Department of Philosophy
The University of Houston
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3004
Phone: 713-743-3010
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Department News


Recent News

Bredo Johnsen Professor Bredo Johnsen's article entitled "Hume, Goodman and Radical Inductive Skepticism" has been published online in Synthese.

Helen HattabDr. Helen Hattab presented her paper on “(Re)reading Aristotle: Zabarella and the Coimbrans on Substantial Change” at the APA Eastern Division meeting on December 29, 2013. On March 28, 2014, she gave an invited talk on “Early Modern Hylomorphism and the Transformation of Aristotelian Form” at Rice University. On April 3 she was invited to speak on this topic at Toronto University in Ontario, Canada, after teaching a PhD seminar on Descartes and the late Scholastics there on April 2.

Christy Mag Uidhir Dr. Christy Mag Uidhir--along with Nick Riggle (NYU) and Gregg Horowitz (Pratt)--received a grant from the American Society for Aesthetics Major Project Initiative to fund their conference on the philosophy of street Art titled Art In & Of The Streets. The conference is scheduled to take place March 5th-7th, 2015, in New York City at both The Pratt Institute & New York University. The official CFP can be found here. Christy also received a grant from the American Society for Aesthetics Board of Trustees to redesign and promote his philosophy weblog Aesthetics For Birds dedicated to issues both professional and philosophical within the Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics.

David Phillips Dr. David Phillips’s 2013 and forthcoming publications are “Joseph Butler” (International Encyclopedia of Ethics); “Sympathy for the Error Theorist: Parfit and Mackie” (Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, published “online first” September 2013); “The Puzzle in Sidgwick’s Moral Epistemology,” part of a volume (December 2013) of the Revue Internationale de Philosophie devoted to Sidgwick; and “Sidgwickian Ethics: An Overview” and “Replies to Crisp, Shaver and Skelton,” part of an author-meets-critics symposium on Phillips’s book, forthcoming in the December 2013 issue of Revue d’etudes benthamiennes. Phillips will be travelling to the University of Hamburg in January 2014 to present a paper on "Sidgwick, Ethics and Evolution" at a mini-conference on Sidgwick.

Cameron Buckner Dr. Cameron Buckner's proposal for a special issue on cognition (with Ellen Fridland) has been accepted at Synthese; current contributors include Ken Aizawa, Colin Allen, Carrie Figdor, Ellen Fridland, John Michael, Albert Newen, Bill Ramsey, Mark Rowlands, and Nicholas Shea.  In addition, his paper "Concepts, Kinds, and Transitional Gradation" has been accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology in Charleston, SC from February 5-8.  

Helen Hattab Dr. Helen Hattab presented her paper “Creation and Subsistence: 17th Century Commentators on the Subsistence of Prime Matter and Substantial Forms” at an international conference on “Summistae: The Commentary Tradition on St Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae (15th-18th Centuries)” in Porto, Portugal on October 17, 2013. While in Portugal she also visited the University of Coimbra (founded 1290), where some of the most influential 16th and 17th century commentators on Aristotle’s philosophy taught.

Bredo Johnsen The most recent in a series of articles interpreting Quine, Professor Bredo Johnsen's article entitled "Reclaiming Quine's Epistemology" is forthcoming in Synthese.

Christy Mag Uidhir Dr. Mag Uidhir's monograph Art & Art-Attempts is now available from Oxford University Press. Additionally, he has been appointed to serve on the editorial board of the newly launched Ergo, An Open Access Journal of Philosophy sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and published through MPublishing (which also publishes Philosopher's Imprint). The journal home page can be found here and the full CFP here.

Jim Garson Dr. Jim Garson has been completing proofs on his new books What Logics Mean and Modal Logic for Philosophers (2nd edition) both due out in the fall with Cambridge.

Anne Jacobson Dr. Anne Jacobson participated in the 4th international workshop on biased decision-making on funding by the Leverhulme Trust and Sheffield University.  She also took up official position as visiting academic, Somerville College, Oxford (1 term's duration) and has been preparing for the printing of her new book Keeping the World in Mind (Palgrave 2013); She was also appointed to a three-year term to the American Philosophical Association's Committee on the status of women, and has several forthcoming articles: "A Curious Coincidence: Critical Race Theory and Cognitive Neuroscience," (Neuroethics), "Individualism and implicit bias" (in a 2 volume project from Oxford University Press), and "New Souls for Old" (Perspectives on Politics, the flagship journal of the American Political Science Association).

Cameron Buckner Dr. Cameron Buckner has five articles accepted for publication over the past year:  “A property-cluster theory of cognition” in Philosophical Psychology, “The semantic problem with research on animal mindreading” in Mind & Language, “Morgan’s Canon, meet Hume’s Dictum”, in Biology & Philosophy, “In search of balance”, in Biology & Philosophy, and “A portrait of the artist as an aesthetic expert” (with Dr. Mag Uidhir) in Aesthetics and the Sciences published by Oxford University Press.  He also co-organized a DFG-funded workshop entitled “What is cognition?” in June in Bochum, Germany.  

Cynthia Freeland Dr. Cynthia Freeland spoke in two sessions at the International Congress of Aesthetics in Krakow, Poland, in July. She gave a commentary on keynote speaker Noel Carroll's address "Criticism and Interpretation" and also gave a paper titled "Art and Medical Imaging Technologies."  Freeland also gave a paper on "Plato on Images and Art" at an international symposium on Plato's dialogue "The Sophist" at the University of Bergen, Norway, in May.

David Phillips Dr. David Phillips will be attending the 6th Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics (RoME) Congress in Boulder, Colorado in August 2013, commenting on Colin Hickey's paper "Reactive Attitudes, Responsibility, and Structural Injustice." 

Helen Hattab Dr. Helen Hattab delivered 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 also participated in a special symposium on the sixteenth century Scholastic philosopher, Francisco Suarez, at the Central APA in New Orleans, and presented her paper on “Targeting Substantial Forms: Suarez’s A Priori Defense and Descartes’ Refutation” as part of this symposium on February 21, 2013.

Past News

Gregory Brown 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).

Helen Hattab 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”

Christy Mag UidhirDr. 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.

Helen Hattab 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.

Cameron Buckner Dr. Cameron Buckner has been awarded the first CLASS digital humanities postdoctoral fellowship. Please see the CLASS news site for details.

Cynthia Freeland Professors Christy Mag Uidhir & Cynthia Freeland will be guest editing a Special Issue of Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism on Prints & Printmaking.

Bredo JohnsenProfessor 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.

Jim Garson 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

Anne Jacobson 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.

Cameron BucknerDr. 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).  

Cynthia Freeland 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.

Helen HattabDr. 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.

David Phillips 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.

Justin OlaguerGraduate 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!.

Cynthia Freeland
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).

Helen HattabProfessor 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.

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