The Hans Jonas Professorship honors the special relationship between The New School for Social Research and Hans Jonas, whose career figured prominently in 20th century philosophy, particularly in the fields of ethical and social criticism. Jonas received his doctorate in 1928 at Marburg with a dissertation directed by Martin Heidegger and Rudolf Bultmann. His path breaking Gnosis und spatantiker Geist (2 vols.) appeared in 1934. Jonas came to The New School in 1955, where he was Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research until 1976. During that period, he established an international reputation for his scholarship on Gnosticism and Christianity in the intellectual and religious world of late antiquity. When he became Professor Emeritus, Professor Jonas already had begun to shift his scholarly focus to the ethical issues involved in the applications of modern technology, a field in which he remained active until his death in 1993. Yirmiyahu Yovel held the appointment as Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research from July 1996 until his retirement in December 2009.
Simon Critchley joined The New School for Social Research faculty in January 2004. He was Directeur de Programme at the Coll√®ge International de Philosophie in Paris from 1998-2004. Prior, he served as a Humboldt Fellow in the Philosophy Department at the Goethe-Universit√§t in Frankfurt in 1997 and 2000. Since 2009, Critchley has been Brackenbridge Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Texas. In 2011, he was offered a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship, University of Lancaster and from 2011-13, he was appointed ‘Most Distinguished Scholar’ at Fudan University, Shanghai. Critchley is also a professor at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Critchley is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas (Blackwell, 1992); Continental Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP, 2001), which translated into 9 languages; and On Humour (Routledge, 2002), which was translated into 8 languages. The Book of Dead Philosophers (Vintage, 2009), made it onto The New York Times extended bestseller list and has been translated into 15 languages and counting. Critchley is also series moderator of ‘The Stone’, a popular online philosophy column for The New York Times and contributes to it regularly as well as writing for The Guardian. Two books of interviews with Critchley are being published, How to Stop Living and Start Worrying (Polity, 2010) and Impossible Objects (Polity, 2011). The Faith of the Faithless, a major new work on the relation between politics and religion, is forthcoming from Verso in February 2012.