News & events

Fall 2020

25 September — Lauren Olin"Mistaking Identities" — University of Missouri-St. Louis

2 October — Brian Talbot — "The Importance of Mundane Beliefs" — University of Colorado Boulder

16 October — Julia Staffel — "Eyeballing the Evidence" — University of Colorado Boulder

20 November — Justin Clarke-Doane — "Russell's Regressive Method in Mathematics and Philosophy" —Columbia University

Spring 2021

19 March — Kit Fine — New York University


Congratulations to Professor Eike Kluge

From access to abortion to the ethics of deliberate death, bioethicist and philosopher Eike-Henner Kluge has been at the forefront of some of today’s most important medical debates. Kluge has written 13 books and authored 90 journal articles. This isn’t the first time Kluge has been recognized by the Royal Society of Canada—in 2007 he was awarded its Abbyann Lynch Medal in Bioethics. Despite recogntion with Canada’s highest academic honours, Kluge, who describes his work as at “the interface of theory and practice,” says he is most “happy” about his contributions to the public sphere. Kluge was the first expert witness in medical ethics recognized by Canadian courts. Kluge’s current work focuses on biomedical health information ethics, which includes electronic patient records. He is the author of the International Medical Informatics Association’s Code of Ethics. Kluge says he sees his scholarly research as groundwork for larger issues. “There has to be a social return somewhere,” he says. In 1989, Kluge helped establish the Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA) department of ethics and legal affairs. As its first director, he was asked in 1991 to draft an analysis for a Senate committee about Bill C-43, a proposed new law that would have restricted women’s access to abortion. The House of Commons had already passed the bill, introduced by the Mulroney government, and it had passed two Senate readings. But Kluge saw problems with the legislation. “[The bill] was seriously flawed ethically,” Kluge said. “My presentation, on behalf of the CMA, swayed two votes.” A tie vote resulted in the committee, which meant that the Senate did not pass the new proposed abortion law. “This is why there is no law that governs abortions in Canada,” Kluge says. “It is a simply a choice between the woman and the physician.” Kluge is known for his work on another contentious issue: the ethics of deliberate death, often referred to as medically assisted dying. His books The Practice of Death and The Ethics of Deliberate Death compelled North Saanich resident Sue Rodriguez to contact Kluge. He became an ethics adviser to Rodriquez, whose Supreme Court case in 1993 was the first to challenge section 241(b) of the Criminal Code. Rodriquez’s case ultimately failed, but in 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Carter v. Canada that parts of the Criminal Code would need to change to satisfy the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The federal government passed a new law in 2016 allowing medical assistance in dying.

Dr. Michael Robillard appointed as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford University

Dr. Michael Robillard has been appointed as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford University (Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics). Michael did his MA in Philosophy at UVic in 2011, his Doctorate at the University of Connecticut at the department of Philosophy. Michael’s area of study is Ethics, Military Ethics and Feminist Theory.

Congratulations to Professor James Young

Professor James Young, FRSC has been awarded the Faculty of Humanities Research Excellence Award for 2015. The award recognizes demonstrated excellence in research during the five academic years. This is a tremendous and richly deserved honour. Congratulations to James for his world-class scholarship! James most recent books are: Charles Batteux: The Fine Arts Reduced to a Single Principle, Translated with an Introduction and Notes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015 and Critique of Pure Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Eike-Henner Kluge in national story on 'meaning of death'

UVic in the News Eike-Henner Kluge, Philosophy A major shift is happening in the meaning of death Eike-Henner Kluge is quoted in a story by National Post writer Joseph Brean—picked up widely this weekend in Postmedia News including the Ottawa Citizen and Vancouver Sun, as well as in various regional papers in Brantford, Kingston and beyond—about the changing nature of death and its 'bureaucratization' after a court decision delayed this week’s expected start of physician assisted dying in Quebec, and a request by the federal government may delay it further for the rest of Canada. NP UVic Expert Eike-Henner Kluge in national story on 'meaning of death'

James O. Young - New fellow in the Royal Society of Canada

James Young (philosophy) is a leading authority on the philosophy of language, art and ethical issues in the arts, such as those raised by cultural appropriation—the practice of borrowing from other cultures. Young has authored five books, edited two more and written over 50 articles in refereed journals in fields as varied as philosophy, literature, archaeology, musicology and psychology. “Who wouldn’t want to be a philosopher?” he asks. “I can’t think of a better life than one that involves reflection on the fundamental questions. Everyone has a little philosopher in him or her. I have the privilege of being paid to be one.” Three other UVic faculty members have joined the ranks of RSC’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, which represents “the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada.”

Charles Batteux: The Fine Arts Reduced to a Single Principle by James O. Young

The Fine Arts Reduced to a Single Principle (1746) by Charles Batteux was arguably the most influential work on aesthetics published in the eighteenth century. It influenced every major aesthetician in the second half of the century: Diderot, Herder, Hume, Kant, Lessing, Mendelssohn, and others either adopted his views or reacted against them. It is the work generally credited with establishing the modern system of the arts: poetry, painting, music, sculpture and dance. Batteux's book is also an invaluable aid to the interpretation of the arts of eighteenth century. And yet there has never been a complete or reliable translation of The Fine Arts into English. Now James O. Young, a leading contemporary philosopher of art, has provided an eminently readable and accurate translation. It is fully annotated and comes with a comprehensive introduction that identifies the figures who influenced Batteux and the writers who were, in turn, influenced by him. The introduction also discusses the ways in which The Fine Arts has continuing philosophical interest. In particular, Young demonstrates that Batteux's work is an important contribution

Spring 2020

January 17th: Scott Edgar, Saint Mary's University, Philosophy Colloquium: "The Function of History in Hermann Cohen's Critique of Knowledge"

January 24th: Margaret Scharle, Reed College, Philosophy Colloquium: "The Teleology of Divine Imitation in Aristotle"

January 31st: Mitra Sharafi, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Victoria Colloquium: "South Asians and West Africans at the Inns of Court: Empire and Expulsion circa 1900"

February 7th: David Friedell, University of British Columbia, Philosophy Colloquium: "Why Can't I change Bruckner's Eighth Symphony?"

February 27th: Raymond Tallis, Landsdowne Lecture: "Are We (Just) Animals?"

February 28th: Raymond Tallis, Philosophy Colloquium: "Myth-Information"

March 6th: Richard Bellamy, University College London, Victoria Colloquium: "When is Democracy Constitutional? On the Relations between Political, Populist and Popular Constitutionalism"

March 27th: Debra Thompson, University of Oregon, Victoria Colloquium [CANCELLED]


Fall 2019

September 6th: Kerry McKenzie, University of California, San Diego, Philosophy Colloquium: No work for a theory of grounding?  — A naturalist's take.

September 20th: Liam Shields, University of Manchester, Philosophy Colloquium: Children as Public Goods: at what cost? 

September 27th: Devin Shaw, Douglas College, Philosophy Colloquium: Existentialism is an Antifascism: The Ethics of Ambiguity and Combating White Supremacy. 

October 4th: Jill Fellows, Douglas College, Philosophy Colloquium; Alex Livingston, Cornell University, Victoria Colloquium

October 18th: Chelsea Rosenthal, Simon Fraser University, Philosophy Colloquium: Rights in an Uncertain World

October 25th: Troy Cross, Reed College & Brian Haas, University of Southern California, Philosophy Colloquium: Two Concepts of Ground

November 1st: Gordon Christie, University of British Columbia, Victoria Colloquium

November 15th: Michel-Antoine Xhignesse, Capilano University, Philosophy Colloquium: What makes a kind an art-kind?

November 22nd: Colleen Murphy, University of Illinois, Victoria Colloquium

Fall 2018

September 14th, Dr. David Scott, University of Victoria, Philosophy Colloquium: "Chécartes: Descartes as Twentieth-Century Metaphysical Freedom Fighter."

September 28th, Dr. Ron Bontekoe, University of Hawaii, Philosophy Colloquium: "Metaethical Implications of Taking Darwin Seriously"

October 1st, Dr. Lori GruenWesleyan University, Victora Colloquium

October 4th, Dr. Gideon Rosen, Princeton University, Lansdowne Speaker: "Managing Moral Outrage, or How Philosophy Can Change Your (Emotional) Life"

October 12th, Dr. Gina Rini, York University, Philosophy Colloquium: "Moral Disagreement is Special"

October 26th, Dr. Deva Woodly, New School, Victoria Colloquium

November 9th. Dr. Mark Antaki, McGill University, Victoria Colloquium

November 16th, Dr. Fatema Amijee, Simon Fraser University, Philosophy Colloquium: "Relativized Fundamentality"

November 23rd, Dr. Thomas Land, University of Victoria, Philosophy Colloquium: "Epistemic Agency and the Self-Knowledge of Reason: On the Contemporary Relevance of Kant’s Method of Faculty Analysis"

November 30th, Dr. Carina Fourie, University of Washington, Philosophy Colloquium: "Discrimination, Emotion, and Health Inequities"


Spring 2019

January 11th, Zoey LavalleeCUNY, Philosophy Colloquium: "Toward a Theory of Craving"

January 18th, Dean Spade, Seattle University, Victoria Colloquium: "Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid for Mobilization and Survival"

January 25th, Dr. Carl Craver, Washington University in St. Louis, Philosophy Colloquium: "The Ontic Conception and Idealization"

February 8th, Dr. Kyle Whyte, Michigan State University, Victoria Colloquium: "It's Too Late for Indigenous Justice: Problems with Urgency in Climate Change Advocacy"

March 8th, Melvin Rogers, Brown University, Victoria Colloquium: "Being a Slave of the Community: Race, Domination, and Republicanism" 

March 26th, Dr. Eva Kit Wah Man, Hong Kong Baptist University, Philosophy Colloquium: Revelations and Limitations of Feminist Philosophy and Comparative Studies

March 29th, Dr. Shen-yi Liao, University of Puget Sound, Philosophy Colloquium


Spring 2018

January 19th, Dr. Julen Etxabe, University Helsinki, Victoria Colloquium: "Dialogism in the Courts: What’s in it for Law, Human Rights, and Democracy?"

February 2nd, Dr. Joel Bakan, University of British Columbia, Victoria Colloquium

February 9th, Dr. Tim Kenyon, University of Waterloo, Philosophy Colloquium: "Phenomena and theory in the epistemology of testimony"

February 23rd, Dr. Alison Wylie, University of British Columbia, Philosophy Colloquium: "Radiocarbon Dating and Robustness Reasoning in Archaeology"

March 2nd, Dr. Conor Mayo-Wilson, University of Washington, Philosophy Colloquium: "Eliciting Group Beliefs"

March 9th, Dr. Marie-Eve Morin, University of Alberta, Philosophy Colloquium: "Flesh and Écart in Maurice Merleau-Ponty et Jean-Luc Nancy"

March 16th, Dr. Gina Rini, York University, CANCELLED Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition, Philosophy Colloquium: "Moral Disagreement is Special"

March 23rd, Dr. Chris Lebron, Johns Hopkins, CANCELLED Victoria Colloquium: "The Duty To Imagine - Afrofuturism vs White Identity Narrative"


Fall 2017

September 15th: Dr. David Scott, UVic, Philosophy Colloquium: "Descartes on Thought: Evolution of a Misinterpretation"

September 22nd: Dr. Leslie Green, Queen's University, Victoria Colloquium: "The Normativity of Law: What is the Problem?"

September 29th: Dr. Tom Donaldson, Simon Fraser University, Philosophy Colloquium: "On the Nature of Mathematical Truth (or: truthmaker theory meets easy ontology)"

October 13th: Dr. Orit Kamir, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Victoria Colloquium: "Escape from Dignity: The Honour Politics of Jihad, Social Media Shaming, and Trump."

October 27th: Dr. Michael Griffin, University of British Columbia, Philosophy Colloquium: "Plato’s Republic as Psychology and Dissuasion from Politics"

November 3rd: Dr. Barbara Arneil, University of British Columbia, Victoria Colloquium: "Domestic Colonies and Colonialism vs Imperialism in Western Political Thought and Practice"


Spring 2017

February 3rd, 2017Dr. Robert Pasnau (University of Colorado, Boulder​)

March 3rd, 2017, Dr. Philip Corkum (University of Alberta) 

Friday, March 24th, 2017, Dr. Rosemary Twomey (Simon Fraser University) 


Fall 2016

Sept. 23rd - Dr. Margaret Cameron (University of Victoria)

Cancelled: Oct. 21st - Dr. Michael Griffin (University of British Columbia)

To Be Rescheduled - Dr. Clifford Roberts (University of Victoria)


Spring 2016

Mar. 11th - Dai Heide (Simon Fraser University)

Feb. 26th - (Cancelled) Michael Griffin (UBC)

Feb. 19th - Nicole Wyatt (University of Calgary)

Feb. 5th - Paul Bartha (UBC)

Jan. 15th - Colin Marshal (University of Washington)

Fall 2015

Nov. 20th - Roberta Ballarin (UBC)

Nov. 6th - Ori Simchen (UBC)

Oct. 30th - Dr. James Young (UVic)

Oct. 15th & 16th - Sally Hasslanger (MIT)

Spring 2015

Mar. 27th - Klaus Corcilius (Berkeley)

Mar. 13th - Holly Andersen (SFU)

Feb. 27th - Frank Cunningham (University of Toronto)

Fall 2014

Dec. 5th - Dr. Elaine Landry (University of California, Davis)

Nov. 21st - Conor Mayo-Wilson (University of Washington)

Nov. 14th - Dr. Geoff S. Bowe (Instanbul Teknik Universities)

Oct. 24th - Alan Richardson (UBC)

Oct. 17th - Dr. Nicolas Fillion (SFU)

Sept. 19th - Dr. Paul Hovda (Reed College)