Philosophy's 2018-2019 school year

Photo Credit: year in review 2018-2019 image
by Brooke Adam July 8, 2019

The 2018-2019 academic year was filled with events, activities, and achievements for our Philosophy faculty and students. With the school year over and summer in full swing, we reflect on our year.


We invited several renowned philosophers to present to and engage with our faculty, students, and the greater campus community.

In our Speaker Series this year, we hosted two philosophy scholars to share their work with us. 

  • Julia Jorati from Ohio State University lead a discussion about "A Historical Case for Asymmetrical Freedom" on November 30th. 
  • David Velleman from New York University discussed his paper, "Non-Identical and Impersonal," on March 8th. 

Our Philosophy Club also organized speakers to share their work with our campus. 

poster for David Koons lecture

  • Robert Koons from the University of Texas lectured on "Does God Exist" on January 29th. His lecture presented an experience for attendees to contemplate questions about their personal faith and their places in the world. 
  • Lewis Gordon from the University of Connecticut presented a lecture titled “The Importance of Existential Philosophy Today.”

We also hosted our 11th annual Chambers Conference in April. This year's conference was directed by Joseph Mendola and focused on topics surrounding Normative Ethics. Eight philosophers from across the United States presented papers and approximately 40 scholars attended. 


We are proud to have an exceptional array of students in philosophy, both in our undergraduate and graduate programs. Here we recognize their achievements. 


students posing in hallway

The UNL Ethic Bowl team tied for 2nd Place in their first Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl in November. Making this feat especially impressive, no member of the team had participated on the Ethics Bowl team before and only two members had participated in similar events on their high school debate teams. 

In 2018-2019, ten undergraduate philosophy students graduated from our program. 


Chelsea Richardson received the Karen Dunning Travel Award from the UNL Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Richardson and Shane George also won the Graduate Student Travel Prize from Purdue Women in Philosophy.

Sixteen graduate students participated in the Graduate Student Colloquium. Here students had the opportunity to share their current research with other students and faculty in the department. 

Graduate recruiting season proved fruitful with seven graduate students committed for Fall of 2019. 

In 2018-2019, four of our graduate students received a Ph.D in philosophy. We'd like to recognize them for their hard work and wish them luck in their future. 

Luke Elwonger Epistemology, Metaphysics
Shane George Ethics, Philosophy of Mind
Landon Hedrick Epistemology 
Aaron Elliott Metaethics


Our department consists of many accomplished philosophers. Each year their research is published and many members elect to take on greater roles in the profession. 


Across twelve faculty members, fifteen journal articles or book chapters were published and eighteen paper presentations were given.

Mark van Roojen

  • “Rationalist Metaphysics, Semantics and Metamantics," in The Many Moral Rationalisms
  • “Second Thoughts about ‘Wishful Thinking’ (and Non-Cognitivism),” in Res Philosophica 
  • “Motivation, Recommendation, Non-Cognitivism, and the Naturalistic Fallacy,” in The Naturalistic Fallacy
  • “Promising and Assertion,” in The Oxford Handbook of Assertion
  • “Evolutionary Debunking, Realism and Anthropocentric Metasemantics,” in Moral Skepticism: New Essays

John Brunero

  • “Reasons, Evidence, and Explanations,” in Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity
  • “Recent Work on Internal and External Reasons,” in American Philosophical Quarterly

book cover for Dispositional Pluralism

Jennifer McKitrick

  • “Feminist Metaphysics: Can this Marriage be Saved?” Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Feminism
  • “Real Potential,” in Handbook on Potentiality
  • Dispositional Pluralism

Albert Casullo

  • “Polluck and Sturgeon on Defeaters,” in Syntheses

Jean Cahan

  • “National Identity and the Limits of Constructivism in International Relations Theory: a Case Study of the Suez Canal,” in Nations and Nationalism

David Hendersen

  • “Evidentially Embedded Epistemic Entitlement” in Synthese
  • “Morphological Content and Chromatic Illumination in Belief Fixation,” in Inference and Consciousness, co-authored with Terry Horgan and Matjaž Potrč
  • Comment on Epistemic Angst by Duncan Pritchard, in Review of Metaphysics

Colin McLear

  • “Motion and the Affection Argument,” in Synthese

Aaron Bronfman

  • “The Language of Ought, and Reasons,” in The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity


Reina Hayaki, Al Casullo, and Mark van Roojen served on committees for the American Philosophical Association.

John Brunero

John Brunero served as the vice president of the Central States Philosophical Association and is the President-elect for the coming year.

As a part of the Emory Tibet Science Initiative, David Henderson taught the philosophy of science to Tibetan monks.

Jennifer McKitrick served as a representative for the National Humanities Alliance and was a fellow for the Big 10 Academic Alliance.


As can be seen from our community's activities, 2018-2019 was a busy year for the Department of Philosophy. We are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience to our students and in doing so we have created a new major option for them to choose from. Coming Fall 2019, our Ethics and Law philosophy option will be live. Thank you to all who were involved in our department and we look forward to continuing our work in the fall.