Monthly Archives: March 2016

March 3, 2016

Winter has returned with a vengeance, and we philosophers remain hard at work.

First of all, a big congratulations to Heather Douglas! Not only has she accepted the position of Associate Director of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, but it also has just been announced that she is this year’s René Descartes Lecturer.  She will give three lectures at Tilburg University and the Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics and Philosophy of Science in the Netherlands this September.

Closer to home, Heather Douglas enjoyed hosting Wendell Wallach of Yale University and visiting Fulbright Research Chair at the University of Ottawa for a three-talk visit to Waterloo this past month.  Wendell works on ethical issues with emerging technology, and he led interesting discussions on governance issues for emerging tech at the Balsillie School, on moral issues with autonomous machines, and on general societal issues with emerging tech over his two day visit.

Blake Freier presented at a graduate conference at DePaul University on February 12.  He gave a paper called “Hermeneutical Injustice and Climate Change.”

That same day, Shannon Dea gave the Annual Women in the History of Philosophy Lecture at the University of Sheffield in the U.K.  Her talk was entitled “Identity and Solidarity in Jane Addams’s Practical Philosophy.”  The talk is part of a new project she has undertaken to diversify the pragmatist canon by drawing closer connections between classic pragmatists, like Charles S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, and women and racialized philosophers from the period such as Jane Addams, Anna Julia Cooper, and W.E.B. Dubois.


Shannon Dea (on right) with Sheffield Professor Jennifer Saul (on left), chair of Shannon’s talk and our Rudrick Visiting Scholar, 2015

Teresa Branch-Smith attended an International Winter School in Hamburg on Systems Medicine funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.  The goal of the school was to investigate epistemic, methodological, organizational, and social challenges of ongoing developments in systems medicine.  Teresa gave a talk on Systems Virology and how it can be used to explore philosophical themes like theories of emergence and complexity.


Teresa Branch-Smith (front left) with the International Winter School in Hamburg on Systems Medicine

Jackie Feke’s article “Théon d’Alexandrie” came out in Dictionnaire des philosophes antique VI: de Sabinillus à Tyrsénos, edited by Richard Goulet in Paris’ CNRS Éditions.  The article aims to give a comprehensive account of Theon’s philosophy, and it controverts the prevailing view that, having lived in the fourth century, Theon was a Neoplatonist.

Inside Higher Ed has featured John Turri on the “Academic Minute.”  In two minutes and thirty seconds, to be exact, you can hear John summarizing Wesley Buckwalter’s and his research from their joint article “Inability and Obligation in Moral Judgment.”

Patricia Marino gave an interview with McGill-Queen’s University Press on her book Moral Reasoning in a Pluralistic World.  You can find a review of the book by Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews here.

The philosophy writing group started up again this week.  The group provides a dedicated time every week for writing and some time afterwards for discussing writing-related challenges.  Discussions in the past have focused on the development of writing habits, the benefits of maintaining a working outline, and suggestions for how to incorporate comments and criticisms.  The writing group is a great opportunity to overcome some of that writer’s block and to spend time improving our writing in philosophy.

Lastly, the Philosophy Graduate Student Association Conference is coming up this March 18 & 19.  We hope to see you there!