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OCTOBER 2021 | Issue 14
Dear Alumni and Friends,

It is with a lot of enthusiasm that we send you the current issue of our e-newsletter. It feels great to be back in the classroom and to see our in-person activities resume cautiously in the last couple of weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic is not yet behind us, but the current situation in Toronto and at the University is certainly cause for optimism. Being able to meet once again in person has been a great boost to morale.

As you can see from the items below, the academic year is in full swing. I am confident you will enjoy reading about past accomplishments and upcoming events. We are also pleased to share with you the latest issue of our magazine, Philosophy News 2020-2021. Apologies for the delay in production. I hope you find a moment to read one of the longer items in the magazine. As always, please check our website or social media for more news and upcoming events.

— Martin Pickavé
Chair and Graduate Chair of Philosophy
(Faculty of Arts & Science, St. George Campus)

Welcoming New Faculty
We are delighted to welcome four new faculty in the tenure stream. Assistant Professor Boris Babic has research interests in decision theory, epistemology, and artificial intelligence and machine learning. Assistant Professor Tarek Dika works in phenomenology, early modern philosophy, and philosophy of science. Professor Christopher Fraser takes up the position of Richard Charles and Esther Yewpick Lee Chair in Chinese Thought and Culture, with a particular interest in classical Chinese philosophy and its intersection with contemporary theories of epistemology, action theory, and ethics. Assistant Professor William Paris (pictured) brings to the department his expertise in Africana philosophy, critical race theory, and feminist philosophy. We are also pleased to have several new part-time Assistant Professors, Teaching Stream joining us this year: Douglas Campbell at the UTSC and St. George campuses, Steven Coyne at UTM, Griffin Klemick at St. George, and Hamish Russell at UTSC.
Graduate Student Successes
Congratulations to Catherine Rioux (pictured) for winning the 2020 David Savan Prize for her dissertation “Rational Hope.” The dissertation brings together insights from epistemology, philosophy of mind, decision theory, and normative ethics to explore the nature of hope as a doxastic attitude. The David Savan Prize is awarded annually in recognition of doctoral dissertations that stand out for their “originality, rigour, and good writing.” Congratulations are also due to Ethan Speigel, a student in the Department of Classics, for winning the 2020-2021 Sidney Robinson Prize in Ancient Philosophy for his essay, “Hieronymus of Rhodes and Living Undisturbed: A Reconsideration of Ethics in the Hellenistic Peripatos.” And finally, we are proud to report that Hamish Russell has won a 2021 UTSC Teaching Award for his outstanding work in the department over the past few years. The award recognizes the contributions by Unit 1 Course Instructors and their exceptional teaching promise.
Faculty Awards & Promotions
We celebrate our faculty members’ many successes over the past six months. Congratulations to Gurpreet Rattan and Sonia Sedivy for their promotions to the rank of professor, and to Jessica Gelber (pictured) and Julia Nefsky for their promotion to the rank of associate professor. Our hearty congratulations go to Professor Joseph Heath, whose latest book, The Machinery of Government: Public Administration and the Liberal State (Oxford University Press, 2020), has won the prestigious Donner Prize. The award, founded in 1998, annually rewards excellence and innovation in public policy writing by Canadians. In recognition of his outstanding work as an early career faculty member, Owen Ware has been selected to receive the 2021 UTM Annual Research Prize in the Humanities. Finally, it is our privilege to celebrate the accomplishments of our late colleague Waheed Hussain, whose paper “Pitting People Against Each Other,” (Philosophy & Public Affairs, Volume 48:1 Winter 2020, 79-113) has been selected for the 40th Philosopher’s Annual, a prestigious collection of the best philosophy articles published in the year 2020.
Staff (Re)Introduction
A very warm welcome to Belinda Piercy, who in June moved to the position of assistant to the chair. Belinda is taking over from Christopher Henion, who accepted the role of executive assistant to the dean of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Piercy is well-known to the members of our department. Supervised by Gurpreet Rattan and Sonia Sedivy she was awarded her PhD in 2015 with a dissertation entitled Disagreement about Beauty. While being a very successful lecturer in the departments on the St. George campus and at UTM, she has also occupied for many years the important position as tri-campus TA coordinator, a role in which she has excelled. The department is fortunate and truly excited to have her serving in this new role.
New SSHRC Insight Grants
SSHRC Insight Grants went to six faculty members this year, in support of an exciting set of research projects: James Allen for “Aristotle’s Invention of Logic”; Robert Gibbs (pictured) for “Study and Dialogue: Buber and Rosenzweig”; Christian Pfeiffer for “Aristotle’s Theory of Substance in Metaphysics H”; Michael Rosenthal for “Spinoza’s Arguments for Religious Toleration and the Problem of Jewish Modernity”; Nick Stang for “How is Metaphysics Possible?”; and Denis Walsh for “Natural Agency: An ecological approach”. In addition, Boris Babic is a collaborator in a new interdisciplinary SSHRC Insight Grant project on “Reconceiving Procedural Fairness”. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour.
Recent PhDs
We join faculty, family members and friends in celebrating the successful dissertation defenses of six graduate students in the past six months. We could not be more proud of their commitment and excellence, even under the pressures of a pandemic year. The six freshly-minted PhDs are Steven Coyne, “Liberal Theories of Political Authority” (supervisor, David Dyzenhaus), Rachel O’Keefe (pictured), "A χαλεπὸν καὶ ἀμυδρὸν εἶδος: Plotinus’ Theory of Matter” (supervisor, Lloyd Gerson), Robert Mason, “Leibniz’s Modal Metaphysics” (supervisor, Marleen Rozemond), Damian Melamedoff, “The Grounds of Transcendental Idealism” (supervisor, Nicholas Stang), Daniel Munro, “Imagining the Actual” (supervisor, Jennifer Nagel), Etye Steinberg, “Unthinkability and the Self” (supervisor, Philip Clark). Congratulations to you all.
Upcoming Events
We are excited to welcome Vanessa Wills (pictured) as our speaker for UNESCO World Philosophy Day on November 18. Dr. Wills is assistant professor of philosophy at George Washington University. We are pleased to be able to mark this occasion with Dr. Wills and look forward to her talk with great anticipation. We also look ahead with pleasure to the Bruce Lecture on March 3, 2022, to be given by David Wallace (University of Pittsburgh), and to the Roseman Lectures, when we will welcome Cécile Fabre (University of Oxford) for a talk followed by a seminar on March 24 and 25, 2021. These events are always a highlight of the academic year, and we hope faculty and students will be able to join us, both virtually and in person, to take part in the lively opportunity for intellectual and social community they offer.
Faculty Searches
We are currently inviting applications for five tenure-track positions. At the rank of assistant professor, a position in the area of Philosophy of Science is open at the St. George campus (application deadline: November 1), a position in Political Philosophy is open at UTM (deadline: November 15), and two positions are open at UTSC, one in Philosophy of Mind and another in Ethics (deadlines: November 15). UTSC is also seeking to make an appointment at the rank of associate professor in the area of Political Philosophy (deadline: November 15). The UTM campus is also conducting a search in the area of South Asian Philosophy, for which the deadline for applications has already passed. We are greatly looking forward to welcoming new colleagues in these positions.
Department of Philosophy
170 St. George Street
Tel: 416-978-3311
University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science
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