Summer 2022

After a cool, rainy spring, it seems that summer weather may have finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest. Our department still resonates with the sound of celebration as we gathered in-person for the first time in three years to celebrate our students in our annual Department Awards Ceremony and… Read more
The Department of Philosophy is saddened to share that Emeritus Professor Charles Marks has passed away. Charles joined the Department of Philosophy in 1966, served as Chair of the department from 1980-1982, and retired in 2003. His research and classes focused on philosophy of the mind and the history of philosophy. He also held fellowships at MIT and Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. Reminiscences of Chuck Marks from fellow faculty members: Marc Cohen I met Chuck in… Read more
Benjamin Rabinowitz Symposium in Medical Ethics on “Race, Health and Justice,” held on April 15, 2022, was a one-day, cross disciplinary symposium which presented theoretical and empirical research on racial injustice and its impact on health and well-being. The keynote address "The Black Body and the Trauma of Whiteness" was given by George Yancy, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. In his talk, he discussed both spectacular and mundane ways in which the Black… Read more
From the collapse of the Soviet Union to Black Futurist Sci-Fi, this year’s summer book recommendations by the philosophy faculty offer choices for everyone to ponder in the hammock. Check out the books our faculty members recommend or are planning to read this summer. We hope you find some great picks to add to your reading list! Marc Cohen Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire,… Read more
On Monday, June 6, the department held a graduation celebration at the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Intellectual House with our graduates, faculty, family and friends. We were thrilled to be able to hold it in person and celebrate our graduates with applauses they could hear, rather than clapping-hand emojis. Congratulations to the ninety-six Bachelors of Arts, four Masters of Arts, and five Doctors of Philosophy of the class of 2022! The ceremony included a speech by alumna Mary B. Whisner, B.A. Philosophy… Read more
The Department of Philosophy celebrated the achievements of our students and faculty at our annual awards ceremony on May 20, 2022. We were able to return to an in-person celebration in Savery Hall, and we were thrilled to celebrate our award winners’ accomplishments together. Our heartfelt tradition of sharing personal anecdotes about each recipient continued, to the delight of family, friends, and classmates.  We are proud of the accomplishments of all our department members and look… Read more
The Department of Philosophy is proud to announce that Wendi Zhou, a double major in Philosophy and History, is one of the University of Washington 2022 Husky 100! The Husky 100 recognizes undergraduate and graduate students who are making the most of their time at the UW. As a freshman,… Read more
The APA interviewed graduate student Cody C. Dout about his philosophical work, which examines “the tacit assumptions within white-dominated philosophical literatures and aims to show how arguments within these encounter moral and epistemic limits when it comes to the theorization of Black life in America.” APA profiles help members get to know fellow philosophers better and build community and connections. What excites you about philosophy? I grew up in “inner-city” Baltimore. And… Read more
Philosophy major Alena Alvarez-Saldivar interviewed Professor Ameila Wirts about the recent leak of the Supreme Court draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which would overturn the previous decision on abortion rights established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Philosophy assistant professor Amelia Wirts was not surprised by the contents of the draft when she first learned about the leaked opinion because the December oral arguments in Dobbs already… Read more
Senior philosophy major Wendi Zhou is featured in the University of Washington Magazine article “The Rise of Gen Z.” Wendi has been an active part of the philosophy community, serving as a writing center tutor and earning the praise of her professors. “Wendi's work is amazing, she is a rockstar! I am very happy to see her work highlighted here,” writes professor Amelia Wirts.  The notion that Gen Z cares about race, equity and social good is true for Wendi Zhou, 18. Last spring, she won… Read more
Professor Stephen Gardiner discusses the ethics behind Oceankind’s grants to projects aimed at improving the health of global ocean ecosystems. Oceankind is an incorporated LLC, which recently acknowledged that it is managed by Lucy Southworth, wife of Larry Page, co-founder of Google. One project Oceankind funds is researching geoengineering in the oceans by adding large amounts of ground-up alkaline rock to seawater, which would remove excess carbon-dioxide.  This lack of transparency… Read more
Karen Emmerman discusses the Woodland Park Zoo’s effort to give agency to its animals by working with them to allow hand vaccinations, which eliminates the unnecessary stress of putting animals under anesthesia or restraining them for injections. Determining whether animals can volunteer or give consent for anything, especially in zoos, can be very difficult, says Dr. Karen Emmerman, an independent scholar and part-time faculty member at the University of Washington’s philosophy department.… Read more
Nancy Jecker examines defining personhood in light of the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that could strike down Roe v. Wade. If the right to an abortion is overturned by the court’s final ruling, which is expected in June 2022, it will not be the end of the abortion debate. Jecker discusses why defining personhood is so central and problematic to the debate. In short, there are plenty of reasons to figure out what personhood requires. Doing so demands wrestling with at least three… Read more
Nancy Jecker discusses how four principles guide a bioethical approach to abortion care: respecting a patents’ autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence and justice. She examines how these four principles are used by doctors and bioethicists, and how settling legal controversies regarding abortion will require reaching moral consensus. The ethical principle of autonomy states that patients are entitled to make decisions about their own medical care when able. The American Medical Association’s… Read more