Events Archive

Past Events listed by Academic Year


The Noûsletter contains an archive of our department's news and events. We have every edition of the Noûsletter, published between 1990 and the present, available to download as a pdf.  Alumni are invited to send updates to us for inclusion in the next edition.


Fall 2018

Sept. 5, Wed., 6:30-9:00 pm: PHI Dept. Welcome Party

Sept. 13, Thurs.: Department Colloquium
4:00 pm, Park Hall 141
Michael Moehler (Philosophy, PPE, Virginia Tech)
“Diversity, Stability, and Social Contract Theory”

Sept. 7, Fri.: Romanell Lecture
3:30-5:30pm, Park Hall 141
David Hershenov (UB) and Rose Hershenov (Niagara University)
“Do Fission Puzzles Provide Reason to Doubt that your Organism was ever a Zygote?”

Sept. 14, Fri.: Co-sponsored Speaker
1:00 pm, Park Hall 141
Dedong Wei (Columbia), “Humanism and Rationality: The Natures of Chinese Chan”

Sept. 14, Fri.: Romanell Lecture
3:30-5:30pm, Park Hall 141
Barry Smith (UB) "The Chicken and the Egg: Response to Kingma on Babies as Parts of Their Mothers”

Sept. 20:  Romanell-Working Dinner
Thurs., 7:00 pm; End of Life Issues Reading Group.
Neil Feit choice: Jens Johansson’s “The Preemption problem” Philosophical Studies.

Sept. 21 & 22, Fri./Sat.:  Buffalo XPhi Conference.
Embassy Suites, Downtown Buffalo.
Keynote: Shaun Nichols (Arizona).

Oct 4, Thu., Just Theory, Co-Sponsored Speaker
5:00 p.m., Clemens Hall 640, UB North Campus
Sara Brill (Fairfield University) "Unlivable Life: Aristotle after Agamben"
Co-sponsored with Department of Comparative Literature.

Oct. 6, Sat.: Graduate Student Conference on Metaphysics.
9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Capen Hall 310, UB North Campus
Achille Varzi, (Columbia), Keynote at 4:00
Organizers: Botan Dolun, Francesco Franda, , Shane Hemmer, and Eric Merrill. Learn more.

Oct. 11, Thurs.: Co-Sponsored Speaker
2:00 pm, 200G Baldy Hall 
Tamar Rudavsky, "Atomistic Conceptions of Time: al-Ghazâlî, Maimonides and Husserl”
Co-sponsored with Department of Jewish Thought.

Oct. 18, Thurs.: Paul Kurtz Memorial Lecture 2018
4:00 p.m., O'Brian Hall 107 (located in the UB Law School)
Anjan Chakravartty, "Two Projects for Secular Humanism"
Appignani Foundation Chair
Department of Philosophy, University of Miami

Oct. 19, Fri.: Romanell Lecture and Working Dinner
3:30-5:30, Park Hall 141
Patrick Lee, “New vs. Old Natural Law Theories”

Oct. 25, Thurs: Co-Sponsored Speaker
4:00, Clemens Hall 120, UB North Campus
Kate Manne, author of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, will deliver a lecture on misogyny. Co-sponsored with UB Gender Institute and Dept. of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. Lecture is free but registration is requested.

Oct. 26 & 27, Fri./Sat.: Central States Philosophical Association
2018 Annual Meeting; Event Registration is required.
UB Medical School, 955 Main St, Buffalo, NY
UB will cover registration fees for faculty and graduate students.
Keynote: Michael Lynch (University of Connecticut)
Lynch works on truth, democracy, public discourse, and the ethics of technology.

Oct. 26, Fri.: Romanell Lecture
3:30-5:30pm, Park Hall 141
Eric Merrell: van Inwagen, death, and suspended animation

Oct. 27, Sat.: Romanell Workshop
9:00am - 4:30pm, Park Hall 141

Nov. 2, Fri.: George F. Hourani Lecture Series
Nickel City Ethics (NICE) Conference
9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Hotel Henry, Buffalo, NY
4:30 p.m., Mark Schroeder, Keynote Speaker

Nov. 15, Thurs.: Romanell Working Dinner
7:00-10:00 pm
Pat Daly, “Concise Guide to Clinical Reasoning” Journal of Evaluation of Clinical Practice

Nov. 16, Fri.: Romanell Lecture
Pat Daly, “An Integral Approach to Health Science and Health Care” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

Nov. 29, Thurs.: Buffalo Logic Celebration

The Buffalo Logic Celebration marks the retirement of Prof. John T. Kearns (Buffalo), honors the history of the long-running Buffalo Logic Colloquium, and names Prof. Stewart Shapiro (Ohio State) as a distinguished UB Philosophy Alum.
Location TBA; Tentative Program:
        2:00-3:30pm, Talk by Stewart Shapiro
        3:30-4:00pm, Coffee break
        4:00-5:30pm, Talk by John Kearns
        6:30pm, Dinner

Nov. 30, Fri: Romanell Lecture
3:30pm, Park Hall 141
Shane Hemmer, "The Conceptual Incoherence of Biological Approaches to Personal Identity."


February 8, 2019, Lunchtime talk
Friday, 2 -1:30pm, 141 Park Hall
Chris Haufe,  (Case Western)
“The Priority of Promise.”

February 21, 2019, Thursday, 4 – 6pm, 141 Park Hall    
Karen Frost-Arnold (Hobart & William Smith)
"Epistemic Justice and the Challenges of Online Moderation"

February 29, 2019
Department Colloquium
Thursday, 4 – 6pm, 141 Park Hall
Andrea Borghini, Università degli Studi di Milano
“Outline of a Metaphysics of Dishes and Recipes”

March 8, 2019
Baldy Center Distinguished Speaker Series
Friday, 12:30 – 2:30pm, 509 O’Brien Hall
Christina Bicchieri, SJP Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics, University of Pennsylvania
"Social Similarity and the Erosion of Social Norms.”
Co-sponsored with the Baldy Center and the Center for Global Health Equity

March 14, 2019, Macalster Bell
Department Colloquium
Thursday, 4 – 6pm, 141 Park Hall 
“Photographs as Tools of Moral Persuasion”

March 29, 2019, Open House for Potential Grad Students
Friday 3:30pm – 5:30pm, 141 Park Hall
Lewis Powell, UB Philosophy
“Locke, The Abuses of Language, and the Construction of Public Language”  

April 4, 2019, Kwong-loi Shun (Berkeley)
Thursday, 4pm – 6pm
Co-sponsor: UB Confucius Institute

April 5, 2019, Bioethics Workshop
Niagara University, 1:30 – 6:15pm

April 11, 2019, Richard Bett
"Humor as Philosophical Subversion, Especially in the Skeptics”
Department Colloquium
Thursday, 4 – 6pm, 141 Park Hall 

April 6, 2019, City of Good Neighbors Philosophy Conference
Saturday, 9am – 5pm, 141 Park Hall
Participants: Devonya Havis (Canisius); Nic Bommarito (UB); Leigh Duffy (Buff State); Brandon Absher (D’Youville); Steve Petersen (Niagara); and Mark Warren (Daemen). 

See April 6 Conference Program here. (82 KB)

See April 6 Conference Flyer here.(152 KB)

May 2, 2019, Donald C. Ainslie (Toronto)

“Leibniz and Hume on Rational Animals”
Department Colloquium
Thursday, 4 – 6pm, 141 Park Hall

May 9, 2019, Department Review of Graduate Students
Thursday, 4 – 6pm, 141 Park Hall

May 11, Romanell Workshop
International Workshop on Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine
Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00am
141 Park Hall, North Campus

May 13, Application Deadline
Mary C. Whitman Scholarship
Undergraduate Award, up to $2,000.



July 25-27, 2019
Romanell Summer Conference
John Martin Fischer Keynoter
See UBNow article: Philosopher to argue against an afterlife at Romanell Conference

July 31-Aug 2, 2019
10th International Conference on Biomedical Ontology 
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY 



Fall 2017

November 3, 2017

Symposium on Chinese Philosophy in Memory of Jiyuan Yu

The Confucius Institute and the Department of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo are pleased to announce a Symposium on Chinese Philosophy in Memory of Jiyuan Yu on Friday, November 3, 2017. The event is free and open to the public. 

Symposium Speakers:
Timothy Connolly, East Stroudsburg University
Yong Huang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Yi Jiang, Beijing Normal University
Richard Kim, Saint Louis University
JeeLoo Liu, California State University, Fullerton
Kang Ouyang, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Yi Wang, Sichuan International Studies University
Jinmei Yuan, Creighton University

UB Philosophy Organizers:
James Beebe
Nicolas Bommarito
Jorge J. E. Gracia
Neil E. Williams

Spring 2018

January 26, 2018

February 1, 2018, Thursday, 4:00, p.m., Park 141
John Greco (Saint Louis University)
Title: "Intellectual Humility and Contemporary Epistemology: A critique of epistemic individualism, evidentialism and internalism"
Abstract: Contemporary epistemology has moved away from the epistemic individualism of internalism and evidentialism, in favor of externalism, virtue epistemology, and social epistemology.  This paper explores how these various movements in epistemology are related to the notion of intellectual humility. The central idea is that, whereas intellectual pride is characterized by ideals and illusions of self-sufficiency, intellectual humility is characterized by a realistic estimation of one’s own abilities and an appreciation of one’s epistemic dependence on others.

March 1, 2018, Thursday, 4:00, p.m., Park 141
Charles Goodman (SUNY Binghamton)
Title: "How Emotions Deceive: Śāntideva's Moral Psychology Today"
Abstract: Most of us strongly favor our own interests, and those of the people we care about, over even the urgent needs of distant others. When people we care about are wrongly harmed, most of us feel anger towards the wrongdoers and believe that they deserve to suffer. Many philosophers endorse these patterns of thought and feeling, regarding them as rational, appropriate, and even virtuous.  The Buddhist philosopher Śāntideva (late 7th – mid 8th cent. CE) would disagree, claiming that such thoughts and feelings are cognitively and normatively distorted and erroneous.  Several arguments will be considered that support Śāntideva’s views on these questions. Śāntideva may have been the first author in history to state a version of utilitarianism clearly and develop its implications systematically. We now know that utilitarianism often has counterintuitive implications in contexts involving aggregating benefits and burdens across numerous sentient beings.  The question of aggregation will be considered in light of Frances Kamm’s “one billion birds” example from Intricate Ethics, Richard Wilbur’s poem “Advice to a Prophet,” and the empirical phenomenon of “compassion collapse.”  This discussion reveals a possible role that poetry could play in defending consequentialist ethics.

March 21, 2018,  "The Crisis of Western Democracy"
Jobst Landgrebe, Cognotekt, Cologne, Germany

509 O’Brian Hall, UB North Campus
Organized by Barry Smith
Co-sponsored by the Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy

About the guest speaker: Dr. Jobst Landgrebe, Cognotekt founder and shareholder. Doctor and mathematician, 16 years of experience in the field of artificial intelligence, eight years as a management consultant and software architect. Specialised in the design and implementation of holistic AI solutions. Experienced in the insurance industry.

April 5, Thursday, 4:00, p.m., Park 141
Janice Dowell (Syracuse)

Title: "The Linguistic Case for Expressivism Reconsidered"
Abstract: A notable absence in the metaethical defense of expressivism about normative language has been distinctively linguistic data. In a series of recent papers, Yalcin aims to fill this gap, arguing against any descriptivist semantics for epistemic modal expressions, on the grounds that it is unable to fit with our judgments about sentences of the form ‘j and might not j’ and ‘the F might not be F’. From the need for a non-descriptivist semantics for epistemic modals, Yalcin argues for a complimentary semantics for the deontic ones. Here I provide new data against which to test Yalcin’s claims, showing how Kratzer’s canonical contextualist semantics, a form of descriptivism, is compatible with the full range of data. Thus, Yalcin’s data do not provide new, linguistic grounds for expressivism.

April 19, 2018
Karen Bennett (Cornell)

Title: "Kinds of Kinds"
Abstract: Philosophers and ordinary people talk about kinds all the time. Yet the philosophical literature has almost entirely focused on natural kinds. People just help themselves to the notion of a kind, and fret about what naturalness might be. In this talk, I back up a step and ask, what are kinds, anyway?
Bio: Professor Karen Bennett works largely in metaphysics, with occasional excursions into philosophy of mind. She is the author of a variety of articles on constitution, modality, mereology, metametaphysics, and the like. Last summer, her book Making Things Up came out with Oxford University Press. It is about the family of relations whereby less fundamental things are generated from more fundamental things, and about what that kind of fundamentality talk comes to.

April 20, 2018
Capabilities: Human and Machine workshop hosted by Barry Smith. As information technology becomes involved in ever more aspects of healthcare, manufacturing and other industries, the ability to reason with capabilities information will become ever more important. This workshop aims to advance the understanding of what capabilities are and of how they should be represented in information systems.

May 3, 2018
Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA)
My research sits at the intersection of many different subfields: ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, and the lively discussion of moral responsibility and free will.


Summer 2018



Blameless Buffalo? 2017 Conference

July 28 & 29, 2017

Romanell Conference 2017: Personal Identity and Our Origins

The theme of the 2017 Romanell Conference on Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine is "Personal Identity and Our Origins." Join us as we welcome three distinguished keynote speakers:

  • Don Marquis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, University of Kansas, is author of the seminal paper "Why Abortion Is Immoral."
  • Marya Schechtman, Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago, is a leading defender of the narrative view of personal identity as seen in her recent book Staying Alive: Personal Identity, Practical Concerns, and the Unity of a Life.
  • John Lizza, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Kutztown University, has published widely on the relationship between metaphysics (especially personal identity) and bioethics.

As in past years, the conference will also feature current graduate students, UB Philosophy alums, as well as philosophy faculty members of UB and other institutions in Western New York.   

Romanell Conference 2017.

PROGRAM: Romanell Conference 2017, poster by Antonette Nolan

Summer 2017

X-PHI 2017 Conference with Tania Lombrozo, UC Berkeley


BLAMELESS BUFFALO? Free Will and Moral Responsibility - Conference 2016

June 18, 2016, Park Hall, 280, UB North Campus, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm


10:00-11:00. Keynote Address: Steve Kershnar. “Internalism and Moral Responsibility: Cutting responsibility down to size

11:15-12:15.  Plenary Address I:  David Hershenov. "Is Health the key to Autonomy?"

12:15-1:15 Lunch Break

1:15-2:15 Award Winning Graduate Student Essay:  Rob Kelly, "Manipulation and Compatibilism: Why Appealing to Health Is Not the Cure."

2:30- 3:30 Award Winning Graduate Student Essay. David Limbaugh. “Could we Perform Evil Actions When We Never Would? An Essay on God, Agency, and Dispositional Modality”

3:45-4:45. Best International Submission:  Yishai Cohen. "A Manipulation Argument for Deliberation Incompatibilism".

5:00-6:00 Plenary Address II: John Keller. “The Mother of All Design Arguments”

For more information contact

Blameless Buffalo?

Poster by Ben Lawrence

PANTC* 2016 Conference on Bioethics and the Philosophy of Medicine

July 28, Thursday, 11:00am to 6:00pm

July 29, Friday, 9:30am to 6:00pm
    4:40pm: David Boonin       
    Keynote Speaker, "Posthumous Harm"

July 30, Saturday, 9:00am to 7:00pm
   3:15pm: Elselijn Kingma
    Keynote Speaker, "The Metaphysics of Pregnancy"
   5:30pm: Barry Smith
    "The Metaphysics of the Embryo"

Contact: David B. Hershenov

Professor and Chair

Department of Philosophy

136B Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150

Phone: (716) 645-0150


PANTC 2016, poster by Antonette Nolan, Stellar Graphics.

PANTC 2016, poster by Antonette Nolan, Stellar Graphics

Video: PANTC* 2016 "The Metaphysics of the Embryo"

"The Metaphysics of the Embryo" by Barry Smith, published on YouTube, Aug 7, 2016; Response to talk by Elselijn Kingma on "The Metaphysics of Pregnancy" presented in Buffalo on July 30, 2016.

FALL 2015

UB Philosophy Debate Series

Free Will.

Do we have free will?

Thursday, October 22
Knox 109  Lecture Hall

Debate featuring philosophy professors:
John Keller, Niagara University
Stephen Kershnar, SUNY Fredonia

The event is free and open to the public.

Debate poster.

Does evolution imply that there aren't moral truths?

Tuesday, September 29
Knox 110  Lecture Hall

Debate featuring PhD students:
Brendan Cline & Jake Monaghan

The event is free and open to the public.

Capen Lectures 2015: "Facing Ferguson"

Paul C. Taylor, Philosophy, Penn State

Location: Seminar Room, 640 Clemens Hall, UB North Campus

Time: 4:00 to 6:00pm - all lectures are free and open to the public

October 19, Monday
Lecture 1 - Facing the Fire: On Mr. James Baldwin and Others

October 20, Tuesday
Lecture 2 - Facing Foolishness: On Philosophy and the Academy

October 21, Wednesday
Lecture 3 - Facing the Future: What Will Happen To All That Beauty?

Jorge J. E. Gracia, SUNY Distinguished Professor
Samuel P. Capen Chair

Facing Ferguson.

About the speaker: Paul C. Taylor teaches philosophy at Pennsylvania State University, where he also directs the Program on Philosophy After Apartheid at the Rock Ethics Institute. Professor Taylor received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Morehouse College and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Rutgers University. He writes on aesthetics, race theory, Africana philosophy, pragmatism, and social philosophy, and is the author of the book Race: A Philosophical Introduction (Polity, 2004). He has recently co-edited a special issue of The Journal of Social Philosophy (with Ronald Sundstrom) on critical philosophy of race, and is currently at work on a book called Black is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics (under contract, Blackwell).

Paul C. Taylor

Buffalo Annual Experimental Philosophy Conference, September 11-12, 2015

X-Phi poster.

Hosted by the Experimental Epistemology Research Group.

Featuring Thomas Nadelhoffer, College of Charleston

Organizers: Robert Kelly and James Beebe (Experimental Epistemology Research Group, University at Buffalo). The event is sponsored by the Peter Hare Memorial Fund and the University at Buffalo Department of Philosophy.

For details, see contact:

PANTC* 2015 Conference on Bioethics and the Philosophy of Medicine, July 30 to August 1

Featuring keynotes by Jerome Wakefield and Christopher Boorse

Philosopher-wrestlers Christopher Boorse and Jerome Wakefield appearing in a close shave match-up, PANTC 2015, Buffalo, NY. Photograph by Debra Kolodczak.

Philosopher-wrestlers Christopher Boorse and Jerome Wakefield appearing in a close shave match-up, PANTC 2015, Buffalo, NY.
Photograph by Debra Kolodczak.

Thursday, July 30: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Friday, July 31, 9:00am to 5:00pm, with keynotes at 1:45 and 3:45
Saturday, August 1, 9:00am to 5:00pm, with keynotes at 1:45 and 3:45

Location: Park Hall, Room 280, North Campus

Contact: David B. Hershenov

Professor, Department Chair

Department of Philosophy

136B Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150

Phone: (716) 645-0150


Blameless Buffalo? Conference on Free Will and Responsibility, 2015

Blameless Buffalo? conference on free will and responsibility, June 26-27, 2015.

Poster by Catherine Nolan

2014 - 2015

UB Philosophy Debate Series

March 5 Debate: On the Existence of the Soul, featuring Philosophy Department doctoral students.


April 16, Debate: Does evil provide evidence against the existence of God?

Debate poster.

Photo Gallery: Soul Debate, March 5, 2015

Photo Album: Do You Have A Soul?  Debate March 5, 2015, featuring UB Philosophy graduate students: Shane Hemmer, Brian Donohue, and Jon Houston versus Justin Murray, Stephan McAndrew, and David Limbaugh

Debt, Deflation, and Depression: A Marxist View of the Current U.S. and World Economy, March 12

Speaker: Dr. Loren Goldner, editor of Insurgent Notes; writer and activist based in New York City. Many of his writings are available at Break Their Haughty  Loren Goldner is also the author of Vanguard of Retrogression (2011), and Herman Melville: Between Charlemagne and The Antemosaic Cosmic Man (2006)

Date: Thursday, March 12
Time: 5:00 to 7:00pm
Location: 212 Norton Hall, UB North Campus

The event is sponsored by "The Marxist Reading Group"

Fall 2014

Buffalo Annual Experimental Philosophy Conference 2014 Sept 19 & 20

Keynote Speakers: Jennifer Nagel (University of Toronto) and John Turri (University of Waterloo)

Organizers: Jake Monaghan, Neil Otte, and James Beebe (Experimental Epistemology Research Group, University at Buffalo).

The event is sponsored by the Peter Hare Memorial Fund and the Dept. of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Contact:

Experimental Epistemology Research Group (EERG)

PhilEvents Listing


UB Philosophy Debate Series, Spring 2014

Kershnar v. Nolan — Abortion: Is it ethical?


PANTC* 2014 Conference: Bioethics and the Philosophy of Medicine

PANTC* Plato's Academy North Tonawanda Campus

See the UB REPORTER for a news story on the PANTC conference.

Hear the radio segment on WBFO 88.7.

PANTC* 2013 Conference: Bioethics and the Philosophy of Medicine

PANTC 2013.