Monthly Archives: March 2015

March 5, 2015

National Health Ethics Week Event (Upcoming)

Christopher Lowry, Assistant Professor, Philosophy department and Andria Bianchi, PhD candidate Philosophy will each give a presentation on ethical issues related to the two recent cases involving parental (or perhaps, in one case, mature minor) refusal of chemotherapy and the aboriginal right to pursue traditional medicine. More information about the talk here:

Colloquial Talk

Jackie Sullivan of Western University gave our second colloquium talk of the term on Friday Feb 27. She gave a very interesting talk on the challenges of stabilizing the objects of study in neuroscience and the problems these challenges raise for views of how to unify the levels of explanation in the neurosciences. A lengthy and complex discussion ensued.


Shannon Dea recently returned from the APA Central in St. Louis, Missouri, where she organized three very well-attended, vigourous sessions. The first of these was the annual meeting of the Charles S. Peirce Society. She was re-elected as the Society’s Secretary-Treasurer for three years, and was delighted to get a chance to hang out with distinguished Waterloo Philosophy alumnus and IUPUI Emeritus, Nathan Houser. The second and third sessions were joint meetings of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and the APA’s Committee on Inclusiveness in the Profession. These panels explored, respectively, the theory and practice of inclusive Philosophy pedagogy.

On February 26th, Shannon presented “On Spinoza’s Worldly Acosmism” to Western University’s Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy.

On February 2-4, Heather Douglas, David Isaac, and Teresa Branch-Smith traveled to Toronto to take part in a forum on science policy issues in Canada, as part of the Science Integrity Project. Heather gave a talk about the history of the relationship between science and democracy, and about how the tensions regarding science advice in democratic societies did not emerge until the 20th century. According to Heather, the meeting took place under modified Chatham House Rules; in her words, “so don’t ask us for any quotes.” Heather reports that it was a really interesting and intensive discussion about what principles and practices should guide science advice in Canada.

Heather had a paper, a commentary on work of social and political scientists concerning the relationship between science and politics in cases of climate change, teaching evolution, and genetic technologies, appear in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. It was written for a special issue on politics and science. It was really interesting to read and engage with the work of these social scientists, she says.

Grad Students

Our grad students continue to shine.

Sandie Devries is heading to two conferences this spring to present two papers. Sandie will present her first paper at the Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology Conference at The University of Texas at Dallas. The working title of her paper is Does Neural Plasticity Track Ethnicity or Region? A Criticism of the Role of Ethnicity in Jordan-Young and Rumiati’s ‘Hardwired for Sexism? Approaches to Sex/Gender in Neuroscience. Information about the conference can be found here:
Sandie’s second paper is titled Going Imperial: Slur Reclamation and Linguistic Deference. She will present this paper at the upcoming Hypatia Conference at Villanova. The conference is at the end of May.

Dylon McChesney is presenting his paper Mental Illness and Illocutionary Disablement at the CPA Congress.

As mentioned above, Andria Bianchi will be giving a presentation to the department on March 6th.