Skip to main content

Philosophy Department records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-04-120

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records of the Philosophy Department range in date from 1922 to 1993, and are divided into five series: (1) Administrative Records, 1942-1989; (2) Curriculum, 1934-1993; (3) Faculty, 1922-1989; (4) Student Records, 1945-1989; (5) Websites, 2015-Ongoing. Series 4 is further divided into two subseries: (1) Ph.D. Students, 1948-1989; and (2) Special/Master of Arts/Withdrawn Students, 1945-1989. The record group consists of correspondence, annual reports, alumni newsletters, student records and examinations. There are also files on various fellowships awarded within the department and information pertaining to the celebration of the centenaries of the births of Josiah Royce and John Dewey. Of special interest is correspondence with Arthur O. Lovejoy, located in the "Lovejoy Fellowship" file in Series 1.


  • Creation: 1922-1993
  • Creation: 2015 - Ongoing


Conditions Governing Access

Administrative records in series 1 are restricted for twenty-five years from their date of creation. Education records in series 4, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as well as employment records in series 3, are also restricted.


Since Johns Hopkins's foundation in 1876, philosophy has always been represented among the subjects taught here, although the numbers and degree of eminence of the philosophers associated with the University has varied. The first philosophers employed at Hopkins were indeed well-known, although none became permanently established. Charles D. Morris taught philosophy at Hopkins for several years, as did George S. Morris and Charles Peirce. William James was a visiting professor from Harvard in 1878. These men advised Hopkins's first graduate students in philosophy, including Josiah Royce (the first person to earn a Hopkins Ph.D. in philosophy) and John Dewey.

By 1896, however, these men had all left Hopkins. Charles Morris had died and President Gilman was unable to persuade James to stay. Gilman was disinclined (due, perhaps, to differences in religious opinion or because of personal considerations) to retain either George Morris or Peirce. G. Stanley Hall, who had been a lecturer at Hopkins since 1881, was the ultimate survivor. He was elevated from a lectureship to Professor of Psychology and Pedagogics after Peirce's departure and was responsible for undergraduate LEP (Logic, Ethics and Psychology) courses until his resignation in 1888, when he became the first president of Clark University. (For an interpretive account of the philosophical debates which led to the Seminary's reorganization, see Albert Hammond's account in the vertical reference files of the Archives under "Philosophy"; also see Hugh Hawkins's 'Pioneer: A History of the Johns Hopkins University,' 1874-1889, pp. 187-210.)

Hall's replacement was Edward Griffin, who was appointed Professor of the History of Philosophy and Dean of the College Faculty in 1889. With G. H. Emmott (until Emmott's departure in 1896), Griffin taught the LEP course required of all undergraduate seniors until his retirement in 1915. Griffin apparently did not admit or advise any graduate students of his own, although he did hold seminars in the History of Philosophy for graduate students whose primary interests lay elsewhere.

The Philosophy, Ethics and Psychology faculty was expanded and enlivened in 1903 with the appointment of James M. Baldwin as Professor of Philosophy and Psychology. Baldwin established a psychological laboratory, edited the Psychological Review and attracted new graduate students. Griffin continued to teach the LEP courses with Professor George Stratton. Baldwin departed in 1909, and the vacancy thus created was filled by several other appointments in psychology as well as by the appointment of Edward Buchner as Professor of Philosophy and Education.

After Baldwin's departure, the department was listed in the President's Annual Report as the Philosophy, Education and Psychology Seminar. With the appointment of Arthur O. Lovejoy in 1910, however, these three subjects were increasingly taught and administered separately. They were formally divided into three seminaries in 1915-1916.

With the appointment of Lovejoy, the department assumed a form which was to last until its reorganization in the late 1950s. Throughout this period, the department was recognized and influential because of a handful of eminent scholars associated with it, rather than being noted as a center of graduate study. Relatively few Ph.D.s in philosophy were awarded by the department between 1910 and 1945, one every three or four years. But Lovejoy did attract increasing numbers of graduate students into his graduate level seminars, which he designed in conjunction with other seminaries to be of interest to German and French literature students and to others in the humanities. Undergraduate LEP courses were handled first by Henry Slonimsky, and after Slonimsky's departure in 1921, by Albert Hammond and George Boas (Hammond joined the department in 1923, Boas, in 1921). From 1917 to the end of February 1918, Lovejoy took a leave of absence to serve as director of Lectures in the Educational Bureau of the International War Work Council of the YMCA.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Lovejoy and Boas together explored that area of research known as the History of Ideas. Subjects chosen for the Seminary course (later known as the Department Seminar) reflected this trend. Lovejoy each year chose one theme which became the object of debate and research: the concept of evolution and the concept of relativity are two examples. In addition, Boas and Lovejoy brought out a multi-volume Documentary History of Primitivism during the 1930s. Both men became Presidents of the American Philosophical Association and both were invited to give the prestigious Carus Lectures. Upon Lovejoy's retirement in 1938, Boas assumed the chairmanship of the department.

After Lovejoy's retirement, seminary topics increasingly emphasized issues in phenomenology and aesthetics. The undergraduate LEP course had been replaced in the late 1920s by a freshman survey, the Introduction to the Scientific Method (later known as Philosophy 1). Graduate and undergraduate level courses were also offered in the History of Philosophy. Graduate level courses were entirely suspended between 1942 and 1946, however, when Boas took leave to work for the Navy. Hammond assumed responsibility during this period for the undergraduate courses.

In the period after World War II, the focus of the department changed, as department members sought to increase both the size of the faculty and the number of graduate students enrolled. In 1938, the department had three full-time graduate students; this number had increased to eleven by 1951, and grew to an average of twenty or more during the 1960s and early 1970s. With the rapid expansion of the faculty (from two during the 1930s to an average of six or seven after the late 1950s), the departmental course offerings were also expanded. New courses included topics in American Philosophy, British Empiricism, metaphysics, epistemology, Greek Philosophy and (after the early 1960s) a strong emphasis on symbolic logic. By the mid-1950s, these expanded offerings had been divided into the three categories (Historical, Systematic and Special courses) that are used today. The graduate exam system developed parallel to the course expansion, and was given its present form in 1961.

With the increase in graduate enrollment came a strong increase in the number of undergraduates enrolled in Philosophy department surveys and in the number of those completing an undergraduate major in philosophy. This development led the department to increase the number of advanced undergraduate courses offered after 1960. Although the number of graduate students declined somewhat after the late 1970s, the faculty had continued to increase in numbers and to branch out into new fields of philosophical research.

(Asterisks indicate full professors)

*Morris, Charles D'Urban--Collegiate Professor of Greek and Latin, 1876-1886
Morris, George S.--Lecturer, 1878-1885
Peirce, Charles--Lecturer, 1879-1884
James, William--Visiting Lecturer, 1877
Smith, Benjamin E.--Instructor, 1881-1882
*Hall, Granville Stanley--Lecturer, 1881-1884; Professor of Psychology and Pedagogics, 1884-1888
Harris, James R.--Lecturer, 1882-1884
*Emmott, George H.--Associate Professor of Logic and Ethics, 1886-1892; Professor of Roman Law, 1892-1896
*Griffin, Edward H.--Professor of History of Philosophy, 1889-1915; Professor Emeritus, 1915-1925
*Baldwin, James M.--Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, 1903-1909
Franklin, Christine Ladd--Lecturer in Logic and Philosophy, 1904-1909
Royce, Josiah--Lecturer, 1905-1906
Dewey, John--Lecturer, 1906-1907
*Buchner, Edward F.--Professor of Education and Philosophy, 1908-1915
Furry, William D.--Instructor, 1909-1910
*Lovejoy, Arthur O.--Professor of Philosophy, 1910-1938; Professor Emeritus, 1938-1962
Slonimsky, Henry--Instructor, 1915-1916; Associate, 1916-1920; Lecturer, 1920-1921
Efros, Israel I.--Instructor in Philosophy, Summer courses, 1917
Hammond, Albert L.--Instructor in Philosophy, College for Teachers, 1918-1926; Instructor in Summer courses, 1922-1923, 1925, 1938-1956; Assistant in Philosophy, 1919-1921; Instructor, 1923-1924, 1925-1926; Lecturer, 1928-1929; Visiting Lecturer in Fine Arts, 1939-1942; Assistant Professor, 1946-1955; Associate Professor, 1955-1961; Associate Professor Emeritus, 1961-1970
Thalheimer, Alvin--Instructor in Philosophy, 1920; Summer courses, 1920-1921
Cohen, Morris R.--Lecturer, 1921, 1925-1926
Salter, William M.--Lecturer, 1921
*Boas, George--Associate in Philosophy, 1921-1927; Associate Professor, 1927-1933; Professor of the History of Philosophy, 1933-1957; Professor Emeritus, 1957-1980
Montague, William P.--Visiting Professor of Philosophy, 1922-1923
Cory, Herbert E.--Lecturer, 1922-1923; College for Teachers, 1922-1923
Hawes, Raymond P.--Instructor at College for Teachers, 1923-1924; Summer courses, 1924, 1926, 1928
Singer, Edgar A., Jr.--Lecturer, 1926
McGill, V. Jerauld--Instructor in Summer courses, 1927
Baker, John--Instructor, 1926-1927
Weinberg, Albert--Instructor at the College for Teachers, 1927-1928
Thalheimer, Ross J.--Instructor, 1920-1921; Instructor at the College for Teachers, 1928-1930, 1935-1936
Dotterer, Ray H.--Instructor in Summer courses, 1929-1930
Trager, Frank N.--Instructor in College for Teachers, 1929-1934
Dorsey, Charles H., Jr.--Instructor in College for Teachers, 1930-1931
Blumberg, Albert E.--Instructor, 1930-1937
Friess, Horace L.--Visiting Professor in Philosophy, 1932-1933
Feldman, William T.--Instructor, 1933, at the College for Teachers, 1933-1935
Patterson, Robert L.--Lecturer, 1934-1935
Weinstein, Alexander--Instructor, 1935-1936
Gurwitsch, Aron--Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy, 1940-1942
Gauss, Charles E.--Instructor at the College for Teachers, 1941-1942
Weedon, William S.--Lecturer, 1942
Balz, Albert G. A.-- Lecturer, 1942
*Lowe, Victor--Associate Professor, 1947-1961; Professor, 1961-1973; Professor Emeritus, 1973-1988
*Edelstein, Ludwig--Visiting Professor, 1950-1952; Professor of Humanistic Studies, 1952-1960; Professor Emeritus, 1960-1965
*Price, Kingsley--Assistant Professor, 1954-1957; Associate Professor, 1957-1963; Professor, 1963-1986
Beth, Evart--Visiting Professor, 1956-1957
Yolton, John--Visiting Professor, 1952-1953
*Mandelbaum, Maurice--Professor, 1957-1978; Professor Emeritus, 1978-1987
Ullian, Joseph S.--Assistant Professor, 1958-1960
Olafson, Frederick--Associate Professor, 1960-1964
Koslow, Arnold--Lecturer, 1960
Wiebe, Richard--Instructor, 1960-1962
Lee, Edward--Instructor, 1961-1962; Assistant Professor, 1962-1967; Associate Professor, 1967-1968
*Achinstein, Peter--Assistant Professor, 1962-1968; Professor, 1968-
*Barker, Stephen--Professor, 1964-
Hill, Thomas Jr.--Assistant Professor, 1964-1966
Gert, Bernard--Visiting Associate Professor, 1967-1968
Braithwaite, R. B.--Visiting Professor, 1968
Bradley, R. D.--Visiting Professor, 1967
Santas, Gerasimos--Associate Professor, 1968-1969
Silverstein, Harry--Assistant Professor, 1968-1973
Davis, Lawrence--Assistant Professor, 1968-1975
*Sachs, David--Professor of Philosophy, 1969-
Cummins, Robert--Assistant Professor, 1969-1976
Gottlieb, Dale--Assistant Professor, 1969-1975; Associate Professor, 1975-1980; Visiting Associate Professor, 1980
Dancy, Russel--Visiting Assistant Professor, 1970
*Wilson, George--Assistant Professor, 1973-1980; Associate Professor, 1980-1983; Professor, 1983-
Strurgeon, Nicholas--Assistant Professor, 1973
Postema, Gerald--Assistant Professor, 1975-1980
Hooker, Michael--Assistant Professor, 1975-1982
Kim, Jaegwon--Visiting Professor, 1977-1978
Hunt, Lester--Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1979
Berger, Alan--Visiting Assistant Professor, 1980-1981
Garber, Daniel--Visiting Assistant Professor, 1980-1981
Simmons, John--Visiting Assistant Professor, 1980-1981
Hatfield, Gary--Assistant Professor, 1981-
Taschek, William--Assistant Professor, 1981-1985
*Schneewind, Jerome--Professor, 1981-
Zaret, David--Assistant Professor, 1981-1986
Liston, Michael--Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 1984-1985
Petrie, Bradford--Assistant Professor, 1985-1989
Wolf, Susan--Associate Professor,
1986- Rynasiewicz, Robert--Assistant Professor, 1986-
Minar, Edward--Assistant Professor, 1987-
Mann, Wolfgang--Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 1987-1989
Recker, Doren--Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, 1987-1988
Des Chenes, Dennis--Assistant Professor, 1988
Stairs, Allen--Associate Professor (Part-time), 1989-


8.94 Cubic Feet (7 record center cartons, 1 letter half-size document box)

1 Website(s)

Language of Materials



Transferred by Nancy Thompson, Administrative Assistant, Department of Philosophy.

Accession Number

84.25, 88.17, 88.18, 89.20, 92.22, 94.4

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Nancy Reagin, Sean DiGiovanna, Aravinda Pillalamarri, and Kim E. Bettcher.

Philosophy Department records
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA