Jan Narveson Brief Biography

Jan Narveson is a native of Minnesota, U.S.A. and was educated at the University of Chicago (B.A. in Political Science, 1955, and in Philosophy, 1956); and earned the PhD at Harvard (1961) with a year at Oxford (1959-60) on a travelling Fellowship. He has taught at the University of New Hampshire, U.S.A., 1961-3, after which he taught at the University of Waterloo. He was Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins (1967), Stanford (1968), and Calgary (1976), and was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Center for Philosophy and Public Affairs at Bowling Green State University, Ohio (Fall 1990). He taught at the University of Waterloo until his retirement in 2004 (and has continued in part-time teaching since). In 2006, Jan was designated a Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

A selection of his many publications is included elsewhere on this site. He is or has been also on the editorial boards of many journals, such as Ethics, Social Philosophy and Policy, Journal of Social Philosophy, International Journal of Applied Philosophy, Philosophy Research Archives, The Journal of Value Inquiry, the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Dialogue, and Public Affairs Quarterly, and serves or has served as referee for many other journals and for several University presses. He frequently presents papers, talks, and commentaries at workshops, conferences, and colloquia around North America, in the United Kingdom, and occasionally elsewhere.

He taught the array of departmental courses on ethics and political philosophy: Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy, Business and Professional Ethics, Moral Issues, History of Ethical Theory, Contemporary Ethical Theory, and seminars on moral and political subjects. He was also the architect of the course, Arts 301 - an Introduction to the Humanities, which he several times taught and acted as lecturer on various subjects. He is also the creator of the more recent Philosophy 105 (Distance Education.)

His primary nonphilosophical activities concern music. He is the founder and president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, is on the boards of directors of several local musical organizations, writes a weekly column of musical criticism for the University of Waterloo Gazette, and presents the commentary on a weekly radio program devoted to chamber music. He also has one of Ontario's largest record collections and has presented illustrated talks on music to local audiences. His many activities on behalf of music in the Kitchener-Waterloo community have brought him a Volunteer Award (l987) and an Honorary Doctorate (D.Litt.) from Wilfrid Laurier University.

He is listed in Who's Who, Canadian Who's Who, Contemporary Authors, and Who's Who in American Education. In 1989 he was elected to membership in the Royal Society of Canada (this country's highest recognition of scholarly achievement). In 2004, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada


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