Department of Philosophy
The University of Houston
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3004
Dr. Helen Hattab gave an invited paper entitled, “Interpreting Spinoza’s Method Against the Background of Aristotelian, Cartesian and Hobbesian Methods” at the Early Modern Philosophy Initiative Conference which took place at Texas A & M University on April 12. On May 24, Helen Hattab will give an invited paper entitled, “Alteration or Generation? Late Aristotelian Accounts of the Substantial Form” at a conference on Aristotelian Natural Philosophy in the Early Modern Period, at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, in Brussels, Belgium. She was also awarded a Small Grant by the University of Houston to fund her summer research project on “16th and 17th Century Commentators on Aquinas’ Doctrine of Substantial Forms”
Dr. Mag Uidhir's monograph Art & Art-Attempts with Oxford University Press will be published in July 2013. Additionally, he has two articles forthcoming in Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism: “How to Frame Serial Art” and “Judging Covers” (with P.D. & Cristyn Magnus) and was recently appointed to the editorial board of American Philosophical Quarterly.
Dr. Helen Hattab will be giving an invited paper on “The Target of Descartes' Attack on Substantial Forms: Suarez versus Aquinas" at the Global Scholar Seminar on Metaphysics and Mind: Late Medieval and Early Modern Perspectives at Princeton University, February 16, 2013. She is also participating in a special symposium on the sixteenth century Scholastic philosopher, Francisco Suarez, at the Central APA in New Orleans, and will present her paper on “Targeting Substantial Forms: Suarez’s A Priori Defense and Descartes’ Refutation” as part of this symposium on February 21, 2013.
Dr. Cameron Buckner has been awarded the first CLASS digital humanities postdoctoral fellowship. Please see the CLASS news site for details.
Professors Christy Mag Uidhir & Cynthia Freeland will be guest editing a Special Issue of Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism on Prints & Printmaking.
Professor Johnsen's article entitled "Observation" is forthcoming in the Companion to W. V. Quine, edited by Gilbert Harman and Ernie LePore, published by Wiley-Blackwell.
Dr. Jim Garson gave two talks at international conferences in June, 2012. His paper "What Classical Connectives Mean" was delivered to the Second Conference on the Foundations of Logical Consequence held at St. Andrews University in Scotland. "Open Futures in Propositional Logic" was given at a conference entitled "What is Really Possible" sponsored by Utrecht University.Another paper, coauthored with Joshua D. K. Brown entitled "The Natural Semantics of Vagueness" will be presented at the Eastern Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association in December. Furthermore, “Open Futures in the Foundations of Propositional Logic,” will appear in Nuel Belnap on Indeterminism and Free Action, T. Mueller (ed.) Springer, 2013.
Garson's new book: What Logics Mean: From Proof to Model-Theoretic Semantics is now under contract with Cambridge University Press with publication scheduled in 2013, and a Second Edition of his book Modal Logic For Philosophers (2013) is under contract with Cambridge University Press to appear in 2013
Dr. Anne Jacobson returned to Sheffield for the third international workshop on implicit bias in July, and she went to New Orleans in August to complete, with her committee, plans for the 2013 Central Division APA conference. Her blog post on what is bad about death was picked up by Andrew Sullivan for the Daily Beast. Her review of Benatar's The Second Sexism is forthcoming in The Philosopher's Magazine, and her interview by 3 am Magazine ("an avant guard New Yorker") will appear in the Fall. She is co-editing the feminist second of the Springer Handbook on Neuroethics, for which she is writing a piece on moral responsibility and implicit attitudes. She is also writing a piece on the social nature of implicit bias for a two-volume collection under consideration by Oxford University Press. In summer 2013, she will return to Somerville College, Oxford for the second of a three-year appointment.Dr. Cameron Buckner co-organized a workshop on animal cognition at Ruhr-University Bochum from June 28-30, featuring presentations by Louise Barrett (Lethbridge), Tom Beckers (Amsterdam), Thomas Bugnyar (Vienna), Josep Call (Leipzig), Julia Fischer (Göttingen), Tecumseh Fitch (Vienna), John Greenwood (CUNY), Louise Röska-Hardy (Dortmund), and Amanda Seed (St. Andrews).
During his tour as a Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow, he also presented the papers "Functional Kinds" at a workshop on explanatory power at Ruhr-University, Bochum, "Dynamic Ontology" at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, "A Theory of Cognition" at the Berlin School for Mind and Brain, "Heuristics and Intelligence: Realizing Turing's Vision" at the CiE Turing Centenary Conference at Cambridge University, and participated in the Philoweb 2012 workshop at WWW 2012 in Lyon with Chris Menzel, Steven Harnad, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web).
Dr. Cynthia Freeland spoke at a conference on Plato's Symposium at the University of Bergen in Norway in June. This was part of a multi-year project on Plato and Poetry at Bergen with funding from the Norwegian government. She also spoke on a panel at the Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image conference in June, held at Sarah Lawrence College and NYU. She was the keynote speaker at the Rocky Mountain Society for Aesthetics Conference in Santa Fe in July. The volume of Essays in Philosophy she edited, titled "Aesthetics and the Senses", was published on August 1, including her introduction as well as her essay titled "On Being Stereoblind in an Era of 3D Movies." The issue can be viewed on-line at this address.
Dr. Gregory Brown presented a paper entitled “Contra la posibildad del vacío: El argumento mecanicista de Leibniz” at the 1er Congreso Iberoamericano Leibniz, Universidad de Costa Rica (San José, Costa Rica, 12 July 2012).
Dr. Helen Hattab presented a paper on June 22, 2012 entitled “Method and Mathematical Order from Zabarella to Hobbes” as part of a Symposium she organized on “Transforming Methods” for the History of Philosophy of Science Conference. She also gave a paper on “Analysis and Synthesis in Spinoza’s Method?” at the Atlantic Canadian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, on June 27, 2012 Both conferences took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In addition, her book, Descartes on Forms and Mechanisms, has just come out in paperback, and she is delivering the lecture “What Was God Doing Before He Created the World? Descartes’ Surprising Answer” at the University of Cincinnati on October 5.
Dr. David Phillips' book Sidgwickian Ethics was published by Oxford University Press in November 2011. It is also available through Oxford Scholarship Online. The book was the topic of a session at the International Society for Utilitarian Studies conference at NYU in August of 2012. Speakers at the session included Roger Crisp (Oxford University), Robert Shaver (University of Manitoba), the session organizer Anthony Skelton (University of Western Ontario), and Prof. Phillips who replied to their papers.
Graduate student Justin Olaguer presented a paper at the prestigious 2012 "Towards a Science of Consciousness" conference from April 9-14 at the University of Arizona, and attended with departmental funding. Justin's paper is entitled "Speech Projectivism," and the accepted conference paper evolved out of a term paper written for Dr. Joshua Weisberg's seminar on consciousness. In this paper, Justin argues that a projectivist view of speech perception is correct, supporting his view with empirical considerations. Congratulations, Justin!.
Professor Cynthia Freeland's recent book Portraits and Persons was the subject of an Author Meets Critics session on February 17th at the 2012 Central APA in Chicago. The session included comments by Paul Guyer (U of Pennsylvania) and Ronald de Sousa (Toronto).
Professor Helen Hattab's paper on "Suárez and Descartes: A priori Arguments Against Substantial Forms and the Decline of the Formal Cause” was published in the journal Studia Neoaristotelica Vol.8.2 in December 2011.
Dr. Hattab has also been invited to give a public lecture on “What Was God Doing Before He Created the World? Ancient Time Paradoxes and the Origins of Modern Time Concepts”, at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas at 7:30pm on February 2, 2012. She will also present her paper on “Descartes’ Mechanistic Explanations as Mathematical Demonstrations” to the Philosophy Department at Texas Tech University on February 3, 2012. More information about these talks can be found here.
Dr.s Mag Uidhir and Freeland have received $5000 in grant support for a workshop proposal entitled Printmaking & Philosophy of Art. This two-day workshop will bring philosophers of art together with print artists to discuss the relationship between printmaking and other arts, the relationship between print artists and their productions, and the metaphysics of printmaking.
Dr. Mag Uidhir also has two new articles forthcoming; "Aesthetic Analysis of Actor-Character Race Matching in Film Fictions" is forthcoming in Philosophers' Imprint, and "Comics & Collective Authorship" will appear in the recently published Wiley-Blackwell volume The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach, ed. Aaron Meskin & Roy T. Cook.
Professor Cynthia Freeland has just returned from a trip to Australia where she delivered the annual lecture at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Previous speakers in the series include Martin Sullivan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington; Lucian Freud biographer William Fever; and New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman. As publicity for the lecture Freeland did radio interviews for ABC radio in Sydney (on the hour-long nationally-syndicated Margaret Throsby show), ABC’s local station in Canberra, and the Canberra Times (newspaper). She also gave a talk at Sydney University to "SHAPE”, a faculty group dedicated to philosophy of Society, History, Aesthetics, Politics and the Environment. While in Australia Freeland also took the opportunity to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the outback where she especially enjoyed a sunset camel tour. You can see pictures of her trip here.
Professor Anne Jacobson delivered a series of talks in England in December 2011, including "Wittgenstein and Anscombe on Action" (East Anglia) and "On constructing an ontology for implicit gratitude" (Sheffield). She is also convening (and speaking at) a Pacific APA session on implicit bias in philosophy. In 2012, she will be releasing two books: a co-edited volume entitled Neurofeminism and a single-author monograph, Keeping the World in Mind: Mental representations in a science of the mind (both Palgrave-MacMillan). From May to June, she will be a visitor at Somerville College, Oxford. She has also been selected as the program chair for the 2013 meeting of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association.
New article about Block by Professor Weisberg published in Analysis Prof. Josh Weisberg had a piece published in the July 2011 issue of Analysis, entitled "Abusing the notion of what-it’s-like-ness: A reply to Block." In addition, ,the Journal of Consciousness Studies special edition, edited by Weisberg, on the book Describing Inner Experience: Proponent Meets Skeptic (by R. Hurlburt and E. Schwitzgebel) has just been released. The edition features articles by Peter Carruthers, Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons, Charles Siewert, Maja Spener, Chris Hill, and others, and it includes an introduction by Weisberg.
David Phillips is co-PI on a new grant together with Ioannis Pavlidis – Computing and Physiology (PI), Ioanna Semendeferi – Science Ethics (co-PI), Dov Liberman – Educational Psychology (co-PI). The team has received a highly-selective award of $300,000 from the National Science Foundation for their project 'Experiencing Ethics'. They are investigating new methods of teaching ethics in science, with the hope of revolutionizing science education by adding novel practical demonstrations of the ethics of peer review and animal experimentation to conventional theoretical instruction.
Read the news release
He also presented the paper "Mindreading and Metarepresentation: Where to Draw the Line" at the Winter Conference on Animal Learning and Behavior at Denver from Jan 28-Feb 1 in a focus session with Herb Terrace (of Project Nim), Eric Charles, and Björn Brembs.Christy Mag Uidhir is in the final stages of editing an anthology titled Art & Abstract Objects for Oxford University Press. This volume centers around accounts of abstract objects (and their employ) as a central point of philosophical intersection between aesthetics and areas within philosophy's core, especially contemporary metaphysics. Speaking to this topic are over a dozen original articles by philosophers from a variety of areas within which they are either rising stars or already in possession of well-established marquis names: e.g., Aesthetics (Jerrold Levinson, David Davies, Sherri Irvin, Andrew Kania). Metaphysics (Hud Hudson, Ross Cameron, Joseph Moore, Sheiva Kleinschmidt), Philosophy of Science (Jenann Ismael, P.D. Magnus),Epistemology (Earl Conee, Jacob Ross), Philosophy of Mathematics & Logic (e.g., Roy T. Cook, Marcus Rossberg).
Assistant Professor Sommers Published
Assistant Professor Tamler Sommers' new book, Relative Justice: Cultural Diversity, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility, has been released by Princeton University Press in the fall.
Professor Johnsen to publish ‘Critical Notice’ about Oxford Handbook of Skepticism
Prof. Bredo Johnsen’s "Critical Notice" of The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism is forthcoming in the first issue of the International Journal for the Study of Skepticism. He was also invited to contribute "Quine on Observation" to Philosophy of W.V.O. Quine (edited by Gilbert Harman and Ernie Lepore), to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in their Companion series.
James Garson published "Expressive Power and Incompleteness of Propositional Logics," in the Journal of Philosophical Logic, (2010, vol. 39, #2, pp. 159-171).‘Ruminations on Property, Taxes and Distribution’ paper presented by Professor Nelson at Rochester
Prof. Bill Nelson presented a paper, "Ruminations on Property, Taxes and Distribution," at the conference of the American Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (AMINTAPHIL), at Rochester Institute of Technology, in October 2010. The paper has also been submitted for publication.