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The University of Connecticut Philosophy Department Newsletter Vol. VII, No. 2 April 2004

           This issue edited by:  Thomas Bontly 
            Designer:  Shelly Burelle 

Welcome to this, the twentieth issue of Cogitamus!  This issue covers news for the period of January 1 - April 30, 2004.  The next issue of Cogitamus will appear in the fall of 2004.  

Highlights:  New hires, including a focus on Michael Lynch.  Also, read about all of our promotions, re-appointments, and job placements!  

Department News:

New Faculty:  

The Department is exceedingly happy to welcome two new faculty members:  Dan Ryder and Michael Lynch.  They each were hired in January 2004 after a grueling two-month search, during which time the department interviewed a great many terrific candidates.  But two individuals rose to the top, and they will officially join the faculty in August of 2004.

 Michael Lynch comes to us from Connecticut College, where he is currently associate professor and chair of the philosophy department.  He received his Ph.D. from Syracuse and taught also at the University of Mississippi.  Lynch's interests run the length of analytic philosophy but focus in the main on metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. His second monograph, True to Life, will be released by MIT Press in the autumn of 2004.

Dan Ryder received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and is presently completing a postdoctoral fellowship in philosophy and cognitive science at Indiana University.  He specializes in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics but has also done considerable work in theoretical neuroscience, developing a model of the cerebral cortex with Oleg Favorov.  He is currently editing a volume on intentionality (with Jesse Prinz) for MIT Press.

 A detailed profile of Lynch follows later in this issue.  Ryder will be subjected to similar scrutiny in a subsequent issue of Cogitamus.


Promotions and Reappointments:

Job Placement:  

Comings and Goings:

Coming Events



Honors and Awards:     


  • Susan Leigh Anderson published "Teaching Today's Students How to Examine Ethical Issues and Be More Actively Involved in the Learning Process" in the Journal of Academic Ethics (2003).  She also published a short story in Myriads, UConn-Stamford's literary journal: "The One-Eyed Professor, the Stubborn French Chef, the Angry Asian, and the Bemused Mayor" (2004).  She has recently completed a book entitled Equal Opportunity Individualism: An Interpretation of the American Dream, as well as the "Foreward" for the second edition of Hugh Mercer Curtler's Ethical Argument: Critical Thinking in Ethics, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2004.

  • Don Baxter has recently completed "Hume's Theory of Space and Time in its Skeptical Context" for the second edition of The Cambridge Companion to Hume, edited by David Fate Norton.  He is also nearing the completion of "Identity, Continued Existence, and the External World" for The Blackwell Guide to Hume, edited by Saul Traiger.

  • JC Beall's Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox was published by Oxford University Press in March 2004.  Another book, Deflationary Truth (edited with Brad Armour-Garb), was published by Open Court Press (OCP) in February.

  • Paul Bloomfield's paper "Is There Moral Higher Ground?" appeared in the Southern Journal of Philosophy, vol. XLI, 2003.  And Paul's book Moral Reality, originally published by Oxford University Press in 2001, came out in paperback early in 2004.

  • Thomas Bontly's paper "Conversational Implicature and the Referential Use of Descriptions" is soon to appear in Philosophical Studies (if it hasn't already).  He also has several papers forthcoming:  "Modified Occam's Razor" (in Mind and Language), "Proportionality, Causation, and Exclusion" (in Philosophia), and "Exclusion, Overdetermination, and the Nature of Causation" (in the Journal of Philosophical Research). 

  • Tim Elder's book Real Natures and Familiar Objects (MIT Press) appeared on April 1st, 2004.  The word on the street is that the book will be the subject of an "Author Meets Critics" session at the Pacific APA in March of 2005.  Tim has also completed a review of John Heil's book From an Ontological Point of View for Mind (Oxford, 2003), and he is now working on a review of Tim Lewen's Organisms and Artifacts (MIT, 2004) for the American Journal of Psychology.

  • Margaret Gilbert's article "Scanlon on Promissory Obligation: The Problem of Promisees' Rights" is now out in the Journal of Philosophy, 2004.

  • Bob Luyster published a review article on "Clifton Fadiman's translation of Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy", in Essays in Philosophy, V, 1 (January 2004).

  • Michael Lynch has just finished checking the proofs for his new book True to Life, forthcoming this fall from MIT Press.  He also has several papers soon to appear:  "Minimalism and the Value of Truth" (in the Philosophical Quarterly), "Truth and Multiple Realizability" (in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy), and "Zombies and the Case of the Phenomenal Pickpocket" (in Synthese).  He is now in the midst of writing an entry on "Truth" for the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics

  • Diana Tietjens Meyers' new book Being Yourself:  Essays on Identity, Action, and Social Life was published by Rowan and Littlefield in March of 2004.  The volume includes both new and previously published essays, with an introduction by the author.  In addition, she has had two new papers appear so far this year:  "Narrative and Moral Life" in Setting the Moral Compass: Essays by Women Philosophers, edited by Cheshire Calhoun (Oxford University Press, 2004), and "The Three Freds and the Fate of Their Happiness" in Journal of Social Philosophy, Spring 2004.

  • Ruth Garrett Millikan has several new articles out or forthcoming: "Biosemantics" in The Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind, Brian McLaughlin, editor; "The Son and the Daughter: On Sellars, Brandom and Millikan" in Pragmatics and Cognition; "On Thoughts of Real Kinds" in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology, Jesse Prinz, editor; and "On Meaning, Meaning, Meaning and Meaning" in Prospects for Meaning, Richard Schantz, editor (de Gruyter).

  • Dan Ryder's paper "SINBAD Neurosemantics: A Theory of Mental Representation" appeared in Mind & Language (April 2004).  He also published (with Oleg Favorov) a paper entitled "SINBAD: A Neocortical Mechanism for Discovering Environmental Variables and Regularities Hidden in Sensory Input" in Biological Cybernetics, 90.



Graduate Program News

Dissertation Defenses



Miscellaneous News:

On a Personal Note:

Yes, Virginia, there is life beyond the ivy-covered walls of Manchester Hall!

Alumni News:

Faculty Profile:

In this issue, we provide a glimpse into the career Michael P. Lynch, who officially joins the UConn faculty in August 2004.  Michael comes to us from Connecticut College, where he is associate professor of philosophy and (since 2003) chair of their department.  Prior to his appointment at Conn College, Michael was an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss") from 1995 until 2000.  He earned his Ph.D. in 1995 from Syracuse University, where he wrote his thesis under the supervision of Bill Alston. 

Lynch's interests run the gamut of analytic philosophy, from metaphysics and epistemology to the philosophy of mind to history, but the bulk of his work focuses on the nature and value of truth.  His first book, Truth in Context, argues that metaphysical pluralism is fully consistent with a robust realism about the truth such as a correspondence theory would provide.  The book was published by MIT Press in 1998 and came out in paperback in 2001; it was chosen for the Choice Outstanding Book Prize in 1999.  His second monograph, True to Life, was written in part while Michael held a Bogliasco Fellowship for research at the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy.  The book argues that truth matters, both personally and politically, and aims to achieve that most elusive goals for academic philosophers:  the feat of doing serious philosophy in public, pitching its arguments not just to other philosophers but to the broader academic community and beyond.  True to Life will be published by MIT Press in November of this year.  Michael has also edited two books:  an anthology entitled The Nature of Truth:  Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (which has already gone through two printings with MIT Press), and (with Heather Battaly) Perspectives on the Philosophy of William P. Alston (forthcoming from Rowman and Littlefield).  He has published numerous articles in respected journals such as Philosophical Studies and The Philosophical Quarterly, and he has lectured widely in the US and abroad, including Mexico, Slovenia, Ireland, Poland, Germany, and Great Britain.

Lynch is also a solid citizen in the philosophical community.  In 2002, he served as Program Chair for the meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, held in Edmonton, Alberta.  He was also on the Program Committee for the Central Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association held in Chicago that same year.  And as mentioned above, he is the co-organizer of the upcoming Realism and Truth conference to be held this summer at the University of St. Andrews.  He has won numerous awards for his teaching and has published on teaching as well.

Michael Lynch has achieved considerable academic success for a philosopher still so young, but then creativity and academic achievement seem to run in his family.  Two of his three sisters, Bridget and Rene Lynch, are successful painters (in Boston and New York City, respectively).  Each has earned numerous grants and prizes, and their work has been exhibited throughout the US and Europe. Bridget also teaches at Simmons College in Boston; Rene (with her husband, painter Julian Jackson) owns the Metaphor Contemporary Art Gallery in Brooklyn.  Michael's sister Patty is an award-winning playwright and recipient (with her husband Kent Stevens) of the Kennedy Center Award for Best New Play.  Pattys shows have been produced throughout the country, several have toured, and she has recently agreed to become the new Executive Director of The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH, the oldest continually-operating theater in the country.  Michael also has a brother, Tom Lynch, who teaches psychology at Duke University and holds a joint appointment at the Duke Medical Center.  Tom currently serves as the director of Duke's Cognitive Behavioral Research and Treatment Program, and his research on mood disorders and suicide has received a great deal of attention recently both from peers and the national press.

Michael was born in Decatur, IL, but grew up in a variety of states, including Louisiana, Maryland and finally South Jersey, where his father, an emergency physician, retired and Michael attended high school.  After graduation, young Mike took off hitch-hiking across the US, ultimately spending about two years rambling around and working construction in Minneapolis and Arizona to make ends meet.  Since there is nothing like hard physical labor to impress upon one the importance of education, Michael enrolled at SUNY Albany where, he says, he spent most of his time singing for a working rock-'n'-roll band acting and serving as a dramaturge for The New Works Theater Company of Albany, NY.  His decision to pursue philosophy came about while reading Hume and Wycliff during a junior-year abroad in Scotland.

Michael and his wife, Terry Berthelot, met when they were both graduate students at Syracuse University.  She received her MSW in 1993, after which she designed, implemented, and subsequently directed an accredited hospice program in rural Mississippi.  That experience sparked her interested in law, and she decided to attend Ole Miss Law School, where she did mitigation work on death penalty cases and won the coveted Christopher P. Charlton Memorial scholarship.  JD in hand, Terry brought her hospice experience to the Center for Medicare Advocacy in Willimantic, a national organization dedicated to the advancement of health care rights.  Together, Michael and Terry enjoy the beach, sailing, traveling, martinis, live music, playing with their cats Sophia and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., and working on their house in South Windham, which recently celebrated its hundredth birthday.



This newsletter was designed by the Philosophy Department's Program Assistant Shelly Burelle. Please visit our website at: "" where this newsletter is located for miscellaneous links, including links to abstracts, and colloquium updates.

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