McDermott Ranked One Of World’s Most Influential Philosophers

Professor John McDermott

Texas A&M University Professor John J. McDermott has been cited as one of the top 50 most influential living philosophers by, a leading source for campus and online education.

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents yesterday (Sept. 1) adopted a resolution honoring McDermott for his outstanding dedication to Texas A&M and recognition as one of the world’s most influential philosophers.

The resolution was submitted by Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. In addition to acknowledging McDermott’s stature as a world-class philosopher, President Young cited his vast teaching experience and influence on students, stating, “Professor McDermott has utilized his passion for teaching to instill in his students a philosophy which extolls the virtue of personal growth from every life experience, including over 25,000 students during his 65 years of teaching, 40 years of which he has spent here at Texas A&M University.”

“I am deeply pleased by this designation,” says McDermott. “Also, I accept it on behalf of my university colleagues in the Humanities, who also do splendid and influential work.”

McDermott’s editorial supervision of the critical editions of the Works of William James and the Correspondence of William James, combined with his scholarly writings on possibility and experience in the journey of life, have generated numerous citations. Most notable is his exploration and advancement of the ideas of American philosophers and psychologists William James and John Dewey and the examination of American culture through philosophy.

A Tapestry of Woven Tales: The Legacy of John J. McDermott

McDermott held appointments as head of two departments — Philosophy and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Humanities in Medicine in the College of Medicine. He also serves as the charter speaker of the Faculty Senate and was the third recipient of a University Distinguished Professorship.

 “I could not be more pleased by his global recognition as a preeminent scholar, teacher and mentor to his field,” says Dr. Karan Watson, Texas A&M provost & executive vice president. “John has been the consummate advocate for advancing Texas A&M as a comprehensive university and community of people working towards a common goal of education in all its many forms.”

After a total of 65 years of teaching, McDermott continues teaching upper-level philosophy classes each semester, serves as director of the Community of Faculty Retirees for the university, and chairs or serves on master’s and doctoral student advisory committees.

“John actively seeks to make Texas A&M a better place and deeply cares about his fellow faculty members,” notes College of Liberal Arts Dean Pamela R. Matthews. “His service as founder of the Faculty Senate and as current director of the Community of Faculty Retirees are only the most obvious signs of his dedication. His efforts to connect with his students and his research inspire many, not only within his discipline but across the university and far beyond.”

Professor McDermott will be recognized during Texas A&M’s football season opener against the UCLA at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 3). His previous and current doctoral students will join him on the field.

Media contact: Lindsay Miles, 979.862.2476 or

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