Hi everyone and welcome to week 12, OMG. Vicki Brett aptly suggested her photo of the statue in front of Modern Languages would sum up how everyone feels by the end of Fall term:
We have some exciting graduate student news. Natalie Evans had a successful defense of her thesis on November 14th. Natalie’s dissertation, “Agency and Autonomy: A New Direction for Animal Ethics,” examined the obligations we owe to animals in virtue of respecting their agency and autonomy, a departure from the more typical considerations of welfare. As her supervisor, I am so happy to say, Congratulations Natalie! Since we didn’t take pictures, I’ll put here a photo from Wikipedia of a cute dog doing the famous mirror test:
“Since graduating from UW’s philosophy program in 2007, I have been working at various locations of Conestoga College. I began as a part-time employee working a few hours a week, but with determination, grit, and well-timed retirements of colleagues, I am now a Professor and Program Coordinator at the Guelph campus. I work in the Preparatory Programs, a little-known area which helps students gain courses needed for admission to college programs (I mainly teach English, and we also offer math and sciences) or helps students prepare for the GED test (high school equivalency). Our programs are free for students since we receive funding from the provincial government, and our mandate is to improve our students’ short- or long-term employment prospects. As you might imagine, it can be very rewarding to help individuals improve their situation in life, often helping them move from monotonous work (or no work at all) to a satisfying new career path. The way I see it, our role will only become more significant because more and more jobs require a post-secondary education; we can help those who are not prepared for that education.
“Although I do not use philosophy directly in my work, I find the strategies and thinking skills I developed at UW invaluable to my role and hope that I am able to impart some of these to my students as well. Students will not leave our programs with knowledge of Plato or Kant, but I feel that if we can help them to improve their reading, writing, and thinking skills, we can not only aid their transition to employment or further education but also foster more engaged citizens.
“I encourage those studying philosophy to consider adult education as a future career field. After all, there are only so many philosophy professor positions out there, and it is much easier to explain subject-verb agreement and essay structure than logical positivism and incompatibilist theories of free will.
Sound great, Adam!