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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Philosophy


Department of Philosophy

Events & News


Join Economics & Philosophy at the University of Denver as we celebrate Karl Marx turning 200!

Snacks, refreshments, and plenty of birthday activities will be provided!

All are welcome!

May 7th, 2018 • 4:00-7:00pm

2000 E. Asbury Ave.
Sturm Hall 258
Denver, CO 80210

DU / CU 2018 Week of Jewish philosophy

Please join us for the following 3 events with visiting scholar, Professor Martin Kavka on April 25th and 26th, 2018:

Walter Benjamin's Messianic Conception of History
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 • 4:30-6:30pm
Faculty & Graduate Seminar at the University of Denver
Space is limited; Location & readings made available upon RSVP to [email protected]

Is Messianic Hope Worthwhile? The Case of Jacob Taubes
Thursday, April 26, 2018 • 11:30-1:00pm
Seminar + Lunch @ CU Boulder; 2nd floor Eaton Humanities - HUMN 250
Space is limited; RSVP to [email protected]

Five Theses on Jewish & Christian Messianism
Thursday, April 26, 2017 • 7:00-9:00pm
Lecture & Panel Conversation @ DU; Panelists TBA
Space is limited; Location & readings made available upon RSVP to [email protected]

 Martin Kavka is Professor of Religion at Florida State University, where he teaches courses in Jewish studies and the philosophy of religion. He is the author of Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy (Cambridge University Press), which was awarded the first Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Philosophy and Jewish Thought by the Association for Jewish Studies (2008), and the co-editor of five books, including Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology (Indiana University Press), as well as the co-editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics.

Dr. Pessin Receives faculty service award

Dr. Sarah Pessin has received the University of Denver's 2017 Faculty Service Award for her outstanding contributions to the university. Please join us in congratulating her!

Click here to read more about the Faculty Service Award. 

Thinking, Thinkers, & Thoughts

"Children possess an innate curiosity and sense of wonder about the world in which they live. This makes them natural philosophers," said Brent, assistant professor of philosophy. "Teaching philosophy to children is a powerful way to inspire them to think critically about themselves, their relations to others, the complexities of the world around them, and to encourage them to become active and engaged citizens."

Our very own Dr. Michael Brent is featured in this week's AHSS Newsroom! Dr. Brent joined the department in 2014, and he has definitely been keeping busy! He recently received a grant from DU's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning for a course he is designing for first and third graders at a local elementary school. This new course will use children's books to raise philosophical questions with these young minds.

Dr. Brent will also be hosting a conference next month in in London on mental action with Professor Matt Soteriou of King's College London.

"The ultimate goal of the conference is the publication of a collection of essays that advances our understanding of consciousness by exploring the place of mental action in an account of the metaphysics of the conscious mind," Brent said. "In spite of a few attempts here and there, the topic of mental action has received very little attention by philosophers working in the relevant areas. We hope that our work will go some way towards correcting this."

Click here to read the full article.

Philosophy Shout-out to Dr. Naomi Reshotko

Dr. Naomi Reshotko's model for determining how the terms "good" and bad" may be applied was mentioned in the epilogue of Bertin W. Anderson's Death of an Ecosystem: Murder and Autopsy of the Colorado River Riparian Ecosystem. Read it for yourself here!

7/14 all day Learn-in: free will (or lack thereof) in Ancient Philosophy

RSVP today for our DU Philosophy Learn-In: Free Will (or lack thereof!) in Ancient Philosophy; join us for a day-long conversation centered on 5 chapters of Frede’s book, A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought  10:00am-4:30pm on July 14.

For more info (including room details) and to RSVP, please email Dr. Sarah Pessin ([email protected]).


10-10:10 Sarah Pessin - 10 min. framing overview of key points/topics/questions in Frede book

10:10-10:25 Michael Brent - 15 min. framing overview of some key points/topics/questions in contemporary free will conversations, with focus on neo-Aristotle in contemporary metaphysics of agency

10:25-10:45 Naomi Reshotko - 20 minute presentation on key themes on free will issue from Socrates in comparison with Plato; includes handout with key texts

10:45-11:25 40 minutes of conversation / text analysis on Socrates-Plato 

11:25-noon Lunch ('BYOL' / brown bag!) and conversation

12:00-12:20 Mitzi Lee - 20 minute explication of Frede ch. 2 (Aristotle) plus additional insights on Aristotle; includes handout with key texts

12:20-1 40 minutes of conversation / text analysis on Aristotle

1-1:20 break

1:20-1:40 Sarah Pessin - 20 minute explication of Frede chs. 4, 8 (Alexander, Plotinus); includes handout with key texts

40-2:20 40 minutes of conversation / text analysis on Alexander, Plotinus

2:20-3pm Break

3-3:20 Rob Colter- 20 minute explication of Frede chs. 3 and 5 (Stoics, early and late); includes handout with key texts

3:20-4 40 minutes of conversation / text analysis on early and late Stoics

4-4:30 Drawing comparisons-contrasts, key takeaways, key remaining questions, etc.