Fall 2016: Critique in German Philosophy

I’m happy to announce that Prof. María del Rosario Acosta López (DePaul) and I have organized a conference on the subject “Critique in German Philosophy,” which will take place November 9-12, 2017, at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Amy Allen (Penn State)
  • Karin de Boer (Leuven)
  • Christoph Menke (Frankfurt am Main)

Other participants include:

  • Smaranda Aldea (Dartmouth)
  • G. Anthony Bruno (McGill)
  • Peter Fenves (Northwestern)
  • Avery Goldman (DePaul)
  • Catalina González Quintero (Los Andes)
  • Florian Klinger (Chicago)
  • Richard A. Lee (DePaul)
  • Rudolf Makkreel (Emory)
  • Elizabeth Millán (DePaul)
  • Angelica Nuzzo (CUNY)
  • Gabriel Rockhill (Villanova)
  • Rocío Zambrana (Oregon)
  • Rachel Zuckert (Northwestern)

I’ll post the final program when it’s available.

Fall 2016: Immigration, Migration, and Refugees


For the last eight months I’ve worked with other members of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at St. Mary’s to organize the Conference on Justice and Social Concerns. This year’s theme was “Immigration, Migration, and Refugees.” The conference included wonderful keynote lectures by Ruth Behar (Michigan) and Elizabeth Ferris (Georgetown), a presentation by artist Anne Wallace, and panels on the challenges faced by immigrants, migrants and refugees in San Antonio; family detention in South Texas; and the economics of immigration. We had great attendance and good questions during all the lectures and panels, which shows that the topic is timely and the student body is engaged. I’m very pleased the event was such a success.

Summer 2016: Tenure & Promotion

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve been awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Mary’s University. Thank you to my colleagues in the philosophy department, the faculty in the school of humanities and social sciences, the members of academic council, and President Tom Mengler. I plan to celebrate by (finally) getting a phone number with a San Antonio area code…

The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason

McQuillan, The Very Idea

It’s finally out!

And here’s the (flattering) quote from Kristi Sweet (Texas A&M) on the back:

“This book makes a timely and original contribution to Kant studies and fills a large lacuna in the literature. With exhaustive research, McQuillan demonstrates real mastery not only over Kant’s own project and texts, but also over the milieu to which he belonged.”

Spring/Summer 2016: Immanuel Kant: The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason

McQUILLAN, Immanuel Kant, The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason, Cover

I’m happy to announce that I’ve now finished going through the proofs for Immanuel Kant: The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason, which will appear with Northwestern University Press in June/July 2016.

Here is the official description of the book from the publisher’s website:

Immanuel Kant: The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason is a study of the background, development, exposition, and justification of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Instead of examining Kant’s arguments for the transcendental ideality of space and time, his deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding, or his account of the dialectic of human reason, J. Colin McQuillan focuses on Kant’s conception of critique. By surveying the different ways the concept of critique was used during the eighteenth century, the relationship between Kant’s critique and his pre-critical experiments with different approaches to metaphysics, the varying definitions of a critique of pure reason Kant offers in the prefaces and introductions to the first Critique, and the way Kant responds to objections, McQuillan is able to highlight an aspect of Kant’s critical philosophy that is too often overlooked—the reason that philosophy is critical.”

I’m also happy to announce that the book will be the subject of an online “Author Meets Critics” symposium on the appropriately-titled website Critique. I will announce the publication date of that symposium when it becomes available.

Book Launch at St. Mary’s

This week Phi Sigma Tau and The Philosophy Department at St. Mary’s hosted a book launch event for Early Modern Aesthetics and my colleague Andy Brei’s new book Ecology, Ethics and Hope. Both books are published by Rowman & Littlefield. Thanks to Ito Romo for the picture!

Colin Andy

Spring 2016

In January, I attended the Congresso de Filosofía Moderna at the Universidad de Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) in Puebla, Mexico. I presented my paper “Does Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason Belong to the Tradition of Modern Logic?” in which I try to refute Giorgio Tonelli’s claim that  Kant’s first Critique is “a treatise on logic as much as on metaphysics.” Special thanks to St. Mary’s philosophy major Gisela Reyes for translating my presentation into Spanish; Paniel Osberto Reyes Cárdenas for chairing my panel; and Roberto Casales-García for organizing the conference. The conference was also a welcome opportunity to spend some time with my friend Matthew McAndrew, who presented a paper on Wolff and Crusius, and to visit two incredible Mexican cities, Puebla and Cholula.

I am also happy to announce that I’ll be presenting a paper called “The Uses of Scholasticism: Academic Philosophy in Eighteenth Century Germany” at the East-West Philosophers’ Conference hosted by the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. In my paper, I’ll be defending the university as a place for modern philosophy against early modern and contemporary critics. Using the examples of Christian Wolff and Immanuel Kant, I’ll try to show that universities and professors can promote progressive, modern philosophy and that at least some concerns about academic philosophy “losing its way” are misplaced. I’d like to thank Roger Ames and Joseph Tanke for the invitation and the opportunity to participate in the conference.

My review of Patrick Frierson’s excellent book Kant’s Empirical Psychology has been published in Philosophy in Review. And my article “A Merely Logical Distinction: Kant’s Objection to Leibniz and Wolff” has now appeared in the journal Epoché. My book  Immanuel Kant: The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason should be out later this spring. More details when they’re available…