C O G I T A M U S
edited by Anne Hiskes
Designer: Shelly Burelle
Welcome to the eighteenth issue of Cogitamus! This issue covers news for the period of Jan. 1 - April 30, 2002. The next issue of Cogitamus will appear Fall, 2003.
Focus on Len
Krimerman. Also read about recent retirements and our new Ph.D.'s!
Honors Congratulations to Joel
Kupperman for being named as a University of Connecticut Humanities
Institute Fellow for 2003-04. As
a fellow Joel will teach one seminar of his choice and devote the rest of
his time to completing two book projects: the monograph Ethics and Qualities of
Life which is a study of the place of ethics in judgements of value, and
Mistakes About the Good Life which is intended for a general audience.
In addition he plans to complete "Morality, Ethics,
and Wisdom" for Handbook of Wisdom:
Psychological Perspectives, eds. Robert Sternberg and Jennifer Jordan (two
Yale psychologists), to be published by Cambridge UP.
Publications Paul Bloomfield's
book Moral Reality was chosen by Oxford University Press to be one Ruth Millikan
has written "Teleological Theories of Mental Content" for the Encyclopedia
of Cognitive Science, published by Macmillan. In addition, her lecture
"Vom Augeblichen Siegeszug der Gene und der Meme" ["On the
Rumored Takeover Diana Tietjens
Meyers has published "Gendered Work and Autonomy" in
Congratulations to Joel Kupperman for being named as a University of Connecticut Humanities Institute Fellow for 2003-04. As a fellow Joel will teach one seminar of his choice and devote the rest of his time to completing two book projects: the monograph Ethics and Qualities of Life which is a study of the place of ethics in judgements of value, and Six Mistakes About the Good Life which is intended for a general audience. In addition he plans to complete "Morality, Ethics, and Wisdom" for Handbook of Wisdom: Psychological Perspectives, eds. Robert Sternberg and Jennifer Jordan (two Yale psychologists), to be published by Cambridge UP.
Paul Bloomfield's book Moral Reality was chosen by Oxford University Press to be one
Ruth Millikan has written "Teleological Theories of Mental Content" for the Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, published by Macmillan. In addition, her lecture "Vom Augeblichen Siegeszug der Gene und der Meme" ["On the Rumored Takeover
Diana Tietjens Meyers has published "Gendered Work and Autonomy" in
Margaret Gilbert has been busy with presentations this past Spring. She gave an invited talk "Shared Values, Social Unity, and Liberty" to the Philosophy Department at Yale University early in the Spring semester and to the Institute for European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, on March 7. On Feb. 14 she In April Margaret traveled to Paris to give an invited talk on collective belief at the Sorbonne. Shortly afterwards she visited Oxford University to present a paper on the understanding of teams at an international, interdisciplinary workshop on Teamwork. As a Fellow of the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute this past year, Margaret ended her tenure there by presenting &pquot;Rights Reconsidered&pquot; on April 24.
As one of three presenters along with Rae Langton (Edinburgh) and Stephen
Darwall (Michigan) at the Duke University Workshop on Intrinsic Value May
2-3, Joel Kupperman presented
and then defended for two hours his paper "The Epistemology of
has given three presentations this past Spring. On Feb. 25 she
Ruth Millikan has given three presentations this past Spring. On Feb. 25 she
Diana Tietjens Meyers delivered her invited paper "The Personal, the Political, and Psycho-Corporeal Identity" at the SWIP session at the APA Pacific Division Meetings in San Francisco in March 2003. While occupying the Laurie New Jersey Chair in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University she presented the talk "Bumpy Lives, Smooth Stories" to the Douglass College Honors Students and other guests on March 24, and she gave her Laurie Lecture "Body Image/Body Misery: What About Emancipatory Embodiment?" on April 1. While at Rutgers, she is participating in a weekly faculty/graduate student seminar on "Reconfiguring Class and Gender: Identities, Rights, and Social Movements," sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. On April 24 she will present her paper "Narrative and Moral Life" to the seminar.
John Troyer was an invited participant at the Rutgers Epistemology Conference May 2-4.
Paul Bloomfield has designed UConn's first on-line philosophy course (Philosophy 104) which he will teach this summer through Continuing Education. He views this as an experiment in education. We are all waiting to see if the null hypothesis is confirmed.
Diana Tietjens Meyers is a member of the FEAST (Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Thought) Program Committee, and has been refereeing papers submitted for the fall 2003 conference.
Fun and Other News
Rob Grover (Emeritus) reports that he and his wife Nancy have been given a two page spread in "Art and Antiques" for a story on the "Top 100" collectors in the US. Rob and his wife Nancy treated the philosophy department to a reception at the space that houses their art collection several years ago.
John Troyer looks forward to his sabbatic leave during the year 2003-04. He hopes to write a book about teleological accounts of rationality, and promises to gratefully plagiarize any ideas on the topic that you provide.
Congratulations to Tim Nulty for being one of only two graduate students in the humanities to win a Humanities Institute Fellowship for 2003-04. The fellowship provides full support for dissertation research. In addition Tim served as
Congratulations to Jim Phelps for his admission into the MS program in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Jim will also continue to write his Ph.D. thesis on evolutionary psychology in the Philosophy Department.
Congratulations to Adam Potthast who, along with one other person, has won the "University of Connecticut 2003 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award" for excellence in teaching. The award comes with a $500.00 stipend to be used for professional development. In addition Adam served as facilitator (with Len Krimerman) for a campus discussion on the Iraq War.
Lisa Cassidy (advisor: Meyers) successfully defended her dissertation "Different Bodies" on April 11. Lisa has a tenure-track position at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ.
On April 22 William Cornwell III (advisor: Millikan) successfully defended his dissertation "Knowledge Without Justification". William has a teaching position at West Point.
Weimin Sun (advisor: Troyer) successfully defended his dissertation "The Concept of Probability" on April 28. Weimin will be moving to California this summer to begin his tenure-track position at the California State University, Northridge.
Several members of the Philosophy Department found the governor's latest "Golden Handshake" retirement inducement too good to turn down. The Department of Philosophyis sorry to lose Len Krimerman, Scott Lehman, and Ruth Millikan as fulltime faculty. Len, Scott, and Ruth have served their students as dedicated teachers and mentors, the university as wise advisors, the department as supportive and stimulating colleagues, and the profession as innovative scholars. Each leaves a niche that can never again be completely filled. Scott has served the department as its chief logician and environmentally literate member. Len has linked the department to real- world social and political issues. Ruth has endowed our department with a degree of visibility not previously enjoyed by inventing a new paradigm for understanding language and thought. Although Len, Scott, and Ruth leave the state payroll, they are not really leaving the department. Each will be back in the Fall teaching students, supporting colleagues, and doing their research.
Len Krimerman is not a stereotypical "arm-chair" philosopher, and Len's Thursday afternoon meeting of "Social and Political Philosophy" this past April was not a stereotypical undergraduate philosophy class. True to his joint commitments to grassroot direct democracy, social activism, and the unification of theory and practice, Len had invited students from UConn's anti-war "Tent-City" to discuss the war in Iraq and their experiences as protestors. By discussing points of agreement and disagreement with each other, Len hopes that students will discover for themselves what they should believe about current social institutions and issues. In a typical Krimerman course, students choose the topics for study, select the assigned readings, and lead class discussions.
Len's life, teaching, and scholarship cannot be separated. Although he grew up in Manhatten, the seeds of Len's social activism may have been planted not far from UConn at a progressive summer camp in Gilman Connecticut where the campers fell asleep every evening with memories of left-wing campfire songs sounding in their heads. Len didn't know it, but his destiny as a philosopher had been set. Feeling empowered and liberated by the questioning, critical stance of philosophy after taking undergraduate courses with E.A. Burtt and Irving Singer at Cornell University, Len decided to major in philosophy rather than psychology. Keith Donnellan, then at Cornell, served as the advisor for Len's Ph.D. thesis defending Mill's utilitarianism.
Len's history as a campus activist began in earnest in the early 1960's with his first academic position at the University of New Orleans then known for its radical integration of black and white students. It was here that Len first became an object of interest to the FBI because of his "links" with Lee Harvey Oswald. The FBI had come to New Orleans to get pictures of people involved in some protest or other. Agents caught Len's face on film not too far from the face of one Lee Harvey Oswald who had stopped briefly in New Orleans on his way to Dallas.
No doubt the subsequent appearance in 1964 of Len's highly regarded anthology Patterns of Anarchy (with Lew Perry) stimulated even more FBI interest.
Soon after Len joined the UConn philosophy faculty in the late 1960's, he and Bob Luyster created the "Inner College" whose purpose was to provide an alternative to the standard authoritarian and book-oriented structures of the academic world. Students of the Inner College determined their own curricula and hired faculty. One student traveled to Costa Rica and Cuba to make a film on child-care. Several Inner College students created a learning program for children in Willimantic. Much to the consternation of several administrators, Inner College students, on occasion, even painted their own classrooms. Seven years after this episode of "creative vandalism" a judge dismissed the civil suit brought by UConn against Len to pay for costs of repainting. (Hell hath no fury like an administrator scorned?) Len boasts that graduates of the Inner College entered graduate school at a higher rate than other UConn graduates. In 1974 Len took a Sabbatic Leave, and when he returned the Inner College had disappeared.
Disenchanted by the response of the administration to the Inner College, after his sabbatical Len chose to teach half-time at UConn in order to devote more time to his political and social projects. In 1975 Len began planning "International Poultry", a worker-owned and democratically organized poultry processing plant which operated briefly in nearby Willimantic. In the late 1970s, he and others began the enterprise that became the long-lived and thriving Willimantic Food Cooperative. In 1984 Len founded and then edited the periodical "Changing Work". In 1991 he helped found the GEO (Grassroots Economic Organization) Newsletter. In recent years Len has returned to fulltime teaching and his long-standing interest in integrating radical democratic theory and philosophy of social science. His 2001 article on Participatory Action Research as a model for social science (in Philosophy of Social Science) pursues the integrating project begun in his other important anthology of the 60's The Nature and Scope of Social Science. Most recently Len has turned his focus on the idea of working for peace through Study Circles and other forms of robustly participatory democracy.
Although Len is officially retired from the Philosophy Department as of June 1, 2003, he is not retired from university teaching or social activism. Len will return in the Fall to teach "Philosophy and Current Issues". Having just returned from a conference in Victoria Canada on "Cooperative Studies", Len anticipates continuing his work on integrating theory and practice, social science and participatory democracy.
As a parting message, Len says that he is most proud of his teaching and relationships with students, many of whom have remained friends over the decades. Len also wishes to thank the members of the Philosophy Department for their support over the years in spite of his unorthodox scholarship, clashes with the administration, and two arrests for protests on campus. Len has many fascinating stories to tell. Ask him.
This newsletter was designed by the Philosophy Department's
Program Assistant Shelly Burelle.
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