Department of Philosophy

Mathematics and Science Center, Room 752
146 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-3390
fax: (248) 370-3157

Departmental News and Events

Departmental News and Events

Philosophy Departmental Newsletters

2017-2018 Newsletter
2018-2019 Newsletter

OU Diversity Conference urges participants to ‘stand up, stand strong, stand together’
Our own Mark Navin was honored with the Timothy G. Larrabee Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equity and Inclusion Award at the conference, which occurred on April 12, 2018.  Read all about the conference here.

Philosophy Department Summer Internships Awarded for 2018
Congratulations to philosophy majors Nicole Diroff and Emily Lawrence for being awarded positions as summer interns for the coming summer.  Well done!

Upcoming Talk Sponsored by the Oakland University PI Academy
Dr. Sandra D. Mitchell, Distinguished Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, will be coming to campus on March 29th, 2018, to give a talk entitled, "Perspectivism: Learning from Model Divergence". More information here.

Winter Colloquium Series for 2017-2018
We are pleased to announce the continuing colloquium series for the 2017-2018 school year, which includes Dr. Edouard Machery from Pitt, Dr. Chandra Sripadadr from U of M, and Dr. Russell Powell from Boston U.  The flier is here.

OU Ethics Bowl Team Headed to Nationals
With a healthy dose of insight, enthusiasm, and persistence, the OU Ethics Bowl team came in second place in the Midwest Regional Ethics Bowl.  They are headed to Nationals in Chicago!

Oakland Hosts Midwest Ethics Bowl
In the Fall of 2017, Oakland Department of Philosophy had the honor of hosting the Ethics Bowl for the Midwest Region. Read more here.

Fall Colloquium Series for 2017-2018
The Oakland Department of Philosophy is honored to host a number of influential scholars this fall, including Dr. Elvira Basevich, Dr. Jill Dieterle, and Dr. Derek Green.  See the flier for our colloquium series here.

Jonathan Abdal Wins Annual Philosophy Essay Contest
Philosophy major Jonny Abdal won the 2016-2017 essay contest with his paper on fictional characters and natural kinds.  Thank you to Jonny for his excellent submission, and thank you for everyone who participated in the contest!  

Read Jonny's essay here.

Colloquium Series  Announced for 2016-17
The Department of Philosophy is pleased to be hosting a number of colloquium talks on a variety of philosophical issues.  All of these talks are open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public.  For details about the Fall Semester 2016 talks, please see our official flyer.

Philosophy Major Karl  Adam Receives Arts and Sciences Meritorious Achievement Award
Congratulations to Karl Adam for receiving the prestigious College of Arts and Sciences Meritorious Achievement Award.  The award is presented to outstanding students who exemplify the variety and scope of work in the Arts and Sciences in their academic activities.

The Meritorious Achievement Award includes a citation and a $250 honorarium. Karl was recognized during the CAS commencement ceremony held on Friday, April 29, in the O’Rena, where he delivered a speech to the graduates and their families and guests just prior to the conferring of degrees.

Philosophy Major Nicole Diroff Receives Inaugural Ethics Bowl Scholarship
Congratulations to Philosophy major and Honors College student Nicole Diroff for being the first recipient of the department's Ethics Bowl Scholarship. The scholarship covers half of the tuition for the course Philosophy 300: Ethics Bowl Preparation and Competition.

Colloquium: Peter Railton (University of Michigan), "Intuition and Intuition in Ethics," Friday, April 15, 4:00 PM, MSC 168
The Philosophy Club and Department of Philosophy hosted a lecture by Peter Railton, Gregory S. Kavka Distinguished University Professor and John Stephenson Perrin Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. (You can find Professor Railton's faculty page here.) The lecture, "Intuition and Intuitions in Ethics," took place on Friday, April 15 at 4:00 PM in Mathematics and Science Center 168.  Here is the abstract:

Converging lines of research in philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science suggest a new understanding of the architecture of the mind and brain of intelligent animals, including humans. According to this new understanding, the brain and mind were built for prospection-- the mapping of the physical and social environments and their potential benefits and risks, permitting the simulation and evaluation of possible actions, which, in turn, guides choice. This prospective architecture permits a reconceptualization of perception, memory, cognition, and behavior that helps resolve some long-standing puzzles about the operation of these capacities. It also suggests a new way of understanding the nature and potential authority of what we have come to call intuition and intuitions. I'll argue that this picture of intuition and intuitions can contribute to an improved understanding some well-known “problem cases” in ethics--including the notorious “trolley problem”.

Inaugural Undergraduate Colloquium for the Advancement of Philosophy (UCAP)
The inaugural Undergraduate Colloquium for the Advancement of Philosophy was held on Friday, February 12 in OU's Oakland Center, Room 126.  The event was organized by Jonathan Abdal, Philosophy major and chair of OU's Philosophy Club.

Philosophy Major Monica Ybarra Presents Paper at International Undergraduate Research Conference in India
Philosophy major Monica Ybarra presented a paper "No Good Deed: An Account of the Virtue of Self-interest," at an international undergraduate research conference in Maynaguri, India.  Full financial support for her presentation was provided by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Philosophy.

Inaugural Teaching Apprentice Scholarship Awarded to Robert Smith
Congratulations to Robert "Dean" Smith for being awarded the Department of Philosophy's inaugural Teaching Apprentice scholarship.  Mr. Smith will be assisting Professor Joyce Havstad in teaaching her Winter 2016 course, Philosophy 104: Introduction Ethics in Science and Engineering.

Paper from Professor Derek Green to be Published in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Professor Derek Green's paper "Semantic Knowledge, Semantic Guidance, and Kripke's Wittgenstein" is officially forthcoming in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, a journal edited by the Philosophy faculty at the University of Southern California.  

Click here to view the paper's abstract.

Professor Joyce Havstad Featured in Field Museum Video Series
Professor Joyce Havstad was recently featured in an episode of "The Brain Scoop," an online video series produced by the Field Museum of Natural History.  The series details some of the interesting items in the Museum's collection.  The episode's official description is as follows:

"Joyce Havstad, PhD holds the title Philosopher-in-Residence at The Field Museum. We had the joy of interviewing her about some of the fascinating concepts she researches and explores -- in this case, what is a holotype? And how can paleontologists determine new species of prehistoric life based off of incomplete fossil skeletons?"

Click here to watch the video.

OU Philosophy Major Presents Paper at Professional Conference
OU Philosophy major, Karl Martin Adam, presented at this year's North American Society for Social Philosophy conference.  His paper was entitled, "The Slippery Slope to Justice: An Argument for the Recognition of Polygamy." Karl was the only undergraduate presenter at this professional conference.  Congratulations, Karl!

Professor Mark Navin to Deliver President's Colloquium
Congratulations to Professor Mark Navin on being selected to deliver this year's President's Colloquium.  His colloquium lecture will be entitled, "Values and Vaccine Refusal," and will be held in the Banquet Rooms on Monday, November 9th, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM.

Welcoming Professor Joyce C. Havstad
The department is pleased to welcome its new assistant professor, Dr. Joyce C. Havstad (PhD Philosophy, University of California – San Diego, 2014).  Dr. Havstad specializes in philosophy of science (with special emphasis in philosophy of biology and philosophy of chemistry) and science and technology studies. She comes to the department after completing a prestigious postdoctoral term as the Philosopher-in-Residence at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.  Her course offerings in the upcoming year include: Philosophy 104: Introduction to Ethics in Science and Engineering; Philosophy 300: Animal Minds and Morals; and Philosophy 331: Philosophy of Biology.

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