Monthly Archives: September 2017

5 September 2017, End-of-Summer Edition

IMG_1401 (1).jpgAs the days become shorter and students come back to campus, it is time to reflect on our busy summer.

First, congratulations are in order!  A suite of students (and our own Debbie Dietrich) received degrees at convocation in June, including newly minted PhDs Cathy Gee and Ben Nelson, and MAs Sajad Abdallah, Eric Bohner, Vanessa Lam, and Jonathan Simard.   Congratulations as well to Julian Chow, recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award for Philosophy.

Congratulations also to Chris Eliasmith, who was elected a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society this summer.  Hooray for Chris!

Finally, Jackie Feke has been awarded an Insight Development Grant from SSHRC, on “Law and Nature in Ancient Greek Mathematics.”  She is the sole PI on the grant, which is for $58k over the next two years.

Summer is also a busy time for traveling for our faculty and students.  In June, Shannon Dea was a visiting professor at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.  Closer to home Doreen Fraser gave the keynote address “Formal analogies in the development of renormalization group methods” at the Logic, Mathematics, and Physics Graduate Conference at Western University on June 15.

Also in June, Patricia Marino and PhD student Chris Wass had a great time participating at the History of Economics Society meeting in Toronto. Chris gave a talk that brought together economics and philosophy of science, presenting on “Friedman’s Methodology and the Economic Realism Movement,” and Patricia talked about normative dimensions of the rationality debate in “A Problem In Economic Explanation: Historical, Theoretical, and Normative Perspectives.” They were both interested in how much philosophy there was in ostensibly historical talks, and they both learned a ton.


Patricia and Chris in Toronto in June

Then in July, Patricia, PhD student Andria Bianchi, and PhD alum Rosalind Abdool participated in a session on “Mental Health, Autonomy, and Relationships: Ethical and Legal Dilemmas” at the International Congress on Law and Mental Health in Prague.  The session was organized by Rosalind and included Tess Sheldon, Staff Lawyer at ARCH Disability Law Centre. They report that the way the session mixed theoretical and practical components was great!


Roz and Patricia in Prague in July

Also in July, Jackie Feke presented her work at the Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop at the University of Notre Dame (for which she was also on the organizing committee).  Her talk was on “Image Making in Ptolemy’s Astronomy and Geography.”

Jackie ND 2017 workshop.jpg

Jackie (second from the left) with other historians of astronomy at Notre Dame in July

In August, Ben Nelson presented a paper at the European Congress for Analytic Philosophy (ECAP9) in Munich, Germany titled “On a Need to Know Basis: Putting Secret Law in Context.” He reports he had a great time, and that there were lots of stimulating talks, a highly collegial, informed, and intellectually attentive Q&A climate, and great food!


Roof of the LMU Munich main building

Also in August, Shannon visited the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, where she was one of the invited speakers at a conference on Pragmatism and the Analytic-Continental Split. Her talk, “Black Pragmatists and the Promise of the Continent,” was part of her larger project to make the American pragmatist canon more inclusive. Nathan Haydon also gave a talk at the conference on “Regulative Commitments: An Attractive Alternative to Regulative Assumptions.” Shannon reports that his talk was well received.


Nathan unwinding at the pub after his talk with Sheffield graduate students, including UW Philosophy alumnus and current Sheffield doctoral candidate, Trystan Goetze (foreground) 

In publishing news, Shannon’s paper “Deep Pluralism and Intentional Course Design: Diversity From the Ground Up” was published in a special issue of Rivista di Estetica 64 (2017) 660-82 on Discrimination in Philosophy.

Heather Douglas had two interviews posted over the summer.  The first was with SciPhi Podcasts, which provides detailed looks at the career trajectories of philosophers of science, i.e., you can hear her “origin story.”  The second was as part of The Naked Scientists (a science radio program in the UK) on existential risk (arising from Heather’s trip to Cambridge last April).

Finally, an exciting event is coming up this month.  We are hosting “Mind, Medicine, and Mechanisms” in honour of Paul Thagard on Friday, September 22.  Invited speakers are William Bechtel, Lindley Darden, Chris Eliasmith, and Miriam Solomon.  All are welcome to attend.

Want to read more? Additional online writings can be found at these blogs:

Hot Thought

Philosophy in the World

The Kramer is Now


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