 2013): 371-391
  • “Evading Evasion, Recovering Recovery,” Journal of Speculative Philosophy 25:2 (2011), 174-83

  •  “Living Pictures, Dead Souls,” Transition No. 104 (1 January 2011), pp. 58-72
  • “Melting Whites and Liberated Latinas: Identity, Fate, and Character in ‘Fools Rush In’,” in Ethics in Film, Ward Jones and Samantha Vice, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • “The Last King of Scotland or The Last N----r on Earth: the Ethics of Race on Film,” Contemporary Aesthetics, Special Volume 2 (2009) – Aesthetics and Race: New Philosophical Perspectives (Monique Roelofs, ed.),

Keynote Addresses and Named Lectures

  • “Facing Ferguson,” The 2015 Capen Lectures, The University at Buffalo (SUNY) (forthcoming [October 19-21, 2015])
  • “The President as Racial Project,” Irving Thalberg Lecture, University of Illinois-Chicago (March 2015)
  • "Dust To Dust: What Pragmatism Might Be, With Lessons From Race Theory," Keynote Address, "Making It Work: US Thought and Culture Between Practice and Paralysis," conference of the University of Michigan US Literatures and Cultures Consortium, University of Michigan (April 2013)
  • “Make It Funky: Soul and Style,” Keynote Address, Frederick Douglass Institute Annual Conference, East Stroudsburg University (November 2011)
  • “Call Me Out My Name,” Keynote Address, Symposium on Affrilachia, University of Kentucky (March 2011)

  • "How to Make Our Ideals Clear," Kneller Lecture, Annual Meeting of the Philosophy of Education Society, Montreal (March 2009)

  • “Ethics and Collaboration: Toward a Post-Supremacist Philosophy,” Plenary Address, Annual Meeting of the Philosophical Society of South Africa, University of Fort Hare (January 2009)
  • “Assembling Black Aesthetics: Thoughts and Themes After Theory,” Keynote Address, 16th Annual Meeting of the Alain Locke Society, The George Washington University, Washington D.C. (November 2008)
  • “Life Beyond Bread: Why an Africana Aesthetic?” Plenary Address, Thirteenth Annual Meeting of The International Society for African Philosophy and Studies, plenary address (April 2007)