Thomas Meagher: Myisha Cherry’s Failures of Forgiveness Review

Check out Thomas Meagher’s (PhD 2018) newest review essay: “Forgiveness, Obligation, and Cultures of Domination: A Review of Myisha Cherry’s Failures of Forgiveness”.

Below is an excerpt of the article, which you can read in full on the Blog of the APA here.

This diagnosis Cherry relates largely in the form of a discussion of the commonplace or “narrow” view of forgiveness. Cherry characterizes the common view as one in which forgiveness is, at heart, a means of letting go of anger. On such a view, the purpose or telos of forgiving must be to unburden the forgiver of emotions directed toward wrongdoers. Cherry shows, though, that this is an overly narrow conception of the emotional correlates of those contexts in which forgiveness is an option. 

Congrats, Thomas!

Dana Miranda: APA Essay on Black Issues in Philosophy

Congratulations to our very own alum, Dana Miranda, whose essay “The Blacker the Madness: The Balmy Methodologies of La Marr Jurelle Bruce” has been recently published on The Blog of the American Philosophical Association. 

Dana Miranda is now an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Fellow at the Applied Ethics Center in UMass Boston!

Check out the essay here!

Thomas Meagher: “Loving Commitment to Another”

Check out UConn Philosophy Alum Thomas Meagher’s newest piece on the Blog of the APA titled “Loving Commitment to Another: A Reflection by way of Howard Thurman”. 

Romantic love, then, as a nominiously loving commitment to another—a particular other, and not just any other—can be understood as a discipline of the spirit, a mode of life creating its order so as to confront the daunting depths of existence.

You can read the full article here.

Dorit Bar-On: Students Selected to Speak at “Practical Mental Representation” Conference

Congratulations to Professor Bar-On‘s graduate students Nimra Asif and Drew Johnson for being selected to give talks at the “Practical Mental Representation” conference at Chapman University! There were only two slots available for contributed talks and both will be discussing the aspect of Ruth Millikan’s work.

The “Practical Mental Representations” conference focuses on exploring solutions to answer two questions:

 If mental representations have descriptive contents, how exactly do they fulfil their fundamentally practical functions? How can a description, whether accurate or inaccurate, itself motivate or set the normative standards for any sort of practical engagement with the world?

Check out this link for more information:

Practical Mental Representations

Mary Gregg: APA Member Interview

Congratulations to Mary Gregg, a recent UConn Ph.D. Alumna, for being selected for an APA Member interview! This section of the APA Blog is designed to get to know our fellow philosophers a little better. Profiles of APA members spotlight what captures their interest not only inside the office, but also outside of it.


What excites you about philosophy? 

Its ability to reach, unite, and inspire persons from all backgrounds and disciplines. As a discipline characterized by critical reflection on the beliefs, assumptions, and principles we often leave unquestioned, philosophy encourages its participants to think carefully about why and how they think the way they do about the world around them in ways they might not have thought possible. In its aptitude for constant reflection and revision, philosophy provokes a useful humility in its thinkers, which cultivates a learning environment marked by openness and curiosity in such a way that even the often unflinching instructor-pupil power differential is usefully broken down, allowing each person to learn, with gratitude, from one another, both in the classroom and beyond it.

Hady Ba and Thomas Meagher: Blog of the APA

Please take a moment to check out two amazing pieces from members of our UConn community on the Blog of the APA: an essay written by visiting scholar Dr. Mouhamadou El Hady Ba, and a piece by UConn Philosophy alumnus Thomas Meagher. Congratulations!

"Reports from Abroad: Dr. Mouhamadou El Hady Ba"

African endogenous systems of knowledge—embedded inside a metaphysical explanation of life and the universe—were transmitted via secret societies and myths. I argue that our abandonment of that metaphysical framework used to produce and justify knowledge shouldn’t compel us to deem that knowledge irrational. Conversely, re-discovering this endogenous knowledge does not require us to uncritically accept its metaphysical or even epistemological underpinning. I am increasingly convinced that an epistemological study of local knowledge could uncover useful discoveries. For example, there is a wealth of knowledge being lost about the use of local plants like neem (azadirachta indica), niprisan, or aloe ferox to cure or prevent health conditions as serious as cancer or sickle cell disease. An epistemological study of endogenous knowledge could kickstart a movement that would greatly enrich scientific domains like pharmacology or ecology. Trying to make sense of local knowledge in discussions with colleagues who, on ideological bases, promoted all things African helped me see that, if we keep the right distance, we can bring these traditions and their contents into conversation with the scientific realm with a continued critical eye. I think I would never have become open to endogenous systems of knowledge if I hadn’t returned to Senegal where I have been able to participate in local epistemological and philosophical discussions.

Read the full blog post here


"Sylvia Wynter and the Concept of the Homocene" by Dr. Thomas Meagher

How do these categories of Anthropocene and Capitalocene relate to our initial categories of causal and existential responsibility? In implicating human agency as a causal factor in the destruction of the planet, each seems to evoke existential responsibility. Yet as plain statements of fact, these conceptions begin with the matter of causal responsibility. The Anthropocene is defined by human agency as cause of climatic transformation. The Capitalocene is put forth as an alternative naming of a particular human orientation, toward the functional rule of the owners of wealth that produces wealth, as the predominant cause of such transformation. It is only if one takes these terms as implicating oneself that they entail existential responsibility.

Read the full blog post here


Alumna Keya Maitra: “Feminist Philosophy of Mind”

Check out alumna Keya Maitra's (Ph.D. 2000) co-edited book, Feminist Philosophy of Mind, out September 27, 2022 with Oxford University Press.

This is the first collection of essays to focus on feminist philosophy of mind. It brings the theoretical insights from feminist philosophy to issues in philosophy of mind and vice versa. Feminist Philosophy of Mind thus promises to challenge and inform dominant theories in both of its parent fields, thereby enlarging their rigor, scope, and implications. In addition to engaging analytic and feminist philosophical traditions, essays draw upon resources in phenomenology, cross-cultural philosophy, philosophy of race, disability studies, embodied cognition theory, neuroscience, and psychology.

The book's methods center on the collective consideration of three questions: What is the mind? Whose mind is the model for the theory? To whom is mind attributed? Topics considered with this lens include mental content, artificial intelligence, the first-person perspective, personal identity, other minds, mental illness, perception, memory, attention, desire, trauma, agency, empathy, grief, love, gender, race, sexual orientation, materialism, panpsychism, enactivism, and others.

Each of the book's twenty chapters are organized according to five core themes: Mind and Gender and Race; Self and Selves; Naturalism and Normativity; Body and Mind; and Memory and Emotion. The introduction traces the development of these themes with reference to the respective literatures in feminist philosophy and philosophy of mind. This context not only helps the reader see how the essays fit into existing disciplinary landscapes, but also facilitates their use in teaching. Feminist Philosophy of Mind is designed to be used as a core text for courses in contemporary disciplines, and as a supplemental text that facilitates the ready integration of diverse perspectives and women's voices.