Ernest Sosa

Last updated
Ernest Sosa
Born (1940-06-17) June 17, 1940 (age 78)
Cárdenas, Cuba
Alma mater University of Miami
University of Pittsburgh
Era 21st-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic
Institutions Brown University
Rutgers University
Thesis Directives: A Logico-Philosophical Inquiry (1964)
Doctoral advisor Nicholas Rescher
Doctoral students Brie Gertler
John Greco
Main interests
Metaphysics  · Epistemology  · Philosophy of mind
Notable ideas
Virtue epistemology

Ernest Sosa (born June 17, 1940) is an American philosopher primarily interested in epistemology. [1] He is Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University since 2007, but spent most of his career at Brown University.

Epistemology A branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.

Professor academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries

Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.

Philosophy intellectual and/or logical study of general and fundamental problems

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?


Education and career

Born in Cárdenas, Cuba on June 17, 1940, [2] Sosa earned his BA and MA from the University of Miami and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964 where his dissertation was supervised by Nicholas Rescher.

Cárdenas, Cuba Municipality in Matanzas, Cuba

Cárdenas, Calle Calzada Cárdenas is a municipality and city in the Matanzas Province of Cuba, about 116 km (72 mi) by air [156 km (97 mi) by road] east of Havana. Cárdenas is the 15th most-populated Cuban city and the second most populated one not being a provincial seat, after Manzanillo.

University of Miami private university in Coral Gables, Florida, United States

The University of Miami is a private, nonsectarian research university in Coral Gables, Florida, United States. As of 2018, the university enrolls 17,331 students in 12 separate colleges/schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami's Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

University of Pittsburgh American state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on the edge of the American frontier. It developed and was renamed as Western University of Pennsylvania by a change to its charter in 1819. After surviving two devastating fires and various relocations within the area, the school moved to its current location in the Oakland neighborhood of the city; it was renamed as the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. Pitt was a private institution until 1966 when it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.

He joined the Rutgers faculty in 2007, having taught previously at Brown University since 1964. While full-time at Brown, he was also a distinguished visiting professor at Rutgers every spring from 1998-2006. [3] Sosa has been described as "one of the most important epistemologists of the last half-century." [4]

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Sosa is a past president of the American Philosophical Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. [3] He edits the philosophical journals Noûs [5] and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research . [6] In 2005, he delivered the John Locke Lectures at Oxford, [7] which formed the basis of his 2007 book.

The American Philosophical Association (APA) is the main professional organization for philosophers in the United States. Founded in 1900, its mission is to promote the exchange of ideas among philosophers, to encourage creative and scholarly activity in philosophy, to facilitate the professional work and teaching of philosophers, and to represent philosophy as a discipline.

<i>Noûs</i> journal

Noûs is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal on philosophy published by Wiley-Blackwell. It was established in 1967 by Hector-Neri Castañeda and is currently edited by Ernest Sosa. The journal is accompanied by two annual supplements, Philosophical Issues and Philosophical Perspectives.

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (PPR) is a bimonthly philosophy journal founded in 1940. Until 1980, it was edited by Marvin Farber, then by Roderick Chisholm and since 1986 by Ernest Sosa. It considers itself open to a variety of methodologies and traditions, as indicated by a statement appearing in each issue: "PPR publishes articles in a wide range of areas including philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, and philosophical history of philosophy. No specific methodology or philosophical orientation is required in submissions." It is published by the International Phenomenological Society based at Brown University in Rhode Island, United States.

He was also the 2010 recipient of the Nicholas Rescher Prize for contributions to systematic philosophy, conferred by the University of Pittsburgh biennially. [8]

Nicholas Rescher American philosopher

Nicholas Rescher is a German-American philosopher at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the Chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science and has formerly served as Chairman of the Philosophy Department.

His son, David Sosa, is a professor and chair of the philosophy department at the University of Texas, Austin.

David Sosa is an American philosopher who is currently Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and a doctorate in philosophy from Princeton University. His PhD dissertation, completed in 1996 under the supervision of Mark Johnston (philosopher), was titled "Representing Thoughts and Language". Before moving to Texas, Sosa was a post-doctoral fellow at U.C. Berkeley and an assistant professor of philosophy at Dartmouth College. He is the son of the philosopher Ernest Sosa.


In addition to epistemology, Sosa has also written on metaphysics, modern philosophy and philosophy of mind. In his books Knowledge in Perspective (1991) and A Virtue Epistemology (2007), Sosa defends a form of virtue epistemology called "virtue perspectivism", which distinguishes animal knowledge from reflective knowledge.


See also

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  1. Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities  linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. The dictionary of modern American philosophers, Volume 1 by Richard T. Hull, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, p.2287.
  3. 1 2 Ernest Sosa. "Ernest Sosa - Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  5. "Noûs - Journal Information". Wiley Blackwell. 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.[ permanent dead link ]
  6. "Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - Journal Information". Wiley Blackwell. 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.[ permanent dead link ]
  7. "Past Lectures - Faculty of Philosophy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.