Felipe De Brigard has published a book! His new Cambridge Element in Philosophy of Mind surveys research on three central and interrelated issues about the nature of memory and remembering. The first is about the nature of memory as a cognitive faculty. This part discusses different strategies to distinguish memory from other cognitive faculties as well as different proposed taxonomies to differentiate distinct kinds of memory. The second issue concerns what memory does, which is… read more about Departmental Newsletter: November 2023 »

Professor Benjamin Eva Who is/are your favorite philosopher(s)? Why? My answer to this changes pretty often, but Wittgenstein, MacIntyre, Hume, Russell, Carnap and Keynes are definitely near the top. Oh, and my colleague Reuben Stern is my favorite person to do philosophy with (I had to say that since he listed me).  How would you describe your research program? Well, I like to work on a lot of different things, but here’s a quick description of two of my main research projects… read more about Research Highlight »

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Tara Weese, who successfully defended their dissertation on Monday, October 30th. Tara is currently an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Central Connecticut State University. Sometimes, philosophy is best done in the open air, with no PowerPoints, no handouts, and no props of any kind. Hosted by Walter and joined by Katherine, Ben, Jennifer, Kevin, Reuben, the faculty research retreat at the beach… read more about Departmental Newsletter: October 2023 »

Professor Reuben Stern Who is/are your favorite philosopher(s)? Why? Can I answer by naming my colleague, Ben Eva? Or my wife, Shanna Slank? They're my favorite people to do philosophy with. But if they're ineligible, then probably David Lewis. I don't agree with him about much, but I love reading his work. I'm especially fond of the papers that are included in his Philosophical Papers, Volume II. How would you describe your research program? Much… read more about Research Highlight »

Message from the Chair:  Thank you to everyone who came to our start-of-year all-department meeting, where we reconnected with one another, welcomed our new graduates students, postdocs, and visitors, and looked ahead to a terrific line-up of speakers and a bunch of exciting graduate seminars. It was great to see you and to feel all the energy in the room. I am partipating in a year-long series of events focussed on equity-centered academic leadership, alongside other faculty from Duke as… read more about Departmental Newsletter: September 2023 »

The 4th Annual Social Metaphysics Workshop was held on Duke's campus from June 1-3rd, 2023. It was another successful workshop at Duke, and I would like to share more about the workshop and its significance. The Social Metaphysics Workshop is, well, a workshop about social metaphysics. The subject of social metaphysics includes questions like: What is the nature of money, laws, nations, borders, corporations, property, etc? What does it mean for a group to believe something? What does it mean for a group to be an agent… read more about Duke Hosts Social Metaphysics Workshop »

Professor Kevin Richardson Who is/are your favorite philosopher(s)? Why? I don't have a favorite philosopher, but if I could build a favorite philosopher out of multiple philosophers, I would use Aristotle, Marx, and Rudolf Carnap as ingredients. How would you describe your research program? I give an analysis of social categories as scalar (viz., come in degrees) and indeterminate (viz., vague, open-ended). Traditionally, philosophers have thought that… read more about Research Highlight »

Emily Kluge attended Fudan University's philosophy summer school on early modern philosophy in Shanghai from August 5th to 16th. Guest professors from both China and abroad lectured on the moral and political philosophies of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Kant, Hume, Hanfeizi, and Lord Shang. Ásta, Kevin Richardson, and Dylan Brown each presented papers at Social Ontology 2023 in Stockholm, Sweden. Ásta also participated in the panel titled "Social Ontology: What is it?… read more about Departmental Newsletter: August 2023 »

In the fall of 2023, Duke Philosophy will welcome seven new graduate students to our department. We are so excited that they will be joining us. Each new student has written a brief introduction. If you have overlapping research interests, deep-seated disagreements about football club loyalties, or just want to say hi, be sure to reach out to them! Thomas Carnes joins us after receiving his MA in Philosophy from Tufts University in 2017 and his BA from the US… read more about Departmental Newsletter: June-July 2023 »

In March 2023, several Duke undergraduates presented original research papers at the North Carolina Philosophical Society. The papers reflect a robust range of philosophical interests among our undergraduate students: Confucian Democracy, the ethics of organ procurement, Nietzsche, reparations for African Americans, and images of love in Shakespeare. We have compiled some of those papers into an undergraduate proceedings, which you can download here: Download Undergraduate Proceedings of… read more about Departmental Newsletter: May 2023 »

On April 15, the MIT Harvard Club Colombia honored Felipe De Brigard with a 2023 Beyond Leadership Award. Recognizing those who “who have made valuable contributions to society in Colombia,” including “outstanding individuals who have demonstrated creativity, innovation and a commitment to social, economic, or environmental progress in Colombia,” the awards were announced at the MIT Harvard Club Summit in the capital of Bogotá. Featured guests included former president of Colombia and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan… read more about De Brigard Honored for Work in Colombia »

Our department was lucky enough to host David Danks for the last colloquium of the academic year. David is a professor of philosophy and data science at UC - San Diego, and spoke with us about the moral permissibility of deploying algorithms in decision-making that are intended to compensate for human cognitive, ethical, and social biases. David also was able to meet with the students' in Walter and Ben's seminar on the ethics of artificial intelligence. Fun was had by all… read more about Departmental Newsletter: April 2023 »

  Ben Sarbey Ben works on medical ethics, especially end-of-life ethics. “Sometimes I do this with my legal hat on, sometimes with my philosopher’s hat, optimally with both,” he says. Ben is specifically interested in what it means to “die well.” This involves exploring various issues such as how to define death, how to provide support for grieving loved ones, and the ethics of medically hastening death. “I like to think of this as building a philosophy of palliative care,” Ben says, “since… read more about Research Highlight »

The Duke HPS gang is at it again! Michael Veldman, Caleb Hazelwood, and recent graduate Qiu Lin (who has just accepted an assistant professorship at Simon Fraser University!) gave talks at the 9th Conference on Integrated History and Philosophy of Science. They presented papers on Euler, Newton, and Du Châtelet, respectively. They are now accepting submissions for a catchier group name. Options currently under consideration are the Brading Bunch (for obvious reasons) and the Klepto-Janiaks (because they'll steal your… read more about Departmental Newsletter: March 2023 »

This month, we hosted the Inaugural Duke-UNC Graduate Conference. The meeting was organized by Dylan Brown (Duke), Devin Lane (UNC), Ripley Stroud (UNC), Michael Veldman (Duke), and Aurora Yu (UNC). Several Duke philosophers gave talks: Tayfun Gür on "How to Think of Narrative Selves," Nina Van Rooy on "Non-Human Animal Cognitive Ontologies," Adrienne Duke on "Therapist Empathy in the Treatment of GAD PTSD," Botian Liu on "The Epistemic Irrationality of Racial Profiling," Dylan Brown on "Deadnaming and Descriptivism," and… read more about Departmental Newsletter: February 2023 »

A conference was held at Rutgers University to mark the occasion of Peter van Inwagen's 80th birthday. Peter has also published a new book, Being: A Study in Ontology, with Oxford University Press. “Truth has a healing component . . . It structures a narrative that helps us make sense of what happened.” Felipe De Brigard was recently interviewed by Trinity Communications on how to forgive in a politically polarized society. In the interview, Felipe discusses his ongoing research on a… read more about Departmental Newsletter: January 2023 »

Long winter nights make for good reads. Duke publications from the fall and winter include attractions for readers of many interests.  For history buffs, there's new history of the American West and a timely assessment of economic sanctions. For politicos, there's a blueprint for protecting democracy and a study of the contributions of migrants to various cultures. Movie fans can read about the history of Asians in theater and cinema and a surprising look at the politics of Marvel movies. Many of the books, including new… read more about Warm Up With Winter Books From Duke Authors »

Meet Katherine Gilbert, the first woman to be named full professor at Duke University. Wenjin Liu and Wayne Norman have been researching the history of our department, and their discoveries include Gilbert, who began teaching philosophy at Duke in 1930 and went on to found the Department of Aesthetics, Art, and Music. More of Wenjin's and Wayne's discoveries will follow. Dylan Brown is first author on a paper that was just accepted for publication at Ethics and Information Technology. In "Digital Temperance: Adapting… read more about Departmental Newsletter: November 2022 »

The Department of Philosophy is sad to announce that professor emeritus David H. Sanford has passed away. A Duke faculty member since 1970, Sanford earned his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1966 and previously taught at Dartmouth College. He was widely known in the field for his work on causation and inference in "If P, Then Q: Conditionals and the Foundations of Reasoning," first published in 1989. He also wrote on induction, the logic of vagueness, among other things. Memorial posts at Daily Nous and Leiter Reports contain… read more about In Memoriam: David Sanford (1937-2022) »