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2023 Eric Paul Allison Memorial Prize Fellowship Recipient Chosen

(Photo of Mason Pennock)

UC San Diego Philosophy Department ranks in top 20 philosophy programs in the U.S.

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UC San Diego Today: UC San Diego Named 7th Best U.S. Public University by Center for World University Rankings
In April, Henry E. Allison (Philosophy), a professor emeritus was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

San Diego Business Journal: UCSD Panelist: ChatGPT ‘Massive Experiment’
A lively debate about AI breakthrough ChatGPT was the subject at UC San Diego’s recent on-campus event “ChattingGPT,” which featured a series of panels discussing the future of AI chatbots. The event was sponsored by the San Diego Supercomputer Center, Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute and the Institute for Practical Ethics at UC San Diego. “We are being used as subjects in a massive experiment without our consent and I think that’s an enormous ethical challenge,” said David Danks (Philosophy). “You might be thinking this is just math and just code and ethics doesn’t have anything to do with it. I want to push back on that.”

Forbes: Clothing Entrepreneurs Can’t Wait To Fire Themselves As Models And Hire The AI Kind Instead
“When you’re presenting an image that could easily be mistaken for an actual person, I think you should disclose that it’s a computer-generated image,” said David Danks (Philosophy), whose research explores the ethical issues around artificial intelligence.

El Pais: Patricia Churchland, the philosopher who looks at neurons
“For many aspects of moral decision-making and moral learning, you probably need to have what all mammals basically have: the capacity to care for others,” said Patricia Chruchland (Philosophy), one of the world’s leading experts in neurophilosophy.

UC San Diego Today: Two UC San Diego Professors Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Renowned scholar of philosophy Henry E. Allison (Philosophy) joins the honorary society.

Robinson’s Podcast: Craig Callender: Pseudoscience, Conspiracy Theories, and Philosophy (video)
In this episode, Craig Callender (Philosophy) and Robinson discuss the content of a course he’s been teaching called Science vs Pseudoscience. More particularly, they talk about the boundary between science and pseudoscience, as well as case studies of science, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories. Related: Daily Nous

Harvard Business Review: Case Study: Does Facial Recognition Tech Enhance Security?
Harvard Business Review’s fictionalized case studies present problems faced by leaders in real companies; this study is by Mary C. Gentile, Institute for Practical Ethics advisory board member David Danks (Philosophy), and Maralee Harrell (Philosophy).

Kelly Corrigan: Live From College - College Visit with UCSD’s Manuel Vargas (audio)
This is a conversation with UC San Diego professor Manuel Vargas (Philosophy) that might shake up your point of view on blame, determinism, midlife crises and what sets the table for cooperation.

Oxford University Press: ‘The Tangle of Science: Reliability Beyond Method, Rigour, and Objectivity’
In a new book by Nancy Cartwright (Philosophy), Jeremy Hardie, Eleonora Montuschi, current graduate student Matthew Soleiman (History, Institute for Practical Ethics), and Ann C. Thresher Ph.D. ‘22 (Philosophy, Institute for Practical Ethics), the authors show how any reliable piece of science is underpinned by a vast, diverse, and thick network of other scientific products.

Quanta Magazine: New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness
“Over the last roughly 15 years, there has been a tremendous increase in the desire to understand the basis of social behavior, including caring for others, social rejection, bullying, deceit and so forth,” said Patricia Churchland (Philosophy), who studies the brain and social behavior.

UC San Diego Today: Stories of Resistance: Amplifying Black Voices on Campus
Since his arrival to UC San Diego in 2007, Dennis Childs (Literature) often incorporates resistance into his teaching and research. Once course explores the relationship between slavery and prisons in the United States, sharing narratives from individuals such as former UC San Diego graduate student Angela Davis (Philosophy).

UC San Diego Today: Graduate Students Recognized as Equity and Diversity Champions
Five UC San Diego graduate students will soon join the ranks of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, a distinguished organization that applauds scholars whose commitment to diversity, leadership and academic excellence pushes the boundaries of doctoral education. Arts and Humanities honorees include students Alexis Meza (History) and Jada Wiggleton-Little (Philosophy, Institute for Practical Ethics).

Campus Notice: Search for the Dean of the School of Physical Sciences
Members of the search advisory committee include David Danks (Philosophy).

Arts and Humanities News: UC San Diego ethics bowl team goes undefeated at California regional, earning berth to national tournament in March 2023
“It was a brilliant performance, and a great accomplishment,” said team coach Sam Rickless (Philosophy). Undergraduate students on the team include Ashley Feng, Tanmay Kulkarni, Rishabh Raj and Eva Zhuan

New Republic: The De-Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth Is a Legal and Regulatory Nightmare
“Regulating de-extinction is better than banning it: Biotechnology is evolving, and the case for de-extinction could change with it,” writes Andy Lamey (Philosophy). “But as things stand now, the case for de-extinction is weak.”

Institute for Practical Ethics: Practical Ethics Quarterly
Research and news from the Institute for Practical Ethics includes:

The Chronicle of Higher Education: When Divestment Isn’t Enough
“[Craig] Callender (Philosophy, Institute for Practical Ethics) still favors bans, imperfect as they may be, but also thinks that academic research as a whole would benefit from a standardized policy to disclose ties with all corporations,” writes the Chronicle. “Why not just have it all out in the open for everybody?” Callender said. Related: Sustainability Community

New Books Network: Authority, Cooperation, and Accountability
Saba Bazargan-Forward (Philosophy) discusses his new book “Authority, Cooperation, and Accountability” on this podcast. In the book, Bazargan-Forward develops a new theory of individual accountability for cooperatively committed harms, and helps us make sense of accountability in the context of joint action. Related: Oxford University Press

Overthink Podcast: Interview with Matthew Fulkerson on touch (video)
Overthink interviews Matthew Fulkerson (Philosophy) on the concept of touch, as part of their series on the five senses. Fulkerson’s work on touch are key for understanding the unique perceptual phenomena. He is the author of “The First Sense: A Philosophical Study of Human Touch.”

UC San Diego Today: UC San Diego Announces 2022 Revelle Medal Recipients
UC San Diego announced the 2022 recipients of the Revelle Medal, which recognizes current and former faculty members for sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the university. The 2022 Revelle Medalists are Patricia “Pat” Churchland (Philosophy), Lawrence S.B. Goldstein, Gilbert (Gil) Hegemier and J. Andrew McCammon.

Blog of the APA: Undergraduate Philosophy Club: University of California, San Diego
“A unique feature of the philosophy club is that it is open to all students at UC San Diego, not just philosophy majors and minors so it allows anyone to join and enrich themselves in philosophy as most members hold a broad range of views and knowledge that can be quite interesting during lively discussions,” writes Monte Johnson (Philosophy) for the American Philosophical Association.

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Fossil-Fuel Money Is Warping Climate Research
“There are essentially two ways to try to fix this mess: separation and sunshine. Separation aims to disentangle fossil-fuel funding from academe altogether. Sunshine allows industry funding, but requires transparency,” writes Craig Callender (Philosophy), co-director of the Institute for Practical Ethics.

3:16: The Wentaculus, Time’s Arrow, Laws and vagueness...
Eddy Keming Chen (Philosophy) his research and time’s arrow with Richard Marshall. “I realized that my questions, albeit formulated in a naive and unsophisticated way, fell under the domain of philosophy. In college, I became a philosophy major and found my intellectual home,” Chen said.

Daily Nous: 2021 Philosopher’s Annual
Congratulations to Monique Wonderly (Philosophy), whose “Forgiving, Committing, and Un-forgiving” was selected by The Philosopher’s Annual as one of the 10-best articles published in philosophy for 2021. Also recognized is alum Theron Pummer Ph.D. ‘13 (Philosophy), with their article “Impermissible Yet Praiseworthy” published in Ethics. Wonderly’s research was published in Philosophy & Phenomenological Research. Related: The Philosopher’s Annual, Philosophy & Phenomenological Research (article), Ethics (article)

University of California Television: Becoming a Philosophy Professor with Manuel Vargas
Growing up in Bakersfield, California, Manuel Vargas (Philosophy) had parents who instilled the value of education and learning in him at an early age. Starting his academic career at a local community college, he found his way to UC Davis and then graduate school and a Ph.D. program. He is now a professor at UC San Diego and his research focuses on the history of philosophy in Latin America. He shares what life is like as a professor and his advice for prospective and current college students.

Leiter Reports, A Philosophy Blog: Lateral moves (and retirements) since the 2021 Philosophical Gourmet Report
In addition to separate posts announcing faculty moves, Brian Leiter keeps a running list of all lateral moves not reflected in the faculty lists for the last rankings. New faculty member Patricia Marechal (Philosophy) is listed, with prior posts about July 2023 new faculty member Christopher Shields (Philosophy): “That’s a major hire for UCSD!” Related: Leiter Reports

This Week @ UC San Diego: Changing the World Through Philanthropy: UC San Diego Raises $3.05 Billion as Campaign for UC San Diego Concludes
In this feature, there were special mention of alumna Sally T. WongAvery ‘75 (Philosophy) $10 million support of East Asian scholarship and collections. “We are so incredibly proud of how UC San Diego alumni have come together over the past decade to support their alma mater as a collective group,” said Kimberley Phillips Boehm ’82, UC San Diego Alumni president from 2020-2022.

Explore Magazine: How an alumna’s passion for UC San Diego, books and Chinese culture led to the renaming of the Biomedical Library
Alongside her closest friends, family and acquaintances, Sally T. WongAvery ‘75 (Philosophy) was recognized by the university and community leaders for her support of the UC San Diego Library.

Institute for Practical Ethics: Practical Ethics Quarterly, Spring 2022
The latest issue includes research by Reuven Brandt (Philosophy), the institute’s five-year report, Ethics Bowl team results, and David Danks’ (Philosophy) appointment to the national AI Advisory Committee, plus updates on Ph.D. fellow Alec Calac and the Kyoto Symposium discussion led by John H. Evans, Institute for Practical Ethics co-director.

Freethink: Self-driving cars could transform the world in unexpected ways
“A major factor in people’s housing decisions is length of time (not distance) of their work commute,” said David Danks (Philosophy).

Government Technology: Who Serves on the New National AI Advisory Committee?
David Danks (Philosophy) is an inaugural member of the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee.

Institute for Practical Ethics: Institute for Practical Ethics, 2017-2022
“We believe we are making genuine progress toward developing socially responsible science, now and in the years to come,” write Institute for Practical Ethics co-directors Craig Callender (Philosophy) and John H. Evans in this five-year report.

Arts and Humanities News: UC San Diego Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl team reaches national quarter final, placing 7th overall
“I am so very grateful to this incredible team. They manifested the virtues of open-mindedness, generosity, respect and consummate poise, all in the service of the truth. I have learned so much from all of them,” said Samuel Rickless (Philosophy), coach of the UC San Diego team with Philosophy Ph.D. students Aaron Chipp-Miller, Karina Ortiz Villa and Sam Ridge.

QualityDigest: U.S. Department of Commerce Appoints 27 Members to National AI Advisory Committee
Appointments are the first for recently established committee to advise the President. David Danks (Philosophy) is appointed to the new committee.

La Jolla Light: Photo gallery: UCSD Biomedical Library renamed for philanthropic book lover Sally WongAvery
UC San Diego gave Class of 1975 alumna and Foundation trustee Sally T. WongAvery ‘75 (Philosophy) a special birthday present April 23.

The Institute of Art and Ideas News: The quantum wave function isn’t real
Some go as far as to argue that the entire universe is a quantum wave function, but this interpretation runs into a number of problems — including a clash with Einstein’s theory of relativity, writes Karl Popper prize-winner Eddy Keming Chen (Philosophy).

UC San Diego News: UC San Diego’s Danks Appointed to National AI Advisory Committee
Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute and Dept. of Philosophy professor David Danks (Philosophy, Institute for Practical Ethics) has been invited to serve as a member of the NAIAC as an inaugural appointee. “AI is transforming modern society, and we need to ensure that AI works for the benefit of all, not only the few. The NAIAC provides an opportunity to help guide the ways that AI is impacting our lives,” said Danks ‘01, a Ph.D. alumni of the department.

Association for Practical and Professional Ethics: 26th annual APPE International Ethics Bowl
Congratulations to the UC San Diego Ethics Bowl team on their quarterfinal finish in this year’s national competition, held Feb. 26-27. Listed coaches include Philosophy faculty member Samuel Rickless and graduate students Karina Ortiz Villa, Aaron Chipp-Miller and Sam Ridge. Team members include Sarah Kang, Alexandra Michael, Rishabh Raj, Maximilian Zekowski and Eva Zhuang.

Toronto Star: An unlikely Christopher Hitchens revival forces a question: Whatever happened to the contrarian Left? (opinion)
“Christopher Hitchens is back in the spotlight. Is his brand of contrarian progressivism a welcome alternative to a Twitter-fixated, deplatforming Left?,” Andy Lamey (Philosophy) addresses in this piece.

Author Meets Physics: Eddy Keming Chen on Time’s Arrow in Quantum Mechanics (video)
In this fourth episode of the series, Eddy Keming Chen (Philosophy) talks with Dave Baker about his work.

The Renegade Rip: Manuel Vargas and his journey after BC
Following up the fourth Jess Nieto conference event, UC San Diego faculty member Manuel Vargas (Philosophy) spoke at the second session conference on March 29.

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science: The BJPS Popper Prize 2021
The winner of the BJPS Popper Prize for 2021 is Eddy Keming Chen (Philosophy) for his research “Quantum Mechanics in a Time-Asymmetric Universe: On the Nature of the Initial Quantum State.” Related: BJPS Short Read, Daily Nous

Oxford University Press: The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology
Publishing May 14 and edited by Manuel Vargas (Philosophy) and John Doris, the book contains 50 original essays written by leading figures in both philosophy and psychology including: “The Nature and Significance of Blame” by David Brink (Philosophy) and Dana Kay Nelkin (Philosophy), “Situationism, Moral Improvement, and Moral Responsibility” by Maria Waggoner, John Doris and Manuel Vargas (Philosophy), and “Love and the Anatomy of Needing Another” by Monique Wonderly (Philosophy).

Barcelona Science Plan: Hypatia European Science Prize
Nancy Cartwright (Philosophy) has been selected as winner of the third Hypatia Prize for her outstanding contributions to philosophical research. This edition rewards the trajectory and impact of the research carried out in the field of humanities and social sciences.

Toronto Star: Good art, terrible people: Is it immoral to enjoy the work of immoral artists?
Do you boycott the work of artists such as Bill Cosby, Woody Allen and Louis C.K. whose personal lives you find repugnant, or does their work stand alone? The answer, writes Andy Lamey (Philosophy), is complicated.

Bioethics: “The ethical gene”
In this paper, Reuven Brandt (Philosophy, Institute for Practical Ethics) argues that current law and policy governing germline genetic modification are overly broad and in fact prohibit medical interventions normally considered unobjectionable.

The Library: UC San Diego Library Gifted $10 Million from Foundation Trustee and Alumna Sally T. WongAvery
University of California San Diego alumna and UC San Diego Foundation trustee Sally T. WongAvery ‘75 (Philosophy) is donating $10 million through the Avery-Tsui Foundation to support East Asian collections, research and scholarly activities at the UC San Diego Library. The gift, which establishes the Sally T. WongAvery Fund for East Asian Collections and the Natasha Wong Endowment for East Asian Collections, will ensure that East Asian scholarship and collections are a key part of the UC San Diego Library in perpetuity.

American Philosophical Society: Patrick Suppes Prize
Congratulations to Craig Callender (Philosophy, Institute for Practical Ethics) for the Philosophy of Science award in recognition of his book “What Makes Time Special?”

Oxford University Press: The Oxford Handbook of Berkeley
Edited by Samuel Rickless (Philosophy), the newly published Oxford Handbook includes new essays, places Berkeley’s philosophy in historical context and provides a comprehensive account of Berkeley’s philosophy.

USA Today: Lunar New Year 2022: What does the holiday and the Year of the Tiger represent?
“The tiger is commonly associated with something like bravery, courage and strength,” said Eddy Keming Chen (Philosophy, Chinese Studies Program). He said Lunar New Year was a time for families to gather, celebrating with grand feasts. Related: Xinhua

Triton magazine: Secrets of the Craft
As student interest climbed for arts and crafts on campus, a variety of classes in the former Craft Center were offered, from neon sign making to home brewing with future master brewer Yuseff Cherney ‘92 (Philosophy).

Courier Journal: ‘What day is it?’: Experts explain why time has been at ‘standstill’ since 2020
Imagine that each tick of the clock is an event that happens in your week, Craig Callender (Philosophy) said. If not much is happening, it’s easy to believe that time is passing very slowly. During the first year of the pandemic, many people said every day felt the same. Callender referred to this as a “Blursday” phenomenon, meaning it was difficult to distinguish the beginning, middle and end of a week when everything felt the same.

Triton magazine: A legendary reporter looks back
The San Diego roots of investigative journalist Lowell Bergman, a graduate doctoral fellow studying under Professor Herbert Marcuse (Philosophy).



Updated May 2022