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June 20, 2016

Ph.D. Student Larry Busk Publishes in Philosophy Today and Constellations

Busk, Larry 2016Fourth-year Ph.D. student Larry Busk has landed papers in two major professional journals—one in Constellations, a top critical theory journal, and one in Philosophy Today, one of the leading journals for general articles in continental philosophy. The Constellations paper (titled “It’s a Good Life? Adorno and the Happiness Machine”) uses Adorno’s work to critique the contemporary cultural trend of “socially mandated optimism.” The essay to appear in Philosophy Today (“History as Chiasm, Chiasm as History”) connects Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of history and his later ontology. The former article will appear in print early in 2017; the latter will appear in the summer of 2018. Busk is currently in the early stages of a dissertation on Arendt and radical democratic theory under the direction of Dr. Rocío Zambrana.

May 16, 2016

Philosophy Department Graduate Featured in Cascade Spring 2016

Nathan SchmittNathan Pai Schmitt (BS Spring 2011) is featured in the Spring 2016 issue of CAScade, the magazine for the University of Oregon College of Arts & Sciences.

You can find a virtual edition of the magazine here:, and the Cascade website, here:

May 5, 2016

Ontic Ethics — New Book from Hollis Garrett Wright

Wright Ontic EthicsDr. Hollis Garrett Wright (UO PhD in Philosophy, Spring 2002) has published his second book Ontic Ethics: Exploring the Influence of Caring on Being (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2016).

Author’s Statement:
“I claim that there is grounding for an ethics of care in the ontololgy of the self. If anyone in the department is interested in the intersection of ethics and metaphysics, and still hopes for an ontological grounding for virtue ethics, the preface and the first chapter can be found on Google Books under H. G. Wright Ontic Ethics. With this book I complete a long circle that started when I was an undergraduate in philosophy. I decided that I was too bookish and would need a career outside of academia in order to understand life and philosophy better. So I went to medical school and had a wonderful, varied 40 year career in medicine. I came back to philosophy for a graduate degree at U. of O. Since then I have volunteered for a free clinic and taught biology and philosophy at a college and a nursing school. Now I am completely retired except that I still read philosophy and am reviving an old love, music.”

For more information, visit the publisher’s website:

April 19, 2016

Erin McKenna Joins UO Philosophy Faculty

erin-mckennaThe Department of Philosophy welcomes Erin McKenna to a tenure-track position as Professor of Philosophy beginning in Fall 2016. Erin McKenna is the former Chair of Philosophy, former Chair of Women’s Studies, and former Chair of the Faculty at Pacific Lutheran University where she began teaching in 1992.

Erin McKenna specializes in feminist theory and American Pragmatism, focusing on issues of social and political philosophy. She has recently co-authored, along with Scott Pratt, American Philosophy: From Wounded Knee to the Present (Bloomsbury, April 2015). Her book Pets, People, and Pragmatism (Fordham UP, 2013) explores the history and ethical implications of humans’ relationships with other animal beings. She also co-edited a volume on this topic titled Animal Pragmatism: Rethinking Human Nonhuman Relationships (Indiana UP, 2004). Her book The Task of Utopia: A Pragmatist and Feminist Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001) focuses on the work of John Dewey. Some of her articles include “Pragmatism and Primates,” “Women, Power, and Meat,” “Feminism and Vegetarianism,” “The Occupied West Bank,” and “Some Reflections Concerning Feminist Pedagogy.” She has chapters in The Philosophy of the X Files (University Press of Kentucky, 2009) and Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy (Open Court, 2008). Erin McKenna also co-edited Jimmy Buffett and Philosophy for Open Court in 2009.

Her current project is a book on the ethics of human relationships with livestock.

April 14, 2016

Rocío Zambrana selected for Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Rocío Zambrana, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Studies, was selected to receive a 2016-2017 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Zambrana will use the Fellowship to complete her second book, Neoliberal Coloniality and the Crisis of Critique.

April 4, 2016

Martina Ferrari receives Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award

Ferrari, Martina 20151110
Martina Ferrari, doctoral student in Philosophy, was one of five recipients of the 2016 Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award. This award provides support to outstanding master’s or doctoral students pursuing academic, professional development, or training enrichment opportunities during the summer. Ferrari will be traveling to Città di Castello, Italy, to attend the Collegium Phaenomenologicum to further her inquiry into the relationship between temporality and racial and gendered oppression.

Read more about Martina’s award on the UO Graduate School’s website.

Jon LaRochelle selected for Eric Englund Research Fellowship

LaRochelle, Jon 2016 resized
Jon LaRochelle, doctoral candidate in Philosophy, received the 2016 Eric Englund Research Fellowship, designed to support doctoral students whose research is in American literature, history, philosophy, or other related fields. LaRochelle’s project draws on American philosophy—especially pragmatism—to explore a novel conception of power. LaRochelle’s research addresses what it means to have and seek power in the context of community activism while examining the issue of homelessness in Eugene. This fellowship carries an award stipend of $18,000 for three terms or $12,000 for two terms.

Read about Jon’s award in AroundtheO.

Read more about Jon’s award on the UO Graduate School’s website.

March 17, 2016

Applicative Justice: A Pragmatic Empirical Approach to Racial Injustice — New Book from Naomi Zack

Applicative JusticeNaomi Zack’s new book Applicative Justice: A Pragmatic Empirical Approach to Racial Injustice has been published by Rowman & Littlefield.

From the publisher’s website:
“Naomi Zack pioneers a new theory of justice starting from a correction of current injustices. While the present justice paradigm in political philosophy and related fields begins from John Rawls’s 1970 Theory of Justice, Zack insists that what people in reality care about is not justice as an ideal, but injustice as a correctable ill. For a way to describe real injustice and the society in which it occurs, Zack resurrect Arthur Bentley’s key insight that government and law (or political life) is a constant process of contending interest groups throughout society. Bentley’s main idea allows for a resolution of the contradiction between formal legal equality for U.S. minorities and post-civil rights practical inequality. Just law and unjust practice co-exist as a fact of political life. The correction of injustice in reality requires applicative justice, in a comparison between those who are treated unjustly with those who are treated justly, and the design of effective measures to equalize such treatment. Zack’s theory of applicative justice offers a revolutionary reorientation of society’s pursuit of justice, seeking to undo injustice in a practical and fully achievable way.”

30% Discount Flyer

For more information, visit

March 9, 2016

Moral Psychology: An Introduction — New Book from Mark Alfano

moral psychology adMark Alfano’s new book, Moral Psychology: An Introduction, has been published by Polity in both hardcover and paperback.

Description: Moral psychology is the systematic inquiry into how morality works, when it does work, and how it breaks down when it doesn’t work. In this comprehensive new textbook, Mark Alfano first outlines the five central concepts in the study of moral psychology: agency, patiency, sociality, temporality, and reflexivity. Subsequent chapters each address a key area of research, which Alfano relates both to the five central concepts and to empirical findings. He then draws out the philosophical implications of those findings before suggesting future directions for research. One of Alfano’s guiding themes is that moral philosophy without psychological content is empty, whereas psychological investigation without philosophical insight is blind. He advocates and demonstrates a holistic vision that pictures moral psychology as a project of collaborative inquiry into the descriptive and normative aspects of the human condition. Featuring a glossary of technical terms, further reading sections, and chapter-by-chapter study questions, this rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moral psychology will be suitable for both undergraduates and researchers in philosophy, psychology, and related fields.

Endorsements:Moral Psychology is a first-rate contribution to philosophy and a pedagogical tour de force, a fantastic gift to scholars working in ethics and moral psychology and to our students. Alfano is wickedly smart, in complete control of all the philosophical and empirical literature in moral psychology, and writes in crystal clear, inviting prose. The study questions are amazing — challenges to think hard, often personally, about implicit bias, one’s own and one’s loved ones’ trustworthiness, emotions, character, relativism, and the significance of morality to a good life. Simply outstanding.” ~ Owen Flanagan, Duke University

“Accessibly written, though far from being a mere survey, this book is at once a concise and — in the best sense — idiosyncratic introduction to some recent findings in empirical moral psychology and an argued account of the relationship between those findings and moral philosophy.” ~ Edward Harcourt, University of Oxford

For more information, and to order a copy, visit

March 8, 2016

Russell Duvernoy receives OHC Dissertation Fellowship

UO Philosophy Doctoral Candidate Russell Duvernoy has been awarded the Oregon Humanities Center Dissertation Fellowship for 2016-17, which will provide a term of support free from teaching and for working on his dissertation Feeling in Process: Alternative Empiricisms and Metaphysics in Whitehead and Deleuze.

2016–17 OHC Faculty and Graduate Fellows announced

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