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Department of Philosophy

Philosophy Department hosts Naomi Zack

Naomi Zack, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon and author of numerous books including White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of US Police Racial Profiling and Homicide (2015), gave a talk entitled "A New Paradigm of Anti-Racism: How Ideas of White Privilege, Justice, and Equality Do Not Work" to faculty and students on March 29.

Prof. Di Bello at the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton

Prof. Marcello Di Bello will be a Member of the School of Social Science at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for 2016-2017. His project "examines the use of statistics and probability in criminal trials as a lens to think about the fair trial, the right to a defense, and the requirement that guilt be established beyond a reasonable doubt." For his profile at the Institute, see here.



Philosophy Majors Defend Honors Theses

On Monday, May 23, in Carman Hall 342, two philosophy majors defended their Honors theses before an audience of faculty and students, giving PowerPoint presentations. First Giselle Mateo ('16), a Philosophy major with a minor in Psychology, presented her Honors Thesis, "The Case for Universal Veganism: Invoking the Rationality Criterion of the Categorical Imperative," and answered questions from students and faculty. Next, Maddy Sher ('17), a Macaulay Honors College double major in Philosophy and Dance Teatre, with a minor in French, presented her Honors Thesis, "Nature and Notation: Steps Towards a New Dance Ontology," and answered questions from students and faculty. Between the two presentations there was a break, with food, including – by special request – vegan wraps.

Philosophy Department Hosts Movie

On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, the Philosophy Department screened "Room," the Oscar-winning movie directed by the Irish director (and former philosopher) Lenny Abrahamson, based on the prize-winning novel of the same name by Irish writer Emma Donoghue, who wrote the screenplay. Starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, the movie tells the story of a mother and son being held prisoner in a small room, and how she makes the child believe that the one room is the entire world. A large audience of students and faculty attended. Pizza and soft drinks were served before the screening, and afterwards there was a lively discussion about the movie and its implications. The discussion was chaired by Prof. Mahon, who overlapped with Abrahamson at Trinity College Dublin, where the director majored in philosophy.

Philosophers Judge High School Ethics Bowl Teams

Profs. Cummins, Muniz, Di Bello, Mahon, and O'Neil acted as judges for the 2016 Long Island High School Ethics Bowl competition on Saturday, February 6, at Hofstra University. All professors were judges for the first four rounds of the competition, and Prof. O'Neil was a judge in the semi-final round. The competition was won by Bethpage High School. Farmingdale High School was the runner-up. Bethpage will proceed to the National High School Ethics Bowl at the UNC-Chapel Hill. For more on the Long Island High School Ethics Bowl, see here.

Philosophy major Victor Borja published in The Gadfly and interviewed in the Wall Street Journal

Victor Borja ('14), a philosophy major and a member of the Phi Sigma Tau, the philosophy honor society, had his paper, "The Principles of Powers to be applied for Global Justice: A Methodological Approach on the Problem of Global Poverty," published in the Spring 2014 issue of "The Gadfly", the undergraduate philosophy journal of the Philosophy Program at LaGuardia Community College. Later in the year he was also interviewed as part of the story in The Wall Street Journal on New York City protests against police violence. Victor co-founded an activist group, the Eleven24 Coalition for Humanitarian Justice, which operates out of a shared Crown Heights apartment. Eleven24 offers “study groups” of 10 people per class, where discussions focus on philosophy, politics, humanitarian issues—and how to make an impact. For the full interview, see here.