News & Announcements from the Philosophy Department. We are also on Facebook and Twitter.

The Philosophy Exchange, 4th Edition

The UC Davis Philosophy Department annual newsletter—The Philosophy Exchange—is now online. Check out what the department has been up to during the last year!

— 1 month ago
Food for Thought with Prof. Oshana

Food For Thought tomorrow (Friday, April 25) at 3:10 p.m. in the Philosophy Department Library, SSH 1231. Prof. Oshana giving talk entitled “Are doctors required to respect the wishes of their patients in end of life cases?” Free pizza!

— 3 months ago
Full schedule for upcoming Berkeley-Stanford-Davis Philosophy Conference on April 26.

Full schedule for upcoming Berkeley-Stanford-Davis Philosophy Conference on April 26.

— 3 months ago
Full schedule for upcoming DEX2 conference

Full schedule for upcoming DEX2 conference

— 3 months ago
Cameron Buckner talk at 3:10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15

REMINDER: Cameron Buckner is giving a talk at 3:10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15 in the Philosophy Department Library, SSH 1231. Dr. Buckner did his PhD at Indiana (Bloomington) 2011 and wrote a dissertation called “Learning from Mistakes: Error-Correction and the Nature of Cognition.” He is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Houston. See his website:

— 6 months ago
Fall Events

Fall Quarter events are now posted on Facebook.

— 10 months ago
Application deadline for the $1,000 Barrall Family scholarship for undergraduates extended until May 15

Application deadline for the $1,000 Barrall Family scholarship for undergraduates extended until May 15. Find the application below.

Recipients of the Barrall Family Philosophy Scholarship must have junior standing, have declared a philosophy major, and have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the major. They should also have financial need as determined by the Undergraduate Scholarship Office and a history of community service or other activities that demonstrate an ongoing personal interest in bettering society and the world in general.

— 1 year ago
Full schedule for upcoming DEX conference.

Full schedule for upcoming DEX conference.

— 1 year ago
PHI 13 /PHI 13G

Hello all,

There is a lot of room in PHI 13/ PHI 13G (Prof Molyneux) because we recently moved the lectures to a larger room. Please consider taking it, or tell your friends about it. You have two options.

(1) You can take PHI 13 as a 3 credit course with no writing expectation. In this case, enroll in PHI 13 and do not also enroll in PHI 13G.

(2) You can take it as a writing intensive 4 credit course. For this option, enroll in both PHI 13 (for the lectures) and PHI 13G (for the discussion groups). PHI 13 is organized differently from our other lower division classes. Because the discussion groups are held under PHI 13G, you need to add it in addition to PHI 13 unless you only want to get 3 credits for taking the course. PHI 13 carries 3 credits and PHI 13G carries one credit, so if you enroll in both, you get 4 credits. (Note that if you only enroll in PHI 13 and do not also enroll in 13G, you could end up one credit hour short of having enough credit hours for the philosophy major.)


David Copp,
Professor, Chair,
Department of Philosophy,
University of California, Davis,
One Shields Ave.,
Davis, CA 95616

— 1 year ago
Christ Barker talk

Chris Barker from NYU is speaking in the Andrew’s Room at 3:10 on Friday, Jan. 11. Topic is dynamics of taste.


Asserting a vague predicate in the course of conversation makes commitments about prevailing standards for the use of those predicates. Then the faultlessness of disagreements about taste (“This chili is tasty”, “No it’s not!”) stems from the fact that no speaker has privileged authority concerning community standards. I situate this discussion in a larger project exploring the dynamics of vague predicates. I argue that not only can expressions sometimes be used primarily for the sake of their side effects on conversation, there are expression types that have no descriptive content whatsoever, and whose only conventional contribution is to negotiate the threshold of a vague predicate.

More info:

Barker, Chris. In prep. Negotiating taste.

Background readings:

Barker, Chris. 2009. _Mind and Language_: Clarity and the Grammar of Skepticism.

Barker, Chris. 2002. _Linguistics and Philosophy_: The dynamics of vagueness.

— 1 year ago
BSD Call for Papers


Hosted by the University of California, Berkeley

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Keynote Address by John MacFarlane, UC Berkeley

The Organizing Committee of the annual BSD Conference invites submissions of papers for presentation from any graduate student in philosophy in California.

Submission Information:

Deadline: February 1, 2013

Subject-matter: Any substantial area of study in philosophy

Length: No more than 3500 words (papers longer than this will not be considered for presentation)

Notifications of acceptance are expected to be made by February 20, 2013. Accepted papers will be assigned a commentator from one of the three organizing institutions.


(1) Please send submissions suitable for blind review as a .doc or .pdf attachment to with the subject line: “Submission for BSD 2013.” Submissions must exclude any information that would reveal the identity of the author.

(2) Please also attach to the same e-mail an abstract of no more than 200 words, also as a .doc or .pdf attachment, and also without any identifying information.

(3) Finally, attach a cover page (as .doc or .pdf) with the title of the paper, the author’s contact information, and her/his institutional affiliation.

Please direct any questions to Adam Bradley (

— 1 year ago
Noa Latham talk Friday, Nov. 30

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 30, 3:10 p.m.

WHERE: Philosophy Department Library (SSH 1231)

WHAT: Talk by Noa Latham, University of Calgary,

— 1 year ago
Davis Extravaganza Philosophy Conference, March 25-26, 2013.

Davis Extravaganza Philosophy Conference, March 25-26, 2013.

— 1 year ago
Philosophy Club meeting

WHEN: Mondays, 5-6 p.m. (except holidays)

WHERE: 176 Kerr Hall, UC Davis

WHAT: Philosophy Club meetings.

The Philosophy Club meets Mondays from 5-6 p.m. in 176 Kerr Hall. Philip Powers is club president. Contact him with questions. (Find his contact info by looking him up on the UCD website.)

— 1 year ago
Political science talks of interest to philosophers

WHEN: Spring and Winter quarters of 2013

WHERE: 691 Kerr Hall, UC Davis

WHAT: The Davis Political Theory Forum and the Department of Political Science is pleased to announce a speaker series “The Scottish Enlightenment in Scotland and Abroad” for the 2012-13 academic year. The speaker series is made possible by a generous donation from the Jack Miller Center. All of the events will take place at 12:00 in 691 Kerr Hall.

January 11: Richard B. Sher (Department of History, New Jersey Institute of Technology/Rutgers University-Newark): “Books, the Book Trade, and the Transatlantic Scottish Enlightenment”

February 15: Ryan Patrick Hanley (Department of Political Science, Marquette University): “Freedom in the Scottish Enlightenment”

March 18: Jennifer Pitts (Department of Political Science, University of Chicago): “The Scottish Enlightenment and Global History”

April 19: Daniel Kapust (Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin): TBA

May 10: Michael Zuckert (Department of Political Science, Notre Dame University): TBA

June 10: Samuel Fleischacker (Department of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Chicago): “The Rhetoric of Smith’s Wealth of Nations”

— 1 year ago