UM Philosophy welcomes Rick McIntye as a new faculty affiliate

Rick McIntyre Rick McIntyre has worked in national parks, national forests, and state parks for 47 years, including Yellowstone, where he accumulated over 98,000 wolf sightings. Rick is the author of four books on wildlife and national parks (including A Society of Wolves and War Against the Wolf) and many articles. He is currently writing a three-book series on the Yellowstone wolves. Rick has also been the subject of books and articles, including two, American Wolf and Beyond Words, in the last three years. News sources as diverse as the BBC, American Public Radio, and “60 Minutes” have interviewed him. The National Geographic channel aired “Yellow Wolf Dynasty” in August 2018, featuring Rick and a family of wolves he’s studied for decades. Rick has worked on the intersection of biology, management, law, and environmental education in Yellowstone National Park for the last 24 years. He shares his knowledge of wildlife, his collaborative experience, public speaking skills, and insights on wilderness values with our graduate students by directing internships, visiting our classes, and assisting with class trips through Yellowstone in winter.

Philosophy alumnus Jim Murray writes on the value of a philosophy degree.

Jim Murray Our students have enjoyed much success. Jim Murray, BA in philosophy 76, shares what he's found valuable about his degree in his impressive carreer.Read online here. PDF here.

Christopher Preston's new book just released! 


The Synthetic Age: Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World, just released by MIT press.  Check out the coverage in the Missoulian here.

Albert Borgmann working with Fulbright award winner.

Carleton graduate student Alexander Castleton has been awarded a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholarship.  Castleton, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in sociology is using the $15,000 USD award funds to study at the University of Montana-Missoula. He is working on his dissertation under the supervision of the Regents Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Albert Borgmann.  Read more.

Environmental MA students Cantens and Hayes headed to Ph.D. programs!

Kristian Cantens has received five years of funding for the PhD. program Texas A&M University where he will work in critical animal studeies.

Charles Hayes has received a Michigan State University Distinguished Fellowship (UDF). These 5-year support packages are the university's most prestigious graduate fellowships. Only 20 University Enrichment Fellowships are awarded for an incoming class of approximately 500 doctoral students.

Way to go Kristian and Charles!

Professor Christopher Preston wins internal grant.

Christopher was awarded a Humanities Institute Individual Faculty Research Grant in the amount of $1500.00 for his project “The Resurgence of the Wild in the Anthropocene.” A number of commentators are suggesting that the new epoch of the Anthropocene marks the time when both “nature” and the “wild” have finally been eliminated from the face of the planet. Christopher suspects that the Anthropocene in fact has the potential be a time for a great rewilding and restoring of landscapes. As part of this project, he will travel to Glacier National Park and to the Blackfeet Reservation this summer to look at how parts of that region might be rewilded with free roaming bison herds. He plans to write about this as one of several currents in what he suggests might become “a wild Anthropocene.”
As part of the Humanities Montana series “Our Current State,” Christopher Preston will give lectures at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park and at Missouri Headwaters State Parks in July on two topics in his current research.  One is on “The Resurgent Wild” the other is on “Replacing Nature with a Synthetic World.”

Associate Professor Soazig Le Bihan recieves Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award.

Soazig got the recognition she deserved for her remarkable work with students in the Prelaw program.

Philosophers Le Bihan and Slicer in The Missoulian.

Soazig and Deborah have weighed in on the proposed spinal cord injury research on pigs at UM.  Check out the article here.

New Certificate in Environmental Ethics.

Students that want to beef up their credentials in environmental ethics can now do so through a new certificate offered in the Department of Philosophy.  Check out the requirements here. 

Associate Professor Soazig Le Bihan presents at Models, Explanations, and Realism about Quantum Physics.

Soazig presented her paper "Understanding quantum foundations" at a workshop at the University of Leeds in January.

Associate Professor Soazig Le Bihan and graduate student Iheanyi Amadi to present at PSA16 in November.

Soazig and Iheanyi will present their paper "On Epistemically Detrimental Dissent: Contingent Enabling Factors v. Stable Difference Makers" at the Philosophy of Science Association's bienniel meeting.

Congratulations to Emily Cross on graduating from UC Irvine School of Law and her clerkship!

Emily Cross received her BA from the Philosophy Department in 2012.  Emily just graduated from law school.  She will be clerking for the Chief Justice of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the fall.  Way to go Emily!

Professor Armond Duwell lectures on understanding quantum theory at Western University.

See the video of the lecture here.

Congratulations graduating seniors and MA students!

Please join us for the Philosophy Department graduation ceremony on May 14, 2016 2 p.m. in the President's Room in Brantly Hall. (Map.)  The following will be receiving awards:

  • Danielle Breck-- Herbig Book Award
  • Charles Hayes-- Herbig Book Award
  • Kristian Cantens-- Herbig Book Award
  • Shea Mann--Herbig Book Award
  • Sierra LaBonte--Burke Townsend Clear Thinking Award
  • Tavia Kohles-- Outstanding Senior Award

Professor Christopher Preston will be Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Vrije Universiteit.

Christopher will spend three months between October 2016 and January 2017 as the Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Ethics of the Anthropocene at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  There he will continue his research on the ethical significance of the proposed new epoch known as the Anthropocene.  He will be writing in particular on the ideas of the "post-natural" and the "post-wild" in the Anthropocene.

Victory for vegans at the Food Zoo.

MA student Kristian Cantans worked with Dining Services to get vegan offerings at UM's Food Zoo for those so inclined.

Professor Christopher Preston invited to contribute to Hastings Center Report.

Christopher has been invited to contribute a paper to a supplement of the Hastings Center Report on the value questions underlying the prospect of de-extinction. These essays are designed to serve as a companion to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature guidelines recently released on the strategies for using genomic technologies to bring back extinguished species.

MA program in environmental philosophy designated a ``Distinctive Program'' by WICHE.

In April 2016, we received a "Distinctive Program" designation from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. This means that a graduate student enrolling in our environmental philosophy emphasis who is an official resident of a Western state can enroll at Montana's in-state tuition rates. The Western states covered by this agreement include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Hawai'i, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Associate Professor Armond Duwell to give lecture at ``Information Theoretic Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics''.

Armond was invited to lecture at an upcoming conference in honor of Jeff Bub's work in foundations of quantum mechanics Western University in London, ON in June.  He will be discussing the epistemic value of information theoretic interpretations of quanutum mechanics.

Associate Professor Soazig Le Bihan and Professor Albert Borgmann debate veganism.

On March 29th Albert and Soazig debated the virtues and drawbacks of veganism on Talk Back Missoula on KVGO.  Listen here.

Associate Professor Armond Duwell gives talk at the Sorbonne. 

Armond Duwell presented his paper ``Representation, Interpretation, and Theories of Information'' at the Sorbonne in January.

Associate Professor Le Bihan Visiting Professor at ENS.

Soazig Le Bihan will be a visiting professor at the prestegious École Normale Supérior in January 2016. She will be presenting seminar on scientific understanding.  Read more (in French).

Begginning of the year grad student hike.

Photo of large larch tree with grad students

Professor Deborah Slicer and graduate students Charles Hayes, Iheanyi Amadi, and Kristian Cantens gather at the foot of North America's largest western larch tree during a hike in early fall of 2015.

Alumnus Brandon Sundh accepted to Ph.D. program.

Brandon will pursue his Ph.D. in systematic theology in the Augustana-Hochshule in Neuendettelsau, Bayern, Germany.  His research will focus on the problem of religious language and the central thinkers I will be working with are Martin Heidegger, William James, and Richard Rorty.  Congratulations Brandon!

Graduate student Christina Bovinette to present at Challenging Ontologies: Making Sense in Ethics, Science, Politics, and Art.

Christina will present her paper " “Wave Function” and the Second Wave: Towards a Feminist Theory of Physics or a New Understanding of Physics in Feminism?" at the University of Regina, Canada for the Canadian Society of Women in Philosophy in October. 

Associate Professor Armond Duwell to present at EPSA 2015 in Düsseldorf Germany.

Armond Duwell will be part of a symposium on quantum computing at the European Philosophy of Science Association's 2015 meeting, in September. The symposium will bring together philosophers and physicists working on quantum computing.

Associate Professor Soazig Le Bihan invited to comment at Varieties of Understanding Midpoint Conference. 

Soazig Le Bihan will be joining the best of the best in the interdisciplinary studies of understanding in New York, NY in June.  She will provide a synthesis of various views of understanding provided in this landmark conference

Albert Borgmann fund for Environmental Philosophy

Albert Borgmann The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has donated funds to create the Albert Borgmann fund for Environmental Ethics.  $1000 will be provided yearly to support the Environmental Philosophy M.A. program by funding guest speakers, student attendance at conferences, acquisition of research materials advertising and other activities that generally promote the program.  Albert Borgmann is Regents Professor of Philosophy at the University of Montana.  He has been teaching in the Deparmtent of Philosophy since 1970, and specializes in philosophy of society and culture.  Of the fund that bears his name, he writes,

"A while ago, the Philosophy Department generously and unanimously decided to focus the MA Program on Environmental Philosophy. Chris Comer, Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences, has vigorously supported the decision.

The Program has been very successful. We’ve had wonderful graduates who have finished on time and gone on to law schools, to Ph.D. programs, and, most important, to public interest work.

There is of course room for further support to give the Program greater publicity, to send students to conferences, to bring in speakers, to acquire teaching and research materials, and more.  That’s the purpose of Fund.

I’m grateful to the founder and donor of the Fund."

Click here to make a contribution.

Burke Townsend Clear Thinking Award

Burke Townsend The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has donated funds to create the Burke Townsend Clear Thinking Award.  The award is to be given to a senior in philosophy with a preference for students majoring in a STEM field.   The amount of the award is $1000 for 2015-2016.  Burke Townsend was a professor of philosophy at the University of Montana between 1974-2006, specializing in philosophy of science.  When commenting on the award Townsend writes, "I recall suggesting to the award’s sponsor, only somewhat in jest, that the award might be the ‘Shades of Gray’ scholarship, because of what seems to me to be one of the currently greatest obstacles to good thinking, the inclination to seek tidy yes-or-no answers and to be uncomfortable with probabilities, degrees of evidence, and concepts essentially dependent upon an incapacity for crisp definition.  Good thinking about most matters is seldom a process of tidy resolutions.  And think of the benefits—a ‘Shades of Gray Award’ would surely generate much more interest on the web site than will the given title with the highlighted full name of some old dude that no one will remember in another few years.''  It is no wonder that Burke's good sense of humor, sensitivity to the complexities of the world, and his desire to help students navigate them inspired an award bearing his name.  All eligible students are automatically considered for the award.

Click here to make a contribution.

Associate Professor Bridget Clarke to participate in workshop on Kant's ethics.

Bridget Clarke has been invited to participate in the Chicago Area Consortium in German Philosophy in May 2015. 

Associate Professor Armond Duwell to present at an international workshop on quantum information.

 What Is Quantum Information? brings the worlds foremost experts on quantum information from physics and philosophy together to explore a question of central conceptual importance in quantum information theory in May 2015.  Duwell will present ``Analysing Shannon Information and quantum information''.  See conference website.

Graduate student Christina Bovinette to present at University of Montana Graduate and Faculty Research Conference.

Christina will present her paper " “Wave Function” and the Second Wave: Towards a Feminist Theory of Physics or a New Understanding of Physics in Feminism?" at the 14th annual conference in this series in April. 

Graduate student Iheanyi Amadi invited to present at Philosophy and Environment, Science, and Policy-Making.

Iheanyi has been invited to present his paper "Beyond a 'Rational' Wilderness Idea" at the Concordia Graduate Conference: Philosophy and Environment, Science, and Policy-Making, taking place on Friday and Saturday, April 17-18th in Montréal, Québec.

Graduate studente Christina Bovinette to present at Workshop on Capitalism & Sustainability.

Christina will present her paper "Transformative Justice: Seeking Green Space as an Alternative to Sustainable Development" during this workshop at the Center of Research in Ethics, University of Montreal in April.

Associate Professor Bridget Clarke to present at 2014 Tennessee Value and Agency Conference.

Bidget Clarke will be presenting her paper "Virtue and Sensibility" at the 2014 TVA conference Reason, Sentiment and Sensibility in the Moral Life
in November.

Associate Professors Soazig Le Bihan and Armond Duwell to present at PSA14.

Le Bihan and Duwell will be presenting the paper ``Enlightening falsehoods: A modal view of scientific understanding'' at the twenty-fourth biennial meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association.

Graduate student Christina Bovinette to present at (RE)VISIONS OF THE FUTURE: Public Sociology, Environmental Justice, & the Crisis of Climate Change.

Christina will present her paper "Transformative Justice: Transforming Multi-scalar Identities through Free-Market Resistance" at this conference at George Mason University in October.

Professor Christopher Preston received a Faculty Exchange Award.

The award is from the Office of International Programs and the Provost’s Office for Spring of 2015.  Preston will be travelling to Tromsø in northern Norway to collaborate with two faculty members there on emerging technologies and environmental ethics. Learn more about Preston's exchange.

Does God Exist? and other interviews with Albert Borgmann. 

Click here to access the interviews.