A Collection of Individuals: The Philosophical Legacy of Jorge J. E. Gracia

2019 Conference & Book Launch

Join us for the two-day event, Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, 2019, as the Capen Chair hosts a conference in the context of a SUNY Press launch of a memoir by Jorge Gracia. The conference, “A Collection of Individuals: The Philosophical Legacy of Jorge J. E. Gracia”, brings together fifteen distinguished speakers, UB Alums, each of whom wrote their dissertation under the supervision of Jorge J. E. Gracia.

Join us for the two-day event, Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, 2019, for a conference held in the context of a SUNY Press launch for an intellectual memoir by Jorge Gracia. The conference, “A Collection of Individuals: The Philosophical Legacy of Jorge J. E. Gracia”, brings together fifteen distinguished speakers, UB Alums, each of whom wrote their dissertation under the supervision of Jorge J. E. Gracia.

OCTOBER 18 & 19, 2019

Day 1: Friday, October 18
Location: Honors College, 107 Capen Hall, UB North Campus

12noon-1:15, Lunch available

1:15, Opening Remarks

1:00-2:30, Session One (2 speakers)

3:00-5:15, Session Two (3 speakers)

5:30-7:00, Reception and opportunity for participants to share about Gracia.

Day 2 : Saturday, October 19
Location: Baldy Center, 509 O'Brian Hall, UB North Campus

7:00-8:30, Breakfast available

8:30-10:45, Session Three (3 speakers)

11:00-12:30, Session Four (2 speakers)

12:30-1:30, Lunch

1:30-2:45, Session Five (2 speakers)

3:00-3:30, SUNY Press Book Launch

3:30-5:45: Session Six (3 Speakers) 

6:00-6:30, Closing Remarks

7:00, Dinner (off campus), during dessert Gracia addresses us.

*The schedule is subject to change.


William Irwin
Chair, Professor of Philosophy
King's College
Email: WilliamIrwin@kings.edu

Jonathan J. Sanford
Provost, Professor of Philosophy
University of Dallas
Email: jsanford@udallas.edu


Debra Kolodczak
Managing Editor, Multimedia Initiatives
Email: dmore@buffalo.edu

Justin Murray
Graduate Research Associate, UB Philosophy
Email: jmurray9@buffalo.edu


Options to share papers for preview via email list: At any point before the conference, please feel free to share a draft of your paper by using the target "reply all" to a group email  (or send your paper directly to Bill or J.J.). No one should feel obliged to read all or any of the drafts. But if you are inclined to read any, please do.


Saturday at 3:00pm (during the conference)

Arte by Humberto Calzada, Island in Crisis, 2005.

The new book, With a Diamond in My Shoe: A Philosopher’s Search for Identity in America, is an intellectual memoir by Jorge J. E. Gracia, in the SUNY Press Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture.

About the book: In 1961, at the age of nineteen, Jorge J. E. Gracia escaped from the island of Cuba by passing himself off as a Catholic seminarian. He arrived in the United States with just a few spare belongings and his mother’s diamond ring secured in a hole in one of his shoes. With a Diamond in My Shoe tells the story of Gracia’s quest for identity—from his early years in Cuba and as a refugee in Miami to his formative role in institutionalizing the field of Latin American philosophy in the US academy. Committed to integrating into Anglo America without forgetting his roots, Gracia reflects on his struggles and successes as an immigrant and academic, bringing a philosopher’s eye to bear on his personal and professional development as a leading Latinx scholar.

“Gracia is a writer in full control of his material, and yet someone who in his own search for identity as a philosopher, as a Cuban, as a Cuban American, as a Hispanic, as a Latino, as a Latinx, leaves many questions open, as any good philosopher should, allowing his readers to answer for themselves. The strength of his authorial voice resides in his honesty.” — Rolando Pérez, author of Severo Sarduy and the Neo-Baroque Image of Thought in the Visual Arts. Visit SUNY Press.


The list below includes the title of each participant's dissertation, supervised by Jorge J. E. Gracia, and rth the title of each paper, as details become available.

Elizabeth Millán Brusslan, DePaul University, Chicago, IL

Dissertation: "Friedrich Schlegel and the Problem of Philosophy's Starting Point: A Study on the Philosophical Foundations of Early-German Romanticism," 1997

Elizabeth Millán Brusslan.

Elizabeth Millán Brusslan

Elizabeth Millán Brusslan, Professor of Philosophy, DePaul University, was educated at The State University of New York at Buffalo and at the Eberhard-Karls Universität in Tübingen. She works on aesthetics, German Idealism/Romanticism and Latin American Philosophy. Before coming to DePaul, Elizabeth taught at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Venezuela. She has held fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the author of Friedrich Schlegel and the Emergence of Romantic Philosophy (SUNY, 2007). Read more.

Sandro Roberto D'Onofrio Castrillion, Riva-Agüero Institute, PUCP, Lima, Peru

Dissertation: "Aquinas as Representionalist: The Ontological Status of the Species Intelligibilis," 2008

Sandro Roberto D'Onofrio.

Sandro Roberto D'Onofrio

Conference Paper: "The problem of Suarez’s Objective Concepts and its developing in the Scholastic Ibero-American scholars."

Sandro Roberto D'Onofrio, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, and, Member, Riva-Agüero Institute of the PUCP, has been professor of Humanities in the Universities San Ignacio de Loyola, Lima, Cayetano Heredia and Antonio Ruiz de Montoya; of Philosophy and Romance Languages at the State University of New York and at Canisius College in the city of Buffalo, United States. His areas of interest are: medieval and Renaissance philosophy, Latin American colonial philosophy, history of ancient science, medieval and modern.  Learn more.

Robert A. Delfino, St. John's University, Staten Island, NY

Dissertation: "The Ontological Status of Identity," 2001

Robert A. Delfino.

Robert A. Delfino

Conference Paper: "Gracia, Individuation, and Thomistic Metaphysics"

Robert A. Delfino, Associate Professor of Philosophy, St. John's University, Staten Island, NY, received his Ph.D. from the State Universitof New York at Buffalo, where he specialized in metaphysics and medieval philosophy, studying under Professor Jorge J. E. Gracia. His current research interests include metaphysics, ethics, and the relationship between science, philosophy, and religion. He has published articles on Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, Husserl, philosophy of science, personal identity, and human rights, in various countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia, Poland, and India. Read more.

Michael Gorman, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Dissertation: "Ontological Priority," 1993 (Perry Prize for Outstanding Dissertations in Philosophy)

Michael Gorman.

Michael Gorman

Professor of Philosophy; Fellow, CUA Institute for Human Ecology
The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Areas of Interest: Metaphysics, Human Nature, Analytic Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy

Personal Statement: My main areas of interest are metaphysics and anything that has a metaphysical angle to it. I try to engage contemporary philosophy by drawing on the resources of the whole philosophical tradition. It's not my fault that Aquinas is more useful to me than anyone else.

Learn more.

Idris Hamid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Dissertation: "The Metaphysics and Cosmology of Process According to Shaykh 'Ahmad Al-'Ahsa'I," 1998

Idris Hamid.

Idris Hamid

Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University

    —Islamic philosophy

Read more.

William Irwin (Conference Organizer), King's College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Dissertation: "Interpretation and Authorship," 1996 (Perry Prize for Outstanding Dissertations in Philosophy)

William Irwin.

William Irwin

Conference Paper: "Taking Pierre Menard Seriously: Gracia Meets Borges"

Professor and Chair of Philosophy, King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

William Irwin is best known for originating the "philosophy and popular culture" book genre with Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing in 1999 and The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer in 2001. Read more.

Iván Jaksić, Bing Overseas Studies Program, Santiago, Chile

Dissertation: The Philosophy of Juan Rivano: The Intellectual Background of the University Reform Movement of 1968 in Chile," 1981

Iván Jaksić.

Iván Jaksić

Director, Bing Overseas Studies Program, Santiago, Chile

Personal bio: My main interests are in nineteenth-century Latin American history, especially in the history of political ideas. I am the author of Andrés Bello: Scholarship and Nation-Building in Nineteenth-Century Latin America, The Hispanic World and American Intellectual Life, 1820-1880, and Academic Rebels in Chile: The Role of Philosophy in Higher Education and Politics. I taught for many years at the Universities of California-Berkeley, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Notre Dame. Learn more.

Woosuk Park, KAIST, National University in Daejeon, South Korea

Dissertation: "Haecceitas and the Bare Particular: Study of Duns Scotus’ Theory of Individuation," 1988 (Perry Prize for Outstanding Dissertations in Philosophy)

Woosuk Park.

Woosuk Park

Professor of Philosophy, KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

Woosuk Park has published books and articles in philosophy of logic, mdedieval philosophy, and philosophy of science. Recently, Park has become interested in abductive cognition, and expects to collaborate more extensively with researchers in cognitive science to understand the mysteries of Baduk (Go, Weiqi). Learn more.

Peter A. Redpath, Aquinas School of Leadership, Management, and Organizational Development, Phoenix, Arizona

Dissertation: "The Ontological Status of Time in the Sentences, Summa and Physics of Thomas Aquinas," 1974

Peter Redpath.

Peter Redpath

Conference Paper: “Jorge J. E. Gracia: Organizational Psychologist and Cultural Humanist”

Founder and CEO, Aquinas School of Leadership, Management, and Organizational Development

Peter Redpath (Professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University, New York, from 1979 to 2010) is author/editor of twelve philosophical books and many dozens of articles and book reviews. An internationally recognized scholar, since 1980 he has given over 200 invited guest lectures nationally and internationally. Among his many accomplishments, he is Senior Fellow Center for the Study of The Great Ideas; co-founder of the Gilson Society (USA) and The International Etienne Gilson Society; Learn more.

Stephanie Rivera-Berruz, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dissertation: "The Quest for Recognition: The Case of Latin American Philosophy," 2014

Stephanie Rivera-Berruz.

Stephanie Rivera-Berruz

Stephanie Rivera Berruz, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Marquette University, received her Ph.D. in Philosophy at SUNY Buffalo in 2014. Her main interests lie in social and political philosophy with an emphasis on philosophy of race and feminist philosophy, as well as, Latin American philosophy. Rivera Berruz approaches these topics at their intersections as she is committed to the importance of diverse approaches to philosophical praxis. Learn more.

Jonathan J. Sanford (Conference Organizer), University of Dallas, Texas

Dissertation: "The Metaphysical Foundations of Ethics," 2001

Jonathan Sanford.

Jonathan Sanford

Provost and Professor of Philosophy, University of Dallas

Jonathan J. Sanford has published widely on philosophical figures and topics, and liberal education. He is especially interested in foundational questions in moral philosophy, as evidenced in his latest book, Before Virtue: Assessing Contemporary Virtue Ethics (The Catholic University of America Press, 2015). He is currently writing a book on virtue and education. He and his wife Rebecca live in Irving, Texas, where they try to stay at least a day ahead of their children’s busy school and activity schedules.

Areas of Expertise: Ethics, Catholic Higher Education, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Metaphysics, Virtue Theory, Social and Political Philosophy, Early Phenomenology.  Learn more.

Susan Smith, Rensselaer Cognitive Science Department, Troy, New York

Dissertation: “The Hidden Assumption: Race vs Ethnicity," 2010

Susan Smith.

Susan Smith

Lecturer, Cognitive Science Department, Rensselaer

Interdisciplinary work is at the core of Susan Smith’s research and educational interests. At the University at Buffalo, working with Jorge J.E. Garcia, she explored the metaphysical basis of race with a focus on its intersection with healthcare. Dr. Smith’s current work explores the ethical issues related to genetic testing and, specifically, informed consent.  She is part of an interdisciplinary study of the ethics of genetic testing and student-athletes in the NCAA. Learn more.

Mark K. Spencer, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

Dissertation: "Thomistic Hylomorphism and the Phenomenology of Self-Sensing," 2012 (Perry Prize for Outstanding Dissertations in Philosophy)

Mark Spencer.

Mark Spencer

Conference paper:  "Omnis categoria pulchra est: A Neutralist Conception of Beauty"

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Personal Bio: I'm a philosopher, recently tenured, at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. I earned my Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo with a dissertation, directed by Jorge Gracia, defending St. Thomas Aquinas' metaphysics of the human person using phenomenological accounts of our experience of self-sensing, drawing on the work of Scheler, Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michel Henry. Learn more.

Paul Symington, Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio

Dissertation: "The Number and Identity of the Aristotelian Categories," 2008

Paul Symington.

Paul Symington

Conference paper:  "Boethius’s On Division"

Dean, School of Theology & Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Current Areas of Interest, Research, Specialization: Metaphysics, Medieval Philosophy.
Areas of Competence: Analytic Philosophy, Bioethics, Ethics, Logic, Philosophy of Religion, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Language.

Learn more.

Ernesto Rosen Velasquez, University of Dayton, Ohio

Dissertation: "The Metaphysics of Latino Identity and Its Social and Political Implications" 2009

Ernesto Rosen Velasquez.

Ernesto Rosen Velasquez

Ernesto Rosen Velasquez, Associate Professor, University of Dayton, specializes in Latino issues and critical race theory. His research interests include: Latino Issues; Critical Race Theory; Social and Political Philosophy.

Learn more.






Participant accommodations: forthcoming.