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.
Congratulations to Christopher Peacocke for being one of three philosophers to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
The Hempel Award is the highest award that philosophers of science can receive for their contribution to the field.
Congratulations to Andrew Richmond for receiving the 2020 Siff Award for his essay titled, "How Computation Explains".
Allison will be joining the Columbia faculty on July 1, 2021 after completing a Bersoff Faculty Fellow position at NYU. Her areas of specialization are Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and Early Modern philosophy.
On April 29, 2021, Professor Robert Gooding-Williams was the inaugural recipient for Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Social Philosophy.
For more information about the 2021 American Academy of Arts and Sciences winners.
We are happy to announce that John Morrison (Associate Professor, Barnard Philosophy) and Christos Papadimitriou (Donovan Family Professor, Columbia Computer Science) were awarded a $100,000 grant from the Columbia Data Science Institute to create and teach a course at the intersection of philosophy, computer science, and neuroscience. The grant comes from Columbia's Collaboratory Fellows Fund and will allow John and Christos to create a course exploring the following issues:
"Artificial neural networks can do amazing things. They can play chess, recognize faces, predict human behavior, learn language, create art. Natural neural networks -- that is to say, brains -- can do many of the same things, often a little more clumsily. But, unlike artificial networks, they can switch seamlessly between two tasks, learn to perform them
without supervision, and do not need to be told to -- actually, they can choose to refuse.
Brains provided the initial inspiration for the artificial networks, which is why we call them 'artificial neural networks.' But how deep are the similarities between the two? Do they share more than a few abilities, a similar structure, and a common nomenclature?"
The course will explore these issues from both philosophical and computational perspectives. A companion lab course will teach students how to program their own artificial neural networks.
Congratulations to John and Christos for this exciting grant.
See the Columbia News article on Professor Clarke-Doane's new work, Morality and Mathematics, available here:
We are happy to announce that Professor Robert Gooding-Williams, M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of Philosophy and of African American and African Diaspora Studies, has been awarded a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship.
"Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen through a rigorous peer-review process from almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-sixth competition."
Professor Gooding-Williams' project is entitled: Du Bois’s Political Aesthetics: The Moral Psychology of White Supremacy and the Ends of Beauty