The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that three new Assistant Professors will be joining us beginning in Autumn 2020. Please join us in welcoming these three distinguished scholars to the department!
- José Mendoza – philosophy of race, philosophy of law, Latin American philosophy
- Amelia Wirts – philosophy of law, political philosophy, feminist theory, critical race theory
- Aaron Novick – philosophy of biology, classical Chinese philosophy
José Jorge Mendoza (he/him/his) received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 2012 and has served as an assistant professor of philosophy at Worcester State University (2012-2015) and the University of Massachusetts Lowell (2015-2020) before coming to the University of Washington this fall. He is co-editor of Radical Philosophy Review and the author of The Moral and Political Philosophy of Immigration: Liberty, Security, and Equality. His primary areas of research are in moral and political philosophy, philosophy of race, and Latin American philosophy.
Amelia Wirts's (she/her/hers) current research focuses on the American criminal justice system. She argues that those who are deemed 'criminals' by society and the criminal justice system are oppressed and face a unique kind of civic and political exclusion. Her research explores the relationship between racial oppression and criminal oppression, and she argues that those fighting other kinds of oppression, such as gender-based violence, should not use the criminal justice system as a tool in that struggle. She also works on civil rights and discrimination, philosophy of law, political philosophy, critiques of social contract theory, feminist jurisprudence and critical race theory, and the Frankfurt School. In addition to getting her PhD in Philosophy from Boston College (expected June 2020), she also graduated summa cum laude from Boston College Law School (2017) and is a member of the Massachusetts bar (2018). She clerked for Judge Harris Hartz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 2017-2018. Her publications include: “Discriminatory Intent and Implicit Bias: Title VII Liability for Unwitting Discrimination,” Boston College Law Review (2017) and “A Defense of the Lifeworld: The Source of Normativity in a Democracy” Symposium on Hugh Baxter’s Habermas: A Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy in Philosophy and Social Criticism. (2013)
Aaron Novick (he/him/his) works on the philosophy of biology, with an emphasis on evolutionary-developmental biology (evo-devo). He is particularly interested in how scientific conflicts drive theoretical and conceptual change, taking conflicts between evo-devo and mainstream evolutionary theory as a case study. His current research focuses on the complex history of the ‘homology’ concept, which has survived 200 years (give or take) of radical theory change in biology, and thus provides an interesting window into conceptual dynamics in biology. Before coming to the University of Washington, Aaron received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018, did a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University (supervised by W. Ford Doolittle), and worked for a year as an assistant professor in the philosophy department at Purdue University. He has published papers in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals in philosophy of science including Philosophy of Science; British Journal for the Philosophy of Science; Biology & Philosophy; Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology; and Biology and Philosophy.