C O G I T A M U S
The University of
Connecticut Philosophy Department Newsletter
Vol. V, No. 2 April 2002
General Editors: Margaret Gilbert and Anne Hiskes
Special Guest Editor: Paul Bloomfield
Welcome to the fifteenth issue of Cogitamus!
This issue covers news for the period of February 1, 2002 through
April 30, 2002. This issue edited by Anne Hiskes.
Highlights: A welcome to Nick Zangwill as a Visiting Professor
for Spring 2002, and a profile of Margaret Gilbert, both by Paul
On March 8, 2002
Michael Dickson (Associate Professor, Dept. of the
History & Philosophy of Science, Indiana University) gave a joint
Philosophy and Physics Colloquium "Metaphysics - Physics = I Know Not
What". In spite of promises to offend everyone in the room, the talk
was well-received by both departments.
- On April 17, 2002 at 4:30 William P. Alston (Professor Emeritus,
Department of Philosophy, Syracuse University) will give a colloquium
entitled "Perception and Representation" in Manchester Hall, Basement
Liars and Heaps: The Logic and Semantics
Paul Bloomfield has been asked to join the editorial board
of a new journal in metaethics, aptly called Metaethica which
will be part of The German Library of Sciences.
"Leibniz on Contingent Conceptual Truths in the Arnauld
Correspondence" has finally appeared in Studia Leibnitiana (2000) [sic],
J.C. Beall has published "The Simple Liar without Bivalence?," (with
62.1, January 2002, pp. 22-26, and "A Priestly Recipe for
Logical Studies 2001, No. 7. ISBN: 5-85593-143-9.
Tom Bontly's paper "The Supervenience Argument Generalizes" will
be appearing in the
next issue of
Austen Clark has published two chapters in Werner Backhaus, (ed),
Neuronal Coding of
Perceptual Systems (New Jersey: World Scientific, Series
on Biophysics and
Biocybernetics, Vol 9, 2001, ISBN 981-02-4164-X). The
"Some Logical Features of Feature Integration" (pp 3-20) and
"Phenomenal Consciousness So-called" (pp 405-422). Website:
Gilbert's "Collective Wrongdoing: Moral and Legal Responses"
will appear in the April 2002 issue of
Social Theory and Practice,
Vol. 28, No.
2. The paper is a critical study of C. Kutz's book
Complicity and G.Bass's
book Stay the Hand of
Margaret's invited paper "Collective Guilt and Collective
Feelings" will soon appear in the
Journal of Ethics in a special issue
(Emeritus) King's College Chapel
sermon (Cambridge University)
commemorating the 400th anniversary of Hooker's death has now been
published as "Do We Need Richard Hooker"' in
Modern Believing, 43.1
(January 2002):38-43. Cambridge UP is bringing out a digital
edition of Steve's
book on Ockham's political thought.
Diana Tietjens Meyers
has published a new monograph,
Gender in the Mirror:
Cultural Imagery and Women's Agency
(Oxford University Press), and her
The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy, edited by
Miranda Fricker, and Jennifer Hornsby, appears in the current issue of
Ruth Millikan has published two papers:
"The Myth of Mental Indexicals," a revised
version of "The Myth of the Essential Indexical," in
Andrew Brook and Richard DeVidi,
Self-Reference amd Self-Awareness,
Advances in Consciousness Research,
Vol. 11, John Benjamins, 163-177; and "A Theory of Representation
to Complement TEC,"
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24: (4).
presented "Human Nature, Religion and Violence",
Campus on February 7th , and "Ethics, Business and Today's
Society," UConn School
Business, Executive Forum Series Panel on Business Ethics,
Stamford Campus, March
On March 21
presented "Altruism, Grief, and Identity" to the Philosophy
Department at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The paper was also presented as a
UConn Humanities Institute Luncheon Talk on February 26.
has given two papers recently: "A Dialetheic Approach to Vagueness",
California State Fresno, Fresno CA, and
"No Contradiction is True (But Some
Contradiction is True)", Yale University, New Haven CT.
He is also invited to participate
in a philosophy of mathematics and logic workshop at the
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, April 4-6.
On February 20,
gave a talk "Morality: Truth
or Power?" at Connecticut College which was attended
by faculty and about 30 interested
undergraduates. Paul is an invited participant at an
"Author-Meets-Critic" session on
Mark Timmons' book
Morality Without Foundations at the
Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology Conference to be held in
Nashville at the end of March. He is also giving a paper "Is
Assertoric?" at the APA Central Division meeting in Chicago.
is presenting a paper "Two Approaches to the Study of Causation"
APA Central Division meeting in Chicago.
(A longer version of the paper is
On March 8
gave an invited talk "Feature-placing" at the Institut Jean-
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifiq
Paris. On Feb. 14. Austen gave a seminar on color vision
and presented a paper "Vision and
Visual Awareness" at the University of Quebec. On Feb.
15 he gave a talk entitled
"From Sensing to Phenomenal Consciousness: A
New Testament to the Myth of Jones"
at Concordia University in Montreal
On April 5
is giving the opening presentation, "Considerations
on Collective Guilt" at an international, interdisciplinary
conference called "Intentionality,
Collective Responsibility, and the Attribution of Collective Guilt"
at the University of
Constanz, Germany. Margaret is the only speaker who is
a philosopher, the other
speakers being from Sociology and History.
(Emeritus) presented his paper "The New State of Nature and the
Terrorism" (forthcoming in
Pubic Affairs Quarterly)
at the University of Helsinki,
and Samuel C. Wheeler III are participants on a
Comparative Philosophy at the APA Pacific Division meeting in
Seattle on March 30.
Joel is giving a paper called "Purposes and Functions of
which will be published in a special APA Newsletter on
Comparative Philosophy, ed. by
Chenyang Li (UConn Ph.D.).
Diana Tietjen Meyers
was an invited speaker at a conference held at UIC to honor
Sandra Lee Bartky. She presented the paper "The Personal, the
Political, and Psycho-Corporeal Identity."
In March Diana also presented the paper
"Gendered Work and Individual Autonomy" at a faculty workshop at
the UConn Law
presented the papers "Exaptations," "Cross purposes", and "On the
Rumored Takeover by the Genes and the Memes" in a series of lectures
and seminars to
undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty at Queens University
during January. On March 19, Ruth gave a day-long seminar at NYU on
her book On
Clear and Confused Ideas
to an audience of NYU and CUNY students,
instructors. On March 27 Ruth and the above-mentioned book were
the focus of an
Author-meets-Critics session at the APA Pacific Division meeting.
Antony, and Kristen Lawler were commentators.
has been invited back as a participant in the annual Rutgers Epistemology
Conference, April 19-21.
In honor of its 100th anniversary, the APA has suggested that
visible in their communities. In response, Susan Anderson
has given two talks "Human
Rights," and "Ethics, Business, Today's Society" at the
Edgehill Retirement Community
traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia where he served as
one of three external reviewers for the Department of
Philosophy at Simon Fraser
On March 9
gave a talk "Searching for the Sorcerer's Stone" to an audience
of middle school students and their parents as part of Odyssey Day
for the Johns
Program for Talented Students. Using themes and topics in the Harry
Potter books, the
talk explored the question "What is Science" by looking at the history
of alchemy and
testing the audience for clairvoyance.
Anne Hiskes and Joel Kupperman are also doing
yeoman's service representing the Humanities in the University Senate
as the Senate
debates issues concerning new general education requirements for
Work in Progress
is currently working on a book "Equal Opportunity Individualism:
Interpretation of the American Dream".
is in the thick of editing the
Cambridge Companion to Medieval
and is also working on the Richard Hooker entry for the New
Dictionary of National Biography.
(n.b.: Steve now lives in Cambridge England. The word
"national" is apparently an indexical.)
is currently working on The Jean Nicod Lectures to be
delivered May and
June, 2002. The Jean Nicod lectures are delivered annually in
Paris by the winner of the
Nicod Prize, who must be a leading philosopher of mind or
cognitive scientist. The lectures are organized by the Centre
National de la Recherche
Scientifique (CNRS). The lectures will be published in the
Jean-Nicod Lectures series
(MIT Press/Bradford Books; F. Recanati editor).
is editing a collection of early utilitarian writings (chiefly by
Mill) for Hackett, and would appreciate any suggestions
about *short* pieces that might
supplement the main works.
to Chris Panza on his new
tenure-track job at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.
Chris starts his job in the Fall of 2002.
- Sandy Boucher and Ian Gold are publishing a paper "A
Computational Approach to Linguistic Knowledge" in the journal
Language and Communication.
The philosophy graduate students have resumed their Grue
Bag seminars for the Spring semester. The schedule of
presentations/papers is as follows:
February 7: Doug Osborne, "An Actual Solution to the Sorites"
February 21: Patrick Fleming, "Web of Desires as Teles"
March 7: Sandy Boucher, "Naturalized Epistemology and Normativity"
March 38: Jim Phelps, "Why ask why? On the Ethics of Sexual
April 11: Chris Panza, "Helpful Tips on Getting a Job at a
Teaching College", or "Counterexamples to Refute Causal Determinism".
April 25: Donovan Cox, "Duns Scotus, Individuation, and the
Incommensurability of Parts and Wholes"
Chris Panza submitted an article to Philosophy and
Phenomenological Research entitled "Partial Consideration, Mental
Separation, and General Reference".
Steve Lahey (Ph.D.) will soon finish seminary at
Seabury Western and then spend nine
months doing Clinical Pastoral Education in a Lincoln
hospital, in preparation for
ordination in Nov. 2003. Steve has published an article
on Scotus, Bonaventure, and
Albert the Great in the most recent issue of the popular
magazine Christian History,
available at a bookstore near you. Steve and spouse Julia
are enjoying their new daughter
Jessica Prata Miller
(Ph.D.) has published "A Critical Moral Ethnography of Social
Social Philosophy Today,
Vol. 16 Feb 2002, and she looks forward to
release in December 2002 of her forthcoming book
Trust: A Philosophical Approach
(Broadview Press). Jessica is also Program Committee Chair for
the Eastern Society
for Women in Philosophy conference at MIT April 5-7.
She was pleased to see her
former adviser Diana Tietjen Meyers at the FEAST
conference in Florida in October
and promises to send her best majors to our graduate program.
Virgil Whitmyer (Ph.D) Virgil has a post-doc at Indiana
University, and writes the
following: I am currently in Bochum, Germany working with
Gregor Schoner on a
dynamic field model of the data we have collected in my study
of 12-21 month old
infants engaged in various gross motor acts (I'm trying to
resist the urge to make a joke
about infants and things that are gross). Before coming to
Bochum I spent a week at an
"interdisciplinary college"--a workshop--at Mohnesee, also in Germany.
While I'm here I will give a talk on my study, which we could call
something like "Perseveration in Gross motor tasks in toddlers". The
model we develop here will be included in a poster that I will present
at the International Conference on Infant Studies in Toronto, April
Fun and Life Outside of the Classroom
Welcome to Nick Zangwill
By Paul Bloomfield
The department is very pleased to have Nick Zangwill visiting
this semester. Nick is
teaching a graduate seminar "Theory of Value" that focuses on
issues in aesthetics and
metaethics. These topics do not, however, come close to
exhausting Nick's philosophical
interests; he seems to have views on most issues, and if he doesn't,
he can make
something quite interesting on the spot (typically, with a realist's
bent). After receiving his Doctorate from London University
(Ian McFetridge was
his advisor), Nick worked in Oxford. For the past 8 years he has been
at the University of Glasgow. Nick has traveled widely in the world
of philosophy and
has taken sabbaticals at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, NYU, Berkeley, and ANU.
Metaphysics of Beauty
with Cornell Press (2001). We look for
reading Nick's forthcoming book (probably 2003) on art from
Oxford University Press,
but for now we just enjoy having him around.
For more, check out Nick's homepage at
Focus on Margaret Gilbert
By Paul Bloomfield
If we at UConn can pride our department on being intellectually serious
friendly place for philosophy, our pride is greatly justified by the
presence of Margaret
Gilbert, Professor of Philosophy. Margaret came to the United
States from England
where she earned a bachelor's degree in classics and
philosophy --- with a "double first"
-- at Cambridge University, and a B. Phil. and D. Phil. in
philosophy from Oxford. She
values greatly two years spent as a researcher at the
Institute for Advanced Study in
Princeton, and has received many other awards and honors.
Margaret has been a visiting
teacher and researcher at numerous institutions, including
Wolfson's College (Oxford
University) King's College London, Princeton, NYU, CUNY, UCLA,
and the University of Pennsylvania.
Margaret joined the UConn department in 1983 and has been at
the forefront, indeed has
helped to found, several new areas of philosophical discussion
and research, including
philosophy of social science, the theory of sociality, and
central aspects of social
epistemology. Her latest book is a collection of papers,
tentatively titled Les Sujets
to be published in French by the prestigious Presses Universitaires
Her other books include
On Social Facts
(reprinted by Princeton University Press
which has been labeled a "seminal" and "goundbreaking" work,
and two thematic
collections of her essays
Living Together: Rationality, Sociality, and Obligation
(Rowman and Littlefield, 1996), and
Sociality and Responsibility: New Essays in
(Rowman and Littlefield, 2000). Margaret's work has been the focus of
discussion by others in many philosophical journals, book chapters,
particularly since her research has interdisciplinary
ramifications for economic
psychology, and political theory. Some of Margaret's articles have
been reprinted in
books, and some have been translated into Chinese, Italian, and
French. Needless to say,
a full report of all her published articles, book chapters,
book reviews, critical studies and
abstracts (not to mention public lectures) would take up pages
In 1989, when
On Social Facts
was first published, it presented the first discussion of
what Gilbert calls "plural subject theory", or the theory
that an important range of
phenomena are plural subject phenomena. By this she means that
there are social
phenomena in which the participants are "jointly committed together
to constitute a body
with specified features". Among the phenomena in question are
group languages, social
conventions, social rules, and joint intentions and actions.
She has been progressively
refining these ideas over the years, and by now Margaret's theory
social phenomena is a
respected explanatory model in the social sciences.
(The irony of a naturally gregarious
philosopher spending so much time in seclusion writing about
social relations is not lost
on Margaret. For a change of pace, she regularly goes dancing.)
Margaret's most recent work focuses on aspects of her theory
most germane to ethics and
political philosophy, including such topics as
collective responsibility, collective belief
and emotion. She is currently finishing a book tentatively
called Social Ontology and
which presents and argues in favor of a novel account of citizens'
obligations to obey the law that goes beyond, but has affinities
with, the classic theory
linking obligations to an actual agreement.
Her next book, with working title Rights Reconsidered, will
will address the nature of rights, particularly moral rights, a theme
by readings undertaken in the course of UConn's Human
Rights Semester in the Fall of 2001.
You can learn much more about Margaret's research on her webpage at:
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