C O G I T A M U S
The University of
Connecticut Philosophy Department Newsletter,
Vol. IV, No. 3, October 2001
General Editors: Margaret Gilbert and Anne Hiskes.
This issue edited by Anne Hiskes.
Welcome to the thirteenth issue of Cogitamus!
It reports on the period of May 1 - September 30, 2001.
The next issue, to be published in early December, will report on the
news for the Fall semester. Please send items for the next
issue by email to
Highlights: This month we profile New Graduate Students,
and congratulate ourselves on our new rankings in the Philosophical
Gourmet (But who cares, right?)
WELCOME TO OUR NEW GRADUATE STUDENTS
The Department of Philosophy is happy to welcome seven new
graduate students into
received his B.A. from Monash
University in Australia where he wrote his honors thesis on
Kripke's argument against materialism. He has recently finished
an M.A. thesis on metaphysical realism, and plans to continue his
research in the area of the philosophy of mind at UConn.
(B.A. in Philosophy and English from the University of
Georgia) says that he came to philosophy as an outgrowth of his
interest in literature and art which frequently focus on conflicts
with the ethical conventions of society. He is currently interested
in issues of metaphysics, particularly on the problems of individuation
discussed by Medieval philosophers.
After earning his B.S. in Philosophy at Ball State University in
received his M.A. in philosophy from Kent State University with a
thesis defending alethic realism against epistemic theories of
truth. He plans to continue his work in epistemology and metaphysics.
wrote his senior thesis on consciousness at Bates
College in Maine.
He says that he was attracted to UConn because of the department's
strength in the philosophy of mind.
earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics
from Asbury College in Kentucky. He believes that a major
problem for him in graduate school will be to select a single
specialty topic for his dissertation from his many interests
that include the history of philosophy, Plantinga's epistemology,
and the philosophy of religion.
- CHARITY HELTON
comes to UConn with an M.A. from Baylor University
in Texas and a B.A. from Houghton University in New York where she
studied with Professor Shannon O'Roarke, a UConn Philosophy Ph.D.
Charity identifies the philosophy of mind and social/political
philosophy as two special areas of interest.
After graduating from Florida State University with a B.A. in
taught English at Thom Howard Academy
where he also served as a secondary school principle. Eventually,
however, Doug realized that his true intellectual interests were in
the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of biology. These interests
led him first to the University of Florida where he wrote his M.A.
thesis on the work of UConn's Ruth Millikan, and most recently to
Awards, Honors, and Grants
Congratulations to JOEL KUPPERMAN
on receiving the Chancellor's
Award for Research Excellence. The award also comes with $2500.
- Congratulations to PAUL BLOOMFIELD on
the release of his first
by Oxford University Press.
Paul says that he is quite pleased
with the book since it represents what he takes to be the Truth.
has two new publications:
"Contrariety and the
Individuation of Properties",
38 (2001), pp. 249-59; and
"The Problem of Harmonizing Laws",
Philosophical Studies, 105
(2001), pp. 25-41. To read the abstracts, click on the links.
published "Nietzsche/Dionysus: Ecstasy, Heroism and
Journal of Nietzsche Studies, XXI (Spring, 2001),
has published "What has Natural Information to do
with Intentional Representation?" in Denis Walsh, ed.,
Evolution and Mind,
Cambridge University Press; "Cutting
Philosophy of Language Down to Size," in Philosophy [this is
Joournal of the British Royal Philosophical Society] and
simultaneously reprinted as a
separate Cambridge University Press volume; "Purposes and
Cross-purposes: On the Evolution of Language and Languages",
The Monist 84.3 (July 2001) (Special issue on "The Epidemiology
of Ideas," ed. Dan Sperber.
DIANA TIETJENS MEYERS
has published "Feminism and Women's Autonomy:
Challenge of Female Genital Cutting" in
The Edinburgh Companion to
ed. Mark Evans (Edinburgh University Press)
"Social Groups and Individual Identities" in
Feminists Doing Ethics,
Peggy DesAutels and Joanne Waugh (Rowman and Littlefield).
presented "Hume on the Simplicity of Moments" at the 28th
Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, July 2001.
gave a paper "Let's Be Realistic About Serious
at the II Barcelona Workshop on Reference held June 27-30. The
highly rewarding conference focused on two-dimensional modality.
(Abstract to be accessed by a link)
presented the paper "The Problem of Harmonizing Laws"
[short version] at
the Bled (Slovenia) Conference on Metaphysics, 8 June 2001.
delivered a number of papers over the summer.
She presented "Purposes and Cross-Purposes," at the Sciences
Prestige Lecture, Canterbury
University NZ, May 16, 2001; "A Suggestion about Exaptations,"
University of Aukland New Zealand, May 18, 2001; "Essential
Inderminacies between Semantics and Pragmatics," Erskine
Lecture, Canterbury University New Zealand, June 5, 2001;
"Kantian Reflections on Animal Minds," Erskine Lecture, Canterbury
University NZ, May 29, 2001; "A suggestion about exaptations"
University of Otago, June 8, 2001.
DIANA TIETJENS MEYERS
presented "Gender Imagery, Sexism, and
the Fragility of Feminist Gains" at the inaugural conference
of FEAST (Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Thought)
in Clearwater Beach, Florida, October 4-7, 2001.
WORK IN PROGRESS
continues work on her book "Equal Opportunity
Individualism: An Interpretation of the American Dream".
has completed the manuscripts "A Theory of
Representation to Complement TEC" for Behavioral and
Brain Sciences 24: (4); "On the Rumored Takeover by the
Genes and The Memes", for the lecture series "Wissenkultur
und geselschaftlichen Wandel" in Frankfurt, to be published
in German Translation in Germany; "On reading Signs: Some
Differences Between us and the Others" for
proceedings of a conference on the evolution of communication
at the Konrad
Lorenz Institute, Austria, Eds. Kim Oller, Kim Plunkett and
is very busy with the HUMAN RIGHTS SEMESTER
at the Stamford Campus. In addition to being a member of
the Stamford committee that plans
Human rights events and heading the committee that sponsors
an essay contest on human rights issues, Susan gave the
"kick-off" speech for the Human Rights Semester.
Under Susan's initiation, the new freshman at the Stamford
campus took "mini-classes" during orientation to introduce
them to different disciplines. Susan used here article "We
Are Our Values" to introduce them to philosophy
Graduate Student News
who successfully defended
his dissertation "Religious Freedom in a Deliberative Democracy"
on Monday, September 24. Diana Meyers served as major advisor.
Erik's wife Lisa Colby and 4 month old son Owen accompanied Eric
for the celebrations. We also offer our condolences to Erik on
the loss of his brother in a car accident in early September.
Congratulations to DAN BLAIR and wife Lisa on the birth of a
healthy son Samuel (not named after Dan's Thesis advisor
Samuel C. Wheeler III) in early September. Dan and Lisa
live in Washington D.C.
(M.A. 1995) sends her good wishes to everyone in the
department. Inna is currently a V.H.Galbraith Research Fellow in
Medieval Studies at St. Hilda College, Oxford, England. Her e-mail is
She writes: Please tell people to get in touch if they come to
England, and want to visit Oxford. I am now re-working my thesis
into a book. During July, 2001 I presented two conference papers:
"Physics of Formal Causation and Metaphysics of Living Aggregates:
Avicenna and Averroes on Growth" at the international seminar on
Islamic cosmology at the Department of Systematic Theology of the
University of Helsinki, and "Greek Sources of Arabic Psychological
Theories: Inner Sense and Divination in Avicennian
Corpus". I am starting a project 'Greek Sources of the Arabic Theory
of 'internal senses''. I'm teaching Plato's Republic and early
dialogues during the Michaelmas term.
Congratulations to STEVE LAHEY (Ph.D, Medieval Studies) and his
wife Julia McQuillan who are expecting a baby in December. Steve
is currently on leave for the year from LeMoyne College in order
to study at Seabury Western Seminary, Evanston IL in preparation
for the Episcopal priesthood. Steve has published
a chapter on Wyclif in Blackwell's
The Medieval Theologians, ed.
G.Evans, 2001. He continues to write on Wyclif even whilst engulfed
in his seminary studies.
(Ph.D. 1992) will be visiting UConn on Friday Oct. 26
in conjunction with his presentation "Confucianism and Democracy"
on Saturday Oct. 27 at the Global Cultural Conference in Hartford.
In response to discussions of his 1994 article in
Hypatia on Confucian
ethics and feminist care ethics, Chenyang will publish a "Reply to y
Critics" in the winter 2002 issue.
(Ph.D. 1999) has two forthcoming articles: "Presuppositional
Languages and the Failure of Cross-Language Understanding,"
Canadian Philosophical Review,
and "Taxonomy, Truth-Value Gaps and
Incommensurability: A Reconstruction of T. Kuhn's Taxonomic
Interpretation of Incommensurability,"
Studies in History and
Philosophy of Science. He has also published "Hume Is Not A
Skeptic About Induction," Dialogos 78 (2001): 26-40.
VIRGIL WHITMYER (Ph.D. 2000) is very enthusiasitc about his
research program as a post-doc at Indiana University. He and
Tracy live in Indianapolis, and so haven't been able to enjoy
the great culture of Bloomington or the beer at the downtown
pubs. Virgil reports that he is nearing the end of data acquisition
for a study of 12 - 21 month-olds. In addition to the infants in the
pilot study, Virgil has seen about a hundred of them! The research
team is looking at the effects of motor memory on complex manual
behavior (in the vein of Piaget's well known "A-not-B" task). To
see an abstract of a recent poster submission, go
. To see Virgil's webpage go
( M.A. 1998) and his wife
who have a seven month old son, Nicholas.
GRADUATE PROGRAM RANKED HIGHLY IN THE LASTEST PHILOSOPHICAL
Of course we place no stock in rankings of colleges and
universities that appear in
US News and World Report or of
Philosophy Graduate Programs in the Philosophical Gourmet.
But in the interests of objective reporting, we must report
that in philosophy of the social sciences, we are rated in
the very top group, along with just five other programs.
In philosophy of mind and cognitive science, we are rated
in the same group as M.I.T., Princeton, Brown, and
Australian National Unversity; in philosophy of mind
and language, in the same group as Michigan, Arizona,
North Carolina, Oxford, and Cambridge; in philosophy
of biology, in the same group as Stanford, Indiana,
and Edinburgh; in Chinese Philosophy, in the same
group as Duke and Hawaii. Our high ratings in a
range of fields made us one of thirty-two programs
to appear in the Gourmet's "Summary of Specialty
Ratings". Department Head Tim Elder says, "It is
true that individual ratings in the Gourmet can be
misleading. We believe, for example, that ours are
C A L E N D A R
Wednesdays at noon: our regular
Brown Bag Series of informal philosophy
Please see our complete listing of colloquia
scheduled for fall at our
Colloqium Series page.
This newsletter is designed by the Philosophy Department's
Program Assistant, Shelly Burelle.
Please visit our website at:
Newsletter is located for miscellaneous links, including links to
and colloquium updates.
Any questions or
comments should be directed
to Shelly at
Department of Philosophy
U-2054, 344 Mansfield Rd.
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-2054