February 2017 Member News & Updates

2017-11-01T14:42:47+00:00 March 1st, 2017|Members, Rotman News|

Four Rotman graduate students were among the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) award recipients announced recently. Please join us in congratulating each of our 2015 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program Doctoral Scholarship recipients (pictured above, left to right):

Adam Woodcox – “Plato on the nature and value of pleasure”

Tracy de Boer – “Excess and material inequality”

Jaclyn Lanthier – “Understanding memory: how can the faculties collaborate to advance our knowledge”

Tom De Saegher – “How quantum mechanics can predict the existence of objects in space without positing objects local to regions of spacetime”

Other Rotman member activities for this month are listed below in alphabetical order.


  • Samantha Brennan is on the advisory board for a new Lexington Books series on philosophy: Feminist Strategies: Flexible Theories and Resilient Practices. The goal of Feminist Strategies is to solicit original work in contemporary philosophical feminism that recognizes that while women have achieved a significant measure of equality, discrimination nonetheless persists through the intersection of gender with other systems and practices of oppression. Such work would include the formulation of theories that are sufficiently flexible, and the promotion of practices sufficiently resilient, to address these changing contexts and forms of oppression. The volumes that comprise this series will thus examine current practices, actual cases, and historical episodes of discrimination in which gender has intersected with systems of oppression including those involving feminism and disability; women, animals, and emotion; extended cognition and feminism; women and depression; motherhood, and the new materialist feminism.
  • Last year, Louis Charland and Kyoko Wada published a paper titled “Decision-Making Capacity to Consent to Medical Aid in Dying for Persons with Mental Disorders” that explored the implications of Canada’s new legislation on MAID, and whether eligibility should be extended to patients suffering only from psychiatric disorders. Seven commentaries in response to the paper have been published to date from the following researchers: Mona Gupta and Christian Desmarais (Department of Psychiatry, l’Université de Montréal); Guy A.M. Widdershoven (Department of Medical Humanities, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam) and Cecilia M.T. Gijsbers van Wijk (Arkin Mental Health Care, Amsterdam); Ilang M Guiroy (Albany Medical College) and Dominic Sisti (Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics in Behavioral Health Care, and Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania); Gareth Owen (King’s College London); Michael Goodstadt (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto); Gerben Meynen (Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities VU University Amsterdam); and Scott Y. H. Kim (Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan).
  • Michael Cuffaro will be giving a talk at the Perimeter Institute on March 28th (title TBA).
  • A paper David Hakim wrote for his MA Summer Research Project, “Kant on Moral Illusion and Appraisal of Others” (supervised by Professor Dennis Klimchuk of Western’s Department of Philosophy) has just been accepted for publication in Kantian Review. It will appear in the September 2017 issue.
  • Derek Oswick and Catherine Stinson organized a workshop on The Social Impact of Medicalizing Psychiatry, held on February 17th (see photos below). About 50 people attended 4 talks and a panel discussion covering social determinants of mental health, mental health risks in migrant groups, the effects of commercialized medical research, and the trend away from including the self in psychiatric research and practice. They will be continuing the discussion in a series of forthcoming posts on the Rotman Institute blog.

  • Chris Smeenk was an organizer of the conference Methodology and Epistemology in Cosmology, which took place at the University of California, Irvine on February 10 – 12. He presented a talk at the conference titled, “Challenges to Primordial Cosmology“. Marc Holman also attended the conference, as did Rotman alumni Yann Benétreau-Dupin and Melissa Jacquart.
  • Chris Smeenk presented a talk titled, Newton’s Empiricism at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto, as part of their annual Colloquium Series, on February 15th.
  • John Thorp was a special guest at the founding meeting of the bilingual Canadian Aristotle Society/Société aristotélicienne du Canada at the Dominican University in Ottawa, February 16.