Michael Patrick Lynch has been designated a University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. Michael is our fourth BOT Distinguished Professor from Philosophy, along with Ruth Millikan, Joel Kupperman, and Jc Beall. As the provost’s website says, “The Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor is the highest honor that the University bestows on faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service” and who have spent at least 10 years of their career at UConn. https://provost.uconn.edu/about/awards/
Grad student Phillip Barron wins book award for philosophical poetry
Philosophy graduate student Phillip Barron will receive the 2019 Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award
for his book of poetry, What Comes from a Thing
(Fourteen Hills Press, 2015). The Guillén Award, given by the Caribbean Philosophical Association, recognizes contributions to philosophical literature. The award will be presented at the CPA’s annual conference
, June 6-8, at Brown University in Providence, RI.
Barron earned an MFA in creative writing before entering UConn’s Philosophy program. What Comes from a Thing is his first book of poetry. An excerpt from the referee report submitted to the Awards Committee calls the book “a stunning piece of poetic philosophical work. It is a masterpiece of phenomenological description in which poetry is not application or a technique for profundity but instead at the heart of philosophical/poetic evocation. ”
From an interview with legendary investor and philanthropist Bill Miller.
Q: What advice would you give students about areas of study and being prepared for the working world?
I was recently giving a talk at a conference, and there was a speaker there who specialized in disruptive technologies and had a PhD in computer science. He described all the different technologies that would be changing significantly over the next 10 to 20 years and would upend the work force. During the audience Q and A, somebody asked, “If that’s the case, what should we advise our children to do, because so many of the things that they would be trained for might become obsolete?”
He said, “You need to think about this in a way in which an economist would think about it. Mainly, what’s the scarcest resource?” The scarcest resources get more valuable, and the abundant resources get less valuable. He said, “In that kind of an environment, the scarcest resource will be critical and analytical thinking, and moral reasoning. That would indicate you might want to have them take philosophy, or other disciplines in the humanities that might encourage those habits of mind.”
That was an interesting point, and I think it’s exactly right.
Susan Schneider has just begun a four-month appointment as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in The John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress. The award is to enable her to pursue a research project entitled “Mind Design: Artificial Intelligence, Brain Enhancement, and the Nature of the Self.” She will confab with other top scholars, make use of the Library’s rich resources, and interact with policymakers and the public, plus give a public presentation about the nature and results of her research.
The Brazilian journal EntreLetras is doing a special issue on the work of Lewis Gordon. The announcement gives a nice summary of Lewis’s areas.
The UConn Humanities Institute, led by our Michael Lynch, is now a university-wide research institution. See the story.
UConn’s Philosophy Department has inaugurated an ongoing program of hiring three Assistant Research Professors, each for a three-year term. UConn Assistant Research Professsors will pursue their own research, collaborate with faculty and students, and teach one course per semester. The inaugural group comprises Tracy Llanera, Jessica Tizzard, and Charlie Crerar. Tracy received her PhD from Macquarie University in 2016. Her main research interests are Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, and American Pragmatism. Jessica received her PhD in 2017 from the University of Chicago. Her main research interests are Kant, Kantian Ethics, and Moral Psychology. Charlie is finishing his PhD from the University of Sheffield. His main research interest is epistemology, and in particular virtue and social epistemology. We are delighted that these three young philosophers will be joining us in Fall 2018.
We are delighted to announce that Professor Lynne Tirrell will be joining our department in the fall of 2017 and will also be affiliated with the UConn Human Rights Institute. Lynne is a leading researcher in the area of socially applied yet technically adept philosophy of language. Indeed, she may be said to have founded this burgeoning sub-field. Her pathbreaking paper, “Genocidal Language Games” is taught all over the U.S. in philosophy graduate programs, undergraduate programs, and even in prisons. In an unprecedented way she has combined detailed, theoretical work on language with the human reality of monstrous events. She has related work on transitional justice and apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation, as well as work on metaphor, storytelling, pornography, and feminist theory. Tirrell has done extensive service as the chair of the American Philosophical Association Committee on Public Philosophy. She is also an Associate Editor for the newly revitalized Journal of Philosophical Research.
Grad alums Michael Robillard and BJ Strawser were among the winners in the American Philosophical Association’s 2017 Public Philosophy Op-Ed contest for their co-authored essay, “Are Soldiers Morally Exploited?” Ethical War Blog (Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace). See the announcement and bios of the two here.