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  • Faculty

  • Alice Crary

    University Distinguished Professor


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    D - Albert & Vera List Academic Center - 6 East 16th Street

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    Alice Crary


    Recent interview here

    Personal website here.

    Alice Crary is University Distinguished Professor (Philosophy, Liberal Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies) and also Visiting Fellow at Regent's Park College, University of Oxford. She was Chair of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research (2014-2017) and Founding Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies (2014-2017). A recent interview regarding her work and views is available here

    A moral and social philosopher, Crary has written widely on issues in metaethics, moral psychology and normative ethics, philosophy and literature, philosophy and feminism, critical animal studies, critical disability studies, and Critical Theory as well as on figures such as Austin, Cavell, Diamond, Foot, Murdoch and Wittgenstein. Her most recent book is Inside Ethics: On the Demands of Moral Thought (Harvard University Press, 2016), a monograph on the representation of animals and humans in ethical discourse. The book has been described as “a sweeping challenge to several widely shared orthodoxies in metaphysics and moral philosophy.” 

    Crary is also known for Beyond Moral Judgment (Harvard, 2007), which challenges received images of the nature and difficulty of moral thought, 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’s current projects include a monograph entitled Radical Animal on dehumanization, animals and critique; a monograph on animal crises co-written with Lori Gruen; a monograph on Wittgenstein and Political Thought co-written with Joel de Lara (contracted with Cambridge University Press); a collectively edited book, Dear Effective Altruist (Lantern Books), criticizing the impact of effective altruism on the animal protectionist movement; and a special issue of Philosophical Topics on “Social Visibility” co-edited with Matthew Congdon.

    Together with Nancy Bauer, Arnold Davidson, and Sandra Laugier, Crary is one of the executor advisors to Stanley Cavell’s literary estate. 

    Crary is a member of a number of international research groups devoted to subjects such as ordinary language philosophy, social justice and critical theory, and feminism and philosophy. Crary is the NSSR's organizer for the Berlin Critical Theory Summer School. She is the faculty sponsor of the New York Wittgenstein Workshop (, and she runs an ongoing works-in-progress for the students in her research group. She is currently an officer of ESWIP (Eastern Society for Women in Philosophy). At Oxford, she was the founding senior member or faculty sponsor of the student organization pwip (people for womxn in philosophy), and she continues her involvement with students as an academic advisor to opp (Oxford public philosophy).

    Crary is a founding co-convener of The Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Social Philosophy. This is a collective endeavor by faculty and graduate students from the New School for Social Research and Vanderbilt University. Conceived to recognize groundbreaking philosophical work tackling questions of social epistemology, social ontology, theories of race, gender, class, ability, animality, and the natural environment, the first biennial Prize will be granted in the spring of 2021, and the occasion will be celebrated with a public lecture with responses from philosophers and social theorists. For more information, please visit, or contact Crary and the other organizers at

    In Spring 2020, Crary is teaching co-teaching a graduate seminar on Animal Ethics with Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, at New York University. 

    In Spring 2021, she will be offering seminars on Hannah Arendt (with Richard Bernstein) and on Environmental Philosophy in the Anthropocene (with Jay Bernstein). 

    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).

    Books in Progress: 

    Radical Animal (projected completion summer 2020).

    Wittgenstein and Political Philosophy, together with Joel de Lara, contracted with Cambridge University Press.  

    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).


    Edited Journal Issues:

    Social Visibility, an issue of Philosophical Topics on ideology, social justice and critique, co-edited with Matt Congdon (Spring 2021).

    Ordinary Language Philosophy, a special issue of the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, co-edited with Joel de Lara (Spring 2019).


    Selected Recent Articles and Book Chapters:

    “Dehumanization and the Question of Animals,” in Maria Kronfeldner, ed., Routledge Handbook on Dehumanization, London: Routledge, forthcoming.  

    “The Theory and Practice of Racial Visibility: Response to Medina,” in Robin Celikates, Sally Haslanger and Jason Stanley, eds., Ideology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.  

    “Seeing Animal Suffering,” in Maria Balaska, ed., Cora Diamond on Ethics, London: Palgrave McMillan, forthcoming.  

    “Recovering the Core of Critique: Response to Jaeggi’s ‘Lebensformen als Problemlösungsinstanzen’,” in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, 2019.

    “A Continuing Engagement with Endangered and Excluded Scholars: Confronting political barriers that hinder the progress of knowledge,” co-written with Johan Heilbron and Ian Jauslin, in IAS’s  The Institute Letter, Spring 2019, and also online in two different versions at

    "The Character of Whose Virtue? Response to Hauerwas," in The Syndicate,, 2019.

    "Humanistic Thought as a Route to the Value of Humanity" (in Spanish as "El Pensamiento Humanista Como Ruta Hacia el Valor de la Humanidad") in Miguel Giusti, ed., El Conflicto de las Facultades. Sobre la Universidad el Sentido de los Humanidades, published jointly by Anthropos Publishing House (Madrid) and the Editorial Fund of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Lima), 2019.

    "Objectivity," in James Conant and Sebastian Greves, Wittgenstein: Basic Concepts, Cambridge University Press, 2019.

    "For My Teacher, Stanley Cavell," forthcoming in Conversations, 2019.

    A Portuguese translation of this piece by Helena Carneiro is published as "Para o Meu Professor," in Forma de Vida, no. 15,

    Co-authored with Joel de Lara, "Who's Afraid of Ordinary Language Philosophy? A Plea for Reviving a Wrongly Reviled Tradition," introduction to a special issue of the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, vol. 39., no. 2, 2019, 317-339.

    "Cavell and Critique," Conversations, issue 6, winter 2019.

    "Animals, Cognitive Disability and Getting the World in Focus in Ethics and Social Thought: Reply to Eva Feder Kittay and Peter Singer," forthcoming in Zeitschrift für Ethik und Moral Philosophie, 2019.

    This article is published together with a German synopsis, co-authored with Dagmar Borchers, of my article "The Horrific History of Comparisons between Cognitive Disability and Animality [And How to Move Past It]," and also together with responses to my article by Eva Feder Kittay and Peter Singer.

    “Response to Avner Baz,” “Response to Nora Hämäläinen,” “Response to Anne-Marie Christensen-Sondergaard,” “Response to Aaron Klink,” and “Thoughts on Cats and Theology: Response to Stanley Hauerwas,” posted as part of a book symposium on Inside Ethics at The Syndicate,, September 3, 2018.

    “Stanley Cavell and the American Contradiction: How to be a citizen in a profoundly imperfect nation,” co-authored with Nancy Bauer and Sandra Laugier, in The Stone, an online blog of the New York Times, July 2, 2018.

    A Portuguese translation of this piece by Helena Carneiro is published as “Stanley Cavell e a Contradição Americana” in Forma de Vida, no.15,

    "The Horrific History of Comparisons Between Animals and Cognitively Disabled Human Beings (and How to Move Past It)" in Lori Gruen and Fiona Probyn Rapsey, eds., Animaladies, Bloomsbury, 2018.

    "Wittgenstein Goes to Frankfurt (and Finds Something Useful to Say)" in Nordic Wittgenstein Review, June 2018.

    This article has been superseded by a revised and expanded version, which is published as "Wittgenstein Does Critical Theory," in Richard Amesbury, Hartmut von Sass and Christoph Ammann, eds., Doing Ethics with Wittgenstein, Bloomsbury, 2019. Anyone interested in the material should consult the updated version.

    "Cognitive Disability and Moral Status," in Adam Cureton and David Wasserman, eds., Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Disability, Oxford University Press, 2018.

    "Ethics," in Lori Gruen, ed., Critical Terms in Animal Studies, University of Chicago Press, 2018.

    "The Methodological is Political," Radical Philosophy, vol. 2.02, June 2018.

    Forthcoming in Spanish as "Lo metodológico es político: ¿cuál es el problema con 'feminismo analítico'?," translated by Gonzalo Bustamante Moya. Debates en paralelo. Forthcoming.

    "'Stories to Meditate on': Animals in Gaita's Narrative Philosophy," in Ana Falcato, ed., Philosophy in the Condition of Modernism, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

    "Putnam and Propaganda," Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, vol.38, no.2, Fall 2017, pp. 385-398.

    "Coetzee's Quest for Reality," in Patrick Hayes and Jan Wilm, eds., Coetzee and Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017.

    Research Interests

    Moral Philosophy; Social Philosophy, including Critical Theory, Cognitive Disability and Philosophy and Critical Race Theory; Critical Animal Studies; Aesthetics, especially Philosophy and Literature; Wittgenstein/Austin/Speech Act Theory; Feminism and Philosophy

    Current Courses

    Animal Ethics (Spring 2020)

    Animal,Ethics and Politics (Spring 2020)

    Death of Nature

    Environmental Ethics

    Hannah Arendt

    Hannah Arendt: Btwn Phil & Pol

    Ind Senior Project

    Independent Study

    Independent Study (Spring 2020)

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