Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emerita Ruth Garrett Millikan has been awarded the 2017 Rolf Shock Prize in Logic and Philosophy–the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for analytic philosophy–“for her groundbreaking theories about biological functions and the biological foundations of thought and language, where the representational properties of the latter are explained in terms of these functions.” Winners are decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science. Past Shock Prize Laureates are W. Quine, M. Dummett, D. Scott, J. Rawls, S. Kripke, S. Feferman, J. Hintikka, T. Nagel, H. Putnam, and D. Parfit.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emerita Ruth Garrett Millikan is the 2017 winner of The Nicholas Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy. The Pitt department made the announcement on Brian Leiter’s blog here.
Lionel Shapiro has been awarded a fellowship by the Humboldt Foundation which will take him to the University of Potsdam (Germany) for a total of 14 months, including Spring 2017 and Spring 2018. He will be working on topics related to Wilfrid Sellars’s views on meaning, truth and representation.
With sorrow the department announces that Emeritus Professor Jerome A. Shaffer, age 87, died on November 17, 2016. There was a memorial in the Storrs area on December 3.
Jerry majored in philosophy at Cornell, earning a B.A. in 1950. He completed a PhD at Princeton in 1952 in just two years. In 1953 he was a Fulbright scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, then went into the Army. After teaching at Swarthmore College starting in 1955, Jerry was hired at UConn in 1967. He became Department Head in 1976, serving until 1994 when he retired. After that he earned a degree in Marital and Family Therapy and started a therapy practice which he continued until just before his death.
Jerry built our reputation as a serious research department and his avuncular manner helped set our collegial atmosphere. Everyone in the profession knew his 1968 book with Prentice-Hall, The Philosophy of Mind, which was followed by his 1971 Reality, Knowledge, and Value.
Video of Jerry reading Descartes: https://youtu.be/VRYCzLRlYKU
New PhD Michael Robillard has been selected for a four year Research Fellowship in Philosophy at Oxford University in the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. The project is the ERC Advanced Grant Research Project Global Terrorism and Collective Moral Responsibility: Redesigning Military, Police and Intelligence Institutions in Liberal Democracies.
The department is delighted to welcome Duncan Pritchard as a visiting professor for the fall semester of 2016. Among other things he will teach a graduate seminar related to his new book Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing, and will participate in Michael Lynch’s Public Discourse Project.
Professor Emerita Margaret Gilbert, currently Abraham I. Melden Chair in Moral Philosophy at University of California Irvine, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Margaret did much of the work she is being honored for during her 23 years in our department.
Michael Lynch, along with co-principle investigator Brendan Kane of the History Department, has been awarded a $5.75 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for The Public Discourse Project: Balancing Humility and Conviction in Public Life. The project is described on its website as “a research and engagement project examining the role that intellectual humility can play in meaningful public dialogue.” The grant will be administered by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. See funding opportunities here.
See the story in UConn Today here.
See the Call for Abstracts for “Minds, Selves, and 21st Century Technology in Lisbon, Featuring the work of Susan Schneider” to take place June 23-24.
Philanthropist George Soros and UConn alum Gary Gladstein ’66 with his wife, Dr. Phyllis Gladstein, announced a $4 million gift to the UConn Human Rights Institute, the largest donation to the internationally renowned program.