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Archive: 2011-2012

Summer 2012

  • Congratulations to graduate student Joseph McCaffrey who has received the William James Prize this year in recognition of his paper "Reconceiving Conceptual Vehicles: Lessons from Semantic Dementia". The William James Prize is awarded yearly by the Society for Philosophy and Psychology to the best judged submission from a graduate student. This is the third time in eight years that an HPS graduate student has won the most prestigious prize for graduate students in the philosophy of psychology.
  • Perception, Realism, and the Problem of Reference, edited by Athanassios Raftopoulos and Peter Machamer, has just been released by Cambridge University Press. The volume of new essays examines reference as it relates to perception, action and realism, and the questions which arise if there is no neutral perspective or independent way to know the world.
  • Congratulations to graduate student Benjamin Goldberg who has accepted a three year position as visiting assistant professor at East Tennesse State University.
  • This fall we will welcome the second of our A. W. Mellon Fellows in the History of Science, Joyce van Leeuwen. Van Leeuwen has an MA in Classics from Radboud University in the Netherlands and is about to defend her dissertation, "The Tradition of the Aristotelian Mechanics: Text and Diagrams," at the Humboldt University in Berlin under the supervision of Professors Jonathan Beere and Dieter Harlfinger. While here she will be working on a study of the diagrams in the texts of the Aristotelian Mechanics, from the earliest Greek manuscripts (c. 1300) to the editions, translations, and commentaries on the Mechanics in the late Renaissance (up to 1650), focusing on the changing roles of these visual representations over time. She will also be teaching a graduate seminar in the fall related to this work.
  • Congratulations to Karen Zwier who has been awarded an University of Pittsburgh Provost's Development Fellowship for 2012-2013.
  • HPS-Neuroscience major Abdul-Kareem Ahmed has presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting in Chicago. The poster, "Cognitive Contributions to Color Constancy - A Case for a Subjectivist Color Ontology" summarises Abdul's research project on philosophy and color perception, supervised by Mazviita Chirimuuta.

April 2012

March 2012

  • Papers are now being accepted for a conference entitled Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy, which will be held November 2-4, 2012, at the Center for Philosophy of Science. The submission deadline for papers is June 1, 2012. For more information, see the Call for Papers.
  • The 14th Annual Pitt-CMU Graduate Student Philosophy Conference will be held from April 6th-7th. For the program and more information, click here.
  • Edouard Machery is the new editor of the Naturalistic Philosophy section of Philosophy Compass. See here for the news release.

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

  • Catherine Stinson has been awarded a two year post-doc in the Philosophy of Neuroscience group at the Universität Tübingen. Her project will be on visual embodiment. Many congratulations!

November 2011

  • HPS congratulates Cory J. Rodgers, who has been named as a 2012 Rhodes scholar. Cory was a joint major in HPS, Biological Science and Africana Studies. The prestigious award funds a scholarship for two to three years of graduate work at the University of Oxford.
  • Heather Douglas, our visiting associate professor for the fall semester, has just published an opinion piece in The Scientist on the responsibility of scientists working in synthetic biology.

  • Edouard Machery has been selected as a Fellow of the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh for the academic year 2012-13. During this appointment Edouard will be working on his new book project, "Evidence and Cognition". You can read more about the Center here.
  • Sandra Mitchell has been appointed for a 3–year term to the AAAS Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee.

October 2011

September 2011

  • Sandra Mitchell will be giving a lecture entitled “GMOs and Policy in a Complex, Diverse World” at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. The lecture will be streamed live here at 3:30 p.m. on September 30th and will also be archived to a YouTube video.

  • POSITION: Mellon Post Doctoral Fellowship in the History & Philosophy of Science.

    We are pleased to offer a one or two term Mellon Post Doctoral Fellowship in the period August 30, 2012 - April 30, 2013. The Fellowship is to support a scholar with a clearly defined monograph project in some area of the history of science or history and philosophy of science. The successful candidate would, in addition to pursuing his or her research goals, be expected to teach one course each term centered on that research, and would grant the University of Pittsburgh Press the first option to publish the monograph. Senior scholars should apply for a single semester; junior scholars may apply for two semesters. The fellowship is in the amount of $40,000, and comes with a full package of benefits.

    This Fellowship is funded as part of a grant from the Mellon Foundation to support the development of publishing in the History and Philosophy of Science through University of Pittsburgh Press and interactions between the World History Center and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. Special consideration will be given to applications that are consonant with the goals of those projects.

    Applications should include the following:

    • A cover letter indicating that a Postdoctoral Fellowship is sought.
    • A description of the project to be undertaken during residence (500-1000 words).
    • A curriculum vitae.
    • A sample of your written work.
    • Names of three referees who can supply letters upon request.

    Electronic versions of the application are strongly preferred and should be sent via email to Joann McIntyre, Department of History and Philosophy of Science:

    Application Deadline: February 15, 2012.

    Notification by: March 15, 2012.

    Acceptance required by: April 15, 2012.

  • Papers are now being accepted for the 14th Annual Pitt-CMU Graduate Student Philosophy Conference, which will be held on April 6-7, 2012. The theme of the conference is "Mind, Method, and Morality". The submission deadline for papers is December 19, 2011. For more information, see the conference website here.
  • Marcus Adams' paper "Explaining the Theory of Mind Deficit in Autism Spectrum Disorder" has been accepted for publication in Philosophical Studies and is available for early access online here.



  • Medicine, Philosophy and the 'Scientific Revolution' is a new project, funded in part by a Faculty Collaborative Research in the Humanities grant from the Humanities Center. Collaborators include James Lennox, Dennis Looney of the department of French and Italian, and Domenico Bertoloni Meli of the HPS Department at IU Bloomington. They also include advanced and recent graduate students from Pitt and IU Bloomington: Peter Distelzweig, Benjamin Goldberg, and Evan Ragland. The project aims to cultivate collaborative work on the interactions between medicine and natural philosophy during the 'Scientific Revolution' across several departments and institutions. It involves an ongoing working group and occasional small, one-day and afternoon workshops, and it will culminate in a large international conference on the topic hosted by the Center for Philosophy of Science, and co-sponsored by the Humanities Center, the World History Center, our department, the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, and the HPS Department at IU Bloomington. The conference will take place in Fall of 2012.

August 2011

  • On Friday, September 16, Elliott Sober of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will make a presentation in the Wesley C. Salmon Memorial Lecture Series, entitled "Screening-off and Causal Incompleteness" at 3:30 in the Center for Philosophy of Science conference room, 817R Cathedral of Learning. For an abstract, click here.
  • Our department and the Department of Structural Biology are sponsoring a talk by Pier Luigi Luisi, entitled "From the origin of life to cognition", on September 20th at 3:30pm, in 817R Cathedral of Learning. For more information and an abstract, see the flyer.