Fall 2022 Newsletter

Campus during the fall.

Dear Alumni and Friends,

As we near the end of another calendar year, I want to reach out to let you know how appreciative I am of your interest in and support of the Department of Philosophy. Your advocacy and generosity is a huge vote of confidence for the work we do. In this letter, I’d like to highlight a few of the things that our department has accomplished since my spring newsletter:

I am pleased to say that we had another successful Ethics Bowl! Congratulations to De LaSalle High School for the win, and to all the philosophy faculty and students who were coaches and mentors, with special thanks to the organizer Cat Saint-Croix. Ethics Bowl competitions provide a supportive, respectful environment that prepares high school students for the intellectual rigors of a college education while giving them the opportunity to think carefully (and philosophically) about meaningful ethical questions.

In August, the newly created Minnesota Center for Canon Expansion and Change (CCEC) hosted its first annual Summer Program. It was a very successful workshop with 21 participants representing a diverse range of career stages and institutional affiliations, some traveling from as far as Argentina, the Netherlands, and Japan. Over the course of a week participants learned about underappreciated figures in early modern philosophy, such as Anton Wilhelm Amo, Margaret Cavendish, and Anne Conway; explored student-centered and equitable pedagogical techniques; and worked collaboratively on inclusive and diverse syllabi for history of early modern philosophy courses.

In October, the department hosted the annual May Brodbeck outreach event at Surly Brewing Company. The evening featured three philosophers sharing thoughts about how societies and individuals have had the courage to make the right decisions (or not) in the face of evil. The presenters posed thought-provoking questions about how we can and should defy evil in the 21st century.

In November, the department hosted an academic conference to celebrate Jos Uffink’s retirement. Professor Uffink spent a decade as a professor of philosophy and a faculty affiliate of the Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. The conference focused on the enduring vitality of Jos’ research in the history and philosophy of quantum, statistical, and thermal physics.

In April we will be hosting Hellfest, a two-day academic conference to honor Geoffrey Hellman. Professor Hellman is retiring from our department after more than three decades of dedicated service. Stay tuned for more information about Hellfest in the months ahead.

A special thank you to those of you who have supported our students, faculty, events, and programs. We couldn’t do all of these things without your investment and belief in what we do.

Wishing you a safe and joyful New Year.

Peter Hanks

Professor and Chair

Department of Philosophy

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