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The University of Connecticut Philosophy Department Newsletter Vol. II, No. 4 September 1999

Edited by Margaret Gilbert, Anne Hiskes

Welcome to the sixth issue of Cogitamus! It reports on the period of August 29, 1999 to September 15, 1999.

Our aim is to provide summary information on the ongoing professional achievements and activities of members of our department, and to provide notice of upcoming events.

This issue welcomes some new members of the department.

Proposed items for inclusion in the next issue (expected publication date November 15) should be given or (preferably) emailed to


We are happy to welcome the department's first post-doc Gunnar Björnsson who is visiting for the year from Sweden. Gunnar earned his Ph.D. from Stockholm University where he wrote a dissertation on Moral Internalism under the direction of Professor Lars Bergström. During the coming year he will continue his research in the area of moral internalism. In addition he is working on a functional analysis of modal judgements using a Millikan type framework, and he also plans to explore the nature of moral judgements in light of phenomena associated with weakness of will and depression. Gunnar can be found in Manchester Hall Room 206, phone 486-3745.

We are also happy to welcome 7 new graduate students.

Richard Anderson earned a B.A. in General Studies from Western New England College. He is currently a Captain and Aviator in the United States Army. He has flown missions in Hawaii, Thailand, and Australia. After earning his M.A. at UConn, Richard plans to teach Philosophy and English Composition at West Point.

Keith Baughman graduated from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Philosophy and Sociology. After graduation he worked in several public service agencies. He hopes to continue integrating his dual interests in sociology and philosophy in his future studies.

Justin Fisher received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) where he studied with Robert Audi and majored in Mathematics, Philosophy, Computer Science, and Political Science. He is particularly interested in philosophy of mind and cognitive science.

Samuel Hughes became interested in philosophy after serving as a Chaplain Assistant in the army during the Gulf War. After a 4 year stint in the army during which he was awarded 5 medals, he enrolled in college and earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff), a B.A. in history from University of Arizona (Tucson), and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Mississippi (Oxford MS). In addition he studied French for a semester at the University of Paris , Sorbonne.

James Mullen, or "Jay" as he prefers to be called, earned his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Delaware where he became especially interested in philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, and history of philosophy. He is the co-author (with Dr. Alan Fox) of "Concrete Ethics in a Comparative Perspective: Zhuangzi meets William James" to be published by Rowan and Littlefield in an anthology entitled Varieties of Ethical Reflection.

Tim Nulty graduated with a B.A. in philosophy from Clark University. He wrote his senior thesis on personal identity and the work of Derek Parfit

John Schaub comes with a B.S. in Physics/Math from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Puget Sound, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Most recently he has studied philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.



  • Susan Anderson's books - one on Mill and one on Kierkegaard - will come out this fall in Wadsworth's new philosophy series.

  • Margaret Gilbert's article "Obligation and Joint Commitment" is in the July 1999 issue of Utilitas. Her article "Social Rules: Some Problems for Hart's Account and an Alternative Proposal" is forthcoming in Law and Philosophy 1999. In addition, her book Sociality and Responsibility: New Essays in Plural Subject Theory, is scheduled for December 1999 publication by Rowman and Littlefield.

  • Joel Kupperman has published an article "Virtues Ethics and Moral Education", eds. David Carr and John Steutel (London and New York: Routledge), pp. 199-209 and a forthcoming book entitled Learning from Asian Philosophy (New York: Oxford University Press).
  • Diana Tietjens Meyers's first electronic publication is about to go online. "Feminist Perspectives on the Self" will appear in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in September. Her article is accompanied by Lisa Cassidy's extensive bibliography of feminist philosophical work on the self, which is already online. You can access these materials at
  • Steve McGrade (emeritus) has published an article on 'Dark Ages and Enlightenments, Medieval and Modern: Relationships in Political Philosophy' in Meeting of the Minds: The Relations between Medieval and Classical Modern Philosophy, Acts of the International Colloquium held at Boston College June 14-16, 1996 organized by the Societe Internationale pour l'Etude de la Philosophie Medievale, ed. Stephen F. Brown (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1998), pp. 459-75.

    Steve McGrade's 1980 article, 'Ockham and the Birth of Individual Rights,' has been reprinted in Classical and Medieval Literary Criticism, vol. 32, ed. Jelena Krstovic (Detroit, San Francisco, London, Boston, Woodbridge: The Gale Group, 1999), pp. 179-88.

  • Ruth Millikan's new book on concepts titled On Clear and Confused Ideas went to press at Cambridge U.P. in July.


    Don Baxter was the commentator for Karann Durland's paper "Hume on Primary and Secondary Qualities" at the 26th Hume Society Conference held at University College, Cork, Ireland, July 19-23.

    Tim Elder will present a paper titled "Physicalism and the Fallacy of Composition" at a an international congress on "Analytic Philosophy at the Turn of the Millenium", in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 1-4 December 1999.

    Margaret Gilbert chaired a session at the annual meeting of the British Society for Ethical Theory in Durham England.

    Diana Tietjens Meyers presented "Culture, Autonomy and Female Genital Cutting" as an Invited Paper at the World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy in New York City in June. She presented "Decentralizing Autonomy -- Five Faces of Selfhood" to the Philosophy Department at Dalhousie University in August. In October, Meyers will present "Social Groups and Individual Identities -- Individuality, Agency, and Theory" to a conference titled Feminist Ethics Revisited, which is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Ethics Center at the University of South Florida.

    Ruth Millikan gave a previously unanticipated informal talk at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. She spoke about her book on concepts to what she characterizeses as "a most appreciative audience with amazingly good English--not me, them." See the May issue of Cogitamus for more of Ruth's activities.


    Thanks to Lisa Cassidy and Sam Hughes, Diana Tietjens Meyers' Philosophy 104 (Sections 6-13) has entered the high tech pedagogy era. Their website can be found at:


    Margaret Gilbert was a Visiting Fellow in the in the School of Advanced Study at London University in the Philosophy Programme during July and August.



    Lisa Cassidy published an online bibliography of feminist philosophical work on the self to accompany Diana Meyers' online article "Feminist Perspectives on the Self". It will appear in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in September. You can access these materials at>


    Jim Phelps (ABD) presented a paper entitled "A Defense of Evolutionary Psychology" at Leiden University, Holland in August.


    Andy Aavatsmark (Ph.D. 1999) is Visiting Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Connecticut College for the academic year. This term he is teaching "Thinking Philosophically about the Environment" in addition to 2 standard introductory courses. He is looking forward to teaching "Explanation in Biology and Psychology" next semester on topics related to his dissertation, as well as a course "Philosophical Impact of Darwinism". Andy's email address is

    Inna Kupreeva (UConn MA 1995; Ph.D. Toronto 1999) is teaching two courses at University of Toronto on logic and medieval philosophy, and two courses at York University on the Presocratics and Plato/Aristotle. She can be contacted by e-mail at

    Keya Maitra (ABD) has started her tenure-track position in philosophy at the College of Staten Island (CUNY). She is to be congratulated for safely driving herself and all her worldly goods to Staten Island. This semester she is offering "Introduction to Ethics", Introduction to Philosophical Thinking", and a course on the Bhagavad-Gita. Her E-mail address is

    Xinli Wang (Ph.D. 1999) is settled at Juniata College in Huntington, PA. Where he has begun a new tenure-track position in philosophy. He is teaching three courses this semester, including one on Chinese philosophy. He is already busy building bridges with other departments by developing new courses on philosophy of biology, symbolic logic, philosophy and technology, and scientific reasoning. Xinli can be reached by E-mail:

    C A L E N D A R

    Wednesdays at noon: our regular Brown Bag Series of informal philosophy talks continues.

    UPCOMING Colloquia:

    • October 14 at 4 PM. Speaker Richard Moran, Harvard University. Topic: TBA.

    • The first Parcells lecture for 1999-2000 will be given by Professor Jonathan Bennett. The talk will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19 in the Class of '47 Room of the Babbidge Library. The topic will be "Punishment".

    • To see the complete listing of colloquia scheduled for fall please go to our Colloqium Series page.

    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.

    Any questions or comments should be directed to Shelly at

    Department of Philosophy
    U-2054, 344 Mansfield Rd.
    Storrs, Connecticut 06269-2054
    Telephone: 860-486-4416
    Fax: 860-486-0387