A Message from the Chair, Prof. Cody Gilmore

Dear UC Davis Philosophy alumni and friends,

The 2022-2023 academic year was marked by a system-wide TA strike in Fall Quarter and by the tragic murders of David Breaux and UC Davis undergraduate Karim Abou Najm, and the stabbing of Kimberlee Guillory, in Spring Quarter. Breaux, also known as ‘the Compassion Guy’, was featured in The New York Times, which mentioned a scholarship in his name for local high school students, endowed by two UC Davis faculty. We are proud to report that those faculty, who wish to remain anonymous, are emeriti in Philosophy. For more information about the scholarship, or to contribute, click here.

On a more cheerful note, 2022-2023 was a busy and productive year for UC Davis Philosophy. A quick wrap up:

  • We enjoyed our first full year back in the classrooms after the pandemic.

  • We hired three new faculty members into tenure-track positions. David Glick (Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics) was hired as Assistant Professor midway through Fall Quarter. Dr. Glick received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and previously held positions at the University of Rochester, Oxford University, the University of Sydney, and UC Davis (as Lecturer). Qiannan Li (Normative Ethics, Moral Psychology, Chinese Philosophy) was hired as Assistant Professor in Spring Quarter 2023 and will begin teaching in Fall Quarter 2023. Dr. Li earned her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Gabe Dupre (Philosophy of Language and Linguists, Philosophy of Psychology, Philosophy of Science) was hired as Assistant Professor in Spring Quarter 2023 and will begin teaching for us in Spring Quarter 2024. Dr. Dupre earned his Ph.D. at UCLA and is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at Keele University in the UK. Welcome, David, Qiannan, and Gabe!

  • Assistant Professor Elvira Basevich, who joined the faculty last year, will begin teaching at UC Davis in Fall Quarter 2023, having completed a year on leave as Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. 

Student and Faculty Honors

It was also a great year for student and faculty honors.

  • Graduating philosophy major Ibrahim Dagher, who won the Undergraduate Philosophy Essay Contest for the third straight year, received a Hanson Family Undergraduate Research Publication Award for his article “Properties, Collections, and the Successive Addition Argument”, forthcoming in the journal Philosophia. To top that off, he was selected as one of just two students campus-wide to receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and the attached Keith Simonton Prize. Dagher plans to enroll in the philosophy Ph.D. program at Yale University in fall 2023. 

  • Associate Professor Tina Rulli received the 2023 Diversity and Principles of Community Deanna Falge Award, for her work on behalf of “underrepresented students and inclusive, justice-oriented spaces in the classroom and department”.

  • Finally, Professor Emerit Roberta Millstein was elected as a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and received the Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship Award.

Congratulations, Ibrahim, Tina, and Roberta!

Congratulations Graduate Students!

We bid a fond farewell to two graduate students: Taryn Christiansen, who completed the M.A. program, and Danielle Williams, who completed the Ph.D. program. Dr. Williams's dissertation was entitled Implementation and Interpretation: a unified account of physical computation. She takes up a position as postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis in July. Congratulations, Taryn and Danielle; we will miss you!

Ask a Philosopher

For the second consecutive year, our graduate students hosted an 'Ask a Philosopher' booth on picnic day. Our department hosted the Davis Extravaganza (DEX VIII) Philosophy Conference, this year organized by Professors Adam Sennet and Hannah Tierney.

Thank You Donors!

As always, the Department of Philosophy would like to express our deepest gratitude to James Barrall and the Barrall family for their support of the Barrall Family Scholarship Fund and the Barrall Family Lecture, to Alan Templeton for his support of Philosophy and the College of Letters and Science, to the Wagenlis Foundation for a gift in support of graduate education, and to our graduate alumnus (Ph.D.,1999) Professor Rick Schubert for connecting us with the Foundation.

One last word: this is my final Chair's Letter, as my three-year term as department chair has come to an end. It has been an honor to serve in the role and to work with such talented and dedicated faculty, students, and staff. Many thanks to Professor Elaine Landry, who takes over as chair this summer. UC Davis Philosophy will be in good hands!


Professor Cody Gilmore (outgoing Department Chair)

News from the Department

The 8th annual iteration Davis Philosophy Extravaganza (DEX) was held on April 10th and 11th of this year. It featured a diverse array of philosophers and philosophical topics, including Chinese metaphysics, philosophy of language, cognitive science and value theory. It was co-organized by Professors Hannah Tierney and Adam Sennet and well attended by our graduate students and faculty. The BBQ afterwards featured local beer by Dunloe Brewing and meat from the UC Davis Meat Lab.

Professor Jennifer Wang (Simon Fraser University) talking at the DEX meeting 2023

Prof. David Glick (who joined our department in 2022 as an Assistant Professor) wrote an article on “The Principle of Least Action and Teleological Explanation in Physics,” which has been accepted by the journal Synthese.


Prof. Hannah Tierney published chapters in two collections, including “Making Amends: How to Alter the Fittingness of Blame” in Fittingness: Essays in the Philosophy of Normativity and “The Future of the Causal Quest” in A Companion to Free Will. Together with Eyal Tal, she published the paper “Cruel Intentions and Evil Deeds” in Ergo. And with Preston Greene, Andrew Latham, Kristie Miller, James Norton, and Christian Tarsney, she published “Bias Towards the Future” in Philosophy Compass.


Prof. Hanti Lin's paper “The Trinity of Statistics” was peer-reviewed and accepted for presentation at two conferences, the best two in his area: the 2022 Biennial Meeting of the PSA (Philosophy of Science Association), and the 2023 Formal Epistemology Workshop. He also joined the editorial board of Harvard Data Science Review, which aims to foster critical, constructive interaction among different groups of people who care about data science, including statisticians, computer scientists, social and health scientists, policy makers, philosophers, and more. He is serving as the editor of one of its new columns: Philosophy for Data Science.


Prof. Jan Szaif (together with Prof. David Jennings) edited a collection of six new papers on Plato’s dialogue Lysis, which was published as a special issue in Archai 32, supplementum (2022): Studies on Plato’s Lysis (https://impactum-journals.uc.pt/archai/issue/view/754). He also contributed a paper on “Aporetic Discourse and Protreptic in Plato’s Lysis” to this volume. His paper on “Philosophical paideia in Plato’s Sophist” has been accepted for publication in: Plato’s Sophist: Selected Papers (ed. by E. Halper, L. Brisson, R. Parry. Academia Verlag). As part of his book project on truth and falsehood as a topic of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, he presented the chapter “Being and Not-being in the Strictest Sense”: A Discussion of the first lines of Metaphysics Θ 10 at the Stanford Ancient Metaphysics and Value Conference in February 2023.


Prof. Tina Rulli has won the 2023 Diversity and Principles of Community Deanna Falge Award, for her “dedication, leadership, and unmatched determination as an advocate for underrepresented students, and inclusive, justice-oriented spaces in the classroom and department.”

Davis faculty and grad students gathering for Daisy Underhill’s poster presentation and reception (“Not on your gene? Amplified inductive risk of epigenetics inheritance of trauma”) at the PSA conference

Our graduate students were very active at the biennial Philosophy of Science Association (PSA) conference in Pittsburgh, PA, November 2022. Chanwoo Lee, Danielle Williams, Daisy Underhill, and Zhexi Zhang were presenting research. Lel Jones was there representing MAP.

The student-organized philosophical discussion groups such as MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) and GeMS (Philosophical Gender Minoritized Students) resumed their successful activities and met throughout the year.

Prof. Alejandro Sandoval, PhD student Natalie McCosker, and undergraduate MAP representative Angelica Ng put together the second "ethics of r/amitheasshole" for MAP.

GeMS meeting on November 20, 2022

Placement News

Danielle Williams has a post-doc at Washington University (St. Louis).

Patrick Skeels is starting an Assistant Adjuncting Professor Position at CRC (Sacramento).

Jordan Bell will be a lecturer at SMU (Dallas) starting in the fall.

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