John Silber

President Emeritus, Boston University; University Professor, Professor of Philosophy and Law

Ph.D., Yale University

  • 73 BSR
  • 617-353-4300

Interests: History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Kant, Ethics. (Not currently teaching in the department.)

After teaching at Yale, Dr. John Silber returned to Texas, where he joined the department of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. After serving as chairman of his department he became Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

He was the first chairman of the Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment and a leader in the integration of the University of Texas. Dr. Silber is a leading spokesman for the maintenance of high academic standards and has gained national attention for his advocacy of a rational, comprehensive system for financing higher education. He was instrumental in founding Operation Head Start.

In January 1971 John Silber became the seventh president of Boston University, and in 1996 he became Chancellor. In January 1996, Governor William Weld chose Dr. Silber to head the Massachusetts Board of Education, the state’s policy-making board for public education below the collegiate level.

Dr. Silber has written widely on philosophy (especially on Immanuel Kant), education, and social and foreign policy.

His work has appeared in journals such as:

Philosophical Quarterly
Kant-Studien,
Philosophical Review
Ethics
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Zeitschift für Philosophische Forschung, and in many edited volumes.

He has also published in:

Atlantic
Harper’s
New Republic
New York Times
Wall Street Journal

His book, Straight Shooting, was published by Harper’s in 1989. A German edition, Ist Amerika zu Retten?, was published in 1992 by Ullstein. A Japanese edition was published in 1993.

Dr. Silber has also served as an editor of Kant-Studien, and has been the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, and ACLS Fellowships.