Spring 2015 Newsletter

In the last book of the Republic, in the famous myth of Er, Plato tells the story of how wandering souls in the afterlife are assigned a lottery token that will determine the course of their next life, when the souls are reincarnated. There is no doubt in my mind that Ann Baker received the soul of a philosopher. As the interview with her recounts, her love of philosophical argument was awakened early in college and has animated a long career at the UW until she retired at the end of… Read more
On the Right to Know One's Genetic Parentage Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, the Benjamin Rabinowitz Visiting Professor in Medical Ethics, taught Ethical Issues in Reproductive and Genetic Technologies, in the winter quarter. During the winter quarter, she held a department talk on the topic "On the Right to Know One's Genetic Parentage." The paper below highlights her position from the talk. Anonymous Gamete Donations and the Interests of Donor-Conceived Individuals* The use of donated… Read more
Ann Baker retired this year after teaching philosophy at UW for 21 years. She completed her PhD at UW in 1990 and returned as the department's full-time lecturer in 1994, after teaching for four years at Illinois Wesleyan University. While her duties included administrative tasks related to managing the curriculum, Ann's primary focus was on teaching philosophy. Her work in the classroom was recognized in 2004 with the Distinguished Teaching Award. She taught a large Introduction to Philosophy… Read more
What areas of Philosophy do you teach? This year, I will teach courses in epistemology, philosophy of mathematics, and logic. In the future, I will likely teach classes in epistemology (especially social and formal), logic, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of science. What are your current research interests? My goal as a philosopher is to show how philosophical questions, theories, and thinking can be of importance for working scientists and mathematicians, and… Read more
Meet our undergraduate Writing Center tutors Christopher Myers and Dustin Bratten. The Philosophy Writing Center is a free resource for students who want to improve their philosophical writing. The Center's goal is to help students build skills needed to become confident and effective writers. The Center offers one on one tutoring sessions to work on all aspects of the student's paper or writing skills. The tutors have had additional training in working with English Language Learners and in… Read more
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The department's 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. Advisory Board members are: Greg Albert, David Byrne, Marcia Evans, Dan Gerler, Jana Mohr Lone, Ann Owens, Jack Sabin and Jasmin Weaver. The board is working with the department to host a spring event this year, which will take place on May 20 at The Canal, graciously donated by… Read more
The Center's Philosophers in the Schools program is in the midst of another year of growth, with faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and volunteers leading regular philosophy sessions in about 50 public elementary, middle and high school classrooms around Seattle this year, including several middle schools new for the Center. The Center's philosopher-in-residence program in the Seattle public schools… Read more
It is spring time and the perfect moment to purchase a Philosophy Department hat to keep the sun and rain out of your eyes! Purchase your own legendary department "PHILOSOPHY I'm in it for the Money" t-shirt or hoodie. Spring is the season of layers! T-shirts with the department logo and slogan come in blue, olive or gray, and hats in white, taupe, or gold cost $12. We also have t-shirts with only the department logo in citrus green, white, gold, or oatmeal, plus short-sleeved t-shirts cut for… Read more
The Center for Philosophy for Children hosted another successful Washington State High School Ethics Bowl at the University of Washington, on January 31, 2015, involving over 100 high school students and teachers, as well as lawyers, philosophers, other educators, and UW students who volunteered their time as judges, moderators, and coaches. Congratulations to Newport High School for their first place win in this year's competition. They will compete in the National High School Ethics Bowl on… Read more