Friday, September 02, 2022

The Dept. welcomes new faculty member, Dee Payton, who will teach Moral Responsibility in Spring 2023

Payton’s research focuses mainly on topics in analytic feminist philosophy and social metaphysics. She came to UVA from Howard University, and prior to that she earned her PhD at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Her dissertation, How To Be Social, is a collection of social metaphysics papers focused on the relationship between socially constructed properties and natural language. Her current research is focused on the nature of systemic marginalization, methods in analytic feminism, and the social construction of moral responsibility. She has published academic work in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, as well as public philosophy in Boston Review.


Much of Payton’s current research is informed by her work with community advocacy organizations, and she is developing an undergraduate course which incorporates elements of advocate curriculums alongside feminist theory. This Fall she is teaching PHIL 1000: Introduction to Philosophy, and in the Spring she will teach an undergraduate course on moral responsibility and a graduate seminar on social metaphysics. Her non-philosophical interests include hiking, writing short stories, and memorizing random pieces of 17th c. English literature (non-philosophical ≠ normal!). She is originally from a sheep farm in the Pacific Northwest.  

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Department mourns the loss of longtime member

Our longtime colleague, Paul Humphreys, died on August 9, 2022. Paul was a member of the department for 43 years, from 1978 until his retirement in 2021, and one of the foremost philosophers of science of his time. His influential work ranged widely within the philosophy of science, from emergence, probabilistic causality, and scientific explanation to the philosophy of computer simulations. He also helped to shape the field through his service to the profession, most recently as series editor for Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science. But his contributions transcend both disciplinary and national boundaries. At UVA, Paul established working groups with faculty from a wide range of disciplines, including data science, economics, and sociology, to examine epistemological and ethical questions raised by new developments in artificial intelligence, data science, and neuroscience. He held visiting appointments at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Institut d'Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques in Paris, in addition to appointments at Stanford, Pittsburgh, Arizona, and other US institutions. He generously sponsored numerous international graduate and postdoctoral students who came to Charlottesville to study with him. Paul’s influence will live on, not only in his many books and articles, but also in the work of the many scholars and students who have benefitted from his intellect and his kindness.    

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

The Dept. welcomes new faculty member, Alex Motchoulski, who will teach Political Philosophy in Fall 2022

Alex Motchoulski’s research primarily focuses on the morality of social status relations and its implications for the organization of social and political life. His work spans a number of topics in political philosophy, which include topics such as liberalism, distributive justice, political authority, egalitarianism, and democratic theory, among others. Some of Motchoulski’s work occurs within the growing politics, philosophy, and economics (PPE) research tradition, which seeks to integrate insights and methods from the social sciences and political philosophy to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the social world. Motchoulski completed his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Arizona, writing his dissertation on the morality of social status. His work has appeared in such venues as the Journal of Philosophy and Journal of Political Philosophy.

Monday, July 25, 2022

The Dept. welcomes new faculty member, Kimberly Harris, who will teach Intro to Africana Philosophy in Fall 2022

Kimberly Ann Harris

Harris’s research focuses on African American Philosophy, Philosophy of Race, and Nineteenth Century German Philosophy, especially Hegel. 

Her work has appeared in Philosophy TodayMetaphilosophyCritical Philosophy of Race, and Idealistic Studies. She is at work on essays concerning Black Hegelianism, Hegel’s racism, interpreting Du Bois’s “Conservation of Races” from a black feminist perspective, and Du Bois’s view on the role of the philosopher in democracy. She is completing a monograph entitled Du Bois's Metaphilosophy: The Truth of Race

Harris completed her Ph.D. in philosophy at Penn State University in 2018. Formerly, she was at Marquette University as an Assistant Professor. She serves as an associate editor for Critical Philosophy of Race. In Fall 2022, Harris will teach an undergraduate course entitled Introduction to Africana Philosophy. In Spring 2023, Harris will teach an undergraduate course on Metaphilosophy, and a graduate seminar on Nineteenth Century German Philosophy. 

Harris is passionate about serving underrepresented students in their pursuits of philosophy. Given her own background she considers herself fortunate to be a philosopher. She was born and raised in Muskegon, MI. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Philosophy Doctoral Candidate, Kirra Hyde, profiled for summer course about 'Weird Things'

Monday, November 29, 2021

Return to in-person guest speakers with Brian Eptein, Tufts University.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Graduate Student Gabi Dumet works through a paper during Department Brown Bag Lunch event

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Annual Philosophy Department day retreat at Morven enjoys great weather and great collegiality!

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

How to declare a major in philosophy!

How to declare a major in philosophy!

1) Make sure you’ve met the pre-requisite: passed one philosophy course with a grade
of C or better. If you have not met this pre-requisite but are currently enrolled in a
philosophy course, talk to the DUP (Ross Cameron) to see if you can declare.

2) Make a plan for how you are going to meet the major requirements. This should be
10 courses at 2000 level or above if you are intending on single majoring, or 8 courses
at 2000 level or above if you are intending on double majoring (as you will be able to
share 6 credits with your other major). Two courses (6 credits) can be transfer courses,
but you must approve these with the DUP.

Your plan should include five courses that meet the core distribution requirements (see The remaining courses (5 if you
are single majoring, 3 if you are double majoring) can be anything you like at the 2000
level or above.

Your plan should include the courses you intend on taking in future semesters. Of
course, you may not know yet exactly what courses will be offered. Look at past Fall
and Spring semesters (You can see what has been offered by changing the semester in
the drop down menu at the start of this page:,
and that is a good guide as to what will be offered in future Fall and Spring semesters.
But remember, this is just a plan. You’re not signing up for courses. If you change your
mind, or some of the courses you put down just now end up not being offered, that is
fine. It’s just a plan, and it can change, so long as the courses you end up taking meet
the major requirements.

Note on the logic requirement: There are basically two ways to meet the logic
requirement: by taking PHIL 2420 or PHIL 1410.1 If you choose to meet the
requirement with 2420 then that is simply one of your 10 (8 if double majoring) courses
in your plan, and you don’t need to worry. If you use 1410 for the logic requirement,
however, then this course won’t count towards the major requirements. That means
your course plan should consists of 11 classes (or 9 if you are double majoring): 1410,
and 10 (8) classes at 2000 level or above.

If you want any help or advice in choosing courses, feel free to reach out to individual
professors, or the DUP.

3) Go to and find the section for Declaration of
Major and Minor Forms. Click on the link, and that should start a DocuSign process.
Fill in your details, and then fill in your planned courses. Leave the box for major
advisor blank - the DUP will assign that. Once you’ve filled in all your details, finish the
DocuSign and it will be sent to the DUP for approval!

1 PHIL 5420 also satisfies the requirement, but this rarely runs.

If you have any questions about the requirements or the process, contact the DUP
(Ross Cameron).

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Fall 2021 is underway back in-person (with masks!)

Monday, August 09, 2021

Philosophy Dissertation Defense in the Dome Room of the Rotunda

Thursday, July 01, 2021


What Actually Happens When Your Mind Wanders? (This Professor Can Tell You.)

Friday, April 30, 2021

Is your mind wandering? That could be a good thing.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Professor Elizabeth Barnes in Aeon: Women’s pain is often medically overlooked and undertreated. But the answer is not as simple as ‘believing all women’.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Philosophy Graduate Student Jeff Carroll honored with All-University Graduate Teaching Award

Thursday, May 14, 2020


Wednesday, March 04, 2020

CANCELLED - "Does Good Exist?" Lulu Miller & Maggie Paxson - Sponsored by: The Virginia Festival of the Book & the Corcoran Dept. of Philosophy -Friday, March 20 4:00 at the Jefferson School

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Graduate student Jim Darcy has article published in Deadspin: "A Philosopher's Definitive (And Slightly Maddening) Case Against Replay Review"

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Professor Ross Cameron interviewed by online magazine

"I think metaphysics is what it’s always been - and it’s hard to say what that is! I think it’s in a pretty good state: we’ve emerged from the darkness of logical positivism, ordinary language philosophy, and conceptual analysis, and are once again unapologetically trying to say something about reality!" Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Ross P Cameron.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Apply now for UVA’s first ever undergraduate philosophy workshop! Click for details

Considering a career in philosophy? Or perhaps simply considering a graduate degree in philosophy? Then the Compass Workshop at the University of Virginia is a good place to start. We are offering this workshop for undergraduates who are interested in furthering their academic study in philosophy beyond a bachelor's degree. As an offshoot of the Minorities and Philosophy program (MAP), the workshop's primary goal is to provide a space for otherwise underrepresented groups in philosophy to meet and engage with the discipline in a comfortable environment. While this workshop takes place in various forms on other campuses (like Princeton, where the workshop was first offered), our workshop will be a day of discussions centered on three papers from different sub-disciplines in philosophy, to be read in advance. In addition to these three paper discussions, there are two panel discussions. One panel is with members of the University of Virginia's philosophy department faculty, and another is with the department's graduate students.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Professor Tal Brewer spends whirlwind summer delivering talks in Italy and Greece.

Activity and Creativity: The Aesthetic Dimension of Practical Wisdom, and Activity and Receptivity: The Contemplative Dimension of Practical Wisdom, PhD Seminar at the Aretai Centre, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy, June 12-13, 2019

Anscombe on Practical Knowledge – Anscombe at 100: On Action and Living Well, a Conference sponsored by the American Catholic Philosophical Association and College Year in Athens, Athens, Greece, June 15-16, 2019

Capitalism and Human Flourishing – A five-lecture series to culminate the Third Annual Advanced Philosophy Seminar, College Year in Athens, Athens, Greece, June 17-21, 2019

Comedies of the Cultural Commons – International Conference on Political Communities, University of Udine, Udine, Italy, July 2-3, 2019

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Graduate student Nikolina Cetic wins a best poster prize from the Society for Philosophy and Psychology 2019! "Mind-Wandering Makes Us Free."

Graduate student Nikolina Cetic wins a best poster prize from the Society for Philosophy and Psychology 2019! "Mind-Wandering Makes Us Free." (Co-authored with Zac Irving)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Dean Ian Baucom Taking Leave for 2019 Fall Semester; Brie Gertler Named Acting Dean

May 14, 2019 |
John Carfagno, Director of Communications

Dean Ian Baucom will be taking leave for the Fall 2019 semester. Brie Gertler, Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy and interim Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities, has accepted the role of acting dean until Baucom’s return.

Baucom said it’s hard to believe how swiftly time has passed since moving to Virginia and beginning his UVA career in 2014.

“Thinking back on my first term as dean, I’m grateful to everyone in the College and Graduate School and across Grounds for the great work that was accomplished,” Baucom said. “I am deeply inspired by the many faculty, staff, students and friends of the College who came together to help us make real progress in a variety of areas.”

Gertler is looking forward to helping advance Baucom’s vision.

“In a short time under Ian’s leadership, A&S has implemented the Forums, launched the New College Curriculum Pilot for students, invested significantly in the Graduate School, hired more than 150 outstanding faculty, and helped to advance research in democracy, brain science, environmental science and more. The enterprise is on much better financial ground,” Gertler said. “I’m honored that Provost-elect Liz Magill asked me to serve as acting dean, and I’m excited to help build on the momentum we have in the College.”

Gertler will serve as acting dean from July 1 to January 1, and the process to select a new associate dean for the arts and humanities has already begun. Baucom will be on Grounds in the fall for key meetings and events, including the public launch of the "Honor the Future" campaign and the new curriculum faculty vote.

“Brie has been outstanding as Associate Dean,” added Baucom. “She’s been a great thought partner and has worked exceptionally well to move major projects forward, especially our graduate education initiative. I’m thrilled she is taking on this role. This gives me the opportunity to work on my scholarship – I’m writing a book on higher education – as well as the chance to recharge before beginning my second term. I’m looking forward to 2020 and beyond, and, in President Jim Ryan’s words, to help make UVA both a great university and good university that lifts Charlottesville, the Commonwealth, and the world.”

Originally published on
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Cora Diamond, Professor Emerita, continues to teach and influence the world of philosophy

Cora Diamond, Kenan Professor of Philosophy Emerita at UVA, was the Humboldt Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Leipzig for the Winter Semester, and co-taught a seminar on Wittgenstein. The University at Leipzig also hosted a conference on her work, called "Cora Diamond: Logic and Ethics".  She also presented a paper, "Truth in Ethics", at a 3-day intensive philosophy seminar (on her work and that of James Conant) at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic. And she gave the Dewey Lecture at the Eastern Division meeting of the APA in January.

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.

Elizabeth Barnes

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."

Rebecca Stangl

Friday, August 04, 2017

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


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


Thursday, February 09, 2017

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

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.

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:

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:

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:
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

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. 

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.


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:

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

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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

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.