Professor Emerita Margaret Gilbert: New Book, Podcast Interview and APA Pacific Division President

Congratulations to Professor Emerita Margaret Gilbert for her accomplishments as the 2023 – 2024 President of the APA Pacific Division, publishing her new book this year, and being interviewed on The Phi Beta Kappa Society podcast!

Check out Dr. Gilbert’s new book, Life in Groups: How We Think, Feel, and Act Together here!

How We Think, Feel, and Act Together

Listen to The Phi Beta Kappa Society’s podcast where Dr. Gilbert is featured with Michael Bratman as winners of the APA Lebowitz Prize in 2019.

Two Philosophers Ponder What It Means to Act Together

Lynne Tirrell: Understanding and Automating Counterspeech | Sept. 29, 2021

Lynne Tirrell

Check out this upcoming workshop, Understanding and Automating Counterspeech, hosted by the research project Giving Voice to Digital Democracies! Professor of Philosophy Lynne Tirrell will participate as a guest speaker along with others from around the world. This workshop’s goal is to bring together experts from different fields to address the issues with counterspeech.

When: September 29, 2021

Time: 6:00 AM-2:20 PM


Register Here

Heather Battaly and Casey Johnson: Character, Vices, and Authority

Tune into Character, Vices, and Authority with UConn Professor of Philosophy Heather Battaly and UConn alumna Casey Johnson (now Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho) on Thursday, May 13th, at 2:00 PM!

When trying to make sense of the world, we rely on other people – for information, ideas, alternative perspectives, criticisms, and objections. We therefore need to be able to recognise authoritative people, ones worthy of the trust we put in them when we ask for intellectual help. But how do we identify authoritative people?

One answer: we assess their intellectual virtues and vices. We ask if someone is reflective and open-minded, or dogmatic and closed-minded. This conversation will explore the intellectual vices, what they are, where they come from, and how we should try and deal with intellectually vicious people.

Ruth Garrett Millikan Graduate Fellowship Matching Challenge

A “match challenge” has been made in support of the Ruth Garrett Millikan Fellowship Fund. Anonymous donors have pledged $1000, which will be contributed to this fund by December 31 if others have collectively contributed that same amount by that date.


The Millikan Fellowship fund is used to support ABD grad students for a summer of dissertation writing or related professional development, by providing them with a sum that they’d otherwise earn by teaching a summer course. They also receive research funds to purchase books, pay for conference registration, and, where appropriate, travel. Thus far there have been four holders of the Fellowship: Andrew Tedder (2018), Drew Johnson (2019), Jordan Ochs (2019), and Ryo Tanaka (2020). This spring the Department of Philosophy will select another holder of the Fellowship for the summer of 2021. As the balance of the fund grows, we will get closer to being able to use the income it generates to support a grad student for a semester of dissertation writing, and then, eventually, for an entire dissertation year fellowship.


Please consider giving what you can.

Sandy Grande: New Faculty in Social Justice Bring Diverse Voices to UConn

Sandy Grande

Excerpted from UConn Today

The department is pleased to welcome Sandy Grande who will be a professor in the political science department with an affiliate appointment in the philosophy department. She identifies as a Quechua national and comes to UConn as part of the Native American and Indigenous studies cluster hire. Previously, Grande was a professor of education and director of the Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity at Connecticut College. Her research works across the fields of Native American and Indigenous studies, contemporary political theory, education, and comparative ethnic studies.

Grande was recently awarded the Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship to complete a new book tentatively titled, Indigenous Elders and the Decolonial Elsewhere of Aging, which presupposes that there is something to be learned, politically and pedagogically, about the colonial present through the study of Elders and older adults. She is also a founding member of New York Stands for Standing Rock, a group of scholars and activists that works to forward the aims of Native American and Indigenous sovereignty and resurgence.

Stewart Shapiro in 2019 Philosopher’s Annual

Stewart Shapiro

Stewart Shapiro’s article, ‘Actual and Potential Infinity,’ co-authored with Oystein Linnebo, and published in Nous, vol. 53 (pp. 160-191), has been selected by The Philosopher’s Annual for inclusion as one of the ten best philosophy articles published in 2019.


The notion of potential infinity dominated in mathematical thinking about infinity from Aristotle until Cantor. The coherence and philosophical importance of the notion are defended. Particular attention is paid to the question of whether potential infinity is compatible with classical logic or requires a weaker logic, perhaps intuitionistic.

In Memoriam: John Troyer

John Gordon Troyer (1943-2020)

With great sorrow we report the death of Associate Professor Emeritus John G. Troyer, who died on August 11, 2020 surrounded by family. He was a beloved colleague, generous with his time, who took great interest in the work of the rest of the department members. He was always willing to read and give helpful comments on one’s latest essay.

John received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1965, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1967 and 1971. He was brought to the University of Connecticut in 1970 by then Department Head Jerome Shaffer as part of an initiative to build up the research profile of the Philosophy Department, spending his entire teaching career here. He spent the 1969-70 academic year at Oxford on a Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship from Harvard. He received a National Endowment for the Humanities Younger Humanist Fellowship in 1974 and became an inaugural Member of Common Room at Wolfson College, Oxford in 1977.

Most notable among his publications were a special issue of Sythese in 1974, Intentionality, Language, and Translation jointly edited with Samuel C. Wheeler, III, that included papers from a widely acclaimed international conference they hosted at UConn; an essay “Locke on the Names of Substances,” first published in 1975 and reprinted in 1992 in a volume on Locke edited by Vere Chappell; and a 1997 collection entitled In Defense of Radical Empiricism: Essays and Lectures by Roderick Firth, on whose work John was a world expert.

Troyer was a superb chess player. Once after winning the New Mexico state championship he was accosted by the great George Koltanowski as well as the then champion of California and told not to go into chess because there was no future in it. He was an indefatigable squash player who beat almost everyone he played, clearly manifesting genes from his father who broke the University of Michigan 50-yard dash record in a gym class and who became a golden gloves boxer in the Navy. Among other quirks, John was a beekeeper who produced a peerless dark honey and an expert on the Shroud of Turin.

In Memoriam: Joel J. Kupperman

[This memorial notice is an abridgement of a memorial minute by Professor Emerita Diana Tietjens Meyers on the American Philosophical Association website.]

Joel J. Kupperman (1936-2020)

With deep sadness we report the death of Joel J. Kupperman, University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He died in Brooklyn NY on April 8, 2020.

Joel received both his AB and MA from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Cambridge University.  He joined the Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut in 1960.  Except for visiting Trinity College as a lecturer in 1970, two years supported by NEH fellowships, and fellowships at Clare Hall, Cambridge and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he remained at UConn until his retirement from teaching in 2013. In addition to these major national and international awards, Joel received the Faculty Excellence in Research award from the UConn Foundation in 2004.

A widely recognized and influential scholar, Joel specialized in ethics, aesthetics, and Asian philosophy.  He published numerous journal articles and chapters in all three fields. Two early books resist subjectivism in ethics (Ethical Knowledge. London:  Geo. Allen & Unwin, 1970, reprint Routledge, 2002 and The Foundations of Morality. London and Boston: Geo. Allen & Unwin, 1983, reissue from Routledge, forthcoming, 2022). In his monographs, Joel’s longstanding interest in Chinese philosophy first became prominent in Character (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991) and Value… And What Follows (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1999).

Joel’s scholarship in Asian philosophy long predated the recent professional awakening to non-Western philosophical traditions. Initially, he studied Chinese philosophy with H. G. Creel at the University of Chicago; in 1967, he traveled to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan to continue his studies; no later than 1985 Joel was offering an introductory course on Asian philosophy; and sometime thereafter, he originated an upper-level undergraduate course on Chinese philosophy and a graduate seminar that covered Indian, Chinese, and Japanese philosophy.  His scholarship and pedagogical initiatives were visionary.  Before long, universities everywhere were scrambling to develop “multicultural” courses, and comparative philosophy conferences grew in frequency.

Regarded as a classic by many in the field, Learning From Asian Philosophy nimbly integrates insights from classical Chinese and Indian philosophy as well as Western philosophy into nuanced accounts of the self, choice, moral psychology, moral requirements, and interpersonal communication (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; Chinese translation, Renmin Press, Beijing, 2009). That Joel was invited to give the keynote lecture at a conference honoring the ninetieth anniversary of the Peking University Philosophy Department is but one measure of the importance of this book.

In addition, Joel published books that not only would be valuable to professional philosophers, but that also would reach college students and the larger educated public.  Notable among these are Theories of Human Nature  (Indianapolis:  Hackett, 2010), Ethics and Qualities of Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), Six Myths About the Good Life: Thinking About What Has Value  (Indianapolis:  Hackett, 2006), Classic Asian Philosophy: A Guide to the Essential Texts (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001; second edition, 2006).

Joel received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching award from the UConn Foundation in 1973.  Upon his retirement, two of his PhD students, Li Chenyang and Ni Peimin, celebrated his career by publishing a festschrift containing chapters by leading scholars (Moral Cultivation and Confucian Character:  Engaging Joel J. Kupperman. Albany NY: State University of New York Press, 2014).

Among his many contributions, Joel regularized the department’s weekly brown bag seminar in which we present work in progress to each other. The tradition has continued for over 50 years. Joel also had an early and steadfast commitment to gender equity and diversity in general. For quite a while late in the twentieth century, our faculty included an unusually high percentage of women for a philosophy department in those days.

Joel is survived by his wife, Karen Ordahl Kupperman, his two children, Michael Kupperman and Charlie Kupperman, and a grandchild, Ulysses Kupperman Dougherty, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.



Ryo Tanaka: Millikan Fellowship

The Department is pleased to announce that Ryo Tanaka is the 2020 recipient of the Ruth Garrett Millikan Graduate Research Fellowship. The Fellowship will enable Ryo to devote the summer to completing two chapters of his dissertation, which is entitled, ‘Semantic Knowledge as Expressive Know-How’. His major advisor is Dorit Bar-On. For more information about the Ruth Garrett Millikan Fellowship, please visit here.