Bulletin Board

This Bulletin Board is a place for announcements and postings of opportunities, conferences, websites, and news that may be of interest to members of the directory.  If you would like to subscribe to the Bulletin Board Newsletter and receive regular updates via email, please scroll to the bottom of this page to input your email and click subscribe.

If you have some information you would like to have posted, please send an email to postupdirectory@gmail.com. The moderators reserve the right to choose what to post. All postings can be searched by keywords such as ‘conference’, ‘website’, ‘funding’, ‘APA’, and so on.

Please also send your stories about what it is like to be a woman in philosophy at https://beingawomaninphilosophy.wordpress.com and about what it is like to be a person of color in philosophy at https://beingaphilosopherofcolor.wordpress.com. Some eye-opening stories can be read there.


UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of September 2017: Quayshawn Spencer

Quayshawn Spencer

Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

AOS: Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of Science

My research focuses on topics that lie in the philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of race. The overlapping theme is that I work on philosophical issues having to do with classification. In philosophy of science, I have worked on the issue of what is the nature of a natural kind (understood as a real kind in the natural sciences). The theory I have developed is that natural kinds are plausibly thought of as “genuine kinds,” where a genuine kind is a metaphysically neutral competitor to traditional natural kinds, at least with respect to the scientific realism debate. This work has been published in Catherine Kendig’s (2016) “Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice.”

In philosophy of biology, I have worked on the issue of what is the nature of a biological population in evolutionary biology. In this work, I have defended “population pluralism” in an indirect way by articulating “K population theory,” which is a theory about what ‘population’ means when population geneticists talk about “continental populations” of humans. This work is in a 2016 issue of Philosophy of Science.

Last, but not least, in philosophy of race, I have worked on various issues in the metaphysics of race. In particular, I have defended a particular view of what ‘biological racial realism’ should mean, which appeared in Philosophical Studies in 2012. But also, I’ve advanced an actual defense of biological racial realism, which appeared in a 2014 issue of Philosophy of Science. Finally, I am working on three books in the philosophy of race. The first is The Race Debates from Metaphysics to Medicine (under contract with Oxford University Press), which is an edited volume that gets metaphysicians of race and scholars in the biomedical race debate to engage with one another. There will be many fantastic contributors, such as Naomi Zack, Joshua Glasgow, Robin Andreasen, Noah Rosenberg, Dorothy Roberts, Sarah Tishkoff, and many others. The second is Four Views on Race (under contract with Oxford University Press), which is a dialogue between myself, Joshua Glasgow, Sally Haslanger, and Chike Jeffers on the nature and reality of race.  The last is tentatively titled, A Radical Solution to the Race Problem, which is an attempt to defend “radical racial pluralism” as the correct metametaphysical position to take about the structure of the correct race theory for US race talk.

Assistant Professor Position – Butler University


Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Tenure-Track – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Position Overview

The Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics at Butler University seeks to hire a tenure-track assistant professor whose area of specialization is contemporary social and political philosophy and ethics, and whose scholarly interests involve critical reflection on social justice and diversity, and applied ethics. Teaching competency in some of the following is also desirable: the history of ethics and social/political philosophy, international ethics, ethics of war and peace, philosophy of law, philosophy of race/class/gender, and ethics in non-western traditions.

In addition to the undergraduate philosophy program, candidates would be expected to regularly teach courses in Butler’s First Year Seminar and/or Global and Historical Studies programs (parts of Butler’s core curriculum), and to contribute to one or more of the college’s interdisciplinary programs: International Studies; Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies; Peace and Conflict Studies; and Science, Technology, and Environmental Studies. The candidate will also be expected to help lead the department’s Ethics minor. The successful candidate will display clear indications of being a program builder with an interest in helping grow the number of Philosophy/Ethics majors and minors, and will demonstrate an inspiring enthusiasm for undergraduate teaching. Teaching load is 3/3. Candidates should expect to complete their PhD by August 1st, 2018.


Applicants must submit the following: a CV; a one- or two-page cover letter briefly outlining research interests and teaching philosophy/experience; unofficial transcripts; three letters of recommendation; a writing sample; thorough evidence of teaching experience/excellence (evaluations, detailed statement of teaching philosophy etc.).

Direct search inquiries to Tiberiu Popa (tpopa@butler.edu), chair of the search committee. Please have complete applications and letters of recommendation e-mailed to Claudia Johnson (ckjohns1@butler.edu) by October 22, 2017.

Butler University is committed to enhancing the diversity of the student body and our faculty and staff. In addition, hiring decisions are made on the basis of an individual’s qualifications, past experience, overall performance, and other employment-related criteria. Butler University, founded by abolitionists, provides equal opportunities for employment and advancement for all individuals, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, color, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other legally protected category.  Women and members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.


Editorial Comment from the UPDirectory manager: This is an important opportunity for young philosophers to have a two year post-doc with the prospects of movement to the tenure track at U Michigan.

LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Fellowship Period: August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2020 Application Deadline: Monday, October 2, 2017 The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) at the University of Michigan invites applicants to our LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This major initiative is aimed at promoting an inclusive scholarly environment, recruiting and retaining exceptional early career scholars, and supporting outstanding scholars committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive intellectual community. The program is administered by the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) at the University of Michigan.

The two-year fellowship program provides early career scholars with dedicated research time, mentorship, teaching experience, travel funding, and professional development opportunities to prepare them for possible tenure-track appointments in LSA. Candidates whose scholarship, teaching, and service will contribute to the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of LSA are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility: Applications are welcome from any field represented in LSA academic departments. Review committees will evaluate applicants according to their potential for success in an academic career and contribution to higher education through their demonstrated commitment to diversity. To be eligible, applicants’ doctoral degrees should be completed between January 1, 2015 and July 1, 2018. Applicants in the fields of Economics and Political Science must complete their doctoral degree by July 1, 2019. Individuals awarded a Ph.D. from U-M, or currently holding a postdoctoral or faculty position at U-M, are not eligible. Application: LSA invites scholars to apply between July 18, 2017 and October 2, 2017.

Additional program and application information can be found on LSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website: http://lsa.umich.edu/lsa/about/diversity–equity-and-inclusion/lsa-collegiatepostdoctoral-fellowship-program.html; Inquiries may be directed to lsacollegiatepostdoc@umich.edu.


UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of August 2017: George Yancy

George Yancy

Professor of Philosophy, Emory University

AOS: African American Philosophy, Philosophy of Race

As an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, my initial passion was for sense data theory after philosopher Wilfrid Sellars directed my honors thesis on this aspect of Bertrand Russell’s work. After doing graduate work at Yale, I became interested in questions of hermeneutics, especially its impact on science and questions of how our judgments are mediated by paradigms and communities of intelligibility. I was influenced by the work of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Hesse, Bloor, Barnes, Lipton, and Laudan. I moved beyond the question of the “givenness” of perceptual objects to the ways in which objects are inextricably linked to discourse and how our historical situatedness impacts our epistemological horizons. There was a short distance to philosophical inquiries related to race as embodied, as “given,” as culturally and historically embedded, and as linked to our fundamental modes of being in the world (our assumptions, motility, grieving, loving, and subtle sensorial engagements). Sellars’ influence is still present. He argued that philosophy aims to comprehend how things (cabbages and kings, numbers, duties, possibilities, finger snaps, aesthetic experience, and death) in the broadest possible sense hang together in the broadest possible sense. Surely, “race” is one of those “things,” one that is far more existentially turbulent, politically and socially urgent, than either finger snaps or cabbages.

My work engages questions regarding the lived experience of race and how it is an embodied phenomenon that is enacted at the socially complex quotidian level of our experiences. My approach engages how the “raced body” is linked to discursive and affective sedimentation, and how the “reality” of race, while socially constituted, functions as a powerful political, social, juridical, and existential vector, one that has a lived status that impacts bodies differentially as raced. More recently, my work has focused on whiteness, its structural invisibility, its embodied normativity, its spatial motility, the opacity of white psychic life, and the embedded nature of whiteness, which raises questions of white complicity and white racism.

My current work provides a vocabulary for rethinking whiteness as a possible site of unsuturing, which I theorize as an experience of profound risk and mourning the abandonment of veils that white people are afraid to live without. Suturing, then, has deep epistemological and phenomenological implications for living a life of bad faith and ontological closure. Unsuturing is a practice that implies a radical vulnerability that has deep implications for questions about how we fail or succeed at dwelling within shared spaces.

I see my work in the above areas as linked to African American philosophy. Here, I work on issues related to the nature of philosophy and standpoint epistemology, Black Erlebnis, early African American philosophers, questions of African American resistance, and ways of theorizing African American modes of knowledge production and world-making.

Finally, I have a deep passion, which manifests for me in the form of a specific mood of suffering, for understanding the meaning of death, the existence or nonexistence of God, and the meaning of why we are here at all.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of July 2017: Natalia Washington

Natalia Washington

McDonnell Postdoctoral FellowWashington University in Saint Louis

AOS: Bioethics/Medical Ethics, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology

My research is situated within the scope of empirically informed philosophy of mind, psychology, and cognitive science. This growing trend and its interdisciplinary aspirations are vital to my central project: Using the conceptual and critical tools of philosophy, I seek to understand how human minds are both shaped by and integrated with our physical and social environments. Ultimately, I believe that appreciation of these perspectives—what are sometimes called ‘externalist’ or ‘ecological’ viewpoints—and their normative implications can inform and improve human lives.

As an ecologically-minded philosopher, I have had the opportunity to pursue work on implicit racial biases and social cognition, and work in the philosophy of psychiatry. In a paper published with Daniel Kelly, “Who’s Responsible for This?” I investigate how the shape of our epistemic environment mediates blame and responsibility for bias, and in another with Nicolae Morar, “Implicit Cognition and Gifts” these issues are brought into the practical arena of the interaction between doctors and the medical industry. More recently, I have been investigating the theoretic and conceptual foundations of psychiatry as a science and as an evaluative system, and recent attempts to negotiate the tricky philosophical territory where the normative and descriptive meet. Two examples: First, in “Culturally Unbound”, published last year in Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology (PPP), I take up the question of so-called culturally bound syndromes, and argue that reliance on conceptions of ‘normal’ or ‘universal’ human nature hinders the taxonomization of mental disorders. Second, in “Contexualism as a Solution to Paternalism in Psychiatric Practice”, also forthcoming from PPP, I argue that what it means to be mentally ill or mentally healthy must be grounded in the concerns and interests individual patients. I am presently developing these critiques into a more general worry about how theorists and researchers in many domains rely on ‘naturalized norms’–explanations which depend on statistical typicality as a scientifically grounded source of normativity.

In the future I plan to extend my research in philosophy of psychiatry in an attempt to build a rigorous understanding of the concept of mental health—one that makes room for individual differences in values, and in what is in our best interest when it comes to the quality of our mental lives. This is exciting to me not only because of its theoretical connections to concepts of the good life, but because I hope my project will help shape future discussions of mental illness in clinical and practical arenas as well.


PART-TIME JOB – U of West Georgia

The Philosophy Program at the University of West Georgia (Carrollton, GA) is seeking a part-time instructor to teach a section of Introduction to Ethics in Fall 2017 (MW morning schedule).  We may be able to add a second section.

Applicants should have completed at least 18 hours of graduate course work in philosophy.  Questions and applications can be sent via e-mail to Dr. Walter Riker (wriker@westga.edu).  Applications should include a letter of intent and curriculum vitae.

POST-DOC UVA – Political Philosophy, Law

The University of Virginia’s program in Political Philosophy, Policy & Law (PPL) invites applications for one, possibly two, full-time DeOlazarra Fellows for the academic year beginning August 2017, with the possibility to renew for a second academic year. Renewals are subject to availability of funding and satisfactory performance. Compensation will take the form of salary and benefits. Applicants must specialize in contemporary political theory/philosophy, particularly as it applies to the evaluation of important issues in public policy. A background in jurisprudence or legal theory is also desirable. PPL is a selective interdisciplinary undergraduate major in which fourth year students develop substantial research projects in the context of a capstone seminar. The fellow will preside over this seminar during the spring semester as well as teach one fall semester course in his or her area of interest. Applicants must be on track to receive a Ph.D. in Political Science or a related field by May 2017 and must hold a PhD by June 15, 2017. Candidates must combine strong research potential with commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching. 

To apply, please complete a Candidate Profile online through Jobs@ UVA (https://jobs.virginia.edu), and electronically attach the following: a current CV, cover letter, statement of teaching, unofficial transcript and writing sample. Search on posting 0620670. 

Priority consideration will be given to applications received by May 20, 2017; however, the position will remain open until filled. 

Also, under separate cover by mail, please arrange for three (3) letters of recommendation to be sent to: 

PPL Fellow Search Committee c/o Colin Bird 

Department of Politics 

P.O. Box 400787 

University of Virginia 

Charlottesville, VA 22904-4787

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of June 2017: Carlos Alberto Sánchez

Carlos Alberto Sánchez

Professor of PhilosophySan Jose State University

AOS: Comparative Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology, Philosophy of the Americas, Social and Political Philosophy

I read, study, and write about 20th century Mexican philosophy and 20th century Mexican philosophers. I’m particularly interested in the manner in which Mexico itself—as a historical, cultural, and spiritual difference—influences the articulation of the philosophical and the manner in which it shapes the philosophical approach to certain philosophical problems. Ultimately, I defend the idea of a “Mexican” philosophy (an idea that goes beyond merely affirming the empirical fact of a philosophy in Mexico), one in which philosophical considerations of identity, authenticity, history, death, etc., are marked by a Mexican difference that makes these considerations contributions to and not merely repetitions of the Western philosophical tradition. This sort of work requires hermeneutical, historiographical, and analytic interventions into those texts in which this difference most resoundingly shows itself.

Recently, I’ve found myself defending the controversial thesis of historicism, what in several places I call “circumstantialism,” following the work of the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset. Historicism, or the idea that philosophizing itself is circumscribed by historical, cultural, and otherwise worldly constraints, is often misrepresented as historical or cultural relativism. What I try to show, especially in my analyses and interpretations of the work of the Mexican philosophical group Hiperión, is that historicism is not relativism, but rather, and simply, a complex, rich, and nuanced philosophical perspective grounded on a view of history as the constant, stable foundation upon which all accident, change, and consistency rests. Historicist philosophical explanations and descriptions aim to account not only for the particular spirit of a people, but also for its relations, interrelations, internal and external to itself that justify its philosophical truths and propositions. Mexican philosophers thus find in historicism a means to contribute to the human philosophical conversation a perspective, that although necessarily worldly and pluralistic due to the historical relation, is nonetheless Mexican in its articulations and emphases.

By necessity, my work requires translation. In my book, The Suspension of Seriousness: On the Phenomenology of Jorge Portilla (SUNY Press 2012), an analysis and interpretation of Portilla’s La fenomenología del relajo, I also include the translation of that text as an Appendix. A current project with Oxford University Press (co-edited with Robert Elí Sanchez) the goal is to translate and anthologize significant texts representative of Mexican philosophy in the 20th century, addressing a serious lack in available resources. My other work is related directly or indirectly to this primary preoccupation. Directly, my latest book, Contingency and Commitment: Mexican Existentialism and the Place of Philosophy (SUNY Press 2016) continues the work of situating Mexican philosophy within a broader tradition of existentialism in the 20th century. Indirectly, I’ve published papers on the phenomenology of immigration, the philosophy of Mexican Narco-Culture, and am currently working on issues in Mexican American Philosophy.

I am the Editor of the APA Newsletter on Latino/Hispanic Issues in Philosophy, co-creator (with Robert Elí Sanchez) of the website/blog mexicanphilosophy.com, and founding member of the Society for Mexican American Philosophy.


The University of Arkansas invites applicants for a nine-month Visiting Assistant Professor position, renewable for up to three years, in the Department of Philosophy. Duties will include teaching six courses per year, undergraduate and graduate; engaging in some thesis supervision and usual non-teaching duties, for example, committee work; and pursuing an active research program.  AOS: Open but we are particularly interested in Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of Gender, and Applied Ethics.   AOC: Same as AOS.


The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.


Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Completed applications received by May 22, 2017 will be assured full consideration. Late applications will be reviewed as necessary to fill the position. 


Applicants must submit a  cover letter/letter of application, curriculum vitae, writing sample, statement of teaching philosophy, statement of research philosophy, and names, titles, email addresses, and contact numbers of three professional references willing to provide letters of reference to: http://jobs.uark.edu/postings/20132

The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity institution committed to achieving diversity in its faculty. Therefore, the university is especially interested in applications from qualified candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our academic departments. The university welcomes applications without regard to age, race/color, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran status, military service, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of May 2017: Jennifer M. Morton

Jennifer M. Morton

Assistant ProfessorCity College-CUNY

AOS: Moral Psychology, Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of Education, Social and Political Philosophy

Most of my recent work has been in philosophy of education and action. These areas might seem unrelated, but it’s only recently that I’ve realized that there is a theme that unifies my work. In essence, I’m interested in thinking about how our messy non-ideal world collides with the pristine, sharp, and idealized tools of philosophical thinking. I’m currently working on two projects that fit under that rubric.

The first is a critique of theories of rationality that take the principles of practical reasoning to be universal principles that can be derived a priori. This work really started with my dissertation at Stanford under Michael Bratman, but I have continued to pursue it in light of recent social science that concerns the decision making of people who live in poverty. I argue that when decision makers are facing severe resources scarcity it does not make sense for them to engage in the kind of long-term practical thinking that is often held as the mark of rational agency by philosophers. The practical thinking of those who are in extreme poverty, I suggest, will look quite different than that of middle-class philosophy professors who have the time and resources to think about their long-term decisions. Both, I suggest, are rational given their different contexts. One consequence of my argument is that it urges philosophers to cultivate humility when they make judgments about the rationality of distant others who are in quite different conditions.

The second project concerns the ethics of upward mobility. For a few years now, I have been interested in the value conflicts that those on the path of upward mobility face, in particular, when they are trying to maintain one foot in their community back home while trying to adapt to a new community at school or at work. My interest in this topic really crystallized into a research area while teaching at City College. CUNY is an engine of upward mobility for a large number of first-generation college students in the New York area. I’m in awe of my students. They work so hard to balance their commitments to their families and communities with their commitment to their education. These conflicts are the result of unjust background conditions that do not affect all students equally. But to understand how these conflicts are embedded in social and economic conditions, we need to turn to the social science literature on inequality. For the book I’m currently writing on this topic, I also conducted interviews with people who were themselves first-generation college students. These conversations gave me such a rich insight into the topic that I could not have gained by just reading philosophy or even sociology. So recently I have been thinking more and more about how conversations with non-philosophers should be a part of philosophy more often, in particular, when the topic concerns groups that are not as well-represented in our profession.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of April 2017: Monique Wonderly

Monique Wonderly

Post-Doc, Princeton University

Monique_sm2AOS: Applied Ethics, Bioethics/Medical Ethics, Ethics, Moral Psychology, Philosophy of Love and Sex

Broadly speaking, I am interested in puzzles at the intersection of ethics and the emotions. Exploring such puzzles often leads my research in an interdisciplinary direction – much of my work incorporates insights from other fields, including: neuroscience, psychology, the technological sciences, and education. I am especially concerned to investigate how the emotional ties that bind us to other persons and objects help to shape ethical norms and guide moral deliberation. I have published in the areas of ethics, philosophy of emotion, and history of philosophy.

In June 2015, I defended my dissertation on emotional attachment. I identified what I call “security-based attachment” as a philosophically neglected, yet rich and ubiquitous phenomenon, and I developed an account of its nature and value. Roughly, this type of attachment is marked by a felt need of its object and an integral connection between engagement with that object and the attached agent’s sense of security. After articulating its key marks and distinguishing it from related phenomena (e.g., caring), I showed that security-based attachment has important implications for understanding emotion and agency. Specifically, I argued that this attitude illuminates both the specific types of relationship that undergird warranted grief and the particular brands of affect and agential impairment characteristic of grief’s phenomenology. I also argued that contra strong disinterested concern views of love, security-based attachment represents a type of self-interestedness that is not only permissible in, but essential to, some kinds of love.

My research at Princeton will focus on questions concerning moral agency and ethical treatment that arise when considering certain attachment-related pathologies, including psychopathy and (some forms of) addiction. For examples: How might psychopaths’ emotional deficits impact their moral responsibility and/or rights of autonomy? If a “cure” were discovered, could we be justified in forcing a psychopath to undergo treatment against his or her will? How might a theory of emotional attachment inform our understanding of the structure of agency in addiction? What implications would such a theory have for treating addicted agents and holding them accountable for moral and legal infractions?

In the near future, I anticipate making further contributions to the literatures on the metaphysics of emotion (especially, on topics related to trust, forgiveness, and hope) and the normativity of special relationships. Finally, I would also like to do more work in the history of philosophy, where my interests include: Nietzsche – and in particular, his views on morality and the emotions, the 18th century British moralists, Asian philosophy, and Ancient philosophy.


Term Assistant Professor. Full-time position one-year, renewable starting August 16, 2017. AOS: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, within the contemporary analytic tradition. Ph.D. in Philosophy by August 1, 2017. Preference will be given to applicants with clear evidence of teaching effectiveness. Please apply online athttps://www.vcujobs.com/postings/61455, including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample, teaching evaluations (if available) and contact information for at least three references. Applications completed by April 12, 2017 or earlier are guaranteed consideration, but later applications may be considered at the discretion of the hiring committee. We will recruit a candidate with demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU. Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of March 2017: Tina Rulli

Tina Rulli

Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis

10527692_10153091261912571_1045188497882742526_nAOS: Applied Ethics, Bioethics/Medical Ethics, Child, Family, Parenting, and Reproduction Ethics, Ethics, Normative Ethics

My dissertation was the launch pad for my diverse research agenda. I argued for a duty of prospective parents to adopt children rather than create them. We ought to provide critical benefits to existing people rather than create new people to give those benefits to instead. My research touches on the following issues: population ethics and the value of creation; the scope and force of the duty to rescue; limits to the demands of morality and the possibility for moral options to do less than the best; and the moral significance of genetic relatedness.

I’m working on a population ethics question that arises in the adoption/procreation choice, but is also relevant to immigration and population policy. Why should we spend resources on creating new lives and benefiting those lives when there are so many existing people in critical need of those same resources? Or rather, how should we decide in cases of conflict between saving lives or creating lives? I argue that we ought to prioritize benefits to those in critical need over the creation of new people, even on the assumption that creation can be a benefit. The challenge for this argument is to avoid the pitfalls of moral actualism—the view that only actual people matter morally.

I am also writing on what I call “conditional obligations.” Conditional obligations arise when although some action A is merely optional, if an agent chooses A, she is required to do optimal B rather than some other beneficial action C, where C is better than not doing A at all. An example: it may be optional for a company to open a factory in a developing country. But if they do so, they must open a factory that meets labor standards rather than open a sweatshop. This is the case even though opening the sweatshop on the whole would bring about more good than not opening a factory at all. I examine a range of such cases and argue that this obligation structure is not incoherent and should be expected in moral theories that embrace moral permissions to do less than the best.

My past research in bioethics focused on applications of the duty to rescue in clinical research and medical contexts. Recently, I’ve been writing on the ethics of mitochondrial replacement techniques—novel in vitro fertilization methods that allow women with mitochondrial disease to have genetically-related children by using a donor egg and mitochondria in the creation of their children. I argue that proponents of the technology misleadingly claim that the technology is life-saving and mistakenly assume that the preference for genetic relatedness is significantly valuable enough to justify public investment in the technology.

Many philosophers may think that practical ethics is derivative—that we figure out the normative theoretical work and then apply it to concrete issues. My research experience has proven to me that ethics can work in the other direction: reflection on practical ethics can provide fruitful insight on the theoretical issues.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of February 2017: Ronald Robles Sundstrom

Ronald Robles Sundstrom

Professor and Philosophy Department ChairUniversity of San Francisco

AOS: Philosophy of Race, African American Philosophy, and Social and Political Philosophy

The intersections within and between social identifications, including their mixing and conflict, is subject to formation and utilization by political power. This occurs within social contexts, thick with their own histories. Those forces form ethical and racial identifications, and how individuals and groups, who are ascribed with those identifications, are conceived and conceive of themselves. Those same forces also frame how societies imagine, and work toward or against, social justice. 

This set of ideas about racialization has influenced my teaching, research, and serivce of my academic commitments. Most of my writing has been concerned with the ethics, politics, and ontology of racial and ethnic identities. I  specifically focused on Black, mixed race, and Asian American identities in my articles on race. The position I took on their ontological status was that they were both socially constructed and real, and the normative stance I took, especially in regards to the controversies around mixed-race (biracial, multiracial, or mixed) identities was that they too were real and that they were ethically possible identities.

In addition to that line in my research, I wrote about prominent figures in the history of African American political theory, such as Frederick Douglass, Anna Julia Cooper, and W.E.B. DuBois. I gave particular attention to Douglass’ intellectual legacy, especially his arguments for abolition, his anti-slavery reading of the U.S. Constitution, as well as his conceptions of Black resistance, and assimilation and amalgamation. Douglass is an icon in Black political theory, but his ideas were equally important contributions to the history of political theory in general, and specifically to civic republicanism, liberalism, and egalitarianism. His views of social justice, national belonging, and integration, along with those of Du Bois and Cooper, shapes my examinations and wary promotion of those, and related social and political, ideas as is evident in my book, The Browning of America and the Evasion of Social Justice.

These currents flow through my on-going work on the idea and ideal of integration and its place egalitarian liberal theories of justice. I consider different conceptions of integration, and how it relates to desegregation and its purported opposite, segregation. 

The sort of integration I discuss is primarily residential and is centered on the history of segregation, desegregation, and integration, along with the continuing controversies over fair and affordable housing in Oakland and San Francisco. This analysis opens up questions about how integration is also related to other fraught ideas (colorblindness, post-racialism, assimilation, and multiculturalism) and to ongoing social crises (residential and education segregation, housing inequality, and gentrification). And this leads ultimately to the question of whether, and to what degree, integration is a worthy or legitimate normative ideal and practical social and political goal in a just, well-ordered democratic society.

UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of January 2017: Susanna Siegel

Susanna Siegel

Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University

 AOS: Epistemology, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Social and Political Philosophy

My work focuses on the nature of perception and its roles in reasoning and action. My first book, The Contents of Visual Experience, was about that nature of conscious visual perception. It investigated what this form of perception can inform (or misinform) us about reality. I argued that visual experiences can represent (and misrepresent) complex properties such as kind properties, causal properties, and personal identity. In subsequent work I’ve investigated how the psychological precursors of perceptual experiences, such as fears, beliefs, desires, and prejudice, can influence perception.

My second book The Rationality of Perception argues that perceptual experiences themselves, along with the routes by which we come to have them, can be appraised as epistemically better or worse. I came to this view by considering possible cases lumped under the broad category of ‘cognitive penetration’ – a label that is used so widely that it encompasses many different phenomena. For instance, suppose a person’s racist outlook (whether implicit or explicit) leads them to perceive a threatening man with a gun, when in fact what they’re seeing is a boy playing in a playground. If the racist outlook comes to be baked in to the perceptual experience, can the perceiver end up with a reasonable belief about what he sees, just by believing his eyes? I think the answer is No.

But if in this case it isn’t reasonable to believe one’s eyes, why not? Many answers to this question could be given. My answer is that it’s not reasonable because the perceptual experience itself is as unreasonable as the racist outlook it. This position has a lot of explaining to do. Does anything in the nature of experience preclude its being epistemically appraisable? How can perception ever play the role of allowing us to check our beliefs against reality? What distinguishes between the psychological influences on perception that are epistemically good and the ones that are epistemically bad? I address these questions in The Rationality of Perception, published in 2017 by Oxford University Press. 

In addition to research in epistemology and the philosophy of mind, I have taught courses in political philosophy for the program in the General Education.  In the summer of 2016, I directed a 4-week summer institute with Nico Silins on Presupposition and Perception: Reasoning, Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics. I’m also committed to fostering analytic philosophy in Spanish, and together with Diana Acosta, Laura Pérez, and Patricia Marechal, I’ve hosted a series of philosophy workshops in Spanish at Harvard in recent years.


The Murphy Institute at Tulane University  has extended its  application deadline for 2017-2018 Center for Ethics and Public Affairs Faculty Fellowships/Visiting Research Professorships. The new deadline is December 31, 2016.


To apply for these fellowships, please visit https://apply.interfolio.com/37091, scroll down, and click the “Apply Now” button. Application is free of charge for all applicants by using this link.


These fellowships are available to support outstanding faculty whose teaching and research focus on ethics, political philosophy, political theory, or questions of moral choice in areas such as, but not restricted to, business, government, law, economics, and medicine.


While fellows will participate in conferences and seminars organized by the Murphy Institute, they will be expected to devote most of their time to conducting their own research. Faculty Fellows are normally appointed as Visiting Research Professors. As Visiting Research Professors, they receive a salary of 65,000 USD and are eligible for Tulane University health insurance.


Applicants should hold a doctorate or equivalent research degree in philosophy, political theory, or a related discipline at the time of application. Applicants should also have a full-time college or university appointment at the time of application. Full-time faculty at all ranks are invited to apply.


Tulane University is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action/persons with disabilities/veterans employer committed to excellence through diversity. Tulane will not discriminate against individuals with disabilities or veterans. All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply.


For more information on the application process,  please visit our website page at  http://murphy.tulane.edu/news/archives/1498 or contact Margaret Keenan, the Assistant Director,  at mkeenan@tulane.edu.  For more information on the Murphy Institute’s Center for Ethics and Public Affairs, please visit http://murphy.tulane.edu/programs/center.


UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of December 2016: Tommie Shelby

Tommie Shelby

Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African & African American Studies and of Philosophy, Harvard University

AOS: African American Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Race, Social and Political Philosophy

My primary research interests are in social, political, and legal philosophy. Most of my work has centered on questions of social justice with a particular focus on race and class. I give close attention to the history, socio-cultural life, and plight of peoples of African descent in the United States. My writings tend to be interdisciplinary, rooted in the concerns of philosophy but reaching out to and drawing on history, sociology, political science, and literary and cultural studies.

My first book, “We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity,” examines the conceptual presuppositions and normative underpinnings of African American political unity and collective action. I interrogate and explain the relationship between the ideas of race, social identity, and group solidarity within the practice of African American politics from slavery to the present. Drawing on insights from the black radical tradition, I provide a defense of the continuing relevance of black solidarity in the post-civil rights era.

In various essays, I’ve explored how we should think about racism and what makes it wrong or morally troubling, with a view toward understanding the normative foundations of antiracist thought and activism. I’ve also developed and defended Marx’s ideas about ideology and exploitation and shown their relevance for contemporary debates in political philosophy.

I have strong research and teaching interests in the history of African American political thought. I have written articles and book chapters about such canonical figures as David Walker, Martin Delany, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, and Martin Luther King Jr. I’m particularly interested in how some black thinkers have drawn on the traditions of liberalism, Marxism, and black nationalism to develop a distinctive and powerful response to a world shaped by the practice of white supremacy.

In my most recent book, “Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform,” I examine the thorny questions of political morality raised by poor black neighborhoods in the United States. Should government foster integrated neighborhoods? If a “culture of poverty” exists, what interventions (if any) are justified? Should single parenthood among the black poor be avoided or deterred? Is voluntary non-work or street crime an acceptable mode of dissent? How should a criminal justice system respond to the law breaking of the oppressed? This book offers philosophical, empirically informed, practical answers, framed in terms of what justice requires of both a government and its citizens. It tries to show the value of careful philosophical reflection for social-scientific research and public policy.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Inclusion and Exclusion in Philosophy

CfP: Workshop “Inclusion and Exclusion in Philosophy”

20-22 June 2017
Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany

Website: https://inclusionexclusionphilosophy.wordpress.com/

*Topic and aim*

Specific social groups are underrepresented in many academic disciplines, including philosophy. The overall aim of the workshop is to gain a better understanding of how and to what extent:

– exclusionary social interactions shape the philosophical discipline.
– explicit (e.g., thematic or methodological) biases play a role in philosophy.
– implicit (e.g., thematic or methodological) biases play a role in philosophy.
– different social groups are affected by the identified exclusionary factors.
– the current environment of academic philosophy can be improved.

*Keynote Speakers*

– Liam Kofi Bright (Carnegie Mellon University)
– Kristie Dotson (Michigan State University)
– Kieran Healy (Duke University)
– Katharine Jenkins (University of Nottingham)

Deadline for submission of an abstract (max. 500 words) is 20 January 2017.
Notification of acceptance: 1 February 2017

Please send your abstract prepared for blind review as an e-mail attachment (.doc, .docx or .pdf) to exclusionworkshop2017@gmail.com.

If you have any questions regarding the conference please contact the organizers:
Anna Leuschner (anna.leuschner@philos.uni-hannover.de) or David Ludwig (d.j.ludwig@vu.nl)



PIKSI summer institutes are designed to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider future study of philosophy. Undergraduates and recent graduates from underrepresented groups such as women, African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, LGBTs, economically disadvantaged communities, and people with disabilities are urged to apply. Transportation and lodging are provided. Stipends are awarded to all.


Undergraduates — JANUARY 31, 2017

Graduate Assistants (PIKSI-Rock only) — JANUARY 31, 2017

For more information visit: piksi.org


Rock Ethics Institute/Penn State

Date: June 21-30, 2017

Director: Serene Khader

Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Theme: Philosophy and Social Justice


Linda Martín Alcoff

CUNY Graduate Center/Hunter College

José Medina 

Vanderbilt University

Kris Sealey

Fairfield University




Date: June 20-27, 2017

Directors: Lisa Rivera

University of Massachusetts Boston

Keota Fields

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


Sally Haslanger


Quayshawn Spencer

University of Pennsylvania

Michaela McSweeney

Boston University

Avery Archer

George Washington University

Jennifer Morton


Jennifer Marusic

Brandeis University

Dilly Ninan

Tufts University

Lionel McPherson

Tufts University

For more information visit: piksi.org

Contact: info@piksi.org



JOB – TT RYERSON U in Toronto – Non-Western Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy at Ryerson University (www.ryerson.ca/philosophy) in Toronto invites applications for a full-time tenure-track appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor. The position will commence on July 1, 2017 (subject to budgetary approval).

The area of specialization is either (i) Non-Western Philosophy or (ii) Metaphysics and/or Epistemology. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in Philosophy (or equivalent) by no later than June 30, 2017. The successful candidate will be expected to teach a variety of philosophy courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Candidates should have a strong research profile and/or evidence of an emerging scholarly record, evidence of high-quality teaching and student training, as well as capacity for collegial service.

We strongly encourage applications from those who would contribute to the further diversification of our faculty and its scholarship including, but not limited to, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Ryerson University and our Department are strongly committed to fostering diversity within our community. Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply but applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to and meaningful experience with the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will be expected to demonstrate their ability to work with a diverse student population.

The Philosophy Department, consisting of 16 tenured and tenure-track faculty members, prides itself on the quality of its teaching and the breadth and excellence of its research in both analytic and continental approaches and traditions.

Applicants should submit their application online via the Faculty Recruitment Portal at www.ryerson.ca/jobs. Applications should include the following components uploaded, in the following order, as a single PDF:

  • a letter of application
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a statement of research interests (including plans for dissemination)
  • two recent writing samples
  • and results of teaching surveys (or equivalent evidence, such as a teaching dossier).

Applicants should arrange for at least two confidential letters of reference to be sent to Mr. Ryan Walters at r2walter@ryerson.ca.

Any inquiries regarding the Faculty Recruitment Portal can be sent to Mr. Lindsay Wiener, HR Consulting Advisor, at l2wiener@ryerson.ca.

Aboriginal candidates who would like to learn more about working at Ryerson University are welcome to contact Ms. Tracey King, M.Ed., Aboriginal HR Consultant, Aboriginal Recruitment and Retention Initiative, at t26king@ryerson.ca.

Applicants are asked to indicate in their application if they are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Applications must be received by December 6, 2016. Confidential inquiries can be directed to David Hunter, Chair of the Departmental Hiring Committee (david.hunter@ryerson.ca). Mailed and emailed applications will not be accepted.

As an employer, Ryerson University is working towards a “people first” culture and we are proud to have been selected as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and a Greater Toronto’s Top Employer for 2015 and 2016. To learn more about our work environment and innovative educational environment, visit http://www.ryerson.ca, check out @RyersonU@RyersonHR and @RyersonEDI on Twitter, and visit our LinkedIn company page.

This position falls under the jurisdiction of the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA). The RFA collective agreement can be viewed on the RFA collective agreement page. A summary of RFA benefits can be found on the RFA benefits page. The RFA’s website can be found at: www.rfanet.ca.

Ryerson University is strongly committed to fostering diversity within our community. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our staff, our faculty and its scholarship including, but not limited to, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply but applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.