Alice Crary

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Alice Crary
Alice Crary.png
Alice Crary, Reykjavik 2010
Born 1967
Seattle, WA
Alma mater AB, Philosophy, Harvard University, 1990; PhD, Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, 1999[1]
Era 20th Century Philosophy, 21st Century Philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic
Main interests
Moral Philosophy, Philosophy and Literature, Philosophy and Animals, Wittgenstein and Austin, Feminism and Philosophy
Notable ideas
Moral thought beyond moral judgment; Wider view of objectivity; Faulty logic of the math wars

Alice Crary (/ˈkrɛəri/; born 1967) is an American philosopher and Chair of the Department of Philosophy in the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research in New York City. She is well known for her numerous scholarly works on the moral dimension of language, as well as edited collections on Wittgenstein, Cora Diamond, and Stanley Cavell. Crary is the author of two monographs on ethics, Beyond Moral Judgment (Harvard, 2007) and Inside Ethics: On the Demands of Moral Thought (Harvard, 2016). While still finishing her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, she co-edited and wrote the introduction to the The New Wittgenstein, which continues to influence debates over Wittgenstein's philosophy.[2][3][4][5] Currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research, she has been a Humboldt Foundation Scholar in 2009–10 at Goethe University in Frankfurt, a Rockefeller Fellow in 2003–4 at Princeton University, and has been an invited speaker at such venues as the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University, the Center for Philosophy, Art, and Literature at Duke University, and Brooklyn Public Philosophers in NYC.

Crary's writings address moral philosophy, Wittgenstein, philosophy and literature, feminism and philosophy, the writings of J.M. Coetzee, W.G. Sebald, and Leo Tolstoy, and issues surrounding philosophy and animals and cognitive disability.


Crary's second book, Inside Ethics: On the Demands of Moral Thought (January 2016, Harvard University Press), discusses the nature and difficulty of moral thought about human beings and animals, addressing topics ranging from moral development to cognitive disability. Crary is a member of a number of international research groups devoted to subjects such as feminist philosophy and ordinary language philosophy.

Graduate students

Crary currently directs fourteen PhD theses in the Department of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research.

Popular writing

Her commentary, with W. Stephen Wilson, on the faulty logic behind the K-12 education "Math Wars" appeared in The New York Times philosophy blog, The Stone.[6]

Selected publications

Books – monographs
Books – edited volumes
Selected articles
  • "Feminist thought and rational authority: Getting things in perspective," New Literary History, Vol. 46, no.2 (Spring 2015), pp. 287-308.
  • "A Radical Perfectionist: Revisiting Cavell in the Light of Kant," Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 48, no.3 (2014), pp. 87-98.
  • “Dogs and Concepts,” Philosophy, vol.87, no.2 (April 2012), pp. 215–237.
  • “W.G. Sebald and the Ethics of Narrative,” Constellations, Vol. 19, no. 3, (Spring 2012), pp. 494-508.
  • “A Brilliant Perspective: Diamondian Ethics,” Philosophical Investigations, vol.34, no.4 (October 2011), pp. 331–352.
  • “Minding What Already Matters: A Critique of Moral Individualism,” Philosophical Topics, vol.38, no.1 (Spring 2011), pp. 17–49.
  • “J.M. Coetzee, Moral Thinker,” in Anton Leist and Peter Singer, eds., Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature New York, Columbia University Press, 2010), pp. 249–268.
  • “Ethics and the Logic of Life,” in SATS: The Nordic Journal of Philosophy, vol.10, no.2 (2009), pp. 5–34.
  • “Wittgenstein’s Commonsense Realism about the Mind” in Ilva Gustafsson, Camilla Kronqvist and Michael McEachrane, eds., Emotions and Understanding: Wittgensteinian Perspectives (London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 12–26.
  • “Humans, Animals, Right and Wrong,” in Alice Crary, ed., Wittgenstein and the Moral Life, pp. 381–404.
  • “Wittgenstein and Ethics: a discussion in reference to On Certainty” in Daniele Moyal-Sharrock and William Brenner, eds., Readings of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty (London, Palgrave-MacMillan, 2005), pp. 275–301.
  • “What Do Feminists Want in an Epistemology?” in Peg O’Connor and Naomi Scheman, eds., Re-Reading the Canon: Feminist Interpretations of Wittgenstein (University Park, PA, Penn State Press, 2002), pp. 97–118.
  • “The Happy Truth: J.L. Austin’s How to Do Things With Words,” Inquiry, vol.45, no.1 (Spring 2002), pp. 1–22.
  • “A Question of Silence: Feminist Theory and Women’s Voices,” Philosophy, vol.76, no.96 (July 2001), pp. 371–395.
  • “Wittgenstein's Philosophy in Relation to Political Thought” in Alice Crary and Rupert Read, eds. The New Wittgenstein, pp. 118–145.
  • “Does the Study of Literature Belong in Moral Philosophy? Some Reflections in the Light of Ryle's Thought,” Philosophical Investigations, vol.23, no.4 (October 2000), pp. 315–350.


  • Elias J. and Rosa Lee Nemir Audi Lecture, Colgate College, 2016
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, 2009–2010.
  • University Distinguished Teaching Award, The New School, New York, 2005
  • Faculty Fellow, Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University, 2004-2005.
  • Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 2003-2004.
  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (study of ethical and religious values), University of Pittsburgh, 1997-1998.
  • Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching (Bok Center), Fall 1993-Spring 1994.

See also


  1. "Alice Crary - Associate Professor of Philosophy". Retrieved 2014-03-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. P.M.S. Hacker, Wittgenstein, Carnap and the New American Wittgensteinians, Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2003), pp. 1 –23.
  3. "Is The New Wittgenstein Really New". 2000-12-09. Retrieved 2014-03-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Ian Proops, The new Wittgenstein: A critique". PhilPapers. 2009-01-28. doi:10.1111/1468-0378.00142. Retrieved 2014-03-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. A. Crary and W.S. Wilson, The Faulty Logic of The Math Wars. The New York Times, June 16, 2013

External links