The Dennes Room

Events this week

Mon Oct 21, 2019
Howison Library, Moses Hall, 4–6 PM
Townsend Visitor
Mark Johnston (Princeton)
The Manifest, Lecture 1: A Hundred or so Theses on Perception
Tue Oct 22, 2019
Howison Library, Moses Hall, 4–6 PM
Townsend Visitor
Mark Johnston (Princeton)
The Manifest, Lecture 2: A Plea for Expanses
Wed Oct 23, 2019
148 Moses, 2–4 PM
Townsend Visitor
Mark Johnston (Princeton)
Office Hours
Thu Oct 24, 2019
Howison Library, Moses Hall, 4–6 PM
Townsend Visitor
Mark Johnston (Princeton)
The Manifest, Lecture 3: Color, Pain and Hallucination Revisited
Thu Oct 24, 2019
370 Dwinelle Hall, 5:30–7:30 PM
Sather Lecture
Josiah Ober (Stanford)
Lecture 6. Agamemnon’s Cluelessness: Reason and Eudaimonia
Fri Oct 25, 2019
141 Boalt, 12–2 PM
Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory
Francis Fukuyama
Fri Oct 25, 2019
Howison Library, Moses Hall, 4–6 PM
Townsend Visitor
Mark Johnston (Princeton)
Open Discussion


California Cover Article on Alva Noe’s New Book

The latest issue of California, the magazine of the Cal Alumni Association, devotes its cover article to Alva Noë’s new book, Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark.

Memorial for Barry Stroud, Nov. 2

A memorial for Barry Stroud, who died on August 9, will be held at Moses Hall on the Berkeley campus, Saturday, November 2, 2019, at 4pm. As part of the occasion, in recognition of Barry’s contributions to the department, we will dedicate a room in Moses as the Stroud Room. A reception with wine and cheese will follow.

If you would like to join us on November 2, please reply both to Niko Kolodny ( and Janet Groome ( by October 19.

Whether or not you can join us for the event itself, we would welcome any thoughts or reminiscences that you might be willing to share. Please send those to Niko and Janet as well.

There will also be a memorial session for Barry, organized by Seth Yalcin, at the Pacific APA in San Francisco, April 8–11, 2020.

Welcome Back!

As the new academic year begins, we’re delighted that Andreja Novakovic is now part of our faculty, that Lara Buchak, Geoff Lee, and Seth Yalcin are back with us after sabbatical leaves, and that Jason Winning is joining us for the year to teach several courses. We are also very pleased that Sandy Orozco will be starting soon as our new Graduate Student Affairs Officer.

We welcome this year’s entering class of Philosophy PhD students: Russell Helder (BA, Gettysburg; MA, Georgia State), Christian Nakazawa (BA, Dartmouth), Teague Morris (BA Williams), Daniel Proske (BA, U Texas, Austin), Edward Schwartz (BA, Berkeley, formerly in PhD program at U Pittsburgh), Sarah Vernallis (BA, Stanford), and Alina Wang (BA, Smith). And likewise to our new student in the Group in Logic and Methodology: Ahmee Marshall-Christensen (AB Harvard; MSc Toronto).

Congratulations also to our 2019 Ph.D. graduates. Adam Bradley, who wrote “Sensitive Subjects: Bodily Awareness, Pain, and the Self,” will be spending the year as a postdoc at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology, University of Antwerp, Belgium. Ethan Jerzak, who wrote “Paradox in Thought and Natural Language,” will be starting a tenure-track position at the National University of Singapore. Jackson Kernion, who plans to file a dissertation entitled “Constraining Consciousness,” will be a postdoc this spring at MIT. Rachel Rudolph, who wrote “Talking about Appearances: Experience, Evaluation, and Evidence in Discourse,” will be starting a tenure-track position at Auburn University. We wish our new graduates (and soon-to-be graduates) all the best in their new endeavors.

We are lucky at Berkeley to have the stimulus of so many visiting scholars and visiting student researchers from all over the world, and we’d like to extend a warm welcome to them. This year’s new visitors include Eva Lucia Backhaus (Goethe-University Frankfurt), Anna Bellomo (Amsterdam), Robert de Meel (Leiden) Ayako Horiuchi (Tokyo), Marius Jakstas (Central European University), Sang Mu Oh (Korea University), Franziska Poprawe (Oxford), Robert Reimer (Leipzig), Jochen Schuff (Goethe University Frankfurt), Henry Shiller (UT Austin), Melanie Tate (Washington), Giovana Temple (Federal University of the Reconcavo of Bahia), and Veronica Valle (Macau).

Philosophy continues to be a popular major at Berkeley, with 245 majors last fall. And philosophy continues to grow in its appeal to students of all majors. Enrollments in our courses have risen from under 2,400 in 2014-15 to over 2,900 last year.

Not least of the attractions of the major is our vibrant undergraduate community, which pursues philosophy far beyond the limits of the classroom. Among many thriving student-led initiatives are the Peer Tutoring Program, our Minorities and Philosophy chapter, the Phil Forum club, and a rechristened undergraduate journal, The Idealist.

As always we have a packed program of events, including conferences, department colloquia, working group talks, work-in-progress lunches (lunch provided!), and a week of talks and seminars with our Townsend Visitor, Mark Johnston (Princeton), who will be here during the week of October 21. Steve Yablo (MIT) will be coming on April 22 to deliver the Howison Lecture, sponsored by the University’s Graduate Division. You can find out about our events by going to our listing of upcoming events. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find instructions for adding our events calendar to your bCal or other online calendar. If you are a faculty member, graduate student or visiting scholar you will automatically receive announcements of events in your email. For everyone else, instructions on how to get informed of events by email can be found at the bottom of Upcoming Events. Please join us!

Little of this would be possible without the generous support of friends of the department. It has been particularly moving to witness the upswell of donations to honor two late members of our philosophical community, Professor Hubert Dreyfus and undergraduate major Griffin Sean Madden. We are grateful to their families and to all of the many contributors.

I wish everyone a productive and enjoyable year, with lots of philosophical (and other) conversation. We have a great philosophical community here, and I encourage everyone to get involved in it as much as possible.

Niko Kolodny

Barry Stroud (1935-2019)

It is with great sadness that we announce that Barry Stroud died on August 9. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, at a very advanced stage, just two months ago.

His body of work, his influence on generations of students, his imprint on the character of our department, the example that he set of the purest philosophical inquiry — all of it is beyond reckoning. As hard as it is to imagine what philosophy at Berkeley will be like without him, it is even harder to imagine what it would have been.

Berkeley News Obituary (8/21/19)

Daily Californian Obituary (8/27/19)

Bert Dreyfus Website and Email

Our late, missed colleague Bert Dreyfus continues to have a presence online. His webpage is still up. (The URL will change soon, but we will post the new URL here when it does.) The email address, for messages to his family, is: