A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
April 13, 2006 Volume 36 / Number 7


Troy Jollimore Receives Stanford Humanities Fellowship

Troy Jollimore, Philosophy, received a coveted Stanford Humanities Center residential fellowship. He and as many as 30 other fellows will meet regularly in formal and informal sessions while pursuing their individual study, research, and writing. Jollimore is currently working on a manuscript concerning loyalty.

The Stanford Humanities Center Web site describes the center as constituting “an intellectual and social community in which historians, philosophers, scholars of literature and the arts, anthropologists, and other humanists of diverse ages, academic ranks, and departmental and institutional affiliations contribute to and learn from one another’s work.”

Fellows spend most of their time researching and writing books, articles, and dissertations. They are also expected to contribute to the Stanford community by participating in research workshops, giving lectures, teaching courses, and taking part in conferences.

Center faculty fellows are chosen competitively by a selection committee of experts drawn from a variety of disciplines at Stanford and at other universities.

“I’m very pleased to receive the fellowship. What it means, basically, is that for a year, I’ll be a student again,” said Jollimore. “Since the reason I initially chose an academic career was simply that I loved being a student so much, this strikes me as a very pleasant and exciting prospect.”

The following is a short version of Jollimore’s introduction to his work as described in his proposal for the fellowship: “‘We can be ethical only in relation to something that we can see, feel, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in,’ wrote Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac. The book I am currently writing, The Nature of Loyalty, is, like much of my work in ethical philosophy, motivated by the judgment that Leopold was substantially correct. I believe we can only be ideally ethical in relation to something, or someone, whom we can see, feel, understand and love: someone, that is, with whom we have a genuinely personal relationship. Toward such persons we bear what I will refer to as loyalty obligations—moral obligations that direct us to direct certain forms of special care and attention to particular individuals.”

The book is composed of three parts. The first part constitutes a critique of current philosophical theories of loyalty obligations. The second part proposes, develops, and defends Jollimore’s positive account. Part three turns to the question of political loyalty.

Jollimore is the winner of the second annual Robert E. Lee and Ruth I. Wilson Poetry Book Award for his book of poetry, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. It will be published in fall of 2006.