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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Philosophy


Department of Philosophy

Events & News

12/5-12/6 The Roots of Fiction: Possibilities & Imagination workshop

Professor Marco Nathan will be speaking at The Roots of Fiction: Possibilities and Imagination 2015 Philosophy Workshop December 5th and 6th at the University of Macau.  

"Theoretical accounts of fiction, once confined to the field of aesthetics, are now widely considered as useful frameworks for philosophical investigation more generally. Fictionalist tendencies in various disciplinary fields regard possible worlds, scientific theories and models, numbers, propositional attitudes, mental entities, and the self as if they were fictional objects. In the context of fictionalist-oriented views, imagination has been given a special attention. The workshop will push forward the discussion of the advantages and limits of deploying the aesthetic notion of fiction outside of its original domain, with an emphasis on imagination's role and nature." 

Click here to read more about the workshop.


The Department of Philosophy will be reviving the Philosophy Club. Don't miss out on our inaugural event and panel on the nature of harm on Wednesday, January 13th from 6:30-8:00pm in Sturm (room TBA). Panelists include Jeff Brown (Philosophy) and George DeMartino (Korbel). Refreshments will be served. This event and the Philosophy Club are both open to all students interested, undergraduate and graduate. RSVPs are encouraged - or 303-871-2063. Click here to find out more.

A follow-up meeting regarding the organization of the Philosophy Club will take place the following Wednesday, January 20th from 6:30-8:00pm in Sturm 258. The Philosophy Club is open to all students. Light refreshments will be provided. Click here to find out more.

Marsico Visiting Scholar Andrea Borghini - Workshop & Talk

Please join us for a workshop and talk with Dr. Andrea Borghini co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Marsico Visiting Scholars Program on Friday, November 13th!

The workshop, "The Causal Influence of Redundant Causes," will be held from 10:00am-12:00pm in Sturm 259. Click here to find out more.

The talk, "The Depths of Hunger," will be held from 2:00-4:00 in Sturm 258. Click here to find out more.

From abstract:

"Hunger is central to the human condition. The depths and manifestations of hunger can reveal a surprising array of information about our ancestors, emotions, and world-views. Despite its centrality, outside of discourses surrounding famines and acute food shortages, hunger received sparse and unsystematic attention from scholars. In this talk I present a new line of research that investigates the meaning of hunger and, hence, some core philosophical issues that surround it, most notably the ethics of hunger and the relationship between hunger and agency. People's worldviews and meaning systems, their experiences of morality and agency, influence how they relate to their hunger. By studying such relation, this project aims to offer both theoretical insight as well as to make an important contribution to the discourses on dietetics and public health."

Both events are open to all students, faculty, and public.

The Political Philosophy of Michel Foucault & Gilles Deleuze Conference - Purdue University - 11/13-11/14/15

Purdue University will be holding a conference on The Political Philosophy of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze on November 13th and 14th. Professor Thomas Nail has helped organized this conference and will also be a featured speaker. The conference is free and open to the public. You can find out more by clicking here.

Professor Marco Nathan Presenting at 31st Boulder Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science

This weekend Professor Marco Nathan will be presenting at the 31st Boulder Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science in Boulder! His presentation, "'Emergent' Complexity in Neural Networks: A Pragmatist Approach" will be given 3:00-3:50pm on Sunday, 10/18. 

Click here for more information.

Professor Thomas Nail's Work on Migrant Politics: The Figure of the Migrant & Hostis

Professor Thomas Nail has been quite busy this summer with his work on migrant politics!

His new book, His new book, The Figure of the Migrant, is scheduled for publication this September. You can pre-order the book on Amazon now.

The Figure of the Migrant

He was also recently interviewed by the journal Hostis about migrant politics. You can read the interview here.

Professor Thomas Nail Awarded a PROF Award

Thomas Nail has received a Professional Research Opportunities for Faculty award to conduct research for his next book monograph, Theory of the Border. The book offers a philosophical history of the emergence of material social borders and an original kinetic framework for analyzing contemporary border politics.

Professor Marco Nathan Presented at the University of Urbino's International Conference on Evaluating Biodiversity

On Monday, June 22nd, Professor Marco Nathan gave his presentation, "Is Biodiversity a Truly Interdisciplinary Field?," at the University of Urbino's International Conference on Evaluating Biodiversity in Italy. 

Click here to read more!

urbino biodiversity conference

Philosophy Success Stories: The following students received a B.A. in Philosophy from DU!

  • Gabe Rusk: will begin work on Master's degree at Oxford University in religious studies in fall 2015.
  • Daniel Easton: will begin work on Ph.D. at UCD in education in fall 2015.
  • Patrick Walsh: Master's degree at Carnegie-Mellon in philosophy of math; will begin Ph.D. at CM in philosophy of math in fall 2015.
  • Jack Mao: Master's degrees at CU-Boulder in linguistics and Japanese; will begin Ph.D. at CU-B in linguistics in fall 2015.
  • Tiffany Montano: will begin work on Master's degree at UCD in public policy and social work in fall 2015.
  • Emily Martinez-Bettinger: Law school at the University of California-San Diego.
  • Brandon Fernandez-Comer: (salaried/benefitted) grant writer in North Hollywood, CA.
  • Vincent Mennella: Master's degree in humanities at the University of Chicago.
  • Tina Rulli: Ph.D. at Yale University in philosophy (2011), currently philosophy department faculty at Purdue University.
  • Jonathan Daskam: Law school at DU.
  • Philip Pauli: Master's degree in Philosophy and Social Policy at The George Washington University.
  • Bryan Hall: Ph.D. in philosophy at CU-Boulder (2005); Fulbright scholar (2003-4); Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University Southeast (since 2006).
  • Michael Mauro: Law School at DU.
  • Tara Tinnin: Law School at DU.
  • Kristen Roszel: Law School at DU.
  • Tucker Plumlee: Master's degree at Iliff (DU) in social change.
  • Christian Rockwood: Associate Director of Annual and Special Funds at the UC Davis School of Law (current); MA in Political Science, University of Washington (2005); MBA from DU's Daniels College of Business (2008). 

DU Bioethics Debate Team Places 3rd in National Competition

On April 4-7, 2015, the philosophy department sent four DU philosophy majors to Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL to compete in the Bioethics Bowl, a debate competition that is part of the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference.

During its seven years of existence, the DU Bioethics Debate Team has placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th; once, the team did not place despite winning all its rounds, and the team also hosted the debate and conference at DU! Further, the team has travelled widely across the U.S., to Harvard University, Puget Sound University, Duke University, Loyola University Chicago, and Georgetown University.


From left to right, this year's bioethics debate team consists of: Tal-Hi Bitton (Philosophy), Brandon Arnold (Philosophy), Nick Esposito (Philosophy), & Angela Ott (Philosophy).

The DU team competed against nineteen other teams, including UCLA, Georgetown University, Loyola University Chicago, Rutgers University, Loyola University New Orleans, The Illinois Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, Bowling Green State University, San Jose State University, and University of Miami.

During the competition, Arnold, Bitton, Esposito, and Ott debated their views on suppressing puberty in transsexual youths, the use of oxytocin pills to enhance relationships, force feeding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, concussions in high school football, and treating mental disorders in U.S. prisoners, along with several other compelling, contemporary bioethical issues.

Bioethics debate coach and Professor of Philosophy Candace Upton is very proud and is looking forward to next year's Bioethics Bowl, which will take place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.