Dr. Lorenzo Simpson

Dr. Lorenzo Simpson

Professor in the Philosophy department, State University of New York (SUNY) Stonybrook

Ph.D. Philosophy, Yale University (1978)
M. Phil., Philosophy, Yale University (1973)
M.S., Physics, University of Maryland (1970)
Further study in Physics, University of Maryland (1970-71)
B.A., Physics and Philosophy, Yale University (1968)

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Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Stonybrook (1998-present)
Chair, Philosophy Department, SUNY Stonybrook (2003-2006)
Interim Chair, English Department, SUNY Stonybrook (1999-2000); designated Professor of English at SUNY/Stony Brook (2001-present)
Professor of Philosophy, University of Richmond (1992-1998)
Chair, Philosophy department, University of Richmond (1989-1995)
Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Richmond (1985-1992)
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Richmond (1976-1985); tenure granted (1983)
Dean of Branford College, Yale Auniversity (1975-1976)
Teaching Fellow in Philosophy, Yale University (September, 1973-December, 1973)
Instructor in Philosophy, Quinnipiac College, (September, 1972-July, 1973)
Instructor in Physics, George Mason College, (Summer, 1971)
Teaching Assistant in Physics, University of Maryland (1968-1971)
Instructor in Physics, Washington Technical Institute, (Summer, 1970)
Aero-Space Technologist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Summer, 1968

Dr. Lorenzo Simpson’s C.V. online



The Unfinished Project: Toward a Metaphysical Humanism (2001)



ABSTRACT for The Unfinished Project: Toward a Metaphysical Humanism (2001):

As humanity becomes increasingly interconnected through globalization, the question of whether community is possible within culturally diverse societies has returned as a principal concern for contemporary thought. Lorenzo Simpson charges that the current discussion is stuck at an impasse-between postmodernism’s fragmented notions of cultural difference and humanism’s homogeneous versions of community. Simpson proposes an alternative-one that bridges cultural differences without erasing them. He argues that we must establish common aesthetic and ethical standards incorporating sensitivity to difference if we are to achieve cross-cultural understanding.




Reviews of The Unfinished Project: Toward a Metaphysical Humanism (2001):

“Simpson offers a sensitive and powerful argument for a conception of humanism defensible in the 21st century.”
– William Outhwaite, author of Habermas: A Critical Introduction

“Simpson’s defense of humanism as a ‘situated cosmopolitanism’ displays tremendous range. Few philosophers have mastered the nuances of music theory, cultural criticism, postmodernism, hermeneutics, and critical theory to the same degree; and those who have seldom write with such clarity.”
– David Ingram, Loyola University of Chicago

“Responding to the philosophical situation of our time in which the voices of postmodernism, declaring the death of humanism and the bankruptcy of reason, wage war against the Enlightenment concepts of a common humanity and a rational social order, Lorenzo Simpson deftly splits the difference as he wends his way towards a new perspective on rationality and a viable humanism for the new millennium. This skillfully crafted volume should become required reading for all those who have worries about the future of philosophy.”
– Calvin ​0. Schrag, Purdue University

“This brilliant new work critically addresses and comparatively evaluates the implications of modernism and postmodernism on multiculturalism. Neither emerge unscathed, but Simpson takes the positive contributions of each to develop a post-metaphysical humanism, one that acknowledges that individuals can never wholly transcend their culture and history–their identity, in other words–but that also rejects the permanence of absolute difference or incomprehension across cultural divides. Humanity, Simpson, urges, will be forged rather than found, and as such, is the unfinished project yet to be accomplished.”
– Linda Martin Alcoff, Syracuse University

“A thoughtful essay by a philosopher who has learned much from Habermas, but also has a good ear for jazz. That ear serves him well as he charts his course towards a postmetaphysical, multicultural humanism, between the Scylla of Eurocentric arrogance and the Charybdis of postmodern condescension.”
– Karsten Harries, Yale University



Technology, Time, and the Conversations of Modernity (1994)


ABSTRACT for Technology, Time, and the Conversations of Modernity (1994):

Technology, Time, and the Conversations of Modernity takes as its impetus the idea that technology is an embodiment of our uneasiness with finitude. Lorenzo Simpson argues that technology has succeeded in granting our wish to domesticate time. He shows how this attitude affects our understanding of the meaning of action and our ability to discern meaning in our lives.






REVIEWS OF Technology, Time, and the Conversations of Modernity (1994):

“This is an important book. Lorenzo Simpson has given us a tough-minded, cool-eyed, warm-hearted critique of the technological perspective and of the post-modernist response . . . extraordinarily rich in language and subtle in conception.”
– Marx W. Wartofsky, Baruch College

“This book is an excellent contribution both to cultural theory and to substantive moral philosophy. Lorenzo Simpson offers a subtle and scholarly account of the eclipse of imminent by instrumental value in the ‘postmodern’ world; at the same time, his distinctive voice brings home to us how our lives are impoverished by this development and how we can resist it.”
– Sabina Lovibond, Worcester College

“Lorenzo Simpson’s major new work on technology, temporality, and ethics is clearly the product of wide reading and mature reflection. . . . His discussions of Heidegger, Gadamer, Habermas, Rorty and a host of other major theorists are uniformly first-rate.”
– Thomas McCarthy, Northwestern University