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Philosophy Department faculty, August 26, 2016. Not pictured: David Agler, Kathryn Gines, and Paul Taylor.

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

Associate Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies

Head of the Department of African American Studies

133 Willard Building


Office Phone: (814) 863-4243


  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)