The Dennes Room

Welcome back

It gives me tremendous pleasure to welcome back the philosophical community for a new and exciting year. As new Chair of the Philosophy Department, I am fully aware of the challenges lying ahead but I am also very optimistic about the future.

I would like, first of all, to extend my thanks to Jay Wallace, who has led the Department in exemplary fashion for the last five years. He did so with style, great effectiveness, and vision. To list his achievements would require several pages and it would depressingly remind me of how hopeless it will be to even come close to matching his accomplishments. Suffice it to say that the department is as vibrant as it has ever been. Jay will be on leave for the year 2010-2011, first in Munich and then in Berlin; his sabbatical is partially funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship. Hannah Ginsborg and Daniel Warren will also be on sabbatical in Berlin for the academic year; Hannah will be a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and Daniel will be conducting independent research in that city. John Campbell, who was also recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, will be on leave in the Spring semester. We wish them all a productive and pleasant year.

We are very pleased to welcome back to the Department Mike Martin and Véronique Munoz-Dardé from University College, London. This is their fourth visit to Berkeley, and they will be returning in the future as Adjunct Professors each Fall. Prof. Martin will be teaching Philosophy 176 and the first year graduate seminar; Prof. Munoz-Dardé is offering Philosophy 116 and a graduate seminar. Dorothea Frede returns this year as Mills Visiting Professor; she is teaching a graduate seminar on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics in the Fall, and Philosophy 160 in the Spring. In addition, Jessica Gelber is visiting Lecturer in the department. She will teach Philosophy 25A and Philosophy 187 in the Fall, and Philosophy 187 in the Spring.

It is always a pleasure at this time of year to welcome to our community a new group of students. This year five students will be starting their graduate work in our Department: Caitlin Dolan (NYU), Quinn Gibson (University of Calgary), Nicholas Gooding (McGill), Julian Jonker (University of Cape Town, South Africa) Dylan Murray (Georgia State University). In addition, three new students will be starting in the Logic and Methodology Program: Shahin Saadati (SRI), Andreas Voellmer (McGill), and Michael Wan (Toronto). We wish them every success in their graduate studies and beyond.

The Berkeley Philosophy Department regularly attracts a large group of visiting scholars from around the world, who join us for shorter or longer periods, and contribute substantially to making ours a more cosmopolitan and stimulating community. Please check the Visiting Scholar section of our website for a list of new and continuing visitors to our Department.

In other news, Hans Sluga is back after a sabbatical in the Fall of 2009 and a stint as Visiting Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the Spring of 2010. During this time he also gave lectures at the University of Hong Kong, at Fudan University and Tongji University in Shanghai, and at Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing.

We have, as always, a very lively program of philosophical events scheduled for the coming year, including a Townsend Visit by Kit Fine, a George Myro Memorial Lecture by David Chalmers, a Howison Lecture by Ian Hacking and many talks and colloquia by distinguished philosophers from the US and abroad. Detailed information and updates are available on the events section of our website.

Paolo Mancosu, Department Chair

September 07, 2010