UE Accepting Entries for Second Annual Tri-State Essay Competition
Posted: September 18, 2020
The University of Evansville (UE) Department of Philosophy and Religion is currently accepting entries for the second annual Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition. The University first launched this competition in the spring of 2020 to encourage regional high school students to think about the challenges facing humanity today and in the future.
"We want to encourage young adults to think clearly and to think big," said Tony Beavers, professor of philosophy at UE.
For this competition, the department is asking students to answer the question, "How can we be happy and live meaningfully in the Internet age?"
Each essay will be judged by a panel of UE faculty members. The department will award cash prizes for first place ($500), second place ($250), and third place ($100). Two additional entries will also receive honorable mention.
Essays should be around 1500 words in length, and they will be judged based on academic merit, creativity, and expression of practical wisdom. Proper use of grammar and form will also be considered. Entries may be submitted on the UE website at evansville.edu/TMVessay. More information and a complete list of rules are also available on the website. The deadline to submit an essay is October 15.
University of Evansville Announces Competition Winners
Posted: June 1, 2020
The University of Evansville today announced the winners of the 2020 Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition. Sponsored by the University’s Department of Philosophy and Religion, the annual competition asks area high school students to address fundamental human questions of immediate and pressing concern. This year, students were asked to consider the question, “What lessons should humanity learn from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic?” Essays were evaluated by a panel of faculty authors selected from the department and judged based on academic merit, creativity, and the expression of practical wisdom.
This year’s first place winner was Skylar Young (10th Grade – South Spencer High School) for an essay on understanding and appreciating the value of meaningful human interaction both in crisis situations and in the general course of life.
The second place winner was Aidan Kunst (12th Grade – Evansville Day School), who wrote on the value of kindness and the importance of understanding our true relationship with “mother nature.”
Third place went to Natalie Page (10th Grade – North High School) for her essay on the value of collaboration and being prepared for the kinds of contingencies that come with something like a coronavirus pandemic.
Two honorable mentions were awarded to Ally Barnett (10th Grade – Reitz High School), who wrote on the need for equity in education, and Jalyn Smith (10th Grade – Edwards County High School), who noted that though normal may be defined differently by different groups, it may nonetheless be interrupted at any time across all groups.
Cash prizes were awarded to the top three essays along with the offer of a UE scholarship. The offer of a scholarship was also extended to those who received honorable mentions. The University congratulates these fine young students and expresses its gratitude to all the contestants for putting their minds to issues that affect us all.
The Annual Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition was conceived to promote local attention to matters requiring critical thinking in times of change and uncertainty and to engage in community outreach as part of the educational mission of the University of Evansville.
Professor Kretz Invited to International Workshop on Climate Change
Posted: April 23, 2020
Professor Kretz was invited to attend an international workshop focused on creating "An Existential Toolkit for Climate Educators" at the Rachel Carson Center in Germany this summer.
UE Launches Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition
Posted: April 17, 2020
The University of Evansville Department of Philosophy and Religion has launched the inaugural Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition in an effort to encourage regional high school students to think about the challenges facing humanity today and in the future.
“We want to encourage young adults to think clearly and to think big,” said Tony Beavers, UE professor of philosophy. “That’s why at UE, we help students to develop their intellectual competence and confidence and find the courage to face the future unafraid.”
The department plans to sponsor the essay competition annually, establishing a new concept each year for students to develop their essays around. This year, the department is asking students to answer the question, “What lessons should humanity learn from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic?”
Each essay will be judged by a panel of UE faculty members. Top three winners will be awarded a cash prize of up to $500, and two honorable mentions will also be awarded.
Essays should be around 1500 words in length, and they will be judged based on academic merit, creativity, and expression of practical wisdom. Proper use of grammar and form will also be considered.
Professor Kretz Published in Prestigious Journal
Posted: August 12, 2019
Professor Kretz published their article "The Oppression of Nonhuman Life" in the leading environmental ethics journal Environmental Ethics, an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the philosophical aspects of environmental problems.
Dean's Teaching Awards
Posted: May 6, 2019
The Academic Deans have awarded the Dean’s Teaching Awards for 2018-2019.
The faculty members being honored are:
- Kate Schwartzkopf-Phifer, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy from the College of Education and Health Sciences
- Jessica Lofton, Assistant Professor Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering and Computer Science
- Rania Mousa, Associate Professor of Accounting from the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration
- Derek Jones, Assistant Professor of Philosophy from the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences
- Thomas Josenhans, Professor of Music from the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences
Congratulations to our deserving faculty members!
Professor Kretz one of 20 nationally invited to inclusivity workshop
Posted: April 9, 2019
University of Evansville associate professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz is one of 20 nationally selected participants for the upcoming Workshop in Inclusive Pedagogy facilitated by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers.
Kretz gives Frederick Henry Sykes Lecture
Posted: March 1, 2019
University of Evansville associate professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz gave the Frederick Henry Sykes Lecture at Connecticut College's Goodwin-Niering Center on March 2. The conference theme was "Climate Action from Below: A Cause for Optimism?" Kretz spoke on the topic of "Hope and Activism."
Professor Kretz publishes book chapter in volume on hope
Posted: November 27, 2018
University of Evansville professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz published "Hope, the Environment, and Moral Imagination" in Theories of Hope: Exploring Alternative Affective Dimension of Human Experience, edited by Rochelle M. Green.
Kretz and Knoester's research receives award
Posted: July 9, 2018
Professor Lisa Kretz and Professor Matthew Knoester's article “Why do young adults vote at low rates? Implications for education” published in Social Studies Research and Practice has been selected by the editorial team as Highly Commended in the 2018 Emerald Literati Awards.
Professors Kretz and Dion Participate in Forum to Combat Racial Intolerance
Posted: February 2, 2018
The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission hosted a panel discussion and community forum Thursday night to discuss effective ways to respond to racial incidents and other forms of bias.
Lisa Kretz, assistant professor of philosophy, was one of the five panelists who shared ideas about how to promote understanding and effect social change. Robert Dion, the longtime chair of the Human Relations Commission, was the moderator for the evening’s discussion.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, a UE alum, also spoke at this event about support for a community free of discrimination.
Professor Kretz's Scholars for Syria Talk available on Scholars for Syria website
Posted: February 1, 2018
Professor Lisa Kretz's Scholars for Syria Talk is now available on the Scholars for Syria website: www.scholarsforsyria.com/copy-of-events. The topic of her talk is "How to Be Ethical: Seeding Moral Action.
Professors Lisa Kretz and John Paulson publish article
Posted: January 11, 2018
University of Evansville professor Lisa Kretz and University of Southern Indiana professor John Paulson have had their article published in The Social Science Journal.
The article is titled "Exploring the potential contributions of mindfulness and compassion-based practices for enhancing the teaching of undergraduate ethics courses in philosophy." The article can be viewed at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0362331917301192.
Beavers joins philosophy and AI program committee
Posted: September 5, 2017
Anthony Beavers, professor of philosophy, has been invited to join the program committee for the 2017 Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence Conference which will be held this November at the University of Leeds.
Professor Lisa Kretz interviewed
Posted: August 1, 2017
Professor Lisa Kretz was interviewed by Susan Hawthorne for the website Engaged Philosophy: Civic Engagement in Philosophy Classes, along with a number of other philosophers such as Peter Singer and Michael Burroughs.
In her interview, Kretz discusses UE’s new ethics and social change major, Scholars for Syria, and much more.
You can read her interview on the Engaged Philosophy website.
Kretz publishes article on bias in journal "Teaching Philosophy"
Posted: April 18, 2017
Assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz's paper "Debiasing the Philosophy Classroom" was recently published in the journal Teaching Philosophy. This publication is the premier journal for teachers of philosophy.
Kretz visits ASU's Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics
Posted: April 4, 2017
Professor Lisa Kretz is presenting this week at Arizona State University's Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. The Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics advances teaching, research and community engagement efforts that explore how best to live together as a human community, so that we all may achieve purposeful, productive and prosperous lives. Kretz will be discussing how to teach in ways that ethically engage, as well as presenting on the new ethics and social change major.
University of Evansville Announces New Ethics and Social Change Major
Posted: February 20, 2017
The University of Evansville has announced the addition of a new ethics and social change major, available beginning in fall 2017. The new major, which will be housed within the philosophy and religion department at UE, combines academic study with field experience in order to equip students to address complex problems in our local communities and the world.
"This innovative new major bridges the gap between theory and action,” said Lisa Kretz, ethics program director and professor of philosophy at UE. “At college you often get a lot of textbook knowledge, which is important, but it is limited if you don’t know how to translate that into real world change.”
Kretz says fieldwork is built directly into the required curriculum. “Students can be a part of the university’s anti-bias team, propose solutions to real world problems as part of our Changemaker Challenge, participate in UE’s existing social responsibility certificate program, and take part in internships with our established network of community partners.”
The major will prepare students for a wide variety of careers and graduate study in areas such as non-profit work, business, community activism, diplomacy, economic development, education, government, humanitarian and international aid work, law, journalism and media, faith based organizations, medicine, politics, public policy, and more.
“This major is a vehicle for students who want to make a difference,” said Kretz. “For example, if a student is seriously concerned about injustice and oppression and wants to figure out the best way to work toward making the world a better place, this program would be the perfect fit.”
A multidisciplinary approach will allow students to complement an ethics core with concentrations in two other areas. They may choose from a variety of pairings including business, cognitive science, criminal justice, and more.
“At the University of Evansville, our core purpose is to provide students with life transforming educational experiences that prepare them to engage the world as informed, ethical, and productive citizens,” said Tom Kazee, UE’s president. “This program is truly a curricular expression of the essence of a UE education.”
Students majoring in other areas may double major by adding the ethics and social change major or can choose to minor in the program.
“We expect that this program will appeal to a wide variety of students because of its flexibility and application across careers,” said Kretz. “The major facilitates an academic experience tailored to students’ career goals, passions, and values.”
To learn more about the new ethics and social change program at the University of Evansville, please call the office of admission at 812-488-2468 or visit the Ethics and Social Change page on UE's website.
Kretz joins editorial board for the journal Teaching Ethics
Posted: September 22, 2016
Assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz has accepted a three-year position on the editorial board for the journal Teaching Ethics
Teaching Ethics is dedicated to ethical issues across the curriculum with particular attention to pedagogical methodology and practice in both academic inquiry and professional practice.
The journal’s editorial focus is on ethics as a dimension of all academic inquiry rather than as an isolated philosophical discipline. Its primary mission is to provide a peer-reviewed forum for academic dialogue in ethics instruction across disciplines such as business, medicine, trades, technology, law, and other areas of liberal education.
Jones publishes book on the biology of agency
Posted: August 23, 2016
Derek Jones's book, The Biological Foundations of Action, was published by Routledge as part of their series on the history and philosophy of biology. The book is an attempt to reconceive agency as a uniquely biological capacity shared by a broad range of living systems. Jones is assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Cognitive Science Program.
Kretz has paper accepted at International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum
Posted: August 18, 2016
Lisa Kretz, assistant professor of philosophy, has had her paper accepted for presentation at the annual International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum. The title of the paper is Teaching Meditation, Teaching Ethics. It focuses on the dual process theory of mind and the associated automaticity of ethical judgment, as well as the positive role meditation can offer for intentional ethical behavior.
Beavers receives 2017 Donald E. Osterbrock Book Prize for Historical Astronomy
Posted: August 18, 2016
The prize committee of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society has awarded the 2017 Donald E. Osterbrock Book Prize for Historical Astronomy to the editor and all authors of individual entries in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Anthony Beavers, UE professor of philosophy and director of the Cognitive Science Modeling Lab,was one of the authors who received the prize. Beavers was the author of two short contributions, Anaximander of Melitus and Heraclitus of Ephesus.
This marks the second book award given to compilations that include works by Beavers. The other was Alan Turing: His Work and Impact, edited by S. Barry Cooper and Jan van Leeuwin, which won the 2013 R. R. Hawkins Award from the Association of American Publishers for Best Text in the Arts and Sciences. It also received the 2013 AAP PROSE Awards for Best Text in the Physical Sciences & Mathematics. Beavers' contribution to this latter volume is the prefatory article. Alan Turing: Mathematical Mechanist, that introduces Turing's 1947 Address to the London Mathematical Society.
Lisa Kretz Has Article Published
Posted: July 12, 2016
Assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz has had her invited contribution to the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy published by Springer International Publishing. The title of the article is “The Cost of Ethics.”
Beavers to Publish “A Brief Introduction to the Philosophy of Information"
Posted: June 21, 2016
Anthony F. Beavers, professor of philosophy and director of the Cognitive Science Modeling Lab at the University of Evansville, has been asked to publish his paper, "A Brief Introduction to the Philosophy of Information," in the September Issue of Logeion - Information Philosophy.
The paper has been circulating on the web for the past six years and has been viewed more than 3,000 times on Academia.edu alone. It has become standard reading in many philosophy of information courses worldwide.
Logeion is published by the Philosophy and Policy of Information Research Group of the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology.
UE Professor Lisa Kretz Chosen as NEH Summer Scholar
Posted: April 21, 2016
University of Evansville assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz has been selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Scholar. She was chosen from a national applicant pool to attend one of 23 seminars and institutes supported by NEH. The endowment is a federal agency that, each summer, supports these enrichment opportunities at colleges, universities, and cultural institutions, so that faculty can work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines.
The 25 scholars selected to participate in the program each receive a stipend of $3,300 to cover travel, study, and living expenses.
Kretz will participate in the summer institute titled “Moral Psychology and Education: Putting the Humanities to Work.” This four-week program will be at Grand Valley State University and co-directed by Deborah Mower, professor of philosophy and religion at Youngstown State University, and Phyllis Vandenberg, professor of philosophy at Grand Valley State University.
Other topics for the Summer Scholar seminars and institutes include: “Alexis de Tocqueville and American Democracy”; “Beowulf and Old Norse-Icelandic Literature”; Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales”; and “Tokyo: High City and Low City.”
The approximately 521 NEH Summer Scholars who participate in these programs of study will teach over 91,175 American students the following year.
Seventh Annual UE William R. Connolly Ethics Lecture Set for March 14
Posted: February 17, 2016
Rebecca Todd Peters will be the speaker at the seventh annual William R. Connolly Ethics Lecture planned for Monday, March 14. Her topic will be “Solidarity in a Globalizing World.” The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., in Eykamp Hall, Room 251, Ridgway University Center. It is free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Lisa Kretz, director of the Ethics Program, at email@example.com or the Department of Philosophy and Religion at 812-488-2165.
Lisa Kretz to deliver research findings of study done with Matthew Knoester
Posted: February 16, 2016
Assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz will attend the International Association of Professional and Practical Ethics Annual Conference this week. She will be sharing research findings from a collaborative research study that she completed with UE assistant professor of education Matthew Knoester.
Slattery and Beavers Author Book Chapter on Ethics and Affective Computing
Posted: February 15, 2016
Anthony Beavers (professor of philosophy and director of the Cognitive Science Modeling Lab) and Justin Slattery (senior major in philosophy, creative writing, and English) completed their chapter, "On the Moral Implications and Restrictions Surrounding Affective Computing," for inclusion in Affective Sciences in Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction, edited by Myounghoon Jeon and to be published by Elsevier.
Abstract: Building simulated affects into artifacts poses a moral dilemma. On the one hand, in order for humans to interact fully with machines, the machines need to meet them on human terms, and this requires machines that are capable of assessing human affective states and responding to them in kind. On the other hand, doing so amounts to a fundamental deception that humans will find it hard to keep in mind, namely that these machines do not actually have these affective states and may not, therefore, be worthy of our attachment and our moral regard. Yet, simulated affects, we argue, are necessary for creating machines that can make moral decisions, that affects are essential for disambiguating the utterances of machines and humans, and that not all forms of deception are bad. After an initial provocation, these arguments are taken up in order, after which we argue further that while simulated affects are necessary, they could nonetheless lead to abuse. Therefore, the standard ethical limits and principles involved with any technological innovation must be respected.
Chapter by Lisa Kretz included in new book Ecology, Ethics and Hope
Posted: January 18, 2016
The book Ecology, Ethics and Hope (Rowman & Littlefield) was recently published and is now available in paperback. This collection includes a chapter by Lisa Kretz, assistant professor of philosophy, titled "Singing Hope's Praises: A Defense of the Virtue of Hope for Environmental Action."
Crick Lecture on Neuroscience and Ethics Set for Thursday, September 10
Posted: September 9, 2015
The first installment of the Crick Lecture Series will be held Thursday, September 10, at 4 p.m. in Room 100, Koch Center for Engineering and Science. Garret Merriam associate professor of philosophy at the University of Southern Indiana will be the speaker. His topic will be "Neuromachean Ethics."
"There is a common view that science can only give us facts, and can say nothing about ethics or other value-laden fields." says Merriam. "This 'is/ought gap' faces new challenges from developments in neuroscience. Close study of the human brain is starting to reveal novel insights into the nature of how moral reasoning works, and what makes it break down.”
During his talk, says Merriam, he “will argue for three central claims. First, that science can indeed help us derive a (moral) ought from a (neural) is. Secondly, that the human brain is wired for pluralistic moral values, rather than absolute moral rules. And third, an Aristotelian ethics offers a promising but underappreciated framework from which to understand both the methods and the substance of neuroethics."
William R. Connolly to Speak at UE Lecture Series Renamed in his Honor
Posted: March 13, 2015
University of Evansville emeritus professor of philosophy William R. (Dick) Connolly will be the speaker at the University’s inaugural William R. Connolly Ethics Lecture on Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. in Eykamp Hall, Ridgway University Center.
This event, previously known as the Annual Ethics Lecture, was renamed this year in Connolly’s honor. He has been a key figure in the inauguration and support of the Ethics Lecture Series, which began in 2010. In addition to renaming the lecture, a special fund has been created to support the series and the ethics program.
Connolly, who earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University, is a broadly trained philosopher. While at UE, Connolly was a sought after teacher and lecturer who taught a variety of philosophy and ethics courses, including philosophy of science, bioethics, environmental ethics, ancient Greek philosophy, modern philosophy and philosophy of law.
The topic of Connolly’s lecture will be “Thomas Paine: The Making of a Neglected American Founder.” He will explain how the ideas of Paine, whose pamphlet Common Sense helped inspire the American Revolution, influence current political debate on such issues as Social Security, organized labor and religious freedom. While Paine died in obscurity, it could be said that his moral and political ideals shape modern America in ways that far surpass the influence of more renowned American founders.
Though he came to America as an adult, Paine was born in England in 1737 and served as an excise officer near Harlaxton College in the town of Grantham, England. Today, plaques in the town acknowledge him and his political contributions.
For more information, contact the Department of Philosophy and Religion at 812-488-2165.
Cognitive Science Professors Edit Collection of Artificial Intelligence Essays
Posted: March 6, 2015
The Journal of Theoretical and Experimental Artificial Intelligence just released a special issue edited by Cognitive Science and Philosophy professors Derek Jones and Anthony Beavers. The issue, "Inforgs and the Infosphere: Themes from Luciano Floridi's Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence," examines how open issues in the philosophy of information impact how we understand and approach problems in the field of artificial intelligence. For more information, see http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/teta20/27/1#.VNn12UJUMih.
Lisa Kretz’s Allegory of the Alien Invasion Appears in Philosophy Now Magazine
Posted: February 4, 2015
If aliens landed on Earth, and were stronger and smarter than humans and liked the taste of human flesh… what sort of moral arguments could be made about why humans shouldn’t be eaten? How many of those arguments are significantly analogous to those made with regard to non-human animals? Assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz considers this in her work Allegory of the Alien Invasion, just published in Philosophy Now magazine. Philosophy Now has an international readership and provides a forum for engaging in public philosophy – wherein philosophy is made more accessible to a general audience. To see the allegory go to: https://philosophynow.org/issues/106/The_Allegory_of_the_Alien_Invasion
“Can Plants and Bacteria Think?” to be Topic of UE Andiron Lecture
Posted: February 2, 2015
Can plants and bacteria think? University of Evansville assistant professor of philosophy Derek Jones will discuss this question at the UE Andiron Lecture on Wednesday, February 4. The lecture starts at 4:00 p.m., in Eykamp 252, Ridgway University Center. A social gathering with beverages begins at 3:45 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Jones earned an MA in philosophy from the University of Houston and a PhD in philosophy from Indiana University. He teaches courses in philosophy and cognitive science at UE and currently directs the cognitive science program. Jones has published and presented work on such topics as scientific explanation, self-knowledge, skilled behavior, and free will. His work is guided by the broader project of understanding cognition and action as essentially embodied, biological processes. His forthcoming book, The Biological Foundations of Agency, is slated for publication in January 2016.
For more information on the Andiron Lecture Series, please call 812-488-1070 or 812-488-2589.
Kretz Invited to Write Chapter for Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks for Philosophy
Posted: January 13, 2015
Lisa Kretz, assistant professor of philosophy, has been invited by the Macmillan Reference USA Project Editor to write a book chapter titled "How Technology Has Changed What and How We Eat." This is for the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks in Philosophy series. Tony Beavers, professor of philosophy, is editor in chief of the philosophy of technology volume which this chapter will appear in.
Jones Publishes in Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics
Posted: January 13, 2015
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Derek Jones' article "Agency through Autonomy: Self-Producing Systems and the Prospect of Bio-Compatibilism" was accepted for publication in the Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics.
Lisa Kretz's Article Accepted for Publication in the Journal “Ethics and Education”
Posted: August 1, 2014
University of Evansville Assistant Professor of Philosophy Lisa Kretz's article “Emotional Responsibility and Teaching Ethics: Student Empowerment” was recently accepted for publication in the journal Ethics and Education.
Kretz explains that the idea for the article came about when she overheard a student say Kretz’s ethics class was depressing.
“I wondered how my classes could generate a sense of empowerment rather than depression,” says Kretz, “a sense of hope rather than despair. Drawing from David Hume’s and Martin Hoffman’s work on the psychology of empathy and sympathy I contend that dominant Western philosophical pedagogy is inadequate for facilitating morally empowered students.”
“Moreover,” she adds, “I stipulate that adequate analysis of the role emotion should play in pedagogy requires tending to the politics of emotional expression and how oppression functions. I argue that ethical educators have a moral responsibility to facilitate not only critical moral thinking but critical moral agency. Part of ethical education should involve the provision of tools for effective citizen engagement and reasoning alone is insufficient for this goal. The role of emotion in ethical decision making and action remains devalued and under-analyzed. Approaches that fail to adequately recognize the role of emotion in ethical education are to the detriment of effective ethical pedagogy. I recommend a number of methods for remedying this omission so as to provide tools for moral action.”
Beavers to Join INSEIT Executive Board
Posted: December 3, 2013
Anthony Beavers, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, was recently elected to serve on the board of the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology. His term of service will be from 2014 to 2016. Beavers' membership on this board follows his departure as president of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy.
Beavers to Teach Masterclass at the University of Western Australia
Posted: November 14, 2013
Anthony F. Beavers,professor of philosophy and director of the Digital Humanities Lab at UE, has been invited to teach a masterclass on computational philosophy with respect to ethical decision making at the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Western Australia. "The IAS Masterclass provides an opportunity for postgraduate students and early career researchers to meet and discuss their research with a distinguished scholar who is visiting UWA." The class will take place in March immediately before the Digital Humanities Australasia 2014 conference where Beavers will also present a Keynote Address.
Beavers to Serve as External Consultant at Northern Kentucky
Posted: November 12, 2013
Anthony F. Beavers, professor of philosophy and director of the Digital Humanities Lab at the University of Evansville, will soon serve as a consultant at Northern Kentucky University, where he will assist faculty in their College of Informatics and their Philosophy Program with transdisciplinary curriculum development between informatics and the arts and humanities. Beavers has had more than fifteen years experience in such transdisciplinary work and has spoken about it widely both in the U.S. and internationally.
Lisa Kretz's Article "Teaching Being Ethical" has been accepted for publication
Posted: November 8, 2013
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Lisa Kretz's article "Teaching Being Ethical" has been accepted for publication in the journal Teaching Ethics.
Teaching theoretical ethics and teaching being ethical differ pedagogically. Unfortunately, for those interested in inspiring ethical behavior, the dominant tests for moral development focus on moral ratiocination. The relationship between moral reasoning, development and action remains contentious and under-researched. Moreover, the failures of the knowledge-attitude-behavior model of education indicate that knowledge does not of necessity lead to attitude and behavior change. In looking to identify methods for encouraging ethical behavior, I make the case that emotion helps to bridge the distance between knowledge and behavior. Adopting techniques that engage and improve students’ capacities for empathy and sympathy are thus identified as one method of providing tools for enhanced moral behavior, as is study of moral exemplars. Less a case for a particular approach, and more an offering of justification for a particular point of departure, I extend this work as an invitation to dialogue more widely about teaching *being* ethical.
Beavers to Speak in Perth
Posted: October 28, 2013
Anthony F. Beavers, professor of philosophy, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion and director of the Digital Humanities Laboratory, has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the 2014 Digital Humanities Australasia conference to be be held at the University of Western Australia this coming March. The visit will follow two invited presentations on the Digital Humanities at the University of South Carolina in early February and a conference presentation at the 2014 Humanities Education and Research Association Conference in Washington D.C. later that month. Several of the talks will confront the question of whether ethics is computable and, if so, what this means for the way we understand value.
Beavers Joins Research Group at Duke University
Posted: October 25, 2013
Anthony F. Beavers, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, was recently invited to join the research group on "The Future of the Information Society" at Duke University. His role here will be to continue his work on the impact our information-based culture is having on our sense of value. Beavers is currently working on these and related ideas in a book to be titled The Crisis of Value in the Information Age.
Beavers to Speak at Humanities Education and Research Association
Posted: October 1, 2013
Anthony Beavers, professor of philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, will be speaking at the 2014 Humanities Education and Research Association meeting in Washington, D.C. this coming February. The theme of the conference is "Humane, Inhumane, Human." The title of Beavers' talk is "The Crisis of Value in the Information Age: Information Reductionism and the Nihilism of the Present Day."
Abstract: "This presentation will explore the role that information and communications technologies (ICTs) are having on our sense of value," says Beavers. "Correlating to the rapid acceleration in the storage and transmission speed of information and the sudden proliferation of ubiquitous computational technologies, we have witnessed an increase in teen suicides, mass shootings, and political polarization that is antithetical to solving these and other important problems. The reason for this, I will argue, is that our equation of knowledge with “being informed” leads us to underestimate the value of curiosity, wisdom, wondering and practical reason, while, at the same time, creating a climate which has made being informed nearly impossible.
With the collapse of our access to the truth, we are suffering from a correlative access to value. Collectively, we know there are problems, but we are short on specifics and overwhelmed to the point of inaction. The question hanging in the balance is whether the use of information technologies can lead us to the solidarity of human community needed to address important issues or whether it is creating information silos that promote escapism and ignorance. While there are prospects for the former, the latter seems to be winning the day. In the end, I will address the question of whether this historical trajectory is stoppable, or whether our ICTs are leading us into areas we would not otherwise wish to go, were we adequately informed."
Jones and Beavers Edit Collection on the Philosophy of Information
Posted: September 24, 2013
Derek Jones, assistant professor of philosophy and director of Cognitive Science, and Anthony F. Beavers, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, just completed a special edited collection, Philosophy in the Age of Information: A Symposium on Luciano Floridi's The Philosophy of Information, for publication in the journal Minds and Machines. This special journal issue presents eight papers that raise critical objections to Dr. Floridi's recent book and features responses from the author himself.
Dr. Floridi of Oxford University visited UE last November for three days, during which he delivered three lectures, including our annual Ethics lecture, a Crick Lecture, and a special lecture on the design philosophy of Steve Jobs. Floridi also taught a special, three hour seminar session in the philosophy of information for one of our honors classes.
"Emotional Solidarity", New Book Chapter by Lisa Kretz Accepted for Publication
Posted: September 24, 2013
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Lisa Kretz has had a new book chapter - "Emotional Solidarity" - accepted for publication. The title: "Emotional Solidarity: Ecological Emotional Outlaws, Mourning Environmental Loss, and Empowering Positive Change"
Abstract: Environmental mourning and the constellations of emotion attendant to such experiences of loss are understudied in western, analytic, philosophical writing. I wish to make the case that giving voice to this loss, and the sadness that accompanies it, is essential for emotional honesty and morally adequate responses. Community mourning can serve to provide support for, and galvanize the strength of, those grappling with ecological loss. Importantly, emotional solidarity through community support can validate “outlaw” emotions. Community support can likewise counter the threat of ecological despair and terror management, where “management” techniques often involve denial and refusal to deal with the source of the terror. Backward-looking mourning at what once was cannot be the place where we stop. Possibilities for renewal demand forward-looking orientations where emotions serve to empower. I will explore the justified emotion of anger in response to the ecological injustices that predicate ecological mourning. Additionally, an emotional orientation toward hope is identified as a method for fighting ecological despair and terror. At the heart of my analysis is a move toward political recognition of the epistemic import of emotional responses, nurturing appropriate emotional responses to the suffering of human and non-human others, and orienting ourselves emotionally for facilitating positive ethically grounded change.
Volume Details: Environment and/as Mourning, eds. Ashlee Cunsolo and Karen Landman. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Beavers to Speak at the University of South Carolina
Posted: September 17, 2013
Anthony F. Beavers, Chair of Philosophy and Religion and Director of the Digital Humanities Lab here at UE, has been invited to speak at the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of South Carolina this February. He will be presenting two lectures: 1) Predicting the Future by Examining the Past: How Big Data Analysis Opens Up the Study of History, and 2) Ethics Beyond Our Means: How the Information Revolution Is Reshaping Human Values. The former will deal with how technologies are helping to clarify our vision of the past to provide lessons about how things can go right and wrong. The latter will examine how autonomous machinery and our use of electronic technologies are reshaping our sense of moral obligation.
The two-day visit will include a one-hour interview for the general public to be recorded and disseminated on the Internet.
CNS Research Group Presents Dr. Lisa Kretz - Moral Philosophy, Emotion and Student Empowerment
Posted: September 17, 2013
On Thursday, September 19, at 6 pm in Room 75, Schroeder Family School of Business Building, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Lisa Kretz will discuss her recent paper, "Moral Philosophy, Emotion, and Student Empowerment".
Derek Jones to Join Board of IACAP
Posted: September 11, 2013
Derek Jones, Director of Cognitive Science and Assistant Professor of Philosophy, will join the executive board of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy this month as the organization's Membership and Promotions Coordinator. Dr. Jones was awarded the 2010 joint IACAP/Carnegie Mellon Goldberg Award for Outstanding Research in Computing and Philosophy by a Graduate Student for his work on animat modeling.
Beavers Joins Dissertation Review Committee
Posted: September 11, 2013
Anthony F. Beavers, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, recently joined a group of dissertation reviewers to examine Steven McKinley's Ph.D. Thesis, "The Philosophy of Information: Ethical, Ontological and Epistemic Perspectives," submitted at Charles Sturt University in Australia. Beavers, who is, as of this month, the former president of the U.K. based International Association for Computing and Philosophy, is a frequent journal reviewer for the philosophy of information and publications reviewer for Cambridge, Oxford, MIT and other related University Presses.
New Publication by Assistant Professor of Philosophy Lisa Kretz
Posted: September 5, 2013
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Lisa Kretz has just published an essay titled "Conscious Evolution" in the Montreal Review. The Montreal Review has published works by distinguished philosophers such as Philip Kitcher, Alvin Plantinga Ronald de Sousa, and Patricia Smith Churchland. You can find Dr. Kretz's article at: http://www.themontrealreview.com/.
Beavers Publishes Article on Alan Turing
Posted: September 2, 2013
Dr. Anthony F. Beavers, Chair of Philosophy and Religion, recently published "Practically Turing," in CyberTalk magazine. The article situates Turing in the middle of an information age that started in the era of Edison and Bell and that gained momentum with the advent of the computer. Beavers served as a member of the International Turing Centenary Advisory Committee and TCAC Culture Subcommittee, between 2009-2012. He also co-chaired the International Conference on Alan Turing held at the University of Birmingham, UK, during July 2012.
Beavers to Join Centre for Digital Philosophy
Posted: August 30, 2013
Dr. Anthony F. Beavers, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors at the Centre for Digital Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. The Centre will be the permanent home to several projects that are altering the way that philosophers go about their professional business, most notably, PhilPapers http://philpapers.org.
Beavers has served as the Area Editor for the Philosophy of Information at PhilPapers for the last four years and is currently President of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy. He is in the process of finishing the article on Computational Philosophy for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy due to be released early next year.
Posted: April 25, 2013
This year's Tree-Planting and Retirement Reception was held Sunday, April 21st. Those retirees honored were Mr. William Brown (Art), Dr. William Connolly (Philosophy & Religion), Dr. William Morrison (Chemistry) and Dr. Charles Watson (Education).
Dr. Connolly received his B.A. in Biology from Trinity College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. A former Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Connolly has also served as the Director of the Honors Program, Chair of the Promotion and Tenure committee, University Ombudsman, past President and Vice President of the Faculty Senate, guest lecturer for the Andiron and Crick Lectures as well as multitudes of other campus and community groups. Connolly has published articles on David Hume as well as philosophy of religion as well as presented at numerous profession meetings in the areas of applied ethics, and was Campus Coordinator for the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program and numerous other standing and ad hoc committees. Connolly is also a member of the American Philosophical Assn., the Indiana Philosophical Assn., the International Hume Society, former President of the Evansville Green River Kiwanis, an NCAA soccer referee, and has taught various classes at Washington Middle School in Evansville.
Anthony Beavers invited to speak at the International Conference for Affective Computing
Posted: April 16, 2013
Anthony Beavers (professor of Philosophy and director of Cognitive Science) was recently invited to speak on the topic of ethical challenges concerning affective computing over the the next ten years at the International Conference for Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction to be held in Geneva, Switzerland this coming September. This invitation comprises the third for this fall on the topic of technology ethics, the second being an invitation to speak at the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy in Athens, Greece this August, and the third to speak at the the International Conference on the Philosophy of Information at Xian Jiaotong University, China, this October. The invitations follow from concerns over challenges to the climate of ethics arising from the impact of information and communications technologies on the global scene. Beavers was the recipient of the 2012 World Technology Award for Ethics presented this past October in New York City.
Ethics Lecture to Discuss Religion and the Labor Movement
Posted: April 4, 2013
As part of the University of Evansville’s Ethics Lecture series, Rev. Darren Cushman Wood, senior pastor of North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, will present “What Moves the Labor Movement? The Role of Religion in Workers’ Struggles Past, Present, and Future.”
Cushman Wood will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, April 8 in Eykamp Hall, Room 253 in the Ridgway University Center. His lecture is free and open to the public.
“Facing new challenges in the 21st century, labor leaders are forming partnerships with the religious community, but will they be successful?” Cushman Wood said. “This lecture will explore the heritage and contemporary dynamics of the relationship between religion and labor in the United States.”
Cushman Wood earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Evansville in 1982 and is also a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York. In addition to his appointment at North United Methodist Church, he serves as an adjunct professor of labor studies at Indiana University and is the author of the book Blue Collar Jesus: How Christianity Supports Workers’ Rights (Seven Locks Press, 2004).
Cushman Wood will also give a guest sermon titled “Resurrecting Resistance” at University Worship, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 7 in Neu Chapel.
The Ethics Lecture Series, sponsored by UE's Department of Philosophy and Religion, brings ethicists from both religious and philosophical backgrounds to explore questions of value, justice, responsibility, and meaning in the realm of human conduct and the moral life. Previous Ethics Lecture topics have included information ethics, the living wage movement, and ethical eating.
Dr. Connolly will give the Darwin Day Lecture on March 14
Posted: March 12, 2013
The 15th Annual Darwin Day lecture will be held on Thursday, March 14. Professor of Philosophy Dick Connolly will give a lecture at 4:00 p.m. in Koch Center 100. Connolly’s lecture “Does Evolution Threaten Ethics?” will argue that evolution has much to contribute to the study of ethics, but that fears that somehow evolution threatens ethical values or that biology will take over moral philosophy are unfounded. The lecture should be of interest to faculty and students across disciplines.
Connolly earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He is a broadly trained philosopher who has published articles ranging from the philosophy of religion to issues in applied ethics. Connolly has taught a broad array of courses at UE, including introduction to philosophy, philosophy of science, bioethics, and philosophy of law.
December's Think Outside the Lunch Box to Discuss "18 Ways to Make a Baby"
Posted: November 27, 2012
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 147,260 fertility treatments took place across the United States in 2010, and more than one percent of all infants born in the U.S. are conceived using assisted reproductive technology. While such treatments have given hope to couples struggling with infertility, they also have raised many ethical questions and concerns.
Dick Connolly, professor of philosophy at the University of Evansville, will examine these issues in the final Think Outside the Lunch Box Faculty Speaker Series event of the year. His presentation, “18 Ways to Make a Baby,” begins at noon on Thursday, December 6, in the Blue & Gold Room on the first floor of Old National Bank’s headquarters in Downtown Evansville. The event is free and open to the public.
“In an age of donated eggs, donated sperm, and surrogate mothers, what counts as a parent, and what counts as a family?” Connolly said. “I hope people will carry away from this talk not a fear of the future, but a recognition of the complexity of the ‘brave new world’ of assisted reproduction and the need to think carefully before we act.”
Connolly, a native of Mt. Kisco, New York, holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Connecticut and a PhD in philosophy from Michigan State University. He has been a member of the UE faculty since 1971, having also served as a visiting professor at The University of Pittsburgh. He received the University’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 1994 and the Sydney and Sadelle Berger Award for Service in 1998.
Connolly has authored articles on the 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume and the philosophy of religion, and has presented papers on a variety of issues in ethics and applied ethics. Connolly also participated in an ethics seminar at Dartmouth College associated with the Human Genome Project. At the University of Evansville, he has taught courses such as Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Science, Bioethics, and Environmental Ethics at UE.
UE’s Think Outside the Lunch Box Faculty Speaker Series is in its third year and is typically held the first Thursday of every month. To accommodate the University’s winter break, next month’s presentation will take place January 10, the second Thursday of the month.
Connolly will speak for about 30 minutes, with 15 minutes allotted for questions and answers. Attendees are welcome to eat lunch during the presentation. There is a restaurant conveniently located in the Old National Bank lobby.
Luciano Floridi to Deliver UE's Crick and Ethics Lectures
Posted: November 6, 2012
Luciano Floridi, professor of philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire in England, will travel to Evansville this month to present two free, public lectures at the University of Evansville.
Floridi will deliver “The Varieties of Complexity,” UE’s Crick Lecture in the Cognitive and Neural Sciences, at 4 p.m. Monday, November 12 in Room 100 of the Koch Center for Engineering and Science.
For the annual Ethics Lecture, Floridi will present “Information Ethics and the Political Foundations of the Information Society” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 13 in Eykamp Hall, Ridgway University Center.
Floridi is a professor of philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, England, where he holds the Research Chair in Philosophy of Information and the UNESCO Chair of Information and Computer Ethics, and a fellow of St. Cross College, University of Oxford.
Floridi is best known for his foundational research on the philosophy of information and information ethics, two new research areas that he has significantly helped to establish. He has published more than 150 articles in various anthologies and international peer-reviewed journals.
His most recent books are The Philosophy of Information (Oxford University Press, 2011), Information – A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010), and the Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics (edited for Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Floridi is currently the principal investigator of the project “Understanding Information Quality Standards and their Challenges” (2011-2013), in collaboration with Google UK. He has delivered more than 200 talks, including recent public lectures at the World Science Festival in New York in 2010 and a TEDx in 2011, both available on YouTube. In 2012, he was a keynote speaker at the EU Digital Agenda, during which he addressed European Union leaders on education issues in the information society.
Floridi’s lectures at the University of Evansville are sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion, UE’s programs in cognitive science and neuroscience, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and the Kern Family Foundation.
Members of the media seeking more information may contact Kristen Lund, UE director of news services, at 812-488-2241.
Indiana Civil Liberties Union Executive Director to Speak at UE
Posted: October 25, 2012
Jane Henegar, executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, will speak on campus next week in a presentation sponsored by the University of Evansville’s Department of Philosophy and Religion.
Henegar will discuss the mission of the American Civil Liberties Union at 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 30 in Eykamp Hall, Rooms 254-255 in the Ridgway University Center. Her presentation is free and open to the public.
Prior to being named executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, Henegar taught political science at Butler University and led the Indiana Bar Foundation’s Project Citizen to teach civics to K-12 students in Indiana. She served as interim director of the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention following her service as Indianapolis deputy mayor from 2000-2006.
Henegar has held various positions in government, including state director in the office of former Senator Evan Bayh, deputy commissioner and general counsel in the Indiana Department of Administration, executive posts at the Family and Social Services Administration, and judicial law clerk for the Honorable Thomas Reavley, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, she is a 1984 graduate of Bryn Mawr College and earned her law degree in 1988 from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Beavers Receives 2012 World Technology Award in Ethics
Posted: October 24, 2012
Anthony Beavers, professor of philosophy and director of cognitive science, was presented with the 2012 World Technology Award in Ethics this past Tuesday night at a special ceremony held at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.
He was recognized for his work in moral theory, which attempts to show how and why existing ethical frameworks are insufficiently suited to the information age and why ethicists need to develop other alternatives. The World Technology Awards are presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, Technology Review, and Science and go to the "peer-nominated, peer-elected most innovative people in science and technology" defined as those doing "the innovative work of the likely longest significance."
Thirty awards are offered each year, twenty to individuals and ten to corporations. Winners this year included SpaceX, the first private company to get a rocket to the space station and back, Ekso Bionics for successfully developing technology to allow paraplegics to walk on their own through the use of a robotic exoskeleton, and NASA Engineer Adam Steltzner of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for his role in successfully landing the rover Curiosity on Mars this past August.
Among the more recognizable past recipients of World Technology Awards are Al Gore (for Policy), Linus Torvalds, developer of the Linux operating system (for Commerce / Communication Technology), Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World-Wide Web (for Communication Technology), Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google (for Marketing Communications), and Mark Zuckerberg, lead developer and co-founder of Facebook (also for Marketing Communications).
Beavers Nominated for World Technology Award in Ethics
Posted: October 11, 2012
Anthony Beavers, professor of philosophy and director of cognitive science, is one of five finalists nominated for the World Technology Award in Ethics to be presented at the World Technology Summit to be held at Rockefeller Plaza later this month. The awards are presented in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, Technology Review, and Science and go to the "peer-nominated, peer-elected most innovative people in science and technology." For a complete list of nominees in all twenty categories, see http://wtn.net/summit2012/finalists.php.
Room 350, Olmsted Administration Hall