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Philosophy

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Why Study Philosophy?

Philosophy books scattered on a table

Philosophy develops critical reasoning skills, clarity in thought and language, and competence in synthesizing a good deal of information into a systematic, coherent picture.  These abilities form a core part of the skill set for anyone who hopes to flourish in a complex, diverse, multicultural world.

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Stephen John White

 

1983-2021

philosophy-people-white-stephen-168x210.jpegWith great sadness, the Department of Philosophy announces the death of our colleague and friend, Stephen J. White. Steve joined the department in 2012, after completing his PhD at UCLA, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019. His insightful and creative work in ethics, action theory, and political philosophy largely concerned issues of responsibility, including what we should take responsibility for, and how we are especially responsible for our own lives.

Recently Steve had been working on issues of practical reasoning, including whether and how predictions about how you are likely to act should figure in your own thinking about what to do.  He was also thinking about the implications of group obligations, such as our collective obligation to address and mitigate climate change, for individual members of these groups.  Steve’s articles, published in Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and Nous, among other venues, will continue to inform the philosophical conversation, but we are all left immeasurably poorer for the loss of his voice.  

Steve was a fount of philosophical insight, but also a hilarious story-teller. His easy-going good humor and understated wit were a gift to our community. Our thoughts are with his wife, Jessica Lake, and daughter, Lucy Noriko. He will be deeply missed.

To honor Steve, and encourage all to read his work, we have arranged for the following articles to be freely available for a limited period:

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Congratulations to Marzouq Alnusf, who has been awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
Congratulations to Rachel Zuckert and to Jennifer Lackey, who have both been named as Kaplan Institute Faculty Fellows for 2021-22.
Congratulations to Jennifer Lackey, who has been named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Congratulations to NU Philosophy alumnus, Dr. Evan Dutmer, who has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2021 Cambridge University Press Dedicated Teacher Awards, for his work at Culver Academies in Indiana.
Congratulations to undergraduate Philosophy major, Alexandra Lang, who has won the Elie Wiesel Foundation essay contest!

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