Author: dlb02011

Why Study Philosophy?

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: Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Library of Congress

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.

 

Announcing the UConn Assistant Research Professors

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.

Welcome Lynne Tirrell

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.

Welcome Heather Battaly

We are delighted to announce that Professor Heather Battaly will be joining our department in the fall of 2017. Heather specializes in epistemology, ethics, and virtue theory, is one of the leading researchers in the world on the concept of intellectual humility, and is a pioneer on the topic of epistemic vice. Her work influences research in philosophy, psychology and education on intellectual humility and the teaching of intellectual character traits. She has been co-Investigator for a Templeton grant and Principal Investigator for a Spencer grant, has received various awards from Cal State Fullerton for research and teaching, and is editor in chief of the Journal of Philosophical Research as well as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Philosophical Association.

Ruth Millikan: 2017 Rolf Shock Prize in Logic and Philosophy

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.