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.
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.
The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that Gina Schouten and Jeff Behrends, both members of the philosophy department at Illinois State University, will be joining our department in the fall of 2016.
Gina received her PhD in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison...
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.
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....
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":
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...
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.
The winner of the prize will receive a $1,000 award. If the selected book or connected work is co-authored, the authors will share equally in the $1,000...
Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy Frances Kamm delivered the keynote address to the Northwestern Society for the Theory of Ethics and Politics (NUSTEP) on May 22, 2015. NUSTEP hosts an annual spring conference in moral and political philosophy addressing some of the most difficult and important questions of moral and political philosophy. Kamm's address focused on the topic of torture.
Kamm is the third member of our department to be invited by NUSTEP to deliver a keynote address, joining professors Scanlon (2012) and Korsgaard (2010)