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The Review of Metaphysics Dissertation Essay Competition

The Publisher of The Review of Metaphysics, the Philosophy Education Society, Inc., announces its annual Dissertation Essay Competition. The competition is open to all participants who have been awarded the Ph.D. degree in philosophy in the United States or Canada during 2017. Entries must be either a chapter from a dissertation or an essay based directly upon a dissertation. Essays may be on any topic dealt with in the dissertation. Essays will be judged anonymously. The author of the prize-winning essay will receive $500. It is expected that the winning essay will be published in The Review of Metaphysics.

Participants are requested to employ the following procedure for submitting essays:

  • Essays should be no more than twenty-five double-spaced typewritten pages and should be submitted in triplicate.
  • Essays should be free of all identifying marks, both in the body of the paper and in the footnotes.
  • Entries should be accompanied by a letter indicating the author’s name, the university from which his or her degree was received, and the title of the dissertation from which the essay was taken. Entrants who would like their manuscripts returned should also send a stamped return envelope of suitable size.
  • On matters of style and form, The Chicago Manual of Style and a recent issue of The Review of Metaphysics should be consulted. A style sheet is available upon request and on the Review’s website.
  • Entries must bear a postmark no later than 31 March 2018 and should be sent to The Review of Metaphysics, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064. Envelopes should be marked “Dissertation Essay Competition.”

Additional inquiries concerning the competition may be directed to The results of the competition will be announced by 30 June 2018.

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Next Week: “What is a noema?”

Next week, the Phenomenology Research Group will host a talk from Zachary J. Joachim (Boston University):

It is well known that in Ideen 1, Husserl drops the ‘act-content-object’ schema in favor of ‘noesis-noema.’ But just what are these schemata for? Both are attempted answers to the question, ‘How must the world be such that one’s state of subjectivity counts as being of or about anything?’ Such schemata, then, are ontological: they describe the way the world must be. But they are also logical in the sense that interests Husserl from beginning to end: they describe not the law of inference (formal validity), but the law of thought or thinkability per se (objective validity). This identity of ontology and logic is what Kant and the German Idealists take the subject-matter of philosophy to be, whose successful clarification as such would allow philosophy in the modern era to begin. ‘Idealism’ is their name for that clarification. Husserl understands his idealism in this sense, too. He differs, though, in holding perception’s (not judgment’s) form of self-consciousness as the source of logical form, i.e., of thinkability or objectivity. His commitment to that difference is constitutive of his shift to noesis-noema as the schema expressive of philosophy’s proper subject-matter. In this paper, I offer first steps towards elucidating that schema in the above-mentioned way, starting with ‘noema.’ I argue that a noema is the objectivity of an object, i.e., its apparent unity, and that since ‘noema’ replaces the ‘content/object’ distinction, Husserl therewith espouses a no-content view of intentionality.

The event will take place on February 23, 3:30 to 5:30 PM in Cuneo Hall 212.

In One Week: Perspectives on Personhood Conference

Loyola’s Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage presents Perspectives on Personhood, a conference taking place on our Lakeshore campus next Tuesday!

Perspectives on Personhood: Resources in Science, Technology, and Theology 
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1PM to 6PM
Information Commons, 4th Fl.

Keynote address by Dr. William Jaworski (Fordham): “Can Science Study the Human Soul?”
Response by Dr. John McCarthy

Panel 1: Personhood and Evolution 
Dr. CJ Love, Dr. James Calcagno, and Dr. Pauline Viviano
Moderated by Dr. Hans Svebakken

Panel 2: Personhood and Reductionism 
Dr. Susan Ross, Dr. Rebecca Stilton, and Dr. Paul Voelker
Moderated by Dr. Joseph Vukov

CFP: Setting the World on Fire: Research, Change, and Social Justice

The 11th Annual Graduate School Interdisciplinary Research Symposium presents “Setting the World on Fire: Research, Change, and Social Justice.” The symposium is on Saturday, April 21, 2018 in the Quinlan Life Sciences building. Here’s what they have to say on the CFP:

We welcome participants in all areas of knowledge in hopes of fostering a constructive and cordial dialogue across disciplines. In our current era, opportunities abound to “set the world on fire,” through engaging critically with the world around us, challenging ourselves to seek out and defend truth, and taking action to address inequality. Thus, the 2018 Symposium incorporates themes of change and social justice to direct attention to the ways that our research can make a positive impact on the world. As part of reaffirming Loyola’s commitment to diversity, this year the symposium welcomes presentations in Spanish. Paper or poster presentations are welcome in the following broad research categories:

  • Qualitative: the exploratory analysis of non-numerical data
  • Quantitative: the objective and systematic analysis of numerical data
  • Theoretical: analysis that applies speculative paradigms in exploratory ways
  • Mixed Methods/Other: analysis that draws on multiple methods (quantitative, qualitative,
    and/or theoretical)

Current graduate students within The Graduate School are eligible for monetary awards. Participants are invited to breakfast, lunch, and reception to follow presentations. Submit a 250-word abstract by March 2:

Email the Research Symposium Committee at with questions! Download a PDF version of the CFP here: Graduate School Interdisciplinary Research Symposium CFA

Today: Ethics and Values with Robby Duncan

Today! Robby Duncan will discuss Aristotle at the Ethics and Values Symposia today at 3:45. Email Joe Vukov ( for more information.

CFP: International Social Theory Consortium at Loyola!

Loyola is hosting the 17th Annual Conference of the International Social Theory Consortium! This year’s theme is “Modernity Between the Damaged Life and Sane Society: Social Theory in the Age of Urgency.” This event will be held May 17-19. Email your abstracts and session proposals to no later than March 15th. Find more information on the ITSC website.

Download a PDF of the full CFP here: International Social Theory Conference CFP.

Philosophy of Religion Research Group

Loyola’s theology department is hosting a philosophy of religion research group! See below for information.

A Discussion of Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer Series
with Adam Kotsko, translator of Agamben’s work.
13 February, 7:00–9:00 pm (Cuneo Hall 107)

Political Theology Roundtable
with Adam Kotsko (North Central College), Florian Klug (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg), Stephanie Frank (Columbia College Chicago), and Colby Dickinson (Loyola University Chicago).
22 February, 6:00–8:00 pm (Crown Center 530)

Democracy at Stake? Carl Schmitt’s Critique of Parliamentary Democracy and US Politics
with Jeff Seitzer, translator of Schmitt’s work.
19 March, 2:00–4:00 pm (location TBD)

God as Immanent/Transcendent: Perspectives from Continental Philosophy of Religion
with Anné Verhoef, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
18 April (time and location TBD)

This Friday: Robby Duncan at the Ethics and Values Symposia

Robby Duncan (Loyola), “Is there Absolute Goodness in Aristotle? Homonymy, Comparability, and the Cosmic Hierarchy”
Friday, Feb. 9th from 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM in Damen Student Center 114 

This workshop series focuses on works-in-progress in the areas of ethics and values broadly construed. Our meetings are held at Loyola University Chicago on Friday evenings from 3:45pm-5:00pm. If you’d like to join the group or receive more information about it, please email Joe Vukov at

Download the PDF flyer here: Ethics and Values with Robby Duncan.

Future workshops:
March 16 with Stephen White (Northwestern)
April 13 with Vince Samar (Loyola)

Best Practices Workshops

This workshop is intended for PhD and MA students in the philosophy department at Loyola University Chicago.

Our first workshop, “Best Practices in the Department and Profession,” is focused on cultivating a successful culture in our department and carrying that forth into our next phases after Loyola. Some best practices we’ll be discussing include how to move from coursework into proposal writing, shifting writing style and approach from coursework to publication, transitioning from the MA thesis to a dissertation, making final papers relevant to your own research interests, and general etiquette relevant to the field.

Please RSVP by Monday, February 12: send RSVPs and any questions or comments to Robert Budron (

Download a PDF flyer here: Best Practices Workshop.

Regarding the statement on the collective bargaining of contingent faculty

In our December meeting, the AGSP voted to draft a statement regarding the ongoing discussion of the collective bargaining of contingent faculty at Loyola. The current state of that draft is as follows:

“The Association of Graduate Students in Philosophy affirms the right of contingent faculty at LUC to collectively bargain under representation of SEIU.”

Any comments or suggested emendations may be forwarded to Jean Clifford at or Katherine Brichachek at The comment period will end this Sunday, the 17th.

For those wanting additional information, here are some links.

The webpage for SEIU:

– See also the page specifiacaly for SEIU activity in Chicago:

– The situation via LUC:

CFP: Contemporary European Philosophy Workshop, UChicago

We are pleased to announce that the Contemporary European Philosophy Workshop will be returning from its year-long hiatus this coming Fall quarter. The CEPW seeks to foster a space of ongoing and genuinely interdisciplinary dialog among students and faculty from across the humanities and social sciences working with and within Continental philosophical traditions. On behalf of our two new faculty sponsors, Sarah Hammerschlag (Divinity) and Raoul Moati (Philosophy), and our long-time advisor Arnold Davidson (Philosophy), we would like to invite both general participation and paper submissions from graduate students working in all disciplines to present at our biweekly meeting for the academic year.

The aim of the workshop is twofold: First, to give students the opportunity to present and receive feedback on their work in the context of a supportive conversation with colleagues and peers; second, to have a regular occasion to meet and discuss European philosophy in its historical and contemporary development, its relationship to other philosophical traditions, and the central theoretical role it has come to play in disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.

Our format for the Fall will consist of an initial introduction and plenary meeting, followed by a second meeting in which our three faculty advisors lead the group in reading a relevant philosophical text from the 20th-century Continental tradition. From the third meeting on, the workshop will be wholly devoted to graduate student presentations, and beginning in the Winter quarter we will also host invited guest speakers from other institutions in Chicago and elsewhere.  The CEPW sessions typically take one of three forms: 1) a presentation of a graduate student paper, and commentary from a colleague, 2) discussion of a text by a major European thinker, or 3) a talk given by an invited guest speaker.  Possible figures to be discussed include: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Gadamer, Hadot, Heidegger, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir, Sartre, Kristeva, Irigaray, and Fanon, amongst others.

We will meet every other Wednesday from 3-5pm, and will announce our exact room in September.  Please be in touch with us if you require any assistance in attending the workshop. If you would like to be added to the CEPW list-host, please visit the university list-serve management page at, or email the coordinators at

We welcome submissions from all departments, and from both PhD and MA students, visiting graduate students, Harper-Schmidt fellows, visiting scholars, and other members of the wider, cross-disciplinary philosophical community.  Again, at the moment we are particularly interested in graduate student submissions, as graduate student work will be the workshop’s focus for the fall.

We look forward to seeing you in the Fall.

Happy Finals Week and Summer Break!

The last week of the regular semester is over, and now it’s the Finals rush of e-mails, grading, and summeritis. Hang in there!

The Department of Philosophy end-of-year celebration for the graduate program is this Thursday, April 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Rambler Room (in the Damen Center).

This blog will be updated less frequently over the summer. If you have announcements that you wish to be posted prior to August 1, please e-mail the current Webmaster, Corbin Casarez, at In the new academic year, we will have a new Webmaster, Jay Carlson, and the faculty profile series will resume. In the meantime: be well, do well!

Professionalization Opportunities

The Department of Philosophy is offering two opportunities to develop your professional skills for an academic career.

On Monday, April 20, 1:00-2:300, in Crown 530, there will be a publishing workshop, facilitated by a panel of Loyola faculty.

On Tuesday, April 21, 10:30 a.m., in Crown 530, there will be a meeting for anyone wanting to enter the job market next year.

Please take advantage of these opportunities. Good turnout encourages more events like these.

Faculty Profile: Victoria Wike

Dr. Victoria Wike is Professor and Graduate Program Director at Loyola University Chicago. She kindly agreed to participate in AGSP’s Faculty Profile Series. Her faculty page is here:

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AGSP:    Thank you for participating in our Faculty Profile Series. Because you serve as the Graduate Program Director at Loyola, most if not all of us have interacted with you on a professional level, but focused on our needs and concerns. We’re excited to turn the attention back to you.  How did you decide to go into academic philosophy?

VW:       I found philosophy because the small liberal arts college I attended had a required series of Humanities courses.  I got started teaching thanks to the confidence of a teacher of mine.  As an upper-classman, I applied for a filing job in the philosophy department and the chair told me, no, we want you to be a discussion leader for the Humanities course.  After college, I was awarded an ITT-Fulbright grant to study philosophy in Paris where I completed a Licence degree and heard Foucault and Derrida lecture.  Then I came back to grad school at Penn State where I became interested in Kant and left behind the French philosophers!

AGSP:    From discussion leader to full professor and graduate director! What brought you to Loyola University Chicago?

VW:       I came to LUC straight from grad school, thanks to Ardis Collins who contacted one of my teachers about job openings.  That year, there were four new hires in the philosophy department.   At the time, I was keen on teaching at a small liberal arts college, but I found that there are definite advantages to being at a larger mission-driven university like Loyola.  For one thing, philosophy is valued here, so we’re not at the fringes of the university.  For another thing, a large department like ours means that we have a variety of specializations and teaching styles available to students.  It also means no faculty member has to do everything…if your area is modern, nobody is going to ask you to teach ancient.

AGSP:    I imagine that enables you to focus on your research interests. What is your area of specialization, and what are you currently working on?

VW:       My primary area of specialization is Kant’s moral philosophy and in terms of teaching is bioethics.  On Kant, I’m working on Robert Johnson’s claim that the derivation of the duty to self-improve involves the premise that one is pursuing one’s own happiness, and in bioethics I’m looking at the virtue of humility in medicine. I’m always interested in the pieces on the edges of Kant’s philosophy that get overlooked in the big picture view…pieces like the highest good, friendship, moral education, and philanthropy.


AGSP:    What do you enjoy most about being a professional philosopher?

VW:       I think a really wonderful thing about being an academic is the variability and flexibility of the work.  There are such a variety of opportunities that arise and there are so many different possible ways in which one can work.  So, in my own experience, I’ve done research, taught, and administered programs (the Bioethics Minor, and now the Grad Program), served on College and University committees that revised the core curriculum, reviewed faculty appeals, awarded fellowships, and I’ve taught at the Rome Center, traveled on faculty-staff international trips, single authored and co-authored publications, created new courses, etc.

AGSP:    Wow, that is a wide variety of opportunities! Probably many aspiring philosophers are attracted by the life of contemplation—which tends to be equated with “research” in contemporary parlance. But as you point out, there are so many more responsibilities, and privileges, from the academic life. Take teaching for instance: what is the most important thing that you hope students take away from your classes?

VW:       The main thing for me, especially at the undergrad level where we can’t presuppose this in students, is to try to have students do philosophy and not just learn about philosophy.  Obviously they need to read and study philosophers, but I’m willing to sacrifice some of the details of the content of what they are reading in order to encourage them to analyze, assess, defend a claim, and so forth.  I try to give students lots of opportunities to respond. In health care ethics courses, I have them do assignments where they read an editorial and then justify their agreement or disagreement with the author.  Students also work in small groups on class presentations and all written assignments are essay based—no multiple choice or true/false questions.  I want the students in my courses to be able to explain, qualify, critique, and evaluate various ethical and philosophical positions, and to do so, I think, they need opportunities to talk and write.  Even in graduate courses, I ask students to present summaries of their final papers in class and do peer responses to others’ papers.

AGSP:    It is easy to think of philosophy as content, and forget that it is an activity, one which requires practice. Let’s shift gears. How do you like to spend your time when you’re not doing philosophy?

VW:       I like to travel.  My family and I went to Guam in December to visit our daughter who was on a work assignment there. I also like to cook and bake, walk, and read fiction and nonfiction. Currently, I am planning a walking tour on the coast of Wales—combining travel and walking!  Oh, and I should say, I enjoy watching sports; I believe I am the only philosophy faculty member with season tickets to the Loyola men’s basketball games. Go Ramblers!

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AGSP:    Well, we have benefited from your baking—we appreciate the cookies you bring to meetings! In closing, what advice would you give to aspiring academic philosophers?

VW:       Don’t take forever to complete your dissertation.  Your dissertation is not your life’s work, but a step towards it.  Also, find your own style.  Not everybody has to research or teach in the same way.  Go with your strengths.

AGSP:    Well, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share with us. Go Ramblers!

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