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CV

P. O. BOX 176
RHINECLIFF,  NEW YORK  12574
(845) 876-5464 (H)
jurgis.brakas@hushmail.com

(Updated November 2014)

CITIZENSHIP

Us citizen. Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark; came to the US to stay when of high-school age.

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EDUCATION

1984
Columbia University, Ph.D. in philosophy.
Thesis: Aristotle’s Concept of the Universal.

1978
Columbia University, M.Phil. in philosophy.

1974
Columbia University, M.A. in philosophy.
Thesis: None accepted. Had to demonstrate competency in the main areas of philosophy through a series of examinations.

1968
Princeton University, A.B. in philosophy.
Thesis: A Critique of Plato’s Theory of Forms.

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AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

Aristotle, ancient Greek philosophy; Rand; logic, philosophy of logic; ethics, meta-ethics.

AREAS OF COMPETENCE

Medieval philosophy, Modern Philosophy, contemporary Anglo-American philosophy.
Metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, aesthetics.

LANGUAGE COMPETENCE

Able to read ancient Greek, Latin and German.
Able to speak and write Danish.

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ACADEMIC HONORS

2009
Marist College Special Recognition Award for Extraordinary Achievements in Service (mainly for building the Department of Philosophy).

2003
NEH Summer Seminar: Aristotle on Meaning and Thought, participant and stipend. Directors: D. K. Modrak (Rochester) and M. R. Wheeler (San Diego State). Visiting Scholars: D. Charles (Oxford), R. Bolton (Rutgers) and F. Miller, Jr. (Bowling Green).

2002
My book, Aristotle’s Concept of the Universal (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 1988), listed in “Note on Further Reading” (p. 156) in the 2002 reprint of Aristotle’s “Categories” and “De Interpretatione,” translated with notes and glossary by J. L. Ackrill (Oxford: Oxford University Press, originally published in 1963). This work is the first volume in the Clarendon Aristotle Series, now edited by J. L. Ackrill and Lindsay Judson.

1997-2005
Listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who among America’s Teachers, and the Directory of American Scholars.

1976
Two scholarships from the Foundation for the New Intellectual.

1975
Scholarship from the Foundation for the New Intellectual.

1973-74
Columbia University President’s Fellow.

1972-73
Columbia University President’s Fellow.

1968
Nominated by Princeton University’s Department of Philosophy for a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.

1968
Princeton University Dean’s List.

1967
Princeton University Dean’s List.

Various scholarships while at Princeton University.

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EMPLOYMENT

2013-present
Independent Scholar

2013
Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus
September 1: Retired to pursue research and writing full time.

1990-2013
Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY.
Rank: Associate Professor (tenured 1994).
From 1990 to 2007, I taught eight courses and usually about 200 students every academic year. Six were dedicated Core courses (Ethics, Introduction to Philosophy) and two were “semi-electives” in my areas of specialization (e.g., Ancient Philosophy, Logic). In 2007, Marist moved to a 4/3 teaching load. Service is also heavily emphasized at Marist.

1988-1990
Part-time positions at New York University, Baruch and Queens Colleges/CUNY, Barnard College/Columbia University.
Number of courses taught per academic year: 8.
Number of students taught per academic year: about 200.

1984-88
Full-time non-academic employment while looking for a tenure-track position and engaging in scholarly work.

COURSES TAUGHT

Ancient Greek philosophy
Aristotle
Medieval philosophy
Freshman Humanities
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Logic
Symbolic Logic
Inductive Logic
Ethics

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BOOKS

Aristotle’s Concept of the Universal. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag: 1988.

REVIEWS:

“[A] careful monograph devoted to the examination of the development of [a] key term in [Aristotle’s] logical and metaphysical vocabulary.” (M. Schofield, Phronesis.)

“Brakas elaborately canvasses the scholarship on the Categories, providing a very useful bibliography and analysis. [His] book must be considered by anyone who wants to develop further an account of Aristotle’s theory of universals. [S]uch an account is needed; we have . . . had our appetite whetted by this essay.” (A. Preuss, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.)

“[Brakas’s book] is of great interest. [There] has been curiously little direct discussion of the subject.” (J. L. Ackrill, Oxford University.)

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ARTICLES

[8] “What Were These Characters Thinking?! Using Sufi Tales to Cultivate Critical Thinking in Children” (co-author). Under review, 2012. (Copyright retained by authors if article is accepted by current journal.)

[7] “The Existence of Forms: The Argument from the Possibility of Knowledge.” In Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy, edited by Michael Bruce and Steven Barbone. Blackwell, 2011.

[6] “Aristotle, Plato, and the Third Man Argument.” In Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy, edited by Michael Bruce and Steven Barbone. Blackwell, 2011.

[5] “Aristotle’s Argument that Goods Are Irreducible.” In Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy, edited by Michael Bruce and Steven Barbone. Blackwell, 2011.

[4] Aristotle’s ‘Is Said in Many Ways’ and Its Relationship to His Homonyms,” Journal of the History of Philosophy, vol. 49, no.2 (April 2011): 135-60.

[3] “Aristotle on the Irreducible Senses of the Good,” Philosophiegeschichte und Logische analyse / Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy VI (2003): 23-74.
Although PLA is a relatively new journal, it has a distinguished international editorial board and has received high praise from P. F. Strawson (Oxford), N. Rescher (Pittsburgh) and C. Peacocke (Oxford).

[2] “MacDonald, Aristotle, and the Good,” Journal of Neoplatonic Studies VI, #2 (1998): 77-114.
A detailed criticism of the latest interpretation, at the time, of Aristotle’s argument in the Nicomachean Ethics that goods are irreducible.

[1] “Ancient Greek Philosophy,” Institute for Objectivist Studies, Foundations Series #7 (1994)
This little overview, with some recommended readings, has been picked up by Internet sites world-wide.
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REVIEWS

2014
Why Did Aristotle Cross the Road?, Stan Baronett. New York: Oxford University Press

2009
A Practical Companion to Ethics, Anthony Weston. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (For the upcoming 4th edition.)

The Art of Reasoning, David Kelley. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. (For the upcoming 4th ed.)

Objectivism in One Lesson, Andrew  Bernstein. Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books (Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group), 20W08. (My blurb appears on the back cover.)

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TALKS, WORKSHOPS AND COMMENTS

2014
Workshop on “What Were These Characters Thinking!? Using Sufi Tales to Cultivate Critical Thinking in Children,” with Nora Jachym Brakas (first author)
The Atlas Summit, The Atlas Society
Manchester, NH

2013
“What Were These Characters Thinking!? Using Sufi Tales to Cultivate Critical Thinking in Children” (short version), with Nora Jachym Brakas (first author)
Second PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) Conference, held in conjunction with the APA Central Division Meeting
Loyola University, New Orleans.

2012
“The Concept ‘Planet’: Definition, Meaning and the Evolution of Concepts” (shorter version)
2012 Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association
University of Stirling, UK

“The Concept ‘Planet’: Definition, Meaning and the Evolution of Concepts”
Tenth Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities
Honolulu, Hawaii

2011
“Aristotle’s Homonyms Reconsidered”
American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting
San Diego, CA

2010
“Aristotle’s Homonyms Reconsidered”
Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy/SSIPS
Fordham University, NY, NY

“Aristotle’s Homonyms Reconsidered”
Ohio Philosophical Association Annual Meeting
(Keynote speaker: Christopher Shields, Oxford University)
Ada, Ohio

2009
“Reading Comprehension and the Thinking of Storybook Characters” (Co-Presenter–with my wife, a reading specialist)
Annual Convention of the International Reading Association
Chicago, IL

Comments on “Moral Coherence and the Fragmentation of Value” by Patricia Marino, University of Waterloo-Ontario
American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting
New York, NY

“Using Sufi Tales to Cultivate Critical Thinking in Children” (Co-Presenter–with my wife, a reading specialist)
Annual Conference of the New England Reading Association
Warwick, RI

Comments on “Are Aristotle’s Universals Sortals?” by Phil Corkum, University of Alberta
American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting
Vancouver, Canada

2008
“Using Sufi Tales to Cultivate Critical Thinking in Children” (Co-Presenter–with my wife, a reading specialist)
Center for Teaching Excellence, Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY

2007
“Concepts and Meaning”
The Atlas Society: The Center for Objectivism  (at Towson University)
Baltimore, MD

2003
“Aristotle on the Meaning of ‘Names'”
NEH Summer Seminar: “Aristotle on Meaning and Thought”
San Diego, CA

“Saying, Meaning and Signifying: Aristotle’s legetai pollachos
Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at the Western Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association
San Francisco, CA

2001
“America and the World: Understanding September 11” (panelist)
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY

1999
“Kossovo, the Moral Dilemma” (panelist)
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY

1998
“Aristotle on the Irreducible Senses of the Good”
World Congress of Philosophy
Boston, MA

“Aristotle and the Liberation of Women”
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY

1997
“MacDonald on Aristotle and the Good”
Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at the Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association
Pittsburgh, PA

1996
“Aristotle on the Irreducible Senses of the Good”
American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division
Atlanta, GA

1995
“Aristotle on the Irreducible Senses of the Good”
American Philosophical Division, Western Division
San Francisco, CA

1993
Panelist on a day-long colloquium on Ayn Rand’s aesthetics at the invitation of Torres and Kamhi, the authors of the forthcoming What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (Chicago: Open Court, 2000)
National Sculpture Society, NY

Led two three-hour seminars entitled “Human Nature and Values” for the Objectivist Center (now The Atlas Society)
Roger Williams College, RI

1992
Led a three-hour seminar entitled “Logic and the Philosophy of Science” for the Objectivist Center (not The Atlas Society)
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY

1989
“Aristotle on the Irreducible Senses of the Good”
American Philosophical Association, Central Division
Chicago, IL

“Aristotle and the Third Man Argument”
Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy with SSIPS
New York, NY

1987
“The Unity of the Good in Aristotle”
Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy with SSIPS
New York, NY

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WORKS IN PROGRESS

Aristotle on the Good. This work will deal with Aristotle’s view of the nature and foundation of the good–the good in general, not just the human good. Cambridge University Press has expressed an interest in reviewing the completed manuscript.

Several articles on Aristotle’s relatives (ta pros ti).

“Aristotle’s Universal As a Potency”

“Aristotle on the Meaning of ‘Names'”

“A Referential Theory of Meaning”

“The Identity of Concepts through Change”

“The Evolution of the Concept ‘Planet’: A Concept’s Definition and Identity during Its Evolution”

“What Were These Characters Thinking?! Using Sufi Tales to Develop Critical Thinking in Children” (co-author–with my wife, a reading specialist)

A series of articles on symbolic logic attempting to combine the virtues of Aristotelian logic (it fits reality like a glove) and the power of modern predicate logic, while avoiding its weaknesses (e.g., “If the moon is made of green cheese, then I can fly by flapping my wings” is true).

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OTHER SCHOLARLY WORK

Grant evaluator for the Standard Research Grants Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (the equivalent of our National Endowment for the Humanities) of an application for
CA$ 250,000, 2012.

Grant evaluator for the Standard Research Grants Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (the equivalent of our National Endowment for the Humanities), 2010.

Evaluator for The Atlas Society’s Scholarship Fund Committee, 2008.

Identified and referred talented minority students to the Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University, at his request, for participation in their summer research program and regular admission.

Referee for Philosophical Frontiers.

Refereed for Ancient Philosophy.

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ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS

2005-08
Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
Tenure-line Search Committees; member of many, chair of several.

2004-05
Core/Liberal Studies Committee, member.
Tenure Peer-Review Committees; member of many, chair of several.
Mid-Tenure Peer-Review Committees;
member of many, chair of several.

2001-03
Alumni Council of Princeton University, member: Inteviewed applicants to Princeton from the Mid-Hudson River region.

2000
Academic Affairs Committee, chair. (Committee successfully moved Marist College from an administratively-oriented structure to a department-based structure.)

1997-98
Academic Affairs Committee, member.
Ad Hoc Committee on Moving Marist toward a Four-Credit System, member.
Search Committee for a Dean of the Humanities Division, member.

1995-97
Core/Liberal Studies Committee, member.

1992-96
Ad Hoc Committee for a Philosophy Major, member. (My advocacy for and work on getting a philosophy major at Marist spanned more than 10 years, until it was finally adopted.

1993-94
Academic Affairs Committee, member.

1991-93
Curriculum Committee, member and Secretary.

1991-92
Honors Committee, member. (Successfully instituted an Honors Program at Marist.)

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MEMBERSHIPS

American Philosophical Association
Canadian Philosophical Association
Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy
The Aristotelian Society
The Ayn Rand Society

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REFERENCES CONCERNING SCHOLARLY ABILITY

Professor Gisela Striker
Department of Philosophy
Emerson 206
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-3913

Professor Deborah Modrak
Department of Philosophy
Lattimore Hall 532
University of Rochester
Box 270078
Rochester, NY 14627-0078
(585) 275-4105

Professor David Charles
Oxford University
(Subject to permission)

Professor Fred Miller, Jr.
Bowling Green University
(Subject to permission)

Older letters of reference from Professors Richard Janko (then at Columbia), Paul O. Kristeller (Columbia), Fred Sommers (Brandeis), James J. Walsh (Columbia)

TEACHING REFERENCES

Dr. Martin Schaffer
Dean, School of Liberal Arts
Fontaine Hall 200
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 575-3000, x2295

Dr. Thomas Wermuth
Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs
Lowell Thomas Hall 128
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 575-3000, x2626

Older letters of reference from, among others, Professors William Earle (Baruch/CUNY), Sue Larson (Barnard/Columbia), Robert McDermott (Baruch/CUNY), Frederick Purnell (Queens/CUNY), William Ruddick (NYU)



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