At the beginning of this month, the Royal Institute of Philosophy in London awarded Chair of the Department of Philosophy at UR, Professor Randall Curren, an honorary professorship.
This award is the first the Royal Institute has given since it was founded 87 years ago with the purpose of advancing philosophy through discussion, education and research. They do not subscribe to one philosophical theory or technique, however. Instead they wish to progress philosophy as a whole.
This professorship comes in conjunction with Curren’s work with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham in England, where he was recently appointed a fractional research chair in Moral and Virtue Education.
“There are more famous philosophers they might have chosen,”Curren said, “The Royal Institute of Philosophy and the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values agreed to join forces and get the best person they could to provide intellectual leadership for the common goal of advancing research on the virtues and their role in human flourishing. I was contacted in November of 2012 and told I was the person they wanted.”
After being interviewed for this position in January 2013, Curren was informed it was the first professorship in the Royals Institute’s history.
“I found it very hard to sleep that night after getting this news,’ said Curren, “but I enjoyed the interview, especially my lengthy exchange with a representative for the Royal Institute, who seemed to have an intimate knowledge of my work on Aristotle and Plato.”
The responsibilities that correspond with this position require Curren to give a lecture series throughout the United Kingdom, particularly in London.
“The goal is to guide schools and other institutions in bringing out the best in all of us and enabling everyone to live better lives. I played an important role in shaping a new model for character education in British schools last June,” Curren said. “… The UK is a country where philosophical ideas and research in related fields can come together and make a difference, and that’s exciting. I celebrate the opportunity to do meaningful work every time I’m able to clear my schedule long enough to work on a new idea.”
Johnson is a member of the class of 2016.