The Department of Philosophy congratulates its BA, MA, and PhD graduates for all their hard work and achievements.

Departmental Honors:
Peter Guo (GS)
Soham Mehta (CC)
Rebekah Seow (GS)
Kyla Tang (CC)
April Wang (CC)

Adam Leroy Jones Prize:
Zimu Zhang (CC)

James Gutmann Prize:
Cassady Marion (CC)

This award is funded by the Mellon Foundation for the support of an exceptional graduate student during their last dissertation year, in the subspecialty of science within the fields of history, philosophy, or sociology.

The award honors alumni of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for exceptional work in scholarship, public service, teaching, or academic administration.

Four alumni of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) were recently awarded Wilbur Lucius Cross Medals in recognition of their outstanding work and service.

Awarded annually by the GSAS Alumni Association, the Wilbur Cross Medal honors exceptional work in scholarship, public service, teaching, or academic administration. It is the highest honor that GSAS bestows on alumni.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Elizabeth Bradley ’96 Ph.D. (Public Health) for her leading scholarship in public health, and her unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of local and global communities;
  • Robert Gooding-Williams ’75 ’82 Ph.D. (Philosophy) for his significant contributions to the fields of philosophy, political theory, and race theory;
  • James M. Jones ’70 Ph.D. (Psychology) for his transformative scholarship in the study of race, racism, and diversity in the last 50 years; and
  • Che-Chia Wei ’85 Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering) for technological innovation, including the miniaturization of integrated circuits, and leadership in the semiconductor industry.

For additional information, please visit YaleNews. 

Professor Achille Varzi is the recipient of the Mark Van Doren Teaching Award for the academic year 2022-2023. Columbia College awards the Mark Van Doren Teaching Award. The award is to recognize a faculty member's humanity and inspiring leadership. For information about the Mark Van Van Doren Teaching Award, please visit Columbia College.

The Jean Nicod Prize is annually awarded between philosophers and philosophically-oriented scientists. For more information about the Jean Nicod Prize, please click here

Columbia News interviewed John Dewey Emeritus Professor of Philosophy Philip Kitcher about his new book on John Stuart Mill as part of the Columbia "Core Knowledge" series. Here is the link to the article.

Columbia News Article

Project Title: Standard Research Grant: Representation and Inference in the Brain

The goal of this three-year project is to develop useful and precise definitions of ‘representation’ and ‘inference’ for attribution to the brain. Representation and inference are central notions in neuroscience, cognitive science, and philosophy, but they have not yet been rigorously defined in terms of neural activity. All three fields would benefit from such definitions. For example, neuroscientists often describe neural activity as representing and inferring. It is their way of describing the overall function of that activity, an abstraction away from detailed neural recordings. But, because there are no rigorously definitions, there are no objective grounds for these descriptions. As a result, they are treated as casual glosses rather than as rigorous analyses. Just as proper definitions accelerated progress in other fields, proper definitions of ‘representation’ and ‘inference’ have the potential to accelerate progress in neuroscience.


Francey Russell is one of four junior faculty to receive a Society of Fellows and Heyman Center Fellowship for 2023-2024.  Professor Russell's project is entitled "Opaque Animals," and articulates a conception of human self-opacity grounded in Kant and Freud, and in contemporary debates in philosophical moral psychology, psychoanalysis, and works of art.

Elizabeth Benn was named the director of Major League Operations for the New York Mets. Elizabeth made franchise history by becoming the highest ranking female employee in baseball operations. Elizabeth received her M.A. in Philosophy in 2017.

Toronto Star Article-Elizabeth Benn

The Philosophy Department was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Joseph Raz. A beloved friend of the department, Joseph was a member of the Columbia Law School faculty and world-renowned legal philosopher whose prolific and influential scholarship offered new insights into the nature of law and legal reasoning, as well as the relationship between law, morality, and freedom, died on May 2 at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He was 83.

In Memoriam: Professor Joseph Raz

Congratulations to Jonathan Tanaka for being 2022 recipient of the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship. Columbia College posted a story about Jonathan Tanaka, and information about the Beinecke scholarship.

Congratulations to Christopher Peacocke for being one of three philosophers to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.