David McClean

David McClean


dmcclean [at] rutgers.edu



Office Location


427 Conklin Hall


Mailing Address:

Department of Philosophy

Conklin Hall 

175 University Avenue

Newark, NJ  07102


Dr. McClean has wide-ranging philosophical interests which include Africana Philosophy (which includes work by such scholars as Kwame Anthony Appiah, Cornel West, Leonard Harris, and Angela Davis), American Philosophy (which includes such scholars as John Dewey, William James, Richard Bernstein and Richard Rorty), and the Philosophy of Religion. Over the past ten years he has presented papers or lectured at Purdue, the New School, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Oregon at Eugene, the University of South Carolina, Hofstra University, and the University of Southern Maine. Among other writings, he has published several articles and book reviews in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed a chapter (titled Should we conserve the notion of race?) to the philosophical volume Pragmatism and the Problem of Race (Indiana University Press, 2004).

In 2006, Dr. McClean organized "Love in the Public Square," a one of its kind philosophical conference, held at Molloy College in Long Island, which called for the reinsertion of love-talk in deliberations about public policy, and a reframing of public policy dialogue with reference to a dominant love ethic rather than merely a frame of "rights" or "social justice."

He is a member of and former president of The Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, and is a member of The Society for Business Ethics, the American Philosophical Association, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy and the Human Development and Capabilities Association, started by scholars Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen. Dr. McClean has taught or teaches at Molloy College, Rutgers University (Newark), and Hunter College. He has taught and teaches courses in business ethics, Africana philosophy, social ethics, and American philosophy. 

In addition to these academic pursuits, he has been and remains, since 1992, a business consultant providing business start-up and regulatory advice to financial services firms, and has served as an executive with several financial services firms with assets under management in the billions of dollars.

Keenly interested in matters of religion and faith, in 2008 he finalized studies at The New Seminary, based in New York City, and was ordained in June of 2008. He has begun a series of essays (which he intends to collect into a volume) on the possibility of a rich religious faith in the modern age. The book will be aimed at those who have abandoned traditional religions but yearn for a progressive yet fulfilling communal celebration of God as the source of all life, under the various ways that the word "God" may be understood.

Dr. McClean was born in 1962 in St. Albans, Queens, New York to Edward and Italia, hailing from Barbados and Italy, respectively. Subsequently, his family moved to Rochdale Village, in Jamaica, Queens, where he served on the board of directors for several years and was twice elected president, the youngest in Rochdale's history. Later, he served as board member and then president of The Jamaica Arts Center, in Jamaica, Queens (NY), renamed The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning during his tenure. He was board member of the advocacy and research organization, ERASE Racism (Syosset, New York), until April 2009.

The title of his Ph.D. dissertation was "Richard Rorty and Cosmopolitan Hope: A Critical Analysis of Rorty’s Ironism and Antifoundationalism and Consideration of Their Uses in Forging Cosmopolitan Sensibilities." (Dissertation Abstract)


Ph.D. New School for Social Research

M.A. Philosophy, New School for Social Research

M.A. Liberal Studies, Philosophy Concentration, N.Y.U.

B.A. Comparative Religion and Philosophy, Hunter College, C.U.N.Y.



Summary of Published Works, Presented Papers, and Works in Progress   Books   In progress: Richard M. Rorty: Defenses and Criticisms   In progress: Ethics in Financial Services: Problems, Perspectives & Solutions   Book Chapters   2004 "Should we conserve the notion of race?" In: Pragmatism and the Problem of Race (Indiana University Press, 2004)   Articles   "Some Remarks on Paul Taylor’s After Race, After Justice, After History" The Southern Journal of Philosophy. John Tiensen (ed.) 2008 "The Theological Uses of Rortian Ironism" The Journal of Speculative Philosophy. Vincent M. Colapietro and John J. Stuhr (eds.) 2007 "A Sesame Street Primer for the Supreme Court" The Texas Civil Rights Review. Greg Moses (ed.) 1997 "Pursuing US Investors: Reviewing the Available Exemptions of Rule 15a-6" NSCP Currents, March/April 1997 1994 "Afrocentrism as a Humanism: Five Difficulties" APA Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience. Leonard Harris (ed.) 1993 "Black Conservatism and Its Critics" Transition (No. 62). Henry Finder (ed.) 1991 "The Death of Blue Sky?"  NSCP Currents, March/April 1991   Book Reviews   2006 The Ethics of Identity, by Kwame Anthony Appiah In: Philosophia Africana 2003 In the Company of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City, by Craig Steven Wilder in: Philosophia Africana   Lectures & Papers Presented   2009 Civil Rights in the Obama Era (Nassau County (N.Y.) Nassau County Bar Association, Minneola, New York, Continuing Legal Education Forum Philosophical and Policy Dimensions of the Financial Crisis: A Letter to a Young President (New York Pragmatists’ Forum, Fordham University) An Ethical Analysis of the Economic Crisis (Smith College, Amherst, MA.) 2008 Remarks at the Celebration of the Life of Richard Rorty (Invited Speaker: New School for Social Research) Respondent to Paul Taylor’s Paper "After Race, After Justice, After History" (The Spindel Conference, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.) Race. Faith. A Philosophical Performance in Two Parts – Part I: Paul Taylor’s Sodality; Part II: Casaubon’s Reality (Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, New York) 2007 Using Richard Rorty (New York Pragmatists’ Forum, Fordham University) 2006 Race: The Real Discussion (Hosted by the advocacy group ERASE Racism, Syosset, New York) The Shibboleths of Social Justice and the Immigration Debate (Stony Brook University, New York) Love, Theory, Practice and the Current Situation (Molloy College, New York) Beyond Strategic Globalization: Markets, Firms, Poverty and the Future of the Species (Molloy College, New York) 2005 Wade in the Water: Evasion, Transformation and Hope (Philosophy Born of Struggle Conference, The New School for Social Research, New York) The Problem of the Twenty-First Century (All Souls Church, New York) On J.S. Mill’s Utilitarianism: A Lecture (Rutgers University, Newark) WEB Du Bois on Race and the Color Line (Molloy College, New York) Awe and Reverence as Ways of Seeing: Implications for a Future Public Square (U.C. Berkeley) 2004 Can the Ethical Climate on Wall Street Change? (2nd International Conference Promoting Business Ethics, St. John’s University, New York [(at the Garden City Hotel]) 2003 Letter to a Young Executive: Pragmatism and American Business (Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, University of Colorado at Denver) 2002 The Virtues and Business Ethics on Wall Street (Annual Conference of the National Association of Securities Professionals, New York) Cosmopolitans and Communitarians (Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, University of Southern Maine, Portland) 2001 The Cultural Left and the Limits of Social Hope (Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas) On Cosmopolitan Thought (The Alain Locke Conference, Howard University) 2000 It Takes a Village: Reflections on Praxis and the Intellectual Life (Philosophy Born of Struggle Conference, The New School for Social Research, New York) On Cosmopolitanism and Education (Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Purdue University) 1999 The Idolatries of Context and the Narrowing of Sympathies (Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, University of Oregon at Eugene) 1998 On Race and Philosophy (Congress of World Philosophies, Hunter College) 1997 On Cornel West’s The American Evasion of Philosophy-A Genealogy of Pragmatism: Observations and Critiques (Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, New York) 1996 Who or What is an Intellectual? (Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, New York) 1994 Cornel West’s Race Matters: A Critique (Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, New York)   Conferences Organized   2006 Love in the Public Square: Re-centering Love in Political Imagination (Molloy College, New York) – www.loveconference.info 1999 Afrocentrism: Philosophical Perspectives and Critiques (Jamaica Arts Center, Queens, New York)