Winter 2021

Dear Friends of UW Philosophy, I send greetings for a Happy New Year from the Department of Philosophy, along with the sincere hope that you and all your loved ones are safe and well. It has now been ten long months since the university transitioned to remote teaching and learning. During this time, I am so grateful for the resilience of everyone in our community. Faculty members in this department have rallied around our communal teaching mission to develop courses on Zoom (the university’s… Read more
Join us virtually for the annual ethics lecture: Social Injustice and COVID-19 Vaccines, Professor Ruth Faden, Founder, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, Philip Franklin Wagley Professor, on January 29, 2021, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Register for here for Social Injustice and COVID-19 Vaccines  Abstract: What makes structural injustice… Read more
Remember casting a vote for class president in grade school? The process was straightforward: the classmate with the most votes won. Few voting scenarios are that simple, as UW students are learning in a new interdisciplinary course about voting, STAT 498/CSSS 594: The Statistics and Philosophy of Voting. The course takes a deep dive into the complexities of voting, from majority rule to election forecasting to...… Read more
We are pleased to introduce one of our three new faculty members, Professor Rose Novick. Novick will be teaching Philosophy of Science in the winter quarter. (Use the link to check out her video introduction to the class.) We reached out to learn more about her and welcome her to the University of Washington. What sparked your interest in philosophy? I remember a moment from my childhood when I became very worried that, even… Read more
We are pleased to introduce one of our three new faculty members, Professor José Jorge Mendoza. Mendoza is currently teaching Philosophy of Race. (Use the link to check out his video introduction to the class.) During the winter, he will be teaching a graduate level seminar in social philosophy. We reached out to learn more about him and welcome him to the University of Washington.… Read more
We are pleased to introduce one of our three new faculty members, Professor Amelia Wirts. Wirts is currently teaching Philosophy of Law. During the winter quarter, she will be teaching Philosophy of Crime and Punishment. (Use the links to check out her video introductions to both classes.) We reached out to learn more about her and welcome her to the University… Read more
Recent events have inspired the White Coats for Black Lives and #ShutDownSTEM movements to call for the elimination of institutional and systematic racism in biomedicine and STEM fields including barriers faced by Black researchers. Building on their earlier work demonstrating continued Black-white disparities in NIH grant funding, Carole Lee and her… Read more
On September 27, 2020, Ian Schnee helped welcome new students to the University of Washington on behalf of faculty as part of this year’s livestreamed New Student Convocation. A 2020 Distinguished Teaching Award winner, Schnee was asked to speak because, as University… Read more
Thank you to everyone who made our virtual alumni career panel a success. Especially our alumni panelists: Zane Gustafson, Philosophy and Political Science (BA ’15), Research Consultant at Sightline Institute Jess Lockhart, Philosophy and Political Science (BA ’11), Attorney at General Services Administration in Tacoma Lizzie Tao, Philosophy and English (BA ’15), Product Marketing Manager at Google Charles Tilander, Philosophy and Biochemistry (BA ’13), Research Scientist/Quality Control… Read more
Congratulations to Professor Michael Blake, whose book Justice, Migration, & Mercy is one of the Best of 2020 Philosophy from Oxford University Press. The Oxford University Press is celebrating the new year with a curated collection of free chapters from twenty of the most popular Philosophy books from 2020. Read the free chapter, “… Read more
Professor Michael Blake explains why it is important, as a moral condemnation by our society, to impeach President Trump even though the trial will not be finished before the end of Trump’s term of office. Citizens in a democratic society do not need to agree about political morality. They can recognize their political opponents as entitled to their views – however mistaken each side takes those alternative views to be. Conservatives and liberals have often regarded each other as wrong, but… Read more
Professor José Jorge Mendoza joins philosophers across the country (and the world) in contributing to a new Daily Nous feature, “Philosophers On the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.” This edition of the “Philosophers On” series asks political philosophers to reflect on the current election and examine the questions surrounding it, in hopes of spurring further discussion. In his piece, “The Latinx Vote: What Entity, What Identity?” Mendoza grapples with the “Common Bundle” view of… Read more
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
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
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
Jana Mohr Lone, director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children, discusses teaching philosophy with children during a pandemic. “We don’t really need ‘going to school,’” Ella Wagar, a 10-year-old from Seattle, told her online peers during a recent Zoom session. “What we really do need are friends. If you don’t have friends, it sucks; you play alone, you eat alone.” The children were exploring the difference between needs and wants in light of the pandemic in a… Read more
There are certain values we’d love for our kids to have. But how do we go about teaching them? Jana Mohr Lone, affiliate associate professor of philosophy at the UW and director of the UW Center for Philosophy for Children, discusses the values of curiosity, respect, and open communication.Read the entire article on Parents: 7 Values to Teach Your… Read more