Hubert Dreyfus

Professor Emeritus


Hubert L. Dreyfus (BA and PhD Harvard), Professor of Philosophy emeritus, is considered a leading interpreter of the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and, especially, Martin Heidegger. From 1960 to 1968 he taught Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1968 to 2016 he taught at the University of California, Berkeley. He is well known for his decades-long critique of Artificial Intelligence that culminated in his classic, What Computers Still Can’t Do, translated into twelve languages, as well as for making the work of continental philosophers accessible to analytically trained philosophers.

His book, with Sean D. Kelly, a New York Times bestseller, All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age, uses the great works in the Western Canon to show step by step how our culture lost its sense of enchantment and meaning. His other publications include: Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger’s Being and Time Division I; with Stuart Dreyfus, Mind over Machine: The power of human intuition and expertise in the era of the computer; On the Internet and, with Charles Taylor, Retrieving Realism. His selected essays are contained in a two-volume set published by Oxford University Press: Skillful Coping: Essays on the phenomenology of everyday perception and action (2015) and Background Practices: Essays on the Understanding of Being (forthcoming June 2017). The podcasts of his courses on philosophical issues in Western Literature have drawn a worldwide audience.

Dreyfus has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and has received research grants from both the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received an Honorary Degree from Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Hubert L. Dreyfus passed away on Saturday, April 22nd 2017.