What a year—full of
many ups and some very harsh downs! On
the up side, we are pleased to announce that Adam Morton (Ph.D. Princeton) has joined our program this
year. Adam will be on campus teaching
courses every spring, and will be residing in
Other notable events during the 2001-2002 academic year included the continuation of our active colloquium series; our sixth annual undergraduate colloquium with Professor Fred Miller as our keynote speaker; and a symposium in honor of Linda Zagzebski’s appointment as our Kingfisher Chair, which included Professors William Alston, Jorge Garcia and John Greco. This year also saw the graduation of a number of Ph.D.s, M.A.s and B.A.s, the publication of a variety of journal articles, book chapters and edited books; presentations at numerous regional, national and international venues; and the beginning of a pilot program directed at improving undergraduate writing.
Next year promises to be just as exciting. This spring, we will be hosting our seventh annual undergraduate colloquium, with C.D.C. Reeve as the keynote speaker. I have been told that the number of undergraduate submissions for the colloquium has more than doubled this year. We are extremely grateful for the hard work of the many undergraduate and graduate students—past and present—which has contributed to this flourishing colloquium. In the fall, we will be hosting our seventh David Ross Boyd Lecturer—Bas C. van Fraassen, welcoming the arrival of new and exciting graduate and undergraduate students, and much, much more. As you can see, this is an exciting time in the life of the program, and we do not intend to sit still.
Of course, the downturn in the economy and, especially, the events of Sept. 11 have cast a cloud over all of this activity. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the best long-term response to these events is to continue to foster critical thinking skills, a deep appreciation of values and tolerance, all of which philosophy is especially well suited to do. Consequently, we remain committed to maintaining the momentum we have begun to build.
Finally, I would like to thank all our alumni who have responded to our previous newsletters and various questionnaires. A special “thank you” goes to those of you who have contributed financially to the department. It is important, however, to hear from all of you, especially as we try continually to improve our program. The Philosophy Department has a Web site at http://www.ou.edu/ouphil Among other things, the site has an online form alumni can fill out to provide information about themselves. Please, let us know how you are doing!
Hugh H. Benson, Chair
The department would like to welcome a
potential philosopher. Emily Ryan McBride arrived on
Randy R. Hoyt was awarded the J. Clayton Feaver Award. The Feaver award was established in 1988 by Mrs. Audrey Maehl to honor J. Clayton Feaver, who held the Kingfisher chair from 1951 till 1981. It is awarded to the department’s outstanding senior. Randy graduated last spring with a 4.00 as a philosophy major and classics minor. He is considering graduate work in ancient Greek philosophy or biblical studies. Among his many accomplishments as an undergraduate at OU were writing a paper on Plato’s Republic that will appear in Stoa and building a Web site containing texts and commentaries on Heraclitus. (The site, casweb.cas.ou.edu/lgibbs/heraclitus/index.html, is impressive and attractive.)
Nicholas Dubriwny was
awarded the Elizabeth Wade Scholarship.
This is the first year that the department has offered this award, which
was established by Larry R. and Mary Jane Wade of
Akinkunle Owoso won an undergraduate research opportunities grant, the M. Blanche Adams and M. Frances Adams Undergraduate Scholarship, and the Carl Albert Center Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Thirty-four of the department’s majors were on the Dean’s Honor Roll and 19 on the President’s Honor Roll. Joseph Bonifield, James Broda II, Stephanie Collins, Philip Dow, Nicholas Dubriwny, Sean Lohmar, and Jennifer Brooke Mullins were on both honor rolls for both fall and spring semesters!
The following students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy during the calendar year 2001: Rebecca Ann Bartley (with distinction; minor in classical culture); Charlotte Lovell Carter (minor in communication); Stephanie Duke; Kari Beth English (minor in sociology); Mary Elizabeth Wade (summa cum laude; also earned a B.S. with distinction in math); John Phillip Archer (also earned a B.S. in zoology); Michael Leslie Dykstra (minor in history); Justin Jeremiah Hilliard; Randy R. Hoyt (with distinction; minor in classical culture); Bill B. Garrett III; Bryan Richard Keller; and Gregory Scott Wickham (with distinction; also earned a B.A. in history).
Three students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ethics and religion during the calendar year 2001: Courtney LeAnn Charish (with distinction; also earned a B.A. in sociology—criminology); Deanna Renee Marshall; and Seth David Thomas.
Kendrick Davis is planning a May intersession course on “Mind in the Twilight Zone: Philosophy of Mind Issues in Twilight Zone Episodes.”
Dustin Denson is living
Dara Fogel directed an open-air production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the duck pond. That sounds wet. The Dream connects with many deep philosophical problems, deeper than a duck pond, including personal identity (human-to-ass transformation), and the nature of creativity, love and mystery.
Stephen Wagner was selected to receive the 2000-2001 Kenneth R. Merrill Graduate Student Teaching Award. This award is underwritten by Mark Conkling, a philosophy department alumnus who received the doctoral degree in 1974.
Congratulations are in order for students who graduated with a doctoral degree during calendar year 2001: Eric Scott Jones (Merrill) and Sahabeddin Yalcin (Merrill).
Congratulations are also in order for students who received the masters degree: Susan Alvarado-Boyd (Sankowski) and Joseph Duncan McKellar.
Neera Badhwar was
invited to be a Liberty Fund Visiting Scholar in
Andrew Cohen is
spending the year on leave in
Monte Cook highly recommends C. F. Fowler’s fascinating new book, Descartes on the Human Soul. Not only does Fowler display a sophisticated understanding of Descartes’ historical situation, but he also tells a good story. (Don’t buy the book, check it out of the library--it sells for $185!)
Ray Elugardo continues to produce a stream of drafts
and publications in the philosophy of language, many of them co-authored. He and Robert Stainton from
Adam Morton spent
part of fall 2001 in
Wayne Riggs is trying to determine the role and importance of our notions of “accident” and “luck” in an adequate analysis of knowledge, in order to relate knowledge to understanding, to virtue and to wisdom.
Chris Swoyer is almost ready to send out his legendary critical reasoning textbook so that students who are not at OU can appreciate it. He is a co-editor of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for philosophy of science. (The encyclopedia is at http://plato.stanford.edu, well worth a visit.)
Jim Hawthorne’s recent research is devoted to issues on
inductive logic and probability. During
his 2002-03 sabbatical, he will spend three months at the Institute for
Philosophy, Probability and Modeling at the
Zev Trachtenberg is working on the conflict between private property rights and environmental regulation.
Linda Zagzebski is working on a book called Divine Motivation Theory, a radical, motive-based virtue theory with a theological foundation. Linda, like Chris Swoyer, is an area co-editor of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on the philosophy of religion.
Roksana Alavi (B.A.
’96) gained her M.A. in philosophy from
Fred A Bender (M.A. ’68) is professor of philosophy at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor. He recently developed a minor in philosophy in the Department of Religion and raised the required number of philosophy credits to six for all religion majors and minors.
Kathleen Poorman Dougherty (Ph.D.
’00) is teaching ancient philosophy at
Robert W Hopper (B.A.
’77) is chief of staff at
Gary Huffaker (M.A.
’76) is part-time philosophy instructor at
Scott Jones (Ph.D.
’01) is associate pastor of student and family life at
Ingrid Shafer (Ph.D. ’84) is professor of philosophy,
religion, and interdisciplinary studies at the
Michael Silberstein (Ph.D. ’94) was a visitor to the University of Freiburg, Germany, from May to July. The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science, which Michael co-edited, has recently been published.
Larry Varvel (M.A.
’83) is senior pastor at the
Liz Wade (B.A. in philosophy ’01 and B.S. in
math ’01) started fall ’01 on scholarship studying law at
department hosted a symposium on
department hosted its Sixth Annual
Undergraduate Philosophy Conference on
the Southwestern Philosophical Society Meetings
The department colloquium continued to attract top speakers across the spectrum of philosophy.
The faculty continues its impressive publication record. Notable among published contributions in 2000-01 are the following.
Neera K Badhwar: Is Virtue Only a Means to Happiness?
Mark Bedau: “Dynamics of the Environment for Adaptation in Static Resource Models,” in J. Keleman and P. Sosik (eds.), Advances in Artificial Life.
Ray Elugardo: “Logical
Form and the Vernacular” (with Robert Stainton) in Mind and Language; and “
Adam Morton: “Psychology for Cooperators,” in Practical Rationality and Preferences; “Beware Stories: Emotions and Virtues” in Understanding Emotions; “Kinds of Models, Kinds of Validations” (with Mauricio Suarez) in Model Validation: Perspectives in Hydrological Science; and “Philosophy as Engineering” in Bo Mou, ed., Two Roads to Wisdom? Chinese and Analytic Philosophical Traditions.
“Epicurus on ‘Free Volition’ and the Atomic Swerve” in Phronesis; and “Epicurus on the Nature of the Gods” in
Edward Sankowski: “Autonomy, Education and Politics” in The Philosophy of Education; “Film and the Politics of Culture” in The Journal of Aesthetic Education; “Liberalism, Communitarianism, and Moral Education” in The Philosophy of Education; and “Ecological Risks, Stakeholder Values and River Basins” in Water and Watersheds Program Review.
This is the first year that I have edited this newsletter, and my first year in the department. I have found it an interesting way of picking up many details about the place and its ethos. I am impressed by many things. By the way that people know one another, and stay in touch years after their time in the department. By the mysterious overlaps in the interests of people with apparently different agendas. By the information that is there to be had, if only one looks. (And, incidentally, the department’s revamped Web site, http://www.ou.edu/ouphil/, is a mine of information. Attractive and easy to navigate, too.) And by some mysteries. Why is everyone thinking about rationality suddenly? Why is everyone distinguishing kinds of rights? Why are so many people—so many philosophers—interested in issues about water? (See the publications list above. Shakespeare in the duck pond. Thales??) There’s no predicting what will make something worth thinking about.
publication, printed by the Department of Philosophy, is issued by the
We welcome your updates and comments. Please fill out this page and return it to Editor, OU Philosophy Newsletter, Department of Philosophy, 455 West Lindsey, Room 605, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019-2006; or fax it to (405) 325-2660. You can also respond online at the department’s Web site http://www.ou.edu/ouphil Thank you.
Phone number: FAX Number:
Year graduated: Degree(s) earned