Willem A. deVries


The aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term.
                                                            -Wilfrid Sellars



My Curriculum Vitae

My "Distinguished Professor" video

Hegel's Theory of Mental Activity: Complete Text in PDF Format

Archived Papers

The Wilfrid Sellars Society Website

Studies in American Philosophy

UNH Philosophy Department

The American Philosophical Association Web Site

Problems from Wilfrid Sellars

The Hunger Site (Do Good -- Click Here!)

Philosophical Humor (An Oxymoron?)



My Research Interests


I'm late to update this page: 2015 was not my favorite year. I lost my wife to cancer after 34 years of marriage. Dianne was a relentless crusader for educational opportunity, adequacy, and equity. It is a shame that she did not live to see the trial for which she worked for so many years, currently in process in Connecticut. Her passing leaves a hole, not only in my life, but in the community of people advocating for a better educational system.

The original website of the Wilfrid Sellars Society has been shut down in favor of a Facebook page. I hope that enables us to spread the word still further. If you've got even a distant interest in Sellars's work or ideas, please join up to communicate with others so interested. The series Henry Jackman and I co-edit, Routledge Studies in American Philosophy, was renamed (slightly) when Pickering & Chatto was acquired by Taylor & Francis. The first few books in the series are out and more are on the way. If you've got a manuscript on or in American philosophy, let's talk!

There were two excellent conferences on Sellars this past summer, one at Kent State University, one at the University of Erlangen. Kudos to the organizers!

I am very happy to say that my sabbatical arrives next year, and, thanks to the generosity of the Faculty Scholars Program here at UNH, it will extend for the full year. I'm not yet sure where I'll be, but the effort will be writing a book that tries to articulate what I think a proper naturalism is. After this past year, it feels like I have to re-acquaint myself with my work, like getting to know an old friend one hasn't seen in years. How much has changed?

My research interests are pretty broad, covering most metaphysics and epistemology, as well as the history of philosophy.  I have been particularly interested in the Philosophy of Mind and German Idealism.  I've got a book on Hegel's Theory of Mental Activity (available for download at this site) and a (defunct) textbook, Reality, Knowledge, and the Good Life.  A collaboration with my colleague Timm Triplett, Knowledge, Mind, and the Given: Reading Wilfrid Sellars's "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," came out from Hackett Publishing in 2000. (We're also working on a set of dialogues debating Sellars's success, but that's going pretty slowly. Some of the dialogues are starting to show up in print, though!) I have published a critical overview of Wilfrid Sellars's philosophy, out from Acumen Publishing/McGill-Queen's University Press. More recently, there is Empiricism, Perceptual Knowledge, Normativity, and Realism: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars available now through all good bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press.


More Personally


I do Philosophy because I enjoy it, so it's also a personal interest of mine.  Teaching is a worthy, indeed, an honorable profession, and I try to do the best I can to help my students taste the life of the mind.  I'm active in my community: 


school building committees, soccer coach and referree, school technology committee, and increasing involvement with politics..
I also like to cook, wind surf, and do other nongeeky things on occasion






Lachende Alte,  Ernst Barlach


The Philosophy Department


Hamilton Smith Hall 44


University of New Hampshire


Durham, NH  03824


Phone: (603) 862-3077


Fax: (603) 862-4214