Graduate Students

Heather Muraviov: Millikan Fellowship

The Department is pleased to announce that Heather Muraviov is the 2021 recipient of the Ruth Garrett Millikan Graduate Research Fellowship. The Fellowship will enable Heather to devote the summer to completing two chapters of her dissertation entitled “Liberatory Virtue Epistemology.” Her major advisor is Heather Battaly. For more information about the Ruth Garrett Millikan Fellowship, please visit here.

Drew Johnson: Humanities Institute Fellow

Congratulations to doctoral candidate Drew Johnson for being selected as a fellow for the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI). Drew will be working on his dissertation, “A Hybrid Theory of Ethical Thought and Discourse,” which applies prominent recent philosophical theories of expression and representation to develop a novel “hybrid” theory recognizing the joint role of reason and emotion in ethical judgment. For more information check out the article "20th Class of Humanities Institute Fellows Pursue Wide Range of Scholarship" published on UConn Today.

Heather Muraviov: Excellence for Diversity and Inclusivity in a Syllabus

The Philosophy Department’s Climate Committee is pleased to announce that our inaugural Prize for Excellence for Diversity and Inclusivity in a Syllabus is awarded to Heather Muraviov’s syllabus for PHIL 1101, which demonstrated excellence in all three of these dimensions of diversity and inclusivity. Congratulations Heather! Thank you for designing an excellent syllabus.

The committee also recognizes the following syllabi for their merit in diversity and inclusivity: Eric Berg’s, and Jenelle Salisbury’s 1104 syllabus

Drew Johnson: “Disjunctive Luminosity”

Read graduate student Drew Johnson's recent article in Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, "Disjunctive Luminosity."


Williamson's influential anti‐luminosity argument aims to show that our own mental states are not “luminous,” and that we are thus “cognitively homeless.” Among other things, this argument represents a significant challenge to the idea that we enjoy basic self‐knowledge of our own occurrent mental states. In this paper, I summarize Williamson's anti‐luminosity argument, and discuss the role that the notion of “epistemic basis” plays in it. I argue that the anti‐luminosity argument relies upon a particular version of the basis‐relative safety condition on knowledge. This commitment is significant because basic self‐knowledge seemingly lacks any kind of distinct epistemic basis, such as inference, observation, testimony, etc., despite representing a genuine kind of knowledge of contingent matters of fact. I consider a disjunctivist account (due to Bar‐On and Johnson), according to which true basic self‐beliefs indeed lack an epistemic basis in any kind of epistemic method (such as inference), yet are still epistemically grounded in the mental states they concern. I argue that this account of self‐knowledge is compatible with standard understandings of the basis relative safety condition on knowledge, but rejects the particular version required by the anti‐luminosity argument.


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