Summer 2015 Newsletter

At the end of this academic year I was thinking a lot about Nietzsche, the infamous nineteenth century German philosopher, who quit a promising university career to become a roaming and prolific thinker, only to lose his mind and eventually die.  I am not considering leaving the halls of academe to wander around the Alps.  Nor am I particularly worried about my sanity. My interest was not biographical but philosophical.  I was focused on his doctrine of “eternal recurrence,” in which he asserts… Read more
On June 12th we celebrated the graduation of the class of 2015 which was comprised of 63 BAs, 5 Masters, and 3 PhD degrees in Philosophy, at the Center for Urban Horticulture.  Cass Weller toasted the graduates and Christopher Myers gave an inspiring speech to his fellow graduates.  Chris reminded and challenged the recent graduates that “the value of our degree in philosophy survives only with perseverance. All that we have developed in studying philosophy here is threatened by the temptation… Read more
Congratulations to recent graduate Sara Leonetti, who was named as a 2015 recipient of the highly prestigious University of Washington's President's Medal. This award recognizes the two graduating seniors who have achieved the most distinguished academic records at the university - one who earned the bulk of his or her degree at UW, and one who completed UW degree after transferring from a Washington community college. Sara recently graduated with a BA in Philosophy and History.  Her love of… Read more
The Department held its second annual Awards Reception on the evening of June 11, 2015 at the University of Washington Club, to celebrate and honor all of the award recipients.  The ceremony provided a perfect occasion for faculty members to share their personal experiences in the classroom with the award recipient and their friends and families. Thank you to our many alumni and friends who make it possible for us to support our undergraduate, graduate students and faculty in this way.  Please… Read more
Congratulations to graduate students Michelle Pham and Olin Robus! They are winners of the Rader awards for innovative summer philosophy projects for 2015. They will each receive $2000 to be put toward their respective projects. Michelle Pham will use her award to support her participation in the Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) at the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State. The goal of PIKSI is to inspire and strengthen the interests of students from underrepresented groups… Read more
The Center for Philosophy for Children hosted the PLATO 2015 Conference on Equity and Inquiry at the end of June. PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) is a national organization advocating for the introduction of philosophy into pre-college classrooms and for increasing access to philosophy beyond the academy. Formed in response to the growth of pre-college philosophy in the U.S. over the past decade, PLATO’s mission involves connecting the education and philosophy communities… Read more
By Alex Lenferna On May 14th, the University of Washington made fossil fuel divestment movement history by becoming both the richest public university and the school with the biggest student body to divest so far – although thanks to the power of the divestment movement, Oxford University took the former title just days later. More specifically the UW committed to remove thermal coal from its… Read more
Philosophy Professor Lauren Hartzell Nichols and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Thomas Ackerman were brought together by Humanities Washington for the Think and Drink events at Naked City Brewery and the Rainier Room in Seattle to discuss and ponder the reality of climate change and whether or not technology should be part of the solution. They spoke of the impact rising temperatures will likely have on Washington State, including more frequent hot, dry summers like the one we’re experiencing… Read more
The Center experienced another year of expansion in 2014-2015. A growing cadre of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, teachers, and volunteers made possible the involvement of the Center’s Philosophers in the Schools program in 50 public elementary, middle and high school classrooms around Seattle this past year, including several middle schools new for the Center and weekly classes at the public… 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, Eric Schmidt and Jasmin Weaver.  The board assisted the department in hosting a spring event this year, which took place in May at The Canal, a beautiful space… Read more