Hugh J. Silverman (August 17, 1945 – May 8, 2013) was an American philosopher and cultural theorist whose writing, lecturing, teaching, editing, and international conferencing participated in the development of a postmodern network.He was Executive Director of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature and Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literary & Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University (New York, USA) where he was also affiliated with the Department of Art and the Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. He was Program Director for the Stony Brook Advanced Graduate Certificate in Art and Philosophy. He was also co-founder and co-director of the annual International Philosophical Seminar since 1991 in South Tyrol, Italy. From 1980-86, he served as Executive Co-Director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. His work draws upon deconstruction, hermeneutics, semiotics, phenomenology, aesthetics, art theory, film theory, and the archeology of knowledge.
Silverman was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his doctorate from Stanford University (1973) with a Fulbright -French Government Scholarship to France (1971-71) and an FASCEA Scholarship in Paris (1968). After teaching at Stanford for a year, he joined the Stony Brook University Philosophy faculty in 1974 (with a joint title appointment in Comparative Literature).
He was awarded the inaugural Fulbright-Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at the University of Vienna (Austria) for 2000-01 and the Fulbright-Distinguished Chair in Art Theory and Cultural Studies at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 2009-10, as well as an Institute for Advanced Study Distinguished Fellowship at Michael J. Osborne Centre Institute for Advanced Study at La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia) for June–July 2008. He was honored with the Helsinki Medal by the Rector of the University of Helsinki (Finland) in 1997 and was Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Human Sciences (Vienna, Austria) in 1998. He received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and was awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (NEH) Fellowship in 1980-81.
From 1980, he held visiting professorships at the University of Warwick and the University of Leeds (UK), University of Milan, University of Torino and University of Rome-Tor Vergata (Italy), University of Vienna and University of Klagenfurt (Austria), University of Helsinki and University of Tampere (Finland), University of Sydney and University of Tasmania in Hobart (Australia), University of Trondheim (Norway), and University College, Cork (Ireland), University of Nice (Faculte des Lettres)(France).
Professor Silverman died in Long Island, after suffering from cancer.