Bryan Van Norden Professor of Philosophy on the James Monroe Taylor Chair
B.W. Van Norden has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from Stanford University, both in philosophy. His primary area of specialization is Chinese philosophy, but he also has broad interests in Chinese literature and Western philosophy, including ethics.
- BA, University of Pennsylvania; PhD, Stanford University
- At Vassar since 1995
Research and Academic Interests
Departments and Programs
- PHIL 110a. Early Chinese Philosophy
- Translation Anthology. Tiwald, Justin (Editor), and Van Norden, Bryan W. (Editor) Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy: Han to the 20th Century. Hackett Publishing Co, Inc. 2014.
- Textbook. Van Norden, Bryan W. Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy. Hackett Publishing Co, Inc. 2011.
- Translation. Mengzi, Mencius, Bryan W. Van Norden Mengzi with Selections from Traditional Commentaries. Hackett Publishing Co, Inc. 2008.
In the Media
Was This Ancient Taoist the First Philosopher of Disability?
Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy on the James Monroe Taylor Chair, co-wrote a New York Times op-ed about Taoist philosopher Zhuangzi.
Parents Don’t Know Everything, & Kids Should Know That
Van Norden was quoted in a Romper article about parents not knowing everything and the importance of children realizing their parents’ limitations.
Bryan Van Norden's recent book, Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto, was the subject of a Sirp review.
Want to Understand Chinese History? These 5 Events are the Key.
Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy on the James Monroe Taylor Chair, wrote a National Interest article about five major events in Chinese history.
Bryan W. Van Norden won the American Philosophical Association’s 2019 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest for his New York Times essay “The Ignorant Do Not Have a Right to an Audience.”
Led willingly by Fate: Peter Adamson considers how to combat parochialism in philosophy
Taking Back Philosophy, by Bryan Van Norden received a positive review by the Times Literary Supplement.
Five Faculty Members Receive Endowed Chairs
Prof. of Psychological Science Abigail Baird, Assistant Prof. of Political Science Taneisha Means, Prof. of Art Molly Nesbit, Prof. of Philosophy Bryan Van Norden and Associate Director of the Vassar Library for Special Collections Ronald Patkus were named recipients of endowed chairs this fall.
A Multicultural Manifesto
Vassar Professor Bryan Van Norden was interviewed by the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast.
The Ignorant Do Not Have a Right to an Audience
Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy, wrote a New York Times op-ed about the right to free speech versus the right to provide speakers with an audience.
Western philosophy is racist: Academic philosophy in ‘the West’ ignores and disdains the thought traditions of China, India and Africa. This must change
Professor of Philosophy, penned an Aeon column, an edited excerpt from Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto (2017)
Yale-NUS hosts more visiting faculty
Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy, was quoted in a Yale Daily News story about Yale-NUS College visiting faculty members
North Korea, Storm Chasers, The Art of Fear
Bryan Van Norden, Professor of Philosophy, was interviewed on BYU Radio about his research and forthcoming book, Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto.
US schools miss Chinese philosophy
Bryan Van Norden quoted in a China Daily story about the lacking study of China in U.S. schools.
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B.W. Van Norden has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from Stanford University, both in philosophy. His primary area of specialization is Chinese philosophy, but he also has broad interests in Chinese literature and Western philosophy, including ethics. His most recent books are a translation anthology, Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy: Han to the 20th Century (2014), a textbook, Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy (2011), a translation, Mengzi with Selections from Traditional Commentaries (2008), a monograph, Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism in Early Chinese Philosophy (2007), a revised edition of a translation anthology that he co-edited and contributed to, Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2005), and a collection of essays that he edited and contributed to, Confucius and the Analects (2001).
It is unclear how he gets all this done, since by his own account all he does in his spare time is watch TV and teach his teenage kids to play poker.