Faculty News

rationality of perception book cover

Siegel publishes The Rationality of Perception

January 18, 2017

Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy Susanna Siegel has published a new book, The Rationality of Perception, with Oxford University Press. The Rationality of Perception makes an important contribution to our understanding of the human mind and, specifically, to how we think of perception. According to a traditional conception of the human mind, reasoning can be rational or irrational, but perception cannot. Perception is simply a source of new information, and cannot be assessed for rationality. Susanna Siegel argues that this conception is wrong.

tommie shelb's new book dark ghettos

Shelby's Dark Ghettos fills "normative gap" in discussions of urban poverty

December 8, 2016

In a country of obvious wealth—and one that purports to embrace the ideal of equality of opportunity for all of its citizens—why do American ghettos persist? Many theories have been advanced over the years to explain the persistence of American ghettos and various measures proposed and, occasionally, undertaken to address the problem of concentrated urban poverty. But for Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy at Harvard University, the social scientific discourse about the ghetto has been marked by a curious omission.

Susanna Rinard speaks at Res Philosophica Conference

Susanna Rinard speaks at Res Philosophica Conference

May 9, 2016

At the 2016 Res Philosophica Conference hosted by the Department of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, Professor Susanna Rinard delivered a talk on "Imprecise Probability and Higher Order Vagueness." The focus of this year's conference was "Bridging Formal and Traditional Epistemology."

Rinard's paper, which addresses problems in both orthodox Bayesian models and popular efforts to fix them, will appear in a special issue of the journal Res Philosophica.

Benjamin Bagley receives Teaching Award

Benjamin Bagley receives Teaching Award

March 30, 2016

Lecturer on Philosophy Benjamin Bagley has received a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University for his work in Phil 13: Morality and Its Critics. Bagley, who is in the second year of his lectureship in the department, completed his PhD at the University of North Carolina in 2013, where his work focused on normative ethics, moral psychology, and the philosophy of action. Prior to joining the department as Lecturer, Bagley was a postdoctoral fellow at Vassar College.

Cogan University Professor Emeritus Hilary Putnam (1926-2016)

Cogan University Professor Emeritus Hilary Putnam (1926-2016)

March 15, 2016

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, the world and our department lost one of contemporary philosophy's great voices, Hilary Putnam. Hilary's contributions to philosophy were both broad and deep, and his way of philosophizing and of being in the world were marked by intense self-scrutiny, immense generosity, and genuine kindness. It will take us time to come to terms with this loss and to find words appropriate to take the measure of his life.

In the mean time, we invite you to read the moving tributes to Hilary that have already appeared and that can be  accessed at the links below.

Kamm publishes The Trolley Problem Mysteries

Kamm publishes The Trolley Problem Mysteries

November 5, 2015

Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy Frances Kamm has recently published The Trolley Problem Mysteries (Oxford UP, 2015), a collection of Kamm's Berkeley Tanner Lectures with responses by Judith Jarvis Thomson, Thomas Hurka, and Shelly Kagan.

Oxford University Press describes The Trolley Problem Mysteries as "A rigorous treatment of a thought experiment that has become notorious within and outside of philosophy - The Trolley Problem - by one of the most influential moral philosophers alive today":

alison simmons

Alison Simmons featured on Philosop-her

October 15, 2015

Samuel H. Wolcott Professor of Philosophy Alison Simmons recently shared her work on the mind-body problem on the blog Philosop-her. Simmons' work, as she herself states in the essay, is devoted in large part to "restor[ing] the human in [Descartes's] philosophy," a task that involves countering a widespread (mis)understanding of Descartes that is based, Simmons argues, on a highly partial reading of his work. 

israel scheffler

APA establishes Israel Scheffler Prize in Philosophy of Education

October 1, 2015

The American Philosophical Association recently announced the establishment of the Israel Scheffler Prize in Philosophy of Education, in memory of Harvard University Professor of Philosophy Israel Scheffler. The prize will be awarded every third year for a book or a connected set of three or more papers, the most recent of which was published no more than five years previous, on a topic in philosophy of education, broadly construed.