Recent News

Protestors holding up the letters LIAR in front of the White House.
Michael Blake, professor of philosophy, examines the fact that every U.S. president has lied and if these lies can be morally defensible. Media’s accounts of Trump’s lies would seem to indicate that most people are wholeheartedly opposed to lying – and, in particular, opposed to being lied to by presidents. And yet a recent survey of presidential deception found that all American presidents – from Washington to Trump – have told lies, knowingly, in their public statements. As a political... Read more
Poster with speakers and titles
Benjamin Rabinowitz Symposium in Medical Ethics on Emotion and Empathy Thursday, Sep. 24, 2020 from 11:35a.m.-6:05p.m. Please email Carina Fourie,, for advance access to the papers and the Zoom link. Speakers: Timothy Brown (University of Washington), Georgina Campelia (University of Washington), Georgina Morley (The Cleveland Clinic), Sara Protasi (University of Puget... Read more
Worker at taco restaurant in front of sign that reads "no mask no taco"
Colin Marshall, associate professor of philosophy, explains what to say to someone who refuses to wear a mask. Multiple studies have shown that masks reduce the transmission of virus-loaded droplets from people with COVID-19. However, according to a Gallup poll, almost a third of Americans say they rarely... Read more
Conor Mayo-Wilson
Philosophy professor Conor Mayo-Wilson will be co-teaching a course on "Statistics and Philosophy of Voting" in Autumn 2020. The course is offered by the Department of Statistics and the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS) and listed as STAT 498 / CSSS 594 in the time schedule. He will be co-teaching the course with Elena Erosheva (Statistics and... Read more
Empty lecture room chairs
Professor Michael Blake contributed to the Oxford University Press blog with a post examining the Trump administration’s immigration policies. In A philosopher’s perspective on the cruelty of Donald Trump’s immigration policies, Michael reflects upon the language used by universities across the country in response to the administration’s announcement of a new... Read more
Open book in sunbeam
With so many traditional summer activities limited by the pandemic and our thoughts focused on justice and politics, our philosophy faculty members offer a few suggestions for your summer 2020 reading list. Check out the books that our faculty members have read recently or are planning to read this summer. We hope you find something to add to your list. Michael Blake Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for... Read more
Erika Versalovic, Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Reaching New Publics in Community Colleges
Two philosophy doctoral students – Anna Bates and Erika Versalovic – have been awarded a Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Reaching New Publics in Community Colleges. They will be part of three two-person teams, sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, who will shadow faculty members at one of Seattle District Colleges during the 2020-2021 academic year. The fellowship, which facilitates immersive cross-institutional experiences, is part of a program—... Read more
Fareed A. Awan, Doctorate in Philosophy
On Sunday, June 14* we held our first-ever virtual graduation celebration with our graduates, faculty, family and friends. While we missed celebrating all our graduates in person, it was lovely to see all their smiling faces on Zoom. Our celebration included many firsts: our first virtual hoodings of our PhD graduates, our first group undergraduate address, and our first student open mic allowing any student to reflect on their time in the department and address all those in attendance.... Read more
Anna Bates - UW Simpson Center Mellon Graduate Student Fellowship
Congratulations to Anna Bates and Paul Tubig on being awarded Mellon Summer Fellowships for Public Projects in the Humanities, funded through the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities, for their project, "Philosophy Behind/Beyond Bars: Exploring the Intersection Between Philosophy and Prison." Anna and Paul have been working in conjunction with the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS), an in-prison college program, to teach philosophy to incarcerated students at the Washington... Read more
Colin Marshall - UW Simpson Center Mellon Faculty Fellowship
Congratulations to Colin Marshall and Ian Schnee on being awarded a Mellon Summer Fellowship for New Graduate Seminars in the Humanities for their project “Advanced Philosophy of Persuasion Courses.” Mellon Summer Fellows receive support to develop graduate-level seminars with a significant focus on the practice of public scholarship. Colin and Ian plan to build upon their previous work creating the new undergraduate introductory course “... Read more