Latest News

9/14/19

Professor Neil Williams' new book is an engaging and unique case study in systematic metaphysics. He argues that we can solve a host of basic metaphysical problems by appealing to the nature of objects. See Oxford UP.

9/14/19

This fall, the Department of Philosophy is pleased to welcome a new member of our faculty. Duane Long, PhD, will be teaching undergraduate courses: PHI-105, Contemporary Moral Problems; PHI-234, Environmental Ethics; and, PHI-237, Medical Ethics: Social & Ethical Values in Medicine. His areas of specialization include ancient philosophy and ethics.

6/19/19
Routledge has published Alex King's book, What We Ought and What We Can (2019) .   Are we able to do everything we ought to do? According to the important but controversial Ought Implies Can principle, the answer is yes. In this book Alex King sheds some much-needed light on this principle. She argues that it is flawed because we are obligated to perform some actions that we cannot perform, and goes on to present a suggested theory for anyone who would deny the principle. She examines the traditional motivations for Ought Implies Can, and finds that they to a large degree do not support it. Using examples like gay rights, addiction, and disability, she argues that we can preserve many of the motivations that led us to the principle by thinking more about what we, as individuals or institutions, can fairly demand of ourselves and each other.
5/8/19
Oxford University Press has published Carolyn Korsmeyer's book, Things: In Touch with the Past (2019). The book explores the value of artifacts that have survived from the past and that can be said to "embody" their histories. Such genuine or "real" things afford a particular kind of experience — an encounter with the past-despite the fact that genuineness is not a perceptually detectable property. Although it often goes unnoticed, the sense of touch underlies such encounters, even though one is often not permitted literal touch. See faculty profile.
4/15/19
Congratulations to Conor McMahon, winner of the 2019 Critical Language Scholarship. His achievement is being recognized at the 15th Annual Celebration of Student Academic Excellence. Join us for the awards ceremony, April 24, Thursday, at 3:00p.m. in the Mainstage Theater. The UB community gathers at this annual event, hosted by UB CURCA, to recognize and celebrate the outstanding academic contributions of our students, faculty and research mentors. See the full program.

Dr. Alexandra King named 2018 Outstanding Faculty by GSA

12/14/18
Dr. Alexandra King was presented the Outstanding Faculty by Angela Menditto, President, UB Graduate Philosophy Association (GPA). King's research examines the relationship between different kinds of normativity, especially when it comes to sorting out the parallels and differences between practical, moral, and aesthetic normativity. Other annual awards for 2018, presented by Dr. David Braun, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, were given in recognition of outstanding work by three graduate students: Clint Dowland was given the Thomas D. Perry Award for Best Dissertation Defense; Ariane Nomikos received the Peter Hare Award for Best Overall Paper for her essay, “Place Matters.”; and, David Limbaugh was presented the Patrick and Edna Romanell Award for Philosophical Work in Naturalism for his essay, "The Flexibility of Reality: An Essay on Modality, Representation, and Powers."

2018 event honors the work of John Kearns and Stuart Shapiro

7/15/19
The Buffalo Logic Colloquium is an interdisciplinary logic group open to all interested scholars. Its members include professors and graduate students from several institutions in Western New York and Southwestern Ontario. Institutions represented include University of Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Canisius College, D’Youville College, Erie Community College, Hauptman-Woodward Institute, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center,  SUNY Fredonia, and, in Canada, McMaster University, University of Waterloo, and University of Western Ontario. Founding members include John Corcoran, Nicolas Goodman, Michael Herring, Charles Lambros, John Kearns, John Myhill, William Parry, John Pollock, John Richards, Dov Tamari, Richard Vesley, and Susan Wood.

The Knight Foundation initiative: Trust, Media and Democracy

7/26/19
Professor Ryan Muldoon, an expert in social political philosophy, recently worked with the Knight Foundation on its Trust, Media and Democracy initiative. The foundation promotes excellence in journalism and the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Muldoon is part of the foundation’s panel of specialists in various fields committed to creating more informed and engaged communities. UB News featured the following article during the first week of the Fall 2018 semester.

See graduate student profiles, interviews, alumni updates, and more

11/21/18
The UB Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce the 23rd edition of the Noûsletter.  In this edition you will find interviews with John Kearns and Kah Kyung Cho, along with faculty news, graduate student profiles,  alumni updates, and much more. The 76-page  edition was edited by Robert Kelly. We invite you to download the new edition, plus past editions of the Noûsletter, here.

The Knight Foundation initiative: Trust, Media and Democracy

7/26/19
Professor Ryan Muldoon, an expert in social political philosophy, recently worked with the Knight Foundation on its Trust, Media and Democracy initiative. The foundation promotes excellence in journalism and the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Muldoon is part of the foundation’s panel of specialists in various fields committed to creating more informed and engaged communities. UB News featured the following article during the first week of the Fall 2018 semester.

Jason Adsit named seventh president of Mount Saint Mary College

Adsit.

In a unanimous vote that followed a national search, the board of Mount Saint Mary College selected Jason Adsit as its seventh full-time president. See the news article. He graduated from UB in 2002 with a PhD in Philosophy. Adsit's dissertation, directed by Peter Hare, is an investigation of Apologies.

Published May 26, 2018

1.

The Society of Automotive Engineers has invited Barry Smith to deliver the keynote for the SAE Automated and Connected Vehicle Systems Testing Symposium, June 20-21, 2018. The event, hosted by Clemson University–International Center for Automotive Research, will bring together key thought leaders from academia, research, industry, government, and the automotive engineering industry to discuss the latest automated vehicle testing programs, data acquisition and analytics approaches, and research that will inevitably drive the industry forward to a fully connected and automated vehicle. Read more about the symposium.

Keynote Abstract: The ontology approach to knowledge integration is much more flexible than approaches based on traditional relational database technology, and is thus ideally suited to achieve results in those areas where we are dealing with a broad spectrum of different sorts of data that is rapidly expanding into new areas. Unfortunately, in almost all cases where ontology technology has been tried, it has produced results which are fragmentary and inconsistent, and have typically enjoyed a short half-life. I will describe the reasons for these failures, and outline a strategy for the creation of interoperable ontology modules that has been used with success in the biomedical and military domains, and is currently being applied in the field of digital manufacturing.

"Capabilities: Human and Machine"

Inner Virtue

What does it mean to be a morally good person? It can be tempting to think that it is simply a matter of performing certain actions and avoiding others. And yet, there is much more to moral character than our outward actions. We expect a good person to not only behave in certain ways, but also to experience the world in certain ways within. Pleasure, emotion, and attention are important parts of our moral character despite being involuntary inner states. Inner Virtue defends a theory of why and how such states are relevant to moral character: These states say something about what kind of person one is by manifesting our deepest cares and concerns.

Inner Virtue, provides a new theory of moral virtue and vice. The work examines a neglected area of philosophical study (the moral status of states disconnected from action), while drawing on sources in non-western philosophy, as well as empirical work and personal memoirs. Learn more.

Graduate Careers: William Duncan.

One of our most successful recent PhD graduates is William Duncan, who has been appointed Associate Director of the Clinical Data Network at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the first dedicated medical facility for cancer treatment and research in the United States.

Neil E. Williams.

David Braun named Director of Graduate Studies.
Maureen Donnelly named Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Noteworthy Links

Noûsletter No. 22.

See the latest edition of the Noûsletter. Alumni are invited to send updates to us for inclusion in the next edition. Contact John Beverley, Managing Editor, Noûsletter.