Akeel Bilgrami

Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy

Columbia University

Akeel Bilgrami is the first Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy and a faculty member of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. He received a first degree in English Literature from Bombay University and subsequently attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where he received a second Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. His Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago, where his dissertation, “Meaning as Invariance,” focused on the subject of the indeterminacy of translation and issues concerning realism and linguistic meaning. He joined Columbia in 1985, where he held the Johnsonian Chair in Philosophy from 1997 to 2013. He served as the Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities from 2004-2011, and is currently the Director of the South Asia Institute at Columbia.

Professor Bilgrami works both in the Philosophy of Mind and Language, and in Political Philosophy and Moral Psychology with a particular interest in their significance for politics, history, and culture.

He is the author of Belief and Meaning (Blackwell 1992), and Self Knowledge and Resentment (Harvard 2006). He is presently working on a book on the relations between agency and practical reason. A volume of selected essays on the moral psychology of politics entitled Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment will be published by Harvard University Press in February 2014. A book What is a Muslim? will be published by Princeton University Press, and there will be another on Gandhi’s philosophy, with Columbia University Press.

He teaches courses and seminars regularly in the department on Philosophy of Mind and Language and also in the Committee on Global Thought and Political Science on issues in Politics and Rationality as well as Religion and Politics in a Global Context.