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C O G I T A M U S

The University of Connecticut Philosophy Department Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 1 November 1998

Edited by Margaret Gilbert, Anne Hiskes

Welcome to Cogitamus! This inaugural issue reports on the period of June 1 through Nov. 1. The editors have included all information given to them at the time of going to press.

Our aim is to provide summary information on the ongoing professional achievements and activities of the members of our department, and to provide notice of some immediately upcoming events that may be of interest to department members and other interested parties. Contents will include occasional abstracts of presentations, and a faculty or graduate profile in each issue. Proposed items for inclusion should be emailed to Gilbert@uconnvm.uconn.edu before December 15, 1998 and to AHiskes@uconnvm.uconn.edu after December 15, 1998.

FACULTY

Publications

Crawford Elder

  • "Essential Properties and Coinciding Objects," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 58 (1998), pp. 317-31.
  • Margaret Gilbert

  • "Collective Belief and Scientific Change" (In Italian translation as: "Credenze collettive e mutamento scientifico"), Fenomenologia e Societa, n. 1 1998, vol. 21, 32-45.
  • "In Search of Sociality", Philosophical Explorations, vol. 1, no. 3, 1998, 233-240.
  • Review of Russell Hardin, One for All, Philosophical Review,, 1998.
  • Review of R. Tuomela, The Importance of Us, appears in the July 1998 issue of Ethics.
  • Leonard Krimerman

  • "Worker Ownership's Uncertain Future", pp. 28-33 and "How to Get Capital? Canada Shows the Way", p. 47 in joint issue of Dollars & Sense and the GEO Newsletter, Sept/Oct 1998 [issue #34 of GEO #219 of Dollars & Sense of which he was coordinating editor].

    Diana Meyers

  • "Tropes of Social Relations and the Problem of Tropisms in Figurative Discourse," in Norms and Values: Essays in Honor of Virgina Held,, edited by Mark Halfon and Joram Haber, Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Review of Diemut Bubeck's Care, Gender, and Justice, pp. 246-249 in Utilitas (Vol. 10, No. 2, July 1998).

    Ruth Millikan

  • "Proper Function and Convention in Speech Acts," in ed. L.E. Hahn, The Philosophy of Peter F. Strawson, The Library of Living Philosophers (LaSalle IL: Open Court 1998), pp. 25-43.
  • Her paper "Biosemantics" from The Journal of Philosophy 86.6 (1989) pp. 281-297), has been reprinted in W.G. Lycan, ed., Mind and Cognition: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998) and in Andrea Nye, ed., Philosophy of Language; The Big Questions, Blackwell, 1998.
  • Talks

    Susan Anderson, Stamford Regional Campus presented

  • "On the Cloning of Human Beings" at a Bioethics and Medical Ethics Session at the World Congress of Philosophy
  • and "Natural/Moral Rights and Amistad" (a discussion of David Pesci's novel) at Freshman Orientation on August 31 at the Stamford Campus.
  • Donald Baxter presented "A Humean Temporal Logic" at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy.

    Austen Clark gave the inaugural lecture at an international conference "From neuronal coding to consciousness" sponsored by the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies at Ischia (Naples) from 12-17 October 1998. Later in the week he gave a second lecture on "Phenomenal consciousness". The audience was a mix of biophysicists, psychologists, and philosophers.

    Margaret Gilbert

  • "Sociality, Unity, Objectivity" World Congress of Philosophy, invited participant in session on Sociality and Objectivity, Boston, August 14, 1998.
  • "Considerations on Collective Guilt", Philosophy Department, SUNY at New Palz, October 8, 1998.
  • Joel Kupperman presented "Learning from Asian Philosophy" at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy.

    Diana Meyers presented "Authenticity for Real People" at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy.

  • "The Rush to Motherhood--Figurative Discourse, Autonomy, and Feminism," 8th Symposium of the International Association of Women Philosophers, Boston, August 1998.

    Ruth Millikan delivered her paper "Abilities" at Princeton University on September 25 and at Washington University in St. Louis, at the Philosophy/Neuroscience/Psychology Program, on October 1, 1998.

  • "Naturalized Intentionality", the World Congress of Philosophy
  • Presented a luncheon talk on her research to the Connecticut League on October 19.
  • Gave the annual Austin-Hemple Lectures at Dalhousie University in Halifax: "The Language-Thought Partnership" Nov. 5. (Public lecture) "Abilities" Nov. 6.
  • Gave an invited talk, "Reading Mother Nature's Mind," to which Dennett replied, at the three day Dennett Conference at Memorial University, Newfoundland, Nov. 7.
  • Also chaired five out of the thirteen other invited Dennett Conference sessions, Nov. 8.
  • Gave an invited Colloquium at the University of Western Ontario on "Abilities", Nov. 27.
  • Conference participation

    Susan Anderson, Stamford Regional Campus

  • Respondent and symposiast at a conference on "Crossing the Millenium: Political, Cultural and Moral Challenges for the Jewish Community in the U.S. and Worldwide," Nov. 1st, at the UConn Stamford Conference Center.
  • Donald Baxter chaired a roundtable in Metaphysics at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy.

    Robinson Grover attended all of the Hobbes International Association meetings at the World Congress in Boston this summer.

    Leonard Krimerman helped organize the 10th annual Conference of the International Institute for Self-Management, held just outside of Frankfurt, Germany.

    Honors and Awards

    Margaret Gilbert Chancellor's Fellowship (research leave) spring 1999

    Diana Meyers Her biography appeared in a new reference book Who's Who of American Women (1998).

    Ruth Millikan Inaugural Chancellor's Research Excellence Award fall 1998

    Teaching Innovations

    Susan Anderson, Stamford Regional Campus

  • New Course: "The American Dream," an interdisciplinary upper division honors seminar at the Stamford Campus. In addition to being the instructor of record for the course, Susan gave presentations on the bias towards individualism embedded in the American Dream, and problems concerning the concept of Equal Opportunity, and led a discussion of Affirmative Action.
  • Donald Baxter is teaching Philosophy 261, Medieval Philosophy for the first time this fall. Topics include the prime mover, free will and God's knowledge of future contingents, identity and difference, and universals, among others.

    Thomas Bontly is teaching a course in Environmental Ethics which has never been offered in this department before.

    Samples of Research in Progress

    Donald Baxter is working on a book chapter currently titled "Hume on Time". In it he shows how Hume's account of time follows from his theory of abstract ideas, and sets up his theory of identity.

    Garry Brodsky (emeritus) is writing the first chunk of an essay on Nietzsche's immoralism making clear what must be the case if (1) Nietzsche is, as he says he is, an immoralist and if (2) that is a position which is neither conceptually absurd nor morally loathsome.

    Leonard Krimerman is coordinator of the Hartford Schools Study Circle Project that has just begun. Study Circle facilitators, several of whom are philosophy grads. or undergraduates, have received training and have started to meet with students from the "Alternative Learning Centers" in Hartford. Other Study Circles will soon begin with eighth grade students from a south side middle school in Hartford.

  • In late July, he travelled to Quebec, Canada, to obtain first hand information about a new social invention, "labour-sponsored investment funds" (LSIFs).
  • New Faculty

    Thomas Bontly is our newest faculty member in the Department of Philosophy. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 1998, having defended his dissertation entitled Intentionality, Analysis, and Naturalism. His bachelor's degree is from Stanford University, and he spent two years as a visiting scholar working in the philosophy and cognitive science programs at the University of Arizona.

    Tom's interests compliment the department's strengths well. His major area of research is the philosophy of mind, focusing especially on reductionist theories of mental content and mental causation. His current work concerns the so-called "normativity" of meaning and mental content, the relationships between semantics and pragmatics, and the methodology of philosophical analysis. He plans also to pursue projects in the philosophy of biology and cognitive science. His paper "Individualism and the Nature of Syntactic States" is forthcoming in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

    In the classroom this fall, Tom is teaching an honors section of Introduction to Philosophy and Social Ethics and an upper-division course in Environmental Ethics. He serves also as a faculty advisor for students involved with the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group. In the spring he will offer a course in the Philosophy of Science. He looks forward to leading his first graduate seminar next year, tentatively planned to cover reductionism, supervenience, and mental causation.

    Others Items of Interest

    Robinson Grover has joined the board of the journal Hobbes Studies.

    Diana Meyers edited collection "Feminist Rethink the Self" Westview, 1997, received laudatory reviews in the APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy, and in Hypatia.

    GRADUATE STUDENTS

    Publications

    Keya Maitra Abstract of "Leibniz's Account of Error". Abstract in the Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Sept. 1998, vol. 72, p. 109.

    Ricardo Rozzi and Oelschlaeger M. "El nudo gordiano interdisciplinario: un desafmo para la sustentabilidad. Ambiente y Desarrollo XIV (3): 71-81.

    Gordon Stevenson "Miracles, Force, and Leibnizean Laws of Nature" Studia Leibnitiana XXIX/2, 1997, pp. 167-88.

    Talks

    William Cornwell presented "Understanding the Other: Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein" at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy and also chaired a session at the conference.

    Ricardo Rozzi presented "The Dialectical Links Between Environmental Ethics and Sciences" at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy and "Ecological Concepts and their Relationship to Environmental Ethics" at the International Society for Environmental Ethics (meeting associated with the 20th World Congress of Philosophy).

    Elise Springer presented "Linguistic Turnings and Ethical Bearings" at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy meeting of the International Society for Value Inquiry.

    Teaching Innovations

    William Cornwell writes to us from Drew University where he arrived this fall. He is busy teaching courses in: History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Introduction to Ethics and will teach Introduction to Ethics, Modern Philosophy, and Existentialism this spring. He is also advisor to the Philosophy Club there.

    Ricardo Rozzi with support of the Teaching Institute is co-teaching an experimental Freshman class: -Environmental Narratives and Ethics - taught with Kurt Heidinger. Undergraduate course at the English Department, University of Connecticut.

  • Invited to Denton, Texas for a workshop entitled "An Introduction to Environmental Ethics for Environmental Scientists and Environmental Professionals. Coordinator Dr. Eugene Hargrove, Center for Environmental Philosophy and the UNT Environmental Science Program, University of North Texas, 18-20 September 1998.

    C A L E N D A R

    Wednesdays at noon: our regular Brown Bag Series of informal philosophy talks continues.

    Colloqium Series: Steven Yablo of MIT will give a colloquium November 20 on the topic
    "A Paradox of Existence".

    Faculty Profile

    In this issue we profile our faculty colleague Professor Ruth Millikan. An interview with Ruth was recently published in the Advance. Ruth's first book Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories, MIT, 1984, is one of the relatively few contemporary works in our field that can without hesitation be referred to as 'groundbreaking' and 'seminal'. A good sign of this is the fact that several conferences have been devoted to Ruth's work and a number of doctoral theses have been written in light of it. Several of the junior and not-so-junior faculty at Universities such as Oxford and Stanford began their professional careers by working on Ruth's material. Her second book, White Queen Psychology and Other Essays for Alice, 1993, Bradford Books/MIT Press, continues to refine her biological approach to traditional topics in the philosophy of mind and language. Her latest book entitled On Confused Ideas: Essays on Concept Development and Use is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

    Library Notes

    A free and easy-to-use electronic service called UnCover will send directly to your email account tables of contents for journals that you choose. The table of contents will be sent when each new issue is published. In addition, each week a search can be run against the titles of new articles appearing in 17,000 academic journals for the keywords (topics and authors) you select, and the results will be sent to your email account. You can choose the table-of-contents service, or the keyword search service, or both.

    If you are interested in these services, you can start by sending to Richard Fyffe a list of journals for which you would like the table-of-contents service. Richard will establish your profile and then schedule a follow-up meeting to show you how to edit it and to select keywords.

    Richard Fyffe, Liason to Philosophy and Linguistics. Email Richard at hbladm92@uconnvm.uconn.edu

    Miscellaneous

    The editors chose the name 'Cogitamus' (the Latin for "We think") from a list of about 30 suggestions, for which we thank the many contributors. We liked this name particularly because (a) it alludes to the philosophical tradition in the person of Descartes' 'Cogito Ergo Sum'; (b) our department has special strengths in the philosophy of mind and language--broadly speaking the philosophy of cogitation--and in social and ethical philosophy--hence the first person plural; (c) one of the editors actually has a theory about what it is for us to think (as a body). Whether or not 'Cogitamus' here is to be construed individualistically or holistically is for our readers to judge.

     
     
    

    This newsletter was designed by the Philosophy Department's Administrative Assistant Shelly Burelle. Please visit our website at: http://vm.uconn.edu/~wwwphil where this Newsletter is located for miscellaneous links, including links to abstracts, and colloquium updates. Any questions or comments should be directed to Shelly at philos1@uconnvm.uconn.edu.


    Department of Philosophy
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    Email: philos1@uconnvm.uconn.edu
    Website: http://vm.uconn.edu/~wwwphil