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Archive: 2012-2013

Summer 2013

April 2013

  • Edouard Machery is interviewed by Richard Marshall at 3:AM Magazine, and talks about concepts, human nature, racism, consciousness, and experimental philosophy. Read the interview here.
  • Congratulations to graduate student Marcus Adams who has been appointed Assistant Editor of Hobbes Studies.
  • On Friday April 19th the Wesley C. Salmon Memorial Lecture will be given by Philip Kitcher(Columbia), who will speak on "Collective Inquiry." For more details, click here.
  • HPS graduate student Elay Shech has just been awarded the Arts & Sciences GSO Elizabeth Baranger Excellence in Teaching Award. The award celebrates the outstanding work of graduate student teachers over the past year and honors former A&S Dean, Elizabeth Baranger's commitment to teaching.
  • HPS graduate student Marcus Adams has been awarded an ACLS-Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship. This fellowship will support research on Marcus' thesis, "Mechanical Epistemology and Mixed Mathematics: Descartes' Problems and Hobbes' Unity."
  • Jim Lennox has just been awarded the Hewlett International Grant by the Pitt Center for International Studies. This grant will support a series of lectures during May and June 2013. Prof. Lennox will present a colloquium at the University of Thessaloniki Interdisciplinary Centre for Aristotle Studies on 'Aristotle's Method in On Respiration: the Origins of Functional Anatomy.' This will be followed by lectures at the University of Oslo, 'Axioms and their Validation: Aristotle's Dilemma and its Solution' and 'The Inductive Origins of Darwin's Origin'. Prof. Lennox will then conduct a seminar in the Institute for Classical Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin on textual and interpretive problems in book I of Aristotle's On the Parts of Animals.

March 2013

  • Thomas Cunningham has accepted an assistant professor position in the Division of Medical Humanities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences , effective July, 2013. Thomas will graduate from HPS this summer after defending his PhD thesis, "Socializing Medical Practice: An Argument for a New Normative Model of Medical Decision-Making." He is currently a graduate student in HPS and the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at Pitt.
  • Steve Downes (Utah, Philosophy) and Edouard Machery (Pitt, HPS) have published a new reader about human nature, Arguing About Human Nature (Routledge). Arguing About Human Nature covers recent debates--arising from biology, philosophy, psychology, and physical anthropology--that together stystematically examine what it means to be human.
  • Two History and Philosophy of Science students, Michal De-Medonsa for "A Defense of Reduction to Physical Science: Why Fodor's Multiple Realizability Fails" and Elay Shech for "Is Death Harmful to the Person Who Dies?" received Outstanding Presenter Awards at the 2013 Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Organization Grad Expo.
  • Professors Edouard Machery (Pitt, HPS) and Steve Stich (Philosophy, Rutgers) have been awarded a $250,720 grant by the Fuller Theological Seminary / Thrive Center in concert with the John Templeton Foundation for a project on "Intellectual Humility and Cultural Diversity in Philosophy: An examination of the extent and implications of cultural diversity in philosophical intuition."
  • We are proud to announce that HPS chair Sandra Mitchell has just received the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from Pitzer College. More information is available here.

February 2013

  • The Society for Philosophy and Psychology has just announced that Edouard Machery will be the 2013 recipient of the Stanton Award. This prize is for a young scholar in philosophy or psychology who has begun making significant contributions to interdisciplinary research.
  • Bryan Roberts just been appointed as lecturer (tenure track) in the department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. Bryan graduated from HPS in 2012 with the dissertation, "Time, Symmetry and Structure: Studies in the Foundations of Quantum Theory". He is currently a Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Southern California. Many congratulations!"

January 2013

  • HPS major Maggie To has been recognized by the Pitt Honor's College for her community engagement work. You can read her profile here
  • Congratulations to HPS graduate David Marshall Miller (and his wife Dana, a veterinarian) who have both accepted tenure track jobs at Iowa State (in Ames). David also has signed a contract with Cambridge U. P. to publish a "heavily revised version of [his] dissertation."
  • Graduate Student Thomas Cunningham has published a paper in January's issue of The American Journal of Bioethics . The citation for the article is Cunningham, T. 2013. Skepticism about the "convertibility" of induced pluripotent stem cells. American Journal of Bioethics 13: 40-42.
  • HPS welcomes welcomes Eleanor Knox from King's College London, who will be a visiting professor this term. Dr. Knox is a philosopher of physics with research interests in spacetime theories (see webpage). She will be teaching a graduate seminar on the Philosophy of Space and Time and an undergraduate course on the Philosophy of 20th Century Physics.

December 2012

  • Graduate student Julia Bursten was a finalist in the NSF GRFP's Creating the Future video competition. You can watch her video about philosophy and nanoscience here.





  • Mazviita Chirimuuta has been selected as a Fellow of the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh for the academic year 2013-2014. During this appointment Mazviita will be working on her new book project, "Outside Colour: Perceptual Science and the Revision of Colour Ontology," currently under contract with MIT Press. You can read more about the Center here.


  • La Philosophie Experiméntale, edited by Edouard Machery and colleagues,and colleagues has just been relased by Vuibert. This volume contains French translations of classic articles in experimental philosophy.

October 2012

  • The current issue of the Pitt Chronicle features an article on philosophy at Pitt, which includes interviews and research profiles of HPS faculty.
  • A conference on Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy is taking place November 2-4th at the Center for Philosophy of Science. The program and abstracts are now posted. Registration is requested. The international conference is the culmination of the Medicine, Philosophy, and the 'Scientific Revolution' Initiative> , a collaborative project hosted at Pitt.
  • From October 22-25, Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History Paula Findlen (of Stanford University) will present three lectures for the AW Mellon Distinguished Lectures in the History of Science series at Pitt. The topic for the lectures is: Newton's Shadow: Francesco Algarotti and the Passion for Science in the Eighteenth Century. For a schedule, see the enlarged poster here: Full Poster



September 2012

  • On September 27, 2012, Professor James Lennox and graduate student Peter Distelzweig will present a paper titled "Sensation and Locomotion in Aristotle, Fabricius and Harvey" as part of the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin's Conference "From 'Animal' to 'Man': The medical and philosophical debate on human intelligence and animal perceptual faculties between Aristotelianism, Cartesianism and Post-Cartesianism (16th-18th Centuries).
  • On September 13 at noon in Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 5, Robert Olby, Research Professor in the Department of History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, will speak on “Charles Darwin’s Challenge to the Skeptics.” Dr. Olby will explore the manner in which Darwin prepared his case and crafted his text to meet the skeptics. This analysis will raise questions about the criteria demanded for the acceptance of evidence and prompt reflection on the present state of the subject. The lecture is one of a series sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System, which is hosting Rewriting the Book of Nature: Charles Darwin and the Rise of Evolutionary Theory, a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, from August 26 through October 6, 2012.
  • Graduate student Jason Byron has been appointed as head of the medical ethics department and vice-chair of the ethics committee at UPMC Shadyside hospital. Many congratulations!
  • HPS Research Professor Adolf Grünbaum is interviewed in the new book by NY Times science writer, John Holt, Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story. In the chapter entitled 'The Great Rejectionist', Grünbaum discusses space, time, nothingness, and the origins of the universe.
  • Professor Edouard Machery has been elected to the Dietrich Arts & Sciences Graduate Council.