Department of Philosophy
314 Moses Hall #2390
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-2390

Phone: 510-642-2722
Fax: 510-642-4164

phildept@berkeley.edu

News

New Crop prizewinners 2017

This year’s New Crop Prize winners were

Edward Schwarz, “Belief Attribution”

Parisa Ali, “A phenomenology of the lay person in the Discourse of American Anti-Intellectualism”

Robert Aversa-Goodman, “Self Ownership and the Wilt Chamberlain example”

Runners-up were Patricio Munoz-Hernandez, “Why book ten belongs,” and Liam O'Connell, “Rule-following and skepticism about primitive normativity.”

The entries were judged by Professor Sally Haslanger from MIT, who also ran a special seminar for our undergraduate majors. Thanks to Professor Haslanger and to the generous donors who made this prize possible.

Antonia Peacocke wins Fink Prize

Congratulations to Antonia Peacocke, who has won the Department’s 2017 Fink Prize in Philosophy for her paper “How do you know when you know yourself well?”

Ethan Jerzak receives ACLS/Mellon Fellowship

Congratulations to Ethan Jerzak on winning an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship for his dissertation project, entitled Paradox in Thought and Natural Language. Ethan was one of 65 fellows for 2017-2018 selected out of more than 1000 applicants across the humanities and social sciences. The fellowship will provide a year of support while he finishes his dissertation.

Dreyfus memorial event: time change

The memorial event for Bert Dreyfus, previously announced as taking place from 9.30-11.30 on Wednesday, May 24, has been rescheduled for a different time on the same day and in the same place. It will now take place in Alumni House on Wednesday, May 24 from 1.30 to 3.30.

Jeffrey Kaplan wins Townsend Fellowship

Congratulations to Jeffrey Kaplan on winning a Townsend Dissertation Fellowship. The competition for these fellowships, which fund a year of dissertation work, is open to all graduate students at Berkeley with dissertation projects in the humanities. Jeff will be the 2017-2018 Irving and Jean Stone Fellow. His project concerns what he sees as the central problem in philosophy of law for the last century: how can human-made law have authority? Rather than offer a straightforward solution, he argues that the problem results from an ambiguity in the notion of authority. Resolving the ambiguity, he argues, has broad implications for similar problems in the study of language and other social practices, such as games and etiquette.

Adam Bradley wins New Directions Fellowship

Our fourth New Directions Fellow will be Adam Bradley. He will use the fellowship to take coursework in neuroscience, under the guidance of Dr. Howard Fields, a pain researcher at UCSF and UC Berkeley. He aims to gain a deeper understanding of the neurophysiological processes which underlie the experience of pain, in particular its emotional and motivational aspects. The unpleasantness of pain is central to its practical and ethical importance, but existing theories of pain fail to adequately account for it. By looking in depth at recent scientific work on pain affect, Adam hopes to be able to develop a more satisfactory theory of what makes pain distinctively unpleasant.

Paolo Mancosu receives Humboldt Research Award

Congratulations to Paolo Mancosu, who will be receiving the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Humboldt Foundation describes the award as granted to “internationally renowned academics… whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.” Previous distinguished recipients of the award include our own Jay Wallace. Paolo will use the award to spend the Spring semester of 2018 at the Center for Mathematical Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, following a planned Fall semester sabbatical in Italy.

Hubert Dreyfus (1929-2017)

It is with great sadness that we record the death of Prof. Hubert Dreyfus, who passed away on April 22, 2017. Bert was a vivid presence in our department for almost fifty years, contributing immeasurably to the life of our community, and we feel his loss very deeply. You can read about his life and work here.

There will be a memorial event from 1.30 to 3.30 on Wednesday, May 24 at Alumni House on the Berkeley campus. The event is open to everyone, and you are warmly invited to attend.

Rumfitt lecture Apr 27 will not take place

Due to illness, Prof. Rumfitt will not be able to give the George Myro Lecture, scheduled for Thurs. Apr 27. We’re hoping to rearrange it for the coming academic year.