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The University of Connecticut Philosophy Department Newsletter: July 2011

This issue edited by: Lionel Shapiro

Designer: Shelly Burelle

Welcome to the 32nd issue of Cogitamus! This issue covers news for the period of October 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011.


Department News

Changes to the Faculty:

After 50 years of service to the department, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Joel Kupperman retired this summer (see also "Events" and "Honors and Awards" below). Rather than attempt to detail Joel's extraordinary scholarly achievements or trace the profound influence his teaching has had on his many students, we reproduce the lighthearted remarks prepared for Joel's retirement party by department head Crawford (Tim) Elder:

Joel has had a career for which "outstanding" is too weak a term. The range of his interests and scholarly skills is downright baffling. Now Joel doesn't like hearing remarks like his. That's because one of his leading traits is modesty. So I'll make my remarks very brief. And, since most of us know Joel well, I'll focus on some corners of his career. For example, most of us know that Joel collected three degrees from the University of Chicago when he was really, really, really young. But did you know that he has had two NEH Fellowships? That he is the co-author of a textbook on logic? That he is so well known for the breadth of his knowledge in ethics, that a journal once invited him to write on "Ethics for Extraterrestrials"? But I'll cut right to the bottom line. Joel is one of the very, very, few philosophers whose writings can give you the sense that you've learned something new and deep about what life amounts to, about what it is to be a human being. At the same time, Joel is very un-preachy. This combination of slightly irreverent humor, gentleness, and intellectual sharpness have contributed a lot to the ethos of this department. Think of our Brown Bags. Whenever I want to explain to an outsider that this department is at once collegial and challenging, I mention our Brown Bags. Joel invented them. I have every confidence that Joel will go on inventing other good ideas, as his career moves into a new phase. But for all of us--all who have been associated with this department over the past 50 years--the time has come to say "thank you, Joel".

Serena Parekh has accepted a position at Northeastern University in Boston. We very much regret losing Serena as a colleague, and will miss her distinctive philosophical voice at our weekly Brown Bags and elsewhere. But we look forward to remaining in touch, and wish Serena, Ed, and their sons August and Kersi all the best.

We are delighted to welcome Hallie Liberto this fall as our newest faculty member. Hallie comes to us from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her Ph.D. in the spring of this year. Her research is in moral and political philosophy, and she has particular interest in bioethical and political topics that intersect with feminist concerns. A profile of Hallie will appear in a future edition of Cogitamus.

The department is proud to announce that William G. Lycan, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, will be teaching at UConn during the fall semester of 2012, while on leave from UNC. It is expected that the same arrangement will continue through fall 2013 and fall 2014, and indeed through fall semesters for indefinitely many years beyond those.


In Memoriam

James Ellington , emeritus Professor in this department, died on Sunday, August 21.  Joel Kupperman contributes this remembrance: "Prof. Ellington probably was the most widely-read member of the philosophy department in recent decades, if one includes his translations of Kant's best known ethical writing.  He was a meticulous scholar of a traditional sort, with careful attention to detail.  He also was a cultured intellectual of a traditional kind, with an impressive collection of recordings of classical music and impressive knowledge."


Career Developments:

During 2011-12 Anne Hiskes will continue to serve the College as Interim Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Programs with her primary responsibilities including working with Women's Studies and the ethnic studies institutes and faculty development programs.  She looks forward to rejoining the department this year after last year's 100% administrative assignment.

Lionel Shapiro  has been awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. He is very grateful for the department's support, and would like to thank the members of the PTR Committee and the Head for all their work.


Last May, the department held a conference celebrating Joel Kupperman's 50th year at UConn. Entitled "Character: East and West," the conference brought together distinguished theorists to discuss the centrality of character in both Eastern and Western traditions of philosophy. Speakers included Steve Angle, Roy Brooks, John Doris, John Kekes, Chenyang Li, Loren Lomasky, Gustavus McLeod, Peimin Ni, Elise Springer, and David Wong.

On October 7-8, 2011 the department will hold a small conference, organized by Crawford (Tim) Elder, on the question "Does Ontology Need Levels?" Speakers will be E. J. Lowe, Peter van Inwagen, Amie Thomasson, John Heil, and Ned Markosian. For more information, please see the above link.

The UConn Logic Group ( was delighted to have distinguished linguist Angelika Kratzer (UMass) deliver its 2010 Annual Logic Lecture in October. The Logic Group also presented many other visiting speakers at its regular lecture/discussion sessions: philosophers Colin Caret (St Andrews), Roy Cook (Minnesota), Patrick Greenough (St Andrews) and Zach Weber (Melbourne), linguist Tamina Stephenson (Yale), and mathematicians Damir Dzhafarov (Chicago) and Russell Miller (CUNY).

The department's 2010-11 colloquium series included talks by Susanne Bobzien (Yale), Claudia Card (Wisconsin-Madison), Colin Caret (St Andrews) Roy Cook (Minnesota), Marcello Fiocco (UC Irvine), Philip Kitcher (Columbia), Alice MacLachlan (York, Canada), Christy Mag Uidhir (CUNY), James Woodbridge (UNLV), and Zach Weber (Melbourne). Speakers for 2011-12 will include Ben Bradley (Syracuse), Branden Fitelson (Rutgers), Sally Haslanger (MIT), Thomas Hill (North Carolina), Joshua Mozersky (Queen’s), Joel Pust (Delaware), Nathan Salmon (UC Santa Barbara), Nishi Shah (Amherst), Nancy Sherman (Georgetown), Alison Simmons (Harvard), and Elliott Sober (Wisconsin-Madison).

Comings and Goings:

Jc Beall has returned from a 9-week stay in Australasia, spending most of that time as Professor in Philosophy at Otago University in lovely Dunedin, New Zealand. 

During his second three-week stay last fall as Provost Distinguished Guest Professor, Patrick Greenough of the University of St Andrews (Scotland) gave three talks for the department and the Logic Group, and participated in a joint workshop with Mark Richard of Harvard University on The Nature of Disagreement. Patrick also led a min-seminar on contextualism and relativism.

In the spring, Zach Weber of the University of Melbourne visited us for over a month as the Logic Group's first Scholar of Consequence, giving three talks for the department and the Logic Group. Zach also led a mini-seminar on paraconsistent set theory.

During July and August, Paul Bloomfield has been teaching summer school at East China Normal University. He reports that Shanghai is an amazing and fascinating city.

Job Market News:

We are pleased to report that since the last Cogitamus several more of our graduate students have secured jobs in philosophy departments. Congratulations to all!

Theodore Bach has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor at Bowling Green State University Firelands College, Huron, Ohio.

• Asha Bhandary will spend 2011-12 as part-time Visiting Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University, where she will have the opportunity to teach a course on her research.

David Capps will be Visiting Assistant Professor at Western Connecticut State University.

Rik Hine has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor at Texas Christian University.

Daniel Massey will be Visiting Assistant Professor at Arkansas State University.

Steven Todd has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Research Travel Award:

The department's annual Research Travel Award provides the funds for a graduate student to travel for an extended visit to an institution proposed by the student in view of his or her research. The recipient of the 2010-11 award was Matt Clemens, who used it for a trip in June and July to the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich). Matt reports that he benefited greatly from the award:

I worked with Hannes Leitgeb, Jeff Ketland, and Brandon Fitelson on the topic of my dissertation (mathematical fictionalism), and participated in a full schedule of workshops, reading groups, and lectures, highlights of which included Steve Awodey on category theory and structuralism, Michael Potter on our understanding of the classical continuum, Hannes Leitgeb on logic and neural networks, and Brandon Fitelson on accuracy and coherence.

Society for Women in Philosophy:

UConn's chapter of the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) is now an official and permanent part of the Philosophy Department (which approved a constitution drafted by Asha Bhandary). As reported by Kathy Fazekas , future plans for SWIP include reaching out more to undergraduate Philosophy majors and providing those who are interested with information and advice about pursuing graduate degrees in philosophy.

Personal News:

Tom Bontly and Allison Ponce welcomed their baby daughter Adeline, born December 7 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Adeline is now a healthy, happy, and energetic seven month old who is just starting to crawl.

Sam Wheeler is in his forty-first year as a volunteer firefighter in Willington, having been everything from lieutenant and assistant chief to deputy chief. Sam was re-elected secretary of the Willington Hill Fire Department and continues to be qualified as a Medical Response Technician (a step down from EMT) and interior fire-fighter (Firefighter I).


Honors and Awards:

Jc Beall has been made the Logic Editor of the new journal Thought, which is being published by Wiley under the general Editorship of Crispin Wright. More news about the journal should be emerging in coming months. 

In honor of Joel Kupperman's 50 years of teaching philosophy, UConn alumni Chenyang Li (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and Peimin Ni (Grand Valley State University) organized a two-day mini-conference at the Tenth East-West Philosophers' Conference in Hawaii (May 23-24). Chenyang reports that the conference, with participants from the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, was a highlight of the Tenth conference, and that a festschrift in Joel's honor is in the works.

Michael Lynch received the College of Liberal Arts and Science Research Excellence Award this past year. He is President Elect of the Southern Society of Philosophy and Psychology.

Ruth Millikan has been chosen to give the annual John Dewey Lecture at the APA's Central Division Meeting in February 2012.

Marcus Rossberg was recently appointed an Associate Editor of Erkenntnis.


Jc Beall published three papers: "Adding to Relevant Restricted Quantification," Australasian Journal of Logic 10 (2011): 36-44,"Can u Do That?" (with G. Priest and Z. Weber), Analysis 71 (2011): 280-85 and "Multiple-Conclusion LP and Default Classicality," Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (2011): 326-36 (for more on this paper, see Major Work in Progress below). His new Supplement to Logic: The Basics (Routledge, 2010) has appeared; it was coauthored with UConn alumnus David Ripley (of the University of Melbourne).

Crawford (Tim) Elder 's new book Familiar Objects and Their Shadows was published by Cambridge University Press as part of the series Cambridge Studies in Philosophy. (For a podcast Tim recorded about the book, see the CLAS website.) Three of his papers have also appeared in print: "Carving Up a Reality in Which There Are No Joints," in A Companion to Relativism, ed. Steven Hales, in the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), "The Alleged Supervenience of Everything on Microphysics," Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (2011): 89-97, and "Millikan, Realismus und Selbigkeit," Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 58 (2010): 955-73 (a translation of his forthcoming “Millikan, Realism, and Sameness”).

Michael Lynch 's "Truth Pluralism and Truth Relativism" appears in A Companion to Relativism, ed. S. Hales, in the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). He also published "After Truth Gives Way," The Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2011): 400-409.

Ruth Millikan 's paper "Loosing the Word/Concept Tie" appears in Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (2011): 125-43.

Lionel Shapiro published three papers: "Two Kinds of Intentionality in Locke," Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (2010): 554-86, "Deflating Logical Consequence," Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2011): 320-42, and "Expressibility and the Liar’s Revenge," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2011): 297-314.

Sam Wheeler 's paper "Davidson, Derrida and Différance" has appeared in the collection Dialogues with Davidson, ed. Jeff Malpas (MIT Press, 2011). Sam also published a review of the reissue of Richard Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature in The European Legacy 16 (2011): 292-4.

Forthcoming Publications:


Don Baxter gave one of the keynote addresses at the Hume's Metaphysics and Humean Metaphysics conference in Tampere, Finland (June 20-22). The conference was organized in celebration of Hume’s 300th birthday. Don’s paper was entitled "Hume on Abstraction and Identity." He also commented on a paper by Juan Piñeros and Donald Ainslie (Toronto) at the 38th International Hume Conference, Hume after 300 Years, at the Old College, Edinburgh, Scotland (July 18-23). Their paper, "The Place of Relations in Hume's Distinction of Reason," is a critique of Don's interpretation.

Jc Beall gave a colloquium talk on "Future Contradictions" at the University of Minnesota (February) and spoke "On Non-Detachable Validity" at the conference Pillars of Truth at Princeton University (April). He presented "Illogical Times" at three conferences abroad: a conference on Contradiction at the Technische Universität Berlin (June), the conference Beyond the Possible at the University of Melbourne (July), and at the meeting of the Australasian Association of Philosophy in Dunedin, New Zealand (July). Concluding his winter trip to Australasia were two colloquium talks in July on "Non-Detachable Dialetheism," at Otago University and Auckland University in New Zealand.

Tom Bontly presented "How Reasons Explain" at Union College (Jan. 20) and "Davidson's Challenge" at the meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, New Orleans (March 10).

Crawford (Tim) Elder presented "The Alleged Supervenience of Everything on Microphysics" at the University of Tampere, Finland (June 20) and the Humboldt-Universität Berlin (June 23), as well as "Sparse Realism about Two Forms of Sameness" at Queen's University, Ontario (Oct. 28).

Joel Kupperman delivered a paper on comparative philosophy to open a two-day mini-conference in Honolulu in his honor (May 23-24, see "Department News" above).

Last fall, Michael Lynch gave "Three Lectures on Epistemic Incommensurability" at the Northern Institute of Philosophy, Aberdeen, Scotland (September), "Arguments against Epistemic Realism" at the University of Edinburgh (October), and "Epistemic Incommensurability" at University College Dublin (October). While in Dublin, Michael also presented "Three Questions About Truth" at an Aporo Workshop on Truth: Concept and Property and offered "Replies to Critics" at an Aporo Symposium on his book Truth as One and Many (Oxford UP, 2009). He also presented "Three Questions About Truth" as a colloquium talk at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and at the University of Minnesota (both in November), and as an invited plenary lecture at the meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology in New Orleans (March). In April, Michael gave two talks at the conference Pillars of Truth at Princeton: "Pluralism About Truth" and"Truth's Values." He spoke again on "Truth's Values" at a workshop on Huw Price's Naturalism Without Mirrors at the University of Zurich (May).

Ruth Millikan gave two talks at the University of Nebraska (Oct. 21-22): "Learning Language" as the Cedric Evans Memorial Lecture and "Utterly Direct Reference" as a philosophy colloquium. She also presented "Learning Language" at Boston University (Nov. 5), "Natural Signs" at the University of Texas, Arlington (Feb. 4), "A Different Model for Empirical Concepts" at Denison University (March 4), "The Tangle of Biological Purposes That is Us" as the keynote lecture for School of Thought, an undergraduate philosophy conference at the University of Western Ontario (March 18), "Animal Signs" at a workshop on Comparative Psychology and Animal Minds, Harvard University (March 27), "More on Natural Signs/Intentional Signs," at a CUNY Graduate Center colloquium, and "Biological Purposes, Human Purposes, Crossing Purposes" at the American University of Beirut's conference on The Metaphysics of Evolutionary Naturalism (May 13). Most recently, Ruth offered a summary and defense of her paper "Loosing the Word/Concept Tie" at the plenary session of the Aristotelian Society and Mind Association Joint Session, University of Sussex (July 9).

Marcus Rossberg presented "'The discussion of this question can easily degenerate into a quarrel about words': Platonism in Frege's Grundgesetze?" (with Philip A. Ebert) twice: at the Spring Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic, held in conjunction with the APA's Pacific Division Meeting in San Diego (April 21) and at a Bucharest Colloquium in Analytic Philosophy devoted to Frege's Philosophy of Mathematics (May 28). Marcus also spoke on "Semantical Paradoxes: The Successes and Failures of Non-Classical Logics," at the Truth, Paradox and Abstraction workshop of the Northern Institute of Philosophy, Aberdeen, Scotland (July 6).

Lionel Shapiro presented "Adding Content to Price's Pragmatism" at a workshop on Huw Price's Naturalism Without Mirrors at the University of Zurich (May 10), "Sellars on Semantical Rules and the Meaning of 'Means'" at the Prague International Colloquium on Normativity of Meaning: Sellarsian Perspectives (May 24), "Relativism Without Relative Truth" at the conference EPR3: Expressivism, Projection and Rules, Sydney (July 1), and "Two Kinds of Intentionality: A Lesson from Early Modern Philosophy?" at a workshop Nature Versus Normativity? Joining Contemporary and Early Modern Perspectives on Intentionality and Knowledge, Humboldt-Universität Berlin (July 14).

In April, Sam Wheeler delivered two sets of comments at the APA Central Division Meeting in Minneapolis: on Lee Braver's book A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism, and on Jason Leddington's paper "What We Hear."

Upcoming Presentations:

Don Baxter is scheduled to present "Hume on Abstraction and Identity" at a workshop on the topic of "modern universals" at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy (Nov. 7-9). The workshop is one of a series designed to refine papers for inclusion in a multi-volume collection on the problem of universals from ancient times to the present.

In September, Jc Beall will give a talk on "Prior's Dilemma" for the University of St Andrews Philosophy Department. Also in St Andrews, Scotland, he will give a five-lecture series on 'non-detachable dialetheism" at the Arché Philosophical Research Center (January), and he will present "Semantic Truth Theories" at a conference on Axiomatic versus Semantic Truth at the Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy (March). Later in 2012, Jc will give talks at UMass Amherst's UMie-Reunion Conference, at a conference on Deviant Logics at UMass Dartmouth, and at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Michael Lynch will speak on "Epistemic Constructivism" at a workshop on Expressivism in Epistemology at the University of Edinburgh in October.

Ruth Millikan will present "What's Inside a Thinking Animal?" as part of the colloquium Do Non-Linguistic Creatures Act for Reasons of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Philosophie, Munich (Sept. 14).

Marcus Rossberg will speak on "Artworks as Abstract Objects" at the colloquium series of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Sept. 23).

Lionel Shapiro will give a colloquium talk at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Nov. 4) as well as two talks during a two-week visit in November to the Arché Philosophical Research Centre of the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

Responses to our work:

A symposium on Ruth Millikan's philosophy appeared in the Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 58 (2010): 889-980, including five articles and a reply from Ruth. The same issue (pp. 981-1000) includes an interview with Ruth entitled "Gedacht wird in der Welt, nicht im Kopf" [Thinking Takes Place in the World, Not in the Head], with interviewers Markus Wild and Martin Lenz.

Notable Service:

Don Baxter was on the program committee for the New England Colloquium in Early Modern Philosophy that met at Dartmouth College (May 27-29).

Tom Bontly is serving in the University Senate and on the Senate Nominating Committee. This spring/summer, Tom participated in the search for the new AAUP director.

Anne Hiskes will continue serving as Chair of the Senate Diversity Committee. She has also recently been appointed as an inaugural member of the newly established Provost's Commission on Institutional Diversity. She will continue serving as a faculty representative on the University's Board of Trustees.

Michael Lynch has been once again appointed to the Board of the UConn Humanities Institute.

Ruth Millikan served as on-site examiner for two dissertations at other universities: Pierre Faye's In Favor of Teleosemantics: A Millikanian Treatment of the Intentional Content of Mental Representation (CUNY Graduate Center, Oct. 28) and Marc Staudacher's Use Theories of Meaning: Between Conventions and Social Norms (University of Amsterdam, Dec. 2).

Major Work in Progress:

Jc Beall reports that while he is interested in turning his sights to time, he is now engaged in a big project on "non-detachable dialetheism" (dialetheic truth theory without any detachable conditionals). This project builds on his new paper "Multiple-Conclusion LP and Default Classicality" (see Publications above). He expects that an upcoming five-lecture series on this topic at Arché Philosophical Research Centre, St Andrews, Scotland will serve as the basis of a book.

Joel Kupperman is working on a nearly final version of a book manuscript with the working title The Ethics of Human Imperfection.

Sam Wheeler is about half-way done with a book consisting of a neo-Davidsonian argument that much contemporary metaphysics is based on misunderstandings of predication and truth. Sam is also editing a special issue of The European Legacy on Richard Rorty.

Teaching Innovations:

Tom Bontly, together with Letty Naigles of Psychology, will lead a new graduate-level Proseminar in Cognitive Science this fall, as part of the newly approved Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science.

Updates from Former Members of our Department:

Cambridge University Press has just published the collection Machine Ethics edited by Professor Emerita Susan Anderson and Michael Anderson. The volume, the first scholarly book on a new field of research that the Andersons have been at the forefront of, contains four articles by Susan and one joint article with Michael Anderson. Susan also contributed introductions to all six of the book’s sections. Together withMichael Anderson and their research robot NAO, Susan will be the keynote speakers at a workshop on Human-Robot Interaction in Elder Care as part of the Twenty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, San Francisco (Aug. 8).

As field editor in (Western) political philosophy for the recently published Springer Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy, Professor Emeritus Steve McGrade contributed a survey article and commissioned and edited 40 other articles in the field. Steve is now preparing an accessible edition of Richard Hooker's Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (500,000+ words) for Oxford University Press.

Professor Emerita Diana Meyers (now Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Social Ethics and Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University) has edited and introduced a special issue of Hypatia (vol. 26(4), 2010) on Responsibility and Identity in Global Justice, sponsored by FEAST, the Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Thought. She also edited and introduced a forthcoming special cluster of three papers in Hypatia (vol. 27(2), 2012) on Feminist Critiques of Evolutionary Psychology. Diana's paper " Two Victim Paradigms and the Problem of 'Impure' Victims" is forthcoming in Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development.

A conference directed by Diana, on Poverty, Coercion, and Human Rights, will take place at Loyola University, Chicago, in April of 2012. Her recent and upcoming talks include "Critical Commentary on The Politics of Persons: Individual Autonomy and Socio-Historical Selves," Penn State Philosophy Department (October), "Corporeal Selfhood, Self-Interpretation, and Narrative Selfhood" at the conference on Diachronic Agency, University of Bern (October), "The Role of Empathy in Human Rights Interpretation and Commitment," Notre Dame Philosophy Department (November), " Embodied Empathy and Human Rights Epistemology," as a plenary lecture at the conference Wounded Bodies, Wounded Minds: Intersections of Memory and Identity, Iasi, Romania (April) and at the Sixth Annual International Conference on Philosophy, Athens (May), "A Conception of Empathy for Border Crossers,” FEAST Conference, Zion, Illinois (September), and an invited colloquium presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Diana is working on a monograph entitled Victims' Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights.

Graduate Program News

Incoming Graduate Students:

The department is delighted to welcome this year's group of new graduate students:

Mayank Bora writes that he "began with a bachelors in IT but could not reconcile himself with the happy and prosperous life that seemed to beckon every techie then. Thus post-graduation after a year or two of scratching his hind-quarters with odd jobs he came to Philosophy to scratch his head instead." Mayank received his MA and MPhil in Philosophy from the University of Delhi, and studied for an MSc for two years at ILLC, University of Amsterdam. He is interested in empirical approaches to philosophy of mind and language (particularly in meaning and mental content), as well as in logic and its philosophical applications.

Jonathan Douglas received his B.A. from Skidmore College in 2010 in Philosophy. His interests at the moment include -- but are not limited to -- metaphysics, the limits of logic and human reason, and the history of moral philosophy.

• Andrew Parisi has a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in Classics both from UMass Amherst, as well as a certi?cate in Logic from the Massachusetts Five Colleges System. His interests lie in all areas of logic, and its application to philosophical problems.

Noah Sharpsteen graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Portland State University in 2011. His philosophical interests include Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Logic, Early Modern Empiricism, and American Pragmatism. Other interests include classical languages, logic puzzles, and humanitarian work.

• Nathan Sheff graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2010 with a BA in philosophy. He is interested in philosophy of mind and metaphysics (having written his senior thesis on how questions of personal ontology bear on the extended mind thesis), but also enjoys reading about applied ethics regarding our treatment of non-human animals. He lives in Stafford Springs with his cat, Maggie.

Honors and Awards:

Asha Bhandary received a graduate student paper award at the APA's Eastern Division Meeting in Boston (December). Asha enjoyed a productive year as the CLAS Dean's Graduate Fellow in the Humanities at the Humanities Institute for 2010-2011.

Paul Silva has been awarded a Dissertation Fellowship at the UConn Humanities Institute for the 2011-12 academic year.

Bradley Jay Strawser was awarded a one year position as a Resident Research Fellow at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership in Annapolis, MD, where he will spend the upcoming year researching and finishing his dissertation. For the second year in a row, BJ was awarded the Fred and Kathleen Otter Scholarship for Academically Outstanding CLAS Graduate Student (this time for 2011-12).

Congratulations to Asha, Paul and BJ!


Bradley Jay Strawser has published four papers: "Walking the Tightrope of Just War," Analysis 71 (July 2011): 533-44, "Rea's Revenge and the Persistent Problem of Persistence for Realism," Philosophia 39 (2011): 375-91, “Moral Predators: The Duty to Employ Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles,” Journal of Military Ethics 9 (2010): 342-68, and "The Normative Structure of Human Rights: a review of James Griffin’s On Human Rights", Journal of Human Rights 10 (2011): 112-19. His paper "Those Frightening Men: A New Interpretation of Plato’s Battle of Gods and Giants" is forthcoming in Epoché.


Asha Bhandary presented "A Conception of Individual Autonomy for the Capabilities Approach" at the APA's Eastern Division Meeting in Boston (December). She gave two talks at UConn's Humanities Institute, including a formal public talk on "Freedom to Care" (February). Asha has since presented "Freedom to Care" at the International Social Philosophy Conference in Milwaukee (July 22), and her paper was the topic of a meeting of the New York Society for Women in Philosophy, at the NYU Philosophy Department. In coming months, Asha will present "Freedom to Care" for FEAST (Feminist Ethics and Social Thought), Zion, Illinois (Sept. 23) and the Association for Political Theory, Notre Dame, Indiana (Oct. 13-15).

Matt Clemens presented "Problems for Artifactual Mathematical Fictionalism" at the University of Iowa Graduate Philosophical Society Conference, Iowa City (March 26), and at the University of Oklahoma Graduate Philosophy Conference, Norman (April 9).

At the Northern Institute of Philosophy (NIP) Graduate Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland (July 1-2), Michael Hughes delivered a paper entitled "Problems for Contrastive Closure: Resolved and Regained." Michael also attended the NIP Summer School that preceded the graduate conference.

In March, Paul Silva presented "Epistemic Inconsistency and Skepticism about Intuition" at an epistemology conference at Notre Dame. He will be speak on "Transmission Failure" at an epistemology conference at St. Louis University in October, and will present "Special Composition, Transitivity, and Ordinary Objects" at the APA's Central Division Meeting in Chicago (Februrary).

Bradley Jay Strawser spoke on "Two Bad Arguments for Autonomous Weapons" at the 17th International Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy & Technology, University of North Texas (May), and "Neutrality, Necessity, and Power Asymmetry" at the International Society of Military Ethics Annual Symposium, San Diego (January). In August, he will present "Terrorism and the Just" in Brighton, England, at the Center for Applied Philosophy, Politics, & Ethics (CAPPE) Annual Conference The 9/11 Decade: Rethinking Reality.

Dissertation Defenses:

Congratulations to four graduates for successfully defending their dissertations in the spring and summer of 2011!

Asha Bhandary defended her dissertation entitled "Liberalism and Dependency Care."

David Capps defended his dissertation entitled "The Problem of Meta-Epistemic Disagreement."

Daniel Massey defended his dissertation entitled " The Argument from Irresolvable Moral Disagreement ."

Douglas Owings defended his dissertation entitled "Indeterminacy and Logical Atoms."

Dissertation Topics:

Matt Clemens 's dissertation develops a new anti-nominalist version of mathematical fictionalism, and argues that adopting such a view allows one to provide solutions to both traditional and recent problems in the philosophy of mathematics.

Alexis Elder is writing her dissertation on the metaphysics of friendship.

Jeremy Wyatt 's dissertation will be on the topic of truth pluralism and the context-sensitivity of 'true'.

Notable Service:

Asha Bhandary wrote a constitution for the UConn Society for Women in Philosophy, which was approved by the department.

Alexis Elder is the new Head TA Mentor for the department's teaching mentorship program.

Alumni News:

Theodore Bach 's "Structure-Mapping: Directions From Simulation to Theory" has appeared in Philosophical Psychology 24 (2011) 23-51. His 15,000-word paper " Gender is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence" is forthcoming in Ethics , and an essay on "The New Science of Analogical Cognition with Applications to Philosophy of Mind" is under contract for Philosophy Compass. Ted presented "Relation-System Natural Kinds and the Function of Analogy" at the meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology in New Orleans (March) and the APA's Pacific Division Meeting in San Diego (April).

Aaron Cotnoir was runner-up for the Younger Scholar's Prize in Metaphysics for the paper "Composition as General Identity," which will appear in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, ed. D. Zimmerman. His "Validity for Strong Pluralists" is forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Aaron also reports that Ian Cameron Cotnoir was born Dec. 2, 2010 in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Steve Lahey has been awarded tenure in the department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska, and has completed a translation of John Wyclif's Trialogus, to be published by Cambridge University Press. He has also contributed to a volume on Wycliffite Spirituality for the Classics in Western Spirituality series of Paulist press. He is still struggling to learn Czech, the better to understand early fifteenth century philosophy in Charles University, Prague. His spouse Julia is now a full professor at UNL, and his daughter Thea is 9 and in charge.

Brian Leahy 's paper "Presuppositions and Antipresuppositions in Conditionals" will appear in Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 21 (SALT 21). Since March, he has given seven different talks on his work on conditionals at meetings including those of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Moscow Syntax and Semantics, and Semantics and Linguistic Theory. In July, Brian presented "The Function of Mental Conditionals" at the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association in July. Future talks include "Teleosemantics and Mental Conditionals" at the first Philosophy of Language and Mind Conference in Stockholm (September" and "Testing Temporal and Modal Remoteness Theories of Counterfactuals" at the ILCLI International Workshop of Semantics, Pragmatics, and Rhetoric, Donostia, Spain (November).

Keya Maitra, Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA), received UNCA's Outstanding Teacher Award in the Humanities for 2010-11. She presented her paper "Solving Moore's Paradox Through a Defense of Evans's Principle" at an international interdisciplinary conference on Rationality, Spirituality and Morality: East and West at Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia (April), and "Values in Arranged Marriage: Economic Transaction or Cultural Value?” (co-authored with Mohammed Mohsin) at the Tenth East-West Philosophers’ Conference in Honolulu (May). Her paper “The Questions of Identity and Agency in Feminisms Without Borders” has been accepted for the 2011 FEAST Annual conference organized by the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy (Sept. 22-25). During the Spring 2001 semester, while on professional development leave, she completed a revision of her fresh translation (and introduction) of the Bhagavad-Gita which is under a pre-contract contract with the Edwin Mellen Press. Keya is also excited to collaborate with colleague Katherine Zubko in launching the new "UNCA in India" program. In December, they will lead 12 UNCA students to a 4 week long study abroad trip to India. 

Steven Todd presented "What we can and cannot conclude about Sperling (1960): And why it matters" as a talk for the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology in New Orleans (March), and as a poster at the joint meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology in Montreal (July 6-10). Although Steven was unable make it to Canada in person, his poster did!


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