First, we have some exciting news from recent PhD alum Paul Simard-Smith – he won a SSHRC post-doc! Paul writes, “I was happy to learn that I will be taking up a two year SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT starting in September 2014. The research I plan to do during my postdoc expands and takes in new directions the work I did in my PhD dissertation at the University of Waterloo. The broad objective of my research at UCONN will be to contribute to a growing body of literature in the philosophy of logic that is attempting to develop a plausible version of logical pluralism—the claim that two or more logics are correct. There are two specific aspects of this project that I plan to make headway on. First, I will address an important problem that I think faces many interesting versions of logical pluralism: the problem of how conflicting logics can be correct without the disagreement between the conflicting logics being merely verbal. Second, the literature on logical pluralism to date has not examined the implications that logical pluralism has on other areas of inquiry outside the philosophy of logic. During my post-doc research I will remedy this by exploring some implications that I think logical pluralism has for legal and mathematical reasoning. I am grateful to the faculty in the philosophy department at the University of Waterloo who provided an excellent departmental climate for graduate students. In particular I am appreciative of the guidance and support of my thesis supervisor David DeVidi and my other thesis committee members Doreen Fraser and Tim Kenyon.” Our warmest congratulations, Paul!
Next, we’d like to share some great pictures from our awards ceremony.
A couple of prize winners were sadly absent: First year prize: Amy Moore, and undergraduate Judy Wubnig Essay prize: Daniel Misiewicz.
Congratulations to all!
In other news, Paul Thagard writes, “I’ve talks at conferences on the social simulation of science (Leiden), roots of empathy (Toronto), and cognitive/functional approaches to psychology (Ghent).”
And Heather Douglas moderated a Town Hall Meeting (see the poster below) and ended up doing a CBC morning show interview as a result. The Faculty of Arts write-up is here; check it out!
Doreen writes with some excellent news: A few weeks ago Bright Starts, the on campus daycare, held its Grand Opening celebration, which was a happy occasion for a number of us in the Department. The new centre is housed in a brand new, purpose-built facility and is an amalgamation of the three original on campus daycare centres. I worked on this project as a member of various committees and the Board of Directors. When I began, my sons were 1 and 4 and enrolled in Paintin’ Place daycare on campus. Now that the new facility is complete, they are both too old for daycare, but I am pleased to see more daycare spaces available for infants and toddlers and campus. This is particularly important in the infant age group, where the doubling of the number of spaces from 10 to 20 represented a significant increase in the number of licensed spaces available in the entire Region of Waterloo (= only 196!). In his various roles with the Faculty Association, Dave also committed a substantial amount of time, energy and expertise to this project. Here is a photo of Dave receiving (on behalf of FAUW) a gift made by the children:
Shannon Dea, on sabbatical, writes, “I’ve just finished a whirlwind ten days here in Sheffield (and beyond). It began May 10 when I presented Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo to a full house at the local repertory cinema, The Showroom, as part of Sheffield Philosophy’s Philosophy at the Showroom public outreach series. The series combines film screenings with brief lectures and philosophical discussion. I chose Vertigo because it’s a film I’m often tempted to screen when I teach PHIL 202/WS 222 “Gender Issues” at Waterloo, but one that I never manage to squeeze into the course schedule. I think that Vertigo is a great “petri dish” in which to examine Simone de Beauvoir’s thesis that women are constructed as women, not born that way. For my mini-lecture, I sketched Beauvoir’s view and some of the little-known historical and literary connections between the film and Beauvoir’s 1949 book The Second Sex. The discussion that followed was vigourous and stimulating, and only came to a close when it did because the cinema needed the room for the next screening.
“The next day, I headed to Paris for back-to-back conferences at Collège de France and the Sorbonne. The first conference concerned Charles Sanders Peirce: Logic and Metaphysics. My talk there, “Peirce and Spinoza: Logical and Metaphysical Aspects,” was derived from the book on Peirce and Spinoza I’m working on while on sabbatical. The next day, at the Logic in Question IV workshop at Paris-Sorbonne, I took part in a panel discussion on ‘Peirce Today.’
“It was really exciting to get to walk the corridors and engage in philosophical discussion at two such venerable universities. Paris-Sorbonne is the descendent of the original Sorbonne University that was founded in the 13th century. Collège de France was founded in 1530 right across the street from the Sorbonne. Indeed, its location was intentionally provocative. The founders of Collège de France opposed the Jesuitical leadership and values of the Sorbonne and wished to provide, in full sight of the Sorbonne, a humanistic alternative. Since its founding to this very day, Collège de France continues to hold its faculty meetings during Sunday mass as a way of symbolically reaffirming its resistance to Jesuit orthodoxy. (Such a far cry from our friendly relationship with the philosophers across the street from us at Wilfrid Laurier!)
“Over the years, Collège de France has employed such eminent philosophers as Pierre Ramée, Pierre Gassendi (so many Pierres!), Henri Bergson and Michel Foucault, all of whose names and images are prominently displayed (along with those of other former faculty) around the tiny campus. Some years back, a few of us in the Philosophy Department at Waterloo took part in a Latin reading group, where we focused on some of Ramée’s work. Our recently retired colleague, Joe Novak went on to give conference talks and to publish on Ramée. While I was disappointed to miss Joe’s retirement party last month, seeing Ramée’s bust was a really pleasant reminder of my time spent declining Latin nouns with Joe. Here’s a photo of the bust from the Collège de France courtyard:
“Once back at Sheffield, I got to help welcome a gaggle of Canadian (and other) philosophers to the department for the conference on The Nature and Value of Childhood. While I haven’t engaged in much ex-pat socializing during my time abroad, it was a huge treat to get to hike in Peak District National Park with Samantha Brennan:
“Finally, yesterday, I was able to meet up with Wesley Buckwalter, who was visiting Sheffield from Waterloo to give a talk on experimental philosophy and the alleged intuition that ought implies can. True to Wesley’s empirical bent, he and I systematically examined the range of excellent hand-pulled local ales available in Sheffield pubs. Another blow for science struck by Waterloo Philosophy’s dedicated researchers!
Thanks for reading!
— Patricia Marino