• Alice Crary

    Professor of Philosophy


    Alice Crary is a moral philosopher in the Philosophy Department at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of Inside Ethics: On the Demands of Moral Thought (Harvard, 2016), a monograph on the representation of animals and humans in ethical discourse which has been described as “a sweeping challenge to several widely shared orthodoxies in metaphysics and moral philosophy.” She has written widely on issues in metaethics, moral psychology and normative ethics, philosophy and literature, animals and ethics, philosophy and cognitive disability, and philosophy and feminism, as well as on figures such as Austin, Cavell, Diamond, Foot, Murdoch and Wittgenstein.

    Crary is also known for Beyond Moral Judgment (Harvard, 2007), which challenges received images of the nature and difficulty of moral thought by bringing out the moral dimension of all language. While finishing her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, she co-edited and wrote the introduction to The New Wittgenstein (Routledge, 2000), which continues to influence debates over Wittgenstein's philosophy.

    Crary is the co-organizer of Social Visibility, an interdisciplinary workshop on critique and social justice happening April 12-13, 2019 at Vanderbilt University. She is also a member of a number of international research groups devoted to subjects such as ordinary language philosophy, the rational aspirations of social criticism and feminism and philosophy. 

    Crary is a former Chair of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and Founding Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. A recent interview regarding her work and views is available here

    *On leave for the 2018-2019 academic year*

    Degrees Held:

    PhD in Philosophy 1999, University of Pittsburgh
    AB in Philosophy 1990, Harvard

    Recent Publications:


    Inside Ethics: On the Demands of Moral Thought (Harvard University Press, 2016)

    Beyond Moral Judgment (Harvard University Press, 2007)

    Edited Volumes:

    Wittgenstein and the Moral Life: Essays in Honor of Cora Diamond (MIT Press, 2007)

    Reading Cavell, co-edited with Sanford Shieh (Routledge, 2006)

    The New Wittgenstein, co-edited with Rupert Read (Routledge, 2000)

    Selected Recent Articles:

    "Feminist Thought and Rational Authority: Getting Things in Perspective," New Literary History, vol.46, no.2, 2015

    "A Radical Perfectionist: Revisiting Cavell in the Light of Kant," Journal of Aesthetic Education, vol.48, no.3, 2014

    “Freedom is for the Dogs,” in Martin G. Weiss and Hajo Greif, eds., Ethics – Society – Politics, De Gruyter, 2013

    "Imagination and Advocacy," in The Point, issue 6, Winter 2013

    “W.G. Sebald and the Ethics of Narrative,” Constellations, Spring 2012.

    “Dogs and Concepts,” Philosophy, April 2012.

    "Animals," in Political Concepts: A Critical Lexicon, Issue 2, Winter 2012,

    “Minding What Already Matters: A Critique of Moral Individualism,” Philosophical Topics, Spring 2011.

    “A Brilliant Perspective: Diamondian Ethics,” Philosophical Investigations, October 2011.

    Research Interests:

    Moral Philosophy, Wittgenstein, Philosophy and Literature, Feminism and Philosophy, Philosophy and Animals, Philosophy of Mind/Language

    Current Courses:

    Independent Study

    Independent Study

    Independent Study

    Ind Senior Project