Recent News

Our Advisory Board advises the department chair, supports the department's community and public relations activities, and assists in implementing the department's fund development and outreach efforts. For the fourth year, the board funded the department's Outreach Coordinator, Kate Goldyn, and worked with her to organize and carry out fund-raising and outreach initiatives. The board also collectively donated one of the lead gifts ($51,500) for the Ken Clatterbaugh Endowed Fund, which honors... Read more
The Benjamin Rabinowitz Lecture in Medical Ethics "It's a Boy! The Ethics of Sex Selection" will be held May 28th at 7 pm in Kane Hall 220 with a reception following in the Walker-Ames Room. Is it ethically permissible to select embryos of a particular sex for social reasons? Dr. Inmaculada de Melo-Martín Professor of Medical Ethics Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, will speak on the use of new reproductive and genetic technologies presenting us with difficult ethical choices.
From the Chair I just finished teaching PHIL100, "Introduction to Philosophy," and this quarter, like every time I teach the course, I am reminded of the impact that philosophy can make on students' lives. The comments that I most enjoy in the end of course evaluations are those that say things like "I never would have thought that philosophy could be interesting but…" or "this course really stretched my mind." We often take it for granted that philosophy is important and stimulating, but these... Read more
The 4th annual Rabinowitz Symposium in medical ethics was a huge success! It was titled, "Disordering Personalities? Psychiatric Diagnosis and Moral Responsibility." The first talk, by philosopher Nancy Potter (University of Louisville), focused on oppositional defiant disorder, with discussion of radicalized attributions of defiance in the school system, concerns about motivations for diagnosis and treatment, and the possibility of a virtue of defiance. Next, medical anthropologist Rebecca... Read more
The Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children had another year of expansion, with the help of a three-year grant from the Squire Family Foundation. Some of the highlights of the year include: Sending UW students and Center staff into five different primary and secondary schools where they facilitated classes that reached over 300 young people. Monthly sessions with teachers at John Muir Elementary School in Seattle, as well as other workshops for teachers and graduate students exploring how... Read more
Professor Arthur Fine's contributions to the field of Philosophy of Science were celebrated at this year's meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association. Colleagues, students, and former students of Arthur gathered to celebrate his work with a symposium and reception, which honored the 25th anniversary of his book, The Shaky Game: Einstein Realism and the Quantum Theory. University of Washington Professor John Manchak, who specializes in Philosophy of... Read more
Bob Richman will be remembered for his big heart, his modesty, his wit, and his intelligence. Bob died on July 30, 2011, at the age of 88. He never expected to live so long. Since the males in his family had always died young, he was surprised that he lived into his sixties and astonished that he almost reached 90. His longevity was due in part to his love of hiking. He would regularly drive to Mount Rainier for a day hike. When he had a class he would often walk from his house in Madrona to... Read more
On May 23rd we celebrated Professor Ken Clatterbaugh's retirement. Ken is teaching his last class this autumn quarter. It is an honors seminar called, "Philosophy over Lunch," and it covers the long and somewhat antagonistic history of philosophy and religion. To recognize Ken, and the legacy he leaves behind, the Philosophy Advisory Board has created the Ken Clatterbaugh Endowed Scholarship fund. This fund supports scholarships for undergraduate philosophy majors. We are very close to our... Read more
One of the best moments of the academic year is graduation. Parents are beaming with pride as they see their children graduate. Students are full of satisfaction for having completed their studies and are excited about moving on to new projects and prospects. It is a chance for faculty to reflect with satisfaction on the year's work. Even in the midst of the worst recession in years, we can be thankful for the students who take our classes, read difficult books, and enthusiastically engage with... Read more
Awards and Achievements: Students Graduate Students Philosophy Department Annual Teaching Award - Rachel Fredericks and Patrick Smith earned this year's departmental teaching awards. The award includes a $50 gift certificate to the University Bookstore in addition to the satisfaction of a job well done! Departmental Dissertation Fellowship Awards were given to Rachel Fredericks and Scott Clifton this year. These one quarter fellowships will be... Read more