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February 27, 2015

2015 Undergraduate Philosophy Conference: Call for Papers

UGThe University of Oregon is holding its Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference on Saturday May 16 from 10-5PM on the University of Oregon campus in the Lokey Education Building, Room 276. Refreshments and lunch will be provided at the event.

We are pleased to have Professor Mark Alfano as our keynote speaker this year. The title of his talk is “How One Becomes What One Is.” Professor Alfano is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon and works on moral psychology, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of psychology. Dr. Alfano has authored papers for Philosophical Quarterly, The Monist, Erkenntnis, Synthese, and the British Journal for the History of Philosophy. More information about his current research and past work can be found on his personal website:

We want to invite undergraduates students from various schools to submit their papers and research for the upcoming conference. There are approximately 6-8 open slots for student presentations this year and we are encouraging submissions! Papers can be on any philosophical topic, no longer than about 5000 words. Presentations are expected to run about 25-30 minutes, including 5-10 minutes for questions. The deadline for submissions is April 15.

The flyer for the event and details about the submissions process are listed below:

1. Prepare paper for blind review, remove name, school name and any identifying information

2. Provide an abstract (up to 300 words) between the title and main text of the paper

3. Send an e-copy as an attachment (either as word document or pdf) to

4. In the email to which the paper is attached, provide relevant contact information: Name / Institution / Email / Phone

Please contact Conference Organizers, Hannah Dilday ( and Ghoncheh Azadeh ( with any questions.

We look forward to reviewing your submissions!

CFP Flyer

February 23, 2015

Coming to Understand: Public Lecture by Nancy Tuana, March 4th

Coming to Understand: 
Orgasm and the Epistemology of Ignorance 
A Public Lecture by Nancy Tuana
DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy 
and Director of the Rock Ethics Institute
Pennsylvania State University
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
2-3:30 pm
115 Lawrence Hall
Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy
with support from 
Women and Gender Studies
 Center for the Study of Women in Society

Saussure’s Philosophy of Language as Phenomenology: New Book from Beata Stawarska

Beata Stawarska’s new book, Saussure’s Philosophy of Language as Phenomenology: Undoing the Doctrine of the Course in General Linguistics, has been published by Oxford University Press.

From the publisher’s website:

“This book draws on recent developments in research on Ferdinand de Saussure’s general linguistics to challenge the structuralist doctrine associated with the posthumous Course in General Linguistics (1916) and to develop a new philosophical interpretation of Saussure’s conception of language based solely on authentic source materials. This project follows two new editorial paradigms: 1. a critical re-examination of the 1916 Course in light of the relevant sources and 2. a reclamation of the historically authentic materials from Saussure’s Nachlass, some of them recently discovered. In Stawarska’s book, this editorial paradigm shift serves to expose the difficulties surrounding the official Saussurean doctrine with its sets of oppositional pairings: the signifier and the signified; la langue and la parole; synchrony and diachrony. The book therefore puts pressure not only on the validity of the posthumous editorial redaction of Saussure’s course in general linguistics in the Course, but also on its structuralist and post-structuralist legacy within the works of Levi-Strauss, Lacan, and Derrida. Its constructive contribution consists in reclaiming the writings from Saussure’s Nachlass in the service of a linguistic phenomenology, which intersects individual expression in the present with historically sedimented social conventions. Stawarska develops such a conception of language by engaging Saussure’s own reflections with relevant writings by Hegel, Husserl, Roman Jakobson, and Merleau-Ponty. Finally, she enriches her philosophical critique with a detailed historical account of the material and institutional processes that led to the ghostwriting and legitimizing the Course as official Saussurean doctrine.”

For more information, please visit Oxford University Press:

Public Lecture with Nina Strohminger on March 3

Strohminger1Nina Strohminger, Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University, will be giving a public lecture on “The Essential Moral Self” at 12:00-1:30pm on Tuesday March 3, in the Collier House Classroom (1170 East 13th Avenue) on the University of Oregon campus.

Abstract from the presenter: “Ever since Locke, it has been postulated that personal identity is judged on the basis of mental features. However, the possibility that certain parts of the mind are especially central to identity has not been systematically investigated. In this talk, I lay out the evidence that our sense of identity—both in ourselves and in others—arises primarily from the continuity of moral traits. This pattern emerges repeatedly across a variety of domains, from brain damage and drug use to folk beliefs about reincarnation and the soul. Data from children and Eastern populations indicates that this privileging of moral character emerges early and is cross-culturally robust. Furthermore, identity change mediates real-world outcomes such as the robustness of personal relationships. Potential explanations for this phenomenon, along with implications for the field, are discussed.”

This public lecture is sponsored by the Scientific Study of Values Research Interest Group, the Institute for Cognitive and Decision Sciences, the Psychology Department, and the Philosophy Department.

Event Poster

For more information, contact Mark Alfano.

February 19, 2015

José Mendoza accepts tenure-track position at University of Massachusetts Lowell

Dr. José Jorge Mendoza (UO PhD in Philosophy, Summer 2012) has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Philosophy Department at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. José will start this fall, teaching courses in political philosophy, Latin American philosophy, philosophy of race, critical thinking, and logic. In addition to his primary teaching schedule, José will also be a faculty member in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Global Studies, teaching courses on migration, global justice, and human rights.

February 18, 2015

Megan Burke accepts tenure-track position at Oklahoma State University

MeganDoctoral candidate Megan Burke has accepted a tenure-track position at Oklahoma State University as Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) and Philosophy. This is a joint position with primary teaching responsibilities in GWS and primary research agenda in feminist philosophy. Megan will be responsible for teaching and developing the core GWS courses and development of the GWS program at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Philosophy Department at Oklahoma State University has an MA program, and the GWS program is developing a graduate certificate, of which Megan will be in charge. Although she had three other potential job offers still in the works, she chose to take this one because it offers a 2/2 teaching load and the opportunity to teach graduate students.

February 17, 2015

Faculty Colloquium with Beata Stawarska on February 27

BeataDr. Beata Stawarska, UO Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Undergraduate Studies, will speak at a Faculty Colloquium “Ghostwriting: The Inception of the Course in General Linguistics” on Friday, February 27, at 4:00pm in the Leona Tyler Conference Room (1st floor of Susan Campbell Hall).

Dr. Stawarska will talk about her recently published book:
Saussure’s Philosophy of Language as Phenomenology (Oxford UP, 2015)

Event Flyer

December 7, 2014

Doctoral Students Busk and Goehring Co-Author Article in Rhizomes

Larry Busk


Second year Ph.D students Larry Busk and Billy Goehring have published an essay in a peer-reviewed academic journal, the interdisciplinary Rhizomes.

Their piece—titled “What is a Working-Class Intellectual?”—was written in response to a call for papers analyzing the position of academics with working-class backgrounds, and draws on the work of Barthes, Arendt, Lévi-Strauss, and Kafka (among others).

Billy GoehringLarry’s main research interests include critical theory and the political thought of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. Billy is preoccupied with questions of nature, history, and natural history. He primarily focuses on the French tradition, but also works on the history of Neo-Confucianism.

The essay can be accessed here:

December 6, 2014

Nicolae Morar Joins Philosophy Faculty

Nicolae Morar, PhD Sept 2012 003_2The Department of Philosophy welcomes Nicolae Morar to a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies beginning in Fall 2015.

Professor Morar specializes in bioethics (especially biomedical, genethics, environmental, and research ethics), philosophy of biology and ecology, and recent continental philosophy. His other interests include ethical theory, social and political philosophy, and philosophy of sexuality.

Morar earned his PhD from Purdue University in 2011 and has subsequently been a Visiting Scholar at The Hastings Center and a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Rock Ethics Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering (SRPoiSE). Currently, Morar is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Biology and an Associate Member with the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon.

Morar is the editor, with Jonathan Beever, of Perspectives in Bioethics, Science, and Public Policy (Purdue University Press, 2013); and, with Thomas Nail and Dan Smith, of a Foucault Studies Special Issue on Foucault and Deleuze (2014). Forthcoming publications include Biopower: Michel Foucault and Beyond, edited with Vernon Cisney (University of Chicago Press, 2015); Between Foucault and Derrida, edited with Vernon Cisney and Yubraj Aryal (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), and Pierre Klossowski, Living Currency, translated with Vernon Cisney and Daniel W. Smith (Bloomsbury Press, 2015).

Morar is currently completing a monograph titled Biology, BioEthics, and BioPolitics: How To Think Differently About Human Nature.

For more information about Morar’s teaching and research, visit his webpage at

November 6, 2014

“What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means,” NYT Interview with Naomi Zack

Naomi Zack, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon, was interviewed by George Yancy, Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University. The interview appears in the New York Times Philosophy blog The Stone. In the interview, Naomi discusses her work as a philosopher in the area of race, with a focus on Ferguson.

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