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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



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:

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. 

A memorial workshop to honor Steve was held on September 24th and 25th, 2021.

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Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Kissel, who has successfully defended his PhD dissertation, "Realizing Social Freedom: Exit, Democracy, and an Egalitarian Ethos."
Congratulations to Dr. Abigail Bruxvoort, who has successfully defended her PhD dissertation, "Conflicting Rational Animals.”
Congratulations to Dr. Taylor Rogers, who has successfully defended her PhD dissertation, "Knowing How to Feel: Mapping affective epistemologies of ignorance through numbness.”
Congratulations to Alan Chavoya, who has been awarded the department's Thomas A. McCarthy Award for Teaching Excellence for 2020-21!
Congratulations to recent PhD recipient, Mark Thomson, who has accepted a continuous faculty position at Capilano University.

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