News

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Ian McCready Flora reviews recently published version of Aristotle's Metaphysics: Book Iota

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tal Brewer delivers keynote address at the Conference on the Value of Universities for Icelandic Society and Industry in the Past and the Future

Centenary of Icelandic Independence and Sovereignty

University of Iceland Aula, 7–8 September 2018

Conference on the value of universities for Icelandic society and industry in the past and the future

The University of Iceland received a grant from the state centenary committee, who are responsible for official celebrations of the centenary, in order to hold an international conference on the value of universities for Icelandic society and industry in the past and the future. The primary goal is to shed light on the impact that education and research have on the development of society, not least the ways in which the education system and research work can be used to promote continuing economic prosperity and a thriving society, thereby strengthening Iceland as an independent democratic state in the 21st century. The conference planning committee decided to divide the event into two sections. . Emphasis is placed on critical discussion of the role and future of universities – in particular the University of Iceland – and the role universities play in shaping society through teaching and research.

  1. Universities and sovereignty

This will be a discussion of the role of universities in strengthening sovereignty in democratic­ states, in particular the way in which the University of Iceland has contributed to the development of the Icelandic nation. Possible topics for consideration include: What role did the University of Iceland play in the establishment of Iceland as a sovereign state? How can universities support the adaptation of Icelandic culture and language to the rapid technological changes of modern society, thereby maintaining­ the cultural sovereignty of the nation? How can universities promote higher levels of equality in society and thereby enable as many people as possible to actively participate? What role have institutions such as the University of Iceland played in strengthening Icelandic industry and ensuring the future competitiveness of the country?

  1. The University of Iceland and the democracy of science

The role of universities has long been twofold; on the one hand they are forums for scientific research, which is unconstrained by national borders, and on the other hand they serve the specific society in which they are located. The first rector of the University of Iceland, Björn M. Ólsen, discussed the University's responsibilities in an address at the founding ceremony on 17 June 1911. He spoke of universities as "national schools", on the one hand, and as citizens of the "democracy of ­science" on the other. Universities are "cosmopolitan institutions at the same time as they are national institutions", as he put it. In recent years, significant emphasis has been placed on the links between the University of Iceland and the rest of the world and the importance of international rankings. This raises the ­question of whether the idea of the "national school" is simply no longer valid in this age of globalisation, since it impedes the University's attempts to establish itself as an international research­ university.

  1. The University of the future

Universities now stand at a crossroads, regarding both teaching methods and organisation. Traditionally the university was (at least in theory) a community of teachers and students, combining research and learning, and students were in daily contact both with their teachers and each other. Will the university of the future be completely different? Will higher education shift from traditional institutions to large international corporations offering university studies primarily through distance learning? How can we anticipate the impact that the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' will have on the way universities operate?

  1. Universities and innovation

Innovation is a key concept in contemporary (Icelandic) politics, but its meaning can be unclear and people understand the word in different ways. The question is, therefore, what is meant by 'innovation', and how can universities – and the education system as a whole – support more diverse and dynamic innovation in society?

Following the conference, we intend to publish a book, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, of articles based on lectures given at the conference.

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

New Book by 2016 PhD Luke Hunt (Oxford University Press)

The Retrieval of Liberalism in Policing

Luke William Hunt

  • Sets forth a new theory of liberal personhood based upon a tripartite conception: reciprocator and moral agent, which illuminate the third facet of human dignity
  • Includes the first comprehensive philosophical study of the use of informants and the extent to which their use might be inconsistent with the basic tenets of the liberal tradition
  • Details the first and only comprehensive study of the moral limits of executive law enforcement power and discretion

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Elizabeth Barnes' column published in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Elizabeth Barnes  wrote a column in The Chronicle of Higher Education that discusses Princeton philosopher Peter Singer's tendentious views regarding people with disabilities and asks, "Are some ideas so offensive that they shouldn't be engaged with?" Arguments That Harm — and Why We Need Them

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Jorge Secada quoted in Quartz article about former FBI director James Comey

Jorge Secada (Philosophy) was quoted in Quartz in an article about former FBI director James Comey's appointment to teach a class in ethical leadership at the College of William and Mary, his alma mater: Ethicists explain exactly why James Comey isn’t qualified for his new gig teaching ethics

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Department Welcomes Zachary Irving

Zachary Irving, a philosopher of mind and neuroscience, joins the department in January 2018 as Assistant Professor.

Irving's research focuses on the phenomenon of mind-wandering. Although mind-wandering occupies up to half our waking thoughts, traditionally it has been neglected by philosophers and cognitive scientists. Zachary Irving’s research develops a theory of mindwandering, defined as unguided attention that is philosophically precise, empirically measurable and grounded in the brain.

Roughly speaking, attention is guided when you would feel pulled back from distractions. Because mind-wandering is unguided, your attention drifts from topic to topic unchecked. Irving’s empirical
collaborations hypothesize that guidance arises due to the interactions of large-scale brain networks, and therefore that the mind wanders when these interactions subside. This research has been published in leading journals, including Philosophical Studies and Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

Irving completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Toronto. As a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California - Berkeley, he collaborated with developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik and neuroscientist Kalina Christoff. In Spring 2018, Irving will teach an undergraduate course entitled Minds, Machines, and Persons, and a graduate seminar entitled Mind Wandering and Attention.

His philosophical research next year will explore the significance of mind-wandering for action theory, and his empirical collaborations will examine how ordinary people understand mind-wandering and explore its relationship to creativity and mental illness.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Elizabeth Barnes' theory of disability cited in a Washington Post article

Elizabeth Barnes' theory of disability (presented in her 2016 book The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability, published by Oxford UP) was cited in a Washington Post article. The article describes recent developments in the intersex rights movement as "in step with the larger disability rights movement, which argues for replacing assumptions of 'bad-difference' with acceptance of 'mere-difference,' in the terminology of philosopher Elizabeth Barnes."

Friday, August 04, 2017

Prof. Paul Humphreys co-directs new project on Human and Machine Intelligence

Members of the Philosophy Department are participating in a three year research project on Human and Machine Intelligence. The project is co-directed by Paul Humphreys and Vincent Ordonez Roman (Computer Science) and is designed to identify differences and similarities between human and computer modes of learning, understanding and representation. More information can be found at http://hmi.virginia.edu

 

Friday, August 04, 2017

Prof. Rebecca Stangl will be a College Fellow beginning in Spring 2018

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Prof. Sahar Akhtar participates in University teach-in on refugees, migration, and borders

http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2017/02/teach-in-on-refugees-migrat...

One of the goals of the teach-in was to help attendees realize the complexity of the issues, Asst. Bioethics [sic] Prof. Sahar Akhtar said.

“Hopefully [this] helped students and the public have an opportunity to ask really important and complicated questions that they might not be able to ask inside the classroom or among their peers,” Akhtar said. “I don’t know that there’s any single moral or political response that we should have towards the current immigration order. I have a range of moral concerns.”

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ian McCready-Flora in a WalletHub debate on whether money is the root of evil

Ian McCready Flora in a WalletHub debate on whether money is the root of evil. 

https://wallethub.com/blog/money-is-the-root-of-all-evil/31418/#ian-mccready-flora

Monday, January 30, 2017

Elizabeth Barnes discusses her new book, The Minority Body, on New Books in Philosophy podcast

Elizabeth Barnes discusses her new book, The Minority Body, on the New Books in Philosophy podcast. The podcast is available here:

http://newbooksnetwork.com/elizabeth-barnes-the-minority-body-a-theory-o...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

A. John Simmons discusses his new book, Boundaries of Authority, on New Books in Philosophy podcast

A. John Simmons discussed his new book, Boundaries of Authority, on the New Books in Philosophy podcast. The podcast is available here:

http://newbooksnetwork.com/a-john-simmons-boundaries-of-authority-oxford...

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Jim Cargile featured in new book: "interviews with some of the world's most influential and prominent scholars working on philosophy of logic."

Philosophy of Logic: 5 Questions is "a collection of interviews with some of the world's most influential and prominent scholars working on philosophy of logic."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Elizabeth Barnes' "Well-Being" course profiled in UVa Today

Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Department welcomes Ian McCready-Flora

Ian McCready-Flora, a specialist in Ancient Greek Philosophy, joins the department this fall as Assistant Professor. 

McCready-Flora specializes in Ancient Greek Philosophy and has substantial side interests in contemporary Aesthetics, Epistemology and Applied Ethics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and was previously Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University.

His book-length project concerns Aristotle's conception of rationality. What is it about human thinking that distinguishes it from the sorts of thinking other animals are capable of? Of particular importance is our capacity to form beliefs. Unlike wisdom, understanding and expertise—all high-level perfections of reason—beliefs are piecemeal and fallible, yet still beyond the reach of any non-human mind. Aristotle's theory of belief, however, gets relatively little attention compared to his deductive model of science and knowledge. A serious effort at understanding it, then, can tell us what on his view distinguishes the rational from the non-rational.

McCready-Flora is also writing on ancient conceptions of knowledge and its relation to other mental states; Aristotle’s response to Protagoras, both the sophist himself and his Platonic shadow; and the history and prehistory of the emotions and their place in our mental lives.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cora Diamond delivers 2016 Georg Henrik von Wright lecture

Cora Diamond gave the third annual Georg Henrik von Wright lecture in Helsinki on May 18. There is a link to a video of the lecture, plus an explanation of the lecture series, here:
http://www.helsinki.fi/wwa/von_Wright_Lecture.html
There was a conference on Cora's work, "Morality in a Realistic Spirit", at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, in July.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Six recent PhDs will be taking up tenure-track positions in Fall 2016

Beginning in Fall 2016:

Galen Barry (PhD 2015) will be Assistant Professor at Iona College.

Matthew Duncan (PhD 2015) will be Assistant Professor at Rhode Island College.

William Hasselberger (PhD 2012) will be Assistant Professor ("Professor Auxiliar") at Catholic University in Lisbon, Portugal.

Luke Hunt (PhD 2016) will be Assistant Professor at Radford University.

Gwendolyn Nally (PhD 2014) will be Assistant Professor at The University of Missouri - Kansas City.

Douglass Reed (PhD 2015) will be Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island.

CONGRATULATIONS, ALL!

Friday, August 05, 2016

Grounds - The Virginia Journal of Bioethics

Find your voice in mounting bioethical debates with Grounds, the Virginia Journal of Bioethics. Grounds offers news and op-ed pieces and is staffed by University students and alumni. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Prof. Tal Brewer delivers keynote speech at Weissbourd Conference on "Does liberal education need saving?"

Talbot Brewer was a keynote speaker at the 2016 University of Chicago Society of Fellows Annual Weissbourd Conference, on the question “Does liberal education need saving?” His talk was discussed in Inside Higher EdA video is available here.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Profile of Prof. Cargile: 50 years at UVa

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Philosophy Department Welcomes Lecturer Joshua F. Schwartz

Joshua Schwartz earned his PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the history of analytic philosophy, philosophy of logic, and metaphysics. He is currently working on Peirce's logic graphs and thinking about diagrammatic logic more generally.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Prof. Sahar Akhtar was featured in WalletHub’s recent article about 2015's best and worst cities for pet lovers.

Prof. Sahar Akhtar was featured in WalletHub’s recent article about 2015's best and worst cities for pet lovers.  You can find the piece here: http://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-cities-for-pet-lovers/5562/#sahar-akhtar

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Galen Barry has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University. Congratulations Galen!

Monday, July 06, 2015

Matt Duncan has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor at Rhode Island College. Congratulations, Matt!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nicolas Frank has been appointed Assistant Professor at Lynchburg College. Congratulations, Nick!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bryan Cwik has been appointed Assistant Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Congratulations, Bryan!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gwen Nally has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College. Congratulations, Gwen!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Department mourns the passing of John Arras

The department mourns the passing of our colleague John Arras, Professor of Philosophy and Porterfield Professor of Bioethics, who died unexpectedly on March 9th. John was a widely respected scholar of bioethics and a beloved member of our department, which he joined in 1995. At the time of his passing, he was serving on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, a Fellow of the Hastings Center, and Director of the UVa program in Bioethics. John was passionate about his teaching, and won several prestigious teaching awards, including the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia State Council of Higher Education (2006).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

John Simmons was named to the Board of Advisors of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nicolas Frank successfully defended his dissertation, "A Limited Political Obligation". Congratulations, Nick!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Matthew Duncan successfully defended his dissertation, "Thinkers". Congratulations, Matt!

Matt Duncan successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "Thinkers", on October 24th.  Congratulations, Matt!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Galen Barry successfully defended his dissertation, "A Dissertation Forged in Hell: An Account of Power and Possibility in Spinoza". Congratulations, Galen!

Galen Barry successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "A Dissertation Forged in Hell: An Account of Power and Possibility in Spinoza", on October 15th.  Congratulations, Galen!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gwen Nally successfully defended her dissertation, "Good Beliefs, Bad Arguments: Pragmatic Reasons in Plato's Dialogues". Congratulations, Gwen!

Gwen Nally successfully defended her dissertation, entitled "  Good Beliefs, Bad Arguments: Pragmatic Reasons in Plato's Dialogues"  .  Gwen will be teaching at the University of Richmond beginning this fall.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Congratulations to Charles Rathkopf, who was awarded the Philosophy of Science essay prize.

Congratulations to Charles Rathkopf, who was awarded the Philosophy of Science Recent PhD Essay Award, for his paper "Localization and Intrinsic Function," Philosophy of Science, 80 (2013) 1-21.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Philosophy department to welcome three new faculty members, one affiliated faculty member in Fall 2014

Three newly hired Associate Professors of Philosophy, and one affiliated faculty member with a primary appointment in the Law School, will be joining the UVA Philosophy Department in August 2014:

Elizabeth Barnes will be joining the UVA Department of Philosophy in August of 2014.  Barnes and her husband Ross Cameron, who will also be joining UVA, are among a small handful of the most influential young specialists in metaphysics.  Together with Trenton Merricks, who has been at UVA since 2001, they make UVA one of the top metaphysics departments in the world.  Barnes received her PhD in 2006 from the University of St. Andrews, and has taught at the University of Leeds since that time, first as a lecturer and since 2010 as an Associate Professor.  In the eight years since completing her PhD, Barnes has published at least 17 articles in leading journals in philosophy, including Nous, Mind and Ethics.  Barnes is particularly known for her work on indeterminacy and vagueness, truth-makers, and emergence, but her philosophical interests extend well beyond metaphysics.  She has a book under contract with Oxford University Press on the nature of disability and its relation to well-being, and she is interested in the forms of thought that shape our understanding of disability and other social categories, including gender and race.  While at UVA she will be teaching courses on this entire array of topics, both at the undergraduate and at the graduate level.  Barnes has given invited talks at, among many other places, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Rutgers, and the Aristotelian Society.  She is Editor in Chief of the journal Philosophy Compass.

Ross Cameron will join the UVA Department of Philosophy in August of 2014.  Cameron and his wife Elizabeth Barnes, who will also be joining UVA, are among a handful of the most influential young metaphysicians at work today.  With Trenton Merricks already on hand, the arrival of Cameron and Barnes establishes UVA as one of the best places in the country to work in this area.  Cameron earned his PhD from the University of St. Andrews in 2006.  In 2006 he became a Lecturer in Philosophy at Leeds, and in 2009 he was made Associate Professor.  Since December 2009 Cameron has also been an Associate Fellow at the Northern Institute of Philosophy (Aberdeen).  From 2006 to 2011 he was an Associate Fellow at the Arché Research Centre (St Andrews) and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews.  In the eight years since he has received his PhD, he has published at least 33 papers, has co-edited an anthology, and has written a book that is now under contract with Oxford University Press.  Cameron’s work addresses a wide array of topics in metaphysics, including truthmakers, the nature of ontological commitment, the theory of parts and wholes, the logical structure of dependence, conventionalism about necessity and possibility, and—the subject of his forthcoming book—the philosophy of time.

Walter Ott, a gifted and prolific historian of modern philosophy, will be joining the UVA Philosophy Department as an Associate Professor in August of 2014.  With Antonia LoLordo and Jorge Secada already on hand (not to mention John Simmons, who is perhaps the world’s foremost authoritiy on Locke’s political philosophy), Ott’s arrival will solidify UVA’s stature as one of the nation’s premier programs in the history of modern philosophy.   Ott, who has been an Associate Professor in the Virginia Tech Philosophy Department since 2009, is especially well known for his work on Locke, Malebranche, Descartes and Hume.  He has published two excellent and highly regarded books in the history of philosophy: Locke’s Philosophy of Language (Cambridge, 2004), and Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy (Oxford 2009).  He currently has a third book manuscript, The New Riddle of Sensation, under review.  Ott has published a long list of influential essays in some of the most distinguished journals in the profession, and has also put together an open-source textbook of modern philosophy, combining selections from primary sources with introductions, annotations and exercises.

Kimberly Ferzan, a distinguished philosopher of law, has joined the UVA Law School and will be an affiliate of the UVA Philosophy Department.  Ferzan has served on the faculty of Rutgers University School of Law since 2000, most recently as Distinguished Professor of Law, Associate Graduate Faculty member of the Philosophy Department, and Co-Director of the Rutgers Institute for Law and Philosophy.  At Rutgers, Ferzan received the campus-wide Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010, and she was selected as Professor of the Year by the Classes of 2004 and 2010.  Ferzan teaches criminal law, evidence, advanced criminal law, and advanced law and philosophy seminars.  Her courses on legal philosophy will count towards graduate degree requirements within the UVA Philosophy Department.  Ferzan is co-editor in chief of Law and Philosophy, and is also on the editorial boards of Legal Theory and Criminal Law and Philosophy. She is the author of numerous articles, and the co-author of Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (Cambridge University Press), with Larry Alexander and Stephen Morse.  Her paper, "Beyond Crime and Commitment," was selected for the 2013 American Philosophical Association's Berger Memorial Prize, for the best paper written in law and philosophy for the prior two years, and her paper, "Beyond Intention," was selected for the 2006 Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum in the category of criminal law.  She is currently at work on a book about self-defense and its relation to the theory of preventive detention.  Ferzan has been a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania Law Schools.  For the academic year 2012-13, Ferzan was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow at Princeton's University Center for Human Values.