Show The Graduate Center Menu

2017 Philosophy Department Newsletter

The 2017 Philosophy Department Newsletter is now available to view online at:

Below is the Letter from the Executive Officer. Other newsletter features include Program Spotlights (on the Logic & Metaphysics Workshop, Interdisciplinary Concentration in Cognitive Science, Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies, Saul Kripke Center, and Center for Global Ethics and Politics), Highlights (on Students and Alumni, including an Alumnus Interview with Peter Langland-Hassan), and Updates (on Graduate Admissions, PhD Completions, Faculty Books, Social Media, and the passing of the late Raymond Smullyan).
Instructions for submitting Donations to the Philosophy Dept. are listed on the final page.


Dear Colleagues, Students, Alumni, and Friends,

We have had a successful and busy year, enjoying the presence of our new Ph.D. and M.A. classes and the addition of Professors Miranda Fricker and Charles Mills to the central faculty and Jonathan Gilmore (Baruch), Serene Khader (Brooklyn), Eric Mandelbaum (Baruch), and Hagop Sarkissian (Baruch) to the Doctoral Faculty. If you are unacquainted with the research and profiles of these outstanding faculty members, I encourage you to look up their webpages on our main website.

Moreover, immediate congratulations are in order to Miranda Fricker for being elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in the fall and to Charles Mills for being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this spring. What an excellent start to their time with us!

In other faculty news, Professor Steven Cahn, a member of the Graduate Center Philosophy Faculty for decades and responsible for supervising dozens of devoted students, retired at the start of the year and is now Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith has informed us that he will be leaving us to take a permanent position at University of Sydney. Peter has been an important figure in our department for the last several years, teaching popular and influential seminars and enlivening the intellectual life of the department. While he will be sorely missed, we wish him success with the next stage of his career in Australia.

The Fall 2017 class is drawn (once again!) from a record number of applications and is due to the hard work of the Admissions Committee, including Professors Miranda Fricker and Hagop Sarkissian, and students, Lauren Alpert and Elis Miller. Professor Graham Priest chaired this most time-consuming and important committee with careful attention and good humor, as he did last year, playing a pivotal role in recruitment. For the second year in a row, we convened a panel of our own faculty to speak in the colloquium slot at Prospective’s Day rather than having the more traditional single speaker format.

Our Colloquium Series continued with a long list of top-notch speakers this year, including Stephen Schiffer, who delivered the third annual Jonathan Adler Memorial Lecture, Peter Langland-Hassan, who gave the second annual Alumni Day Lecture, and Karen Lewis, who delivered the Jerrold Katz Memorial Lecture. I encourage you to look at the full list of speakers on our website.

Nearly a dozen students completed their Ph.D.’s this year, with thesis titles including “Aspects of Biological Explanation,” “Toward a Social Ontology of the Family,” “The Nature of Introspection,” “Virtues Web: The Virtue of Empathetic Attunement and the Need for a Relational Foundation,” “The C3 Conditional,” “Three Essays in Intuitionistic Epistemology” , “A Normative Account of Political Representation,” and “For Narrativity: How Creating Narrative Structures Experience and Self.” (See p. 9 for a complete listing.)

This will be my last letter as Executive Officer, as I will step down from the position this term after nine years. I thank the Philosophy faculty and students during that time for their support and patience, and for all of the work that they regularly do for the Program – most of it unacknowledged. Being EO would be impossible without a superb Assistant Program Officer. I was fortunate to begin the job with Rosemarie Iannuzzi, whose knowledge of the history of the program proved invaluable, and feel even luckier to have found such a fantastic replacement for her in Natile Clarke and our helpful Office Assistant, Niasha Harrison. I shall also single out Professor John Greenwood, the previous Executive Officer and the Deputy EO during my time, who was a sage advisor throughout and stepped in for me on many occasions, including when I was on leave; I am most grateful to him.

Finally, I am very pleased to announce that Professor Nickolas Pappas (GC and City College) will take over as the new Executive Officer. I have no doubt that the Philosophy Program will achieve new levels of excellence under his leadership and ask you to join me in wishing him all success.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable and productive summer.

Iakovos Vasiliou
Professor of Philosophy and Executive Officer

Submitted on: AUG 4, 2017

Category: Philosophy