News-Department of Philosophy - Carnegie Mellon University

The students, staff, and faculty of the Department of Philosophy are constantly engaged in "philosophy that makes a difference.” Read below for some stories that demonstrate this in action.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

David Danks Wins 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

David DanksCarnegie Corporation of New York has named Carnegie Mellon University’s David Danks a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. The 35 selected fellows will receive a total of $7 million in funding, or $200,000 each, making it the most generous stipend for humanities and social sciences research available.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Graduate Student Teaching Award Winners Announced

Aidan Kestigian and Mary Glavan are the 2017 recipients of the Dietrich College’s Graduate Student Teaching Award, which recognizes Ph.D. candidates who demonstrate excellence in teaching.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

National Academies Committee Outlines Steps To Combat Disease Epidemics

Alex LondonUsing key lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has outlined how to improve the speed and effectiveness of clinical trial research while an epidemic is occurring.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

CMU to Host NASSLLI 2018

We are excited to announce that in June 2018, the Department of Philosophy, with support from across the campus, will host the upcoming North American Summer School in Logic, Language and Information.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Discover and Celebrate the Humanities and Social Sciences

Dietrich DayDietrich Day will begin with Discover Dietrich at 11 a.m. in Baker Hall’s Coffee Lounge. Anyone from the CMU community is invited to stop by and learn about the college's exciting programs. Celebrate Dietrich will be held at 2:30 p.m. on the CFA Lawn. The event is open to all Dietrich College faculty, staff and students and will feature food and games.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Learn From Current Seniors: Honors Fellowship Program Offers Exciting Opportunities

The benefits of getting paid to initiate research projects and develop professional examples of their work — while working with faculty mentors  — are just a few of the big motivators, according to this year’s Senior Honor Fellows. The application deadline is March 24.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

10 Things To Love About CMU’s Dietrich College

Baker Hall StaircaseThe Dietrich College is home to world-class researchers who do foundational and deep research and collaborate across many disciplines to take on problems that are important to humanity. Students become involved in research early in their CMU careers and work alongside their top-rated professors. They emerge from their academic careers able to communicate, think, learn and understand the world in ways that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Model Driverless Car Regulations After Drug Approval Process, AI Ethics Experts Argue

Driverless carAutonomous systems — like driverless cars — perform tasks that previously could only be performed by humans.  In a new IEEE Intelligent Systems Expert Opinion piece, CMU artificial intelligence ethics experts David Danks and Alex John London argue that current safety regulations do not plan for these systems and are therefore ill-equipped to ensure that autonomous systems will perform safely and reliably.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Linguistics Senior Works to Raise Awareness of Endangered Language in Mexico

Tess HartyWhen Tess Harty was an undeclared first-year student in the Dietrich College in the fall of 2013, she was truly undecided and ready to explore the majors in the college. After her freshman year, she still hadn’t found the perfect fit, but she registered for Nature of Language for the fall of her sophomore year – and she immediately knew she had found her home in the Linguistics major.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Vacant No More: CMU Students Present Urban Development Solutions

CMU EHPP StudentsMedia outlets continue to honor Pittsburgh as being a "most livable" city, and CMU Ethics, History and Public Policy students have equipped city officials with a tool and research to build on this reputation by tapping into the potential of empty city lots.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

National Endowment for Democracy Grant Awarded To CMU’s Program for Deliberative Democracy

NED logoThe National Endowment for Democracy has awarded CMU’s Program for Deliberative Democracy and two nonpartisan organizations a $50K grant to support a working group on deliberative democracy with key figures from Cuban pro-democracy groups.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Alex John London Appointed To Department of Health and Human Services Committee

Alex LondonAs part of the committee, London, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Ethics and Policy, will advise, consult and make policy recommendations related to the safety of blood, blood products, organs and tissues. He will serve for two years.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Inventing Languages, One Philosophy Course at a Time

B.R. George and studentsIf you really stop to think about it, language is a part of every moment of every day – from reading written words to talking with a friend or simply being alone you’re your thoughts.

But – why do languages work the way that they do? Why do they follow certain rules? "Invented Languages," a Philosophy Department course, was designed to get students thinking about language in a whole new way, and in doing so, inventing their own languages from scratch.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Value of Research Instilled From the Start

Bjorndahl conversingWhether through research training courses or senior honors theses, undergraduate students in the Dietrich College have opportunities to engage in research at every turn.
These students contribute to knowledge on diverse topics alongside the best and brightest in their fields.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

CMU, City Officials Write the Book on Deliberative Democracy

group discussionThrough deliberative democracy, ordinary citizens are empowered to play an active role in policy decisions. With help from Carnegie Mellon University’s Program for Deliberative Democracy, the City of Pittsburgh is becoming a national model for this community-driven approach to addressing important issues.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Andrew Carnegie Society Scholars Announced

The Andrew Carnegie Society (ACS) Scholars Class of 2017 has been announced – and eight seniors from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences have been selected.

ACS Scholars are Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate students who combine high academic standards with extracurricular activities, including volunteering in the community, playing sports, taking on leadership roles and participating in student organizations and the arts.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Presidential Fellows & Scholars Announced

Carnegie Mellon University has named its Presidential Fellows and Scholars for the 2016-2017 academic year. The group includes 22 undergraduate and graduate students in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Language Lovers Find a Home in CMU’s Linguistics Program

Linguistics provides us with tools to help crack the code that underlies many languages. Professor Mandy Simons spearheaded the major in 2007 as an “academic home” for a growing number of students who completed the linguistics minor and wanted to learn more.

Monday, September 12, 2016

David Danks Named L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology

Carnegie Mellon University’s David Danks has been named the Louis Leon (L.L.) Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology. Danks, head of the Department of Philosophy, uses computational cognitive science to develop computational models to describe, predict and, most importantly, explain human behavior.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

With a Pogo Stick, the Sky’s the Limit

Nick Ryan (DC’11) was still a student at CMU when he co-founded Xpogo. Today, as the company’s CEO, he works tirelessly to transform the perception of pogo from a toy to a sports lifestyle through events like Pogopalooza.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sophomore Talks Philosophy, Internship Experience

David MatveyDavid Matvey (DC’18), an ethics, history and public policy major, spent the past semester in Washington, D.C., taking classes and interning in a senatorial office. He recently shared his experience and how he's preparing for a career in international relations.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Assistant Professor Adam Bjorndahl named 2016-17 Wimmer Faculty Fellow

Adam Bjorndahl, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been selected as a 2016-17 Wimmer Faculty Fellow at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation. The fellowships are designed for junior faculty members interested in enhancing their teaching through concentrated work with an Eberly consultant to design or redesign a course, innovate new materials, or explore a new pedagogical approach.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Double Duty

Joseph Bernarding has been in hot pursuit for a decade.

Since 2006, the Carnegie Mellon University police officer, husband, father, soccer coach and scout leader has been pursuing his bachelor’s degree in ethics, history and public policy (EHPP).

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Solving the Puzzle of Language

When Edward (Ted) Gibson (DC’91) came to Carnegie Mellon University in 1986 to pursue a Ph.D. in computational linguistics, he saw language as a puzzle to be solved.

Fast-forward to today: Gibson is still putting the pieces together and making fascinating discoveries. And the world has taken notice. His research was recently featured in “Nature’s Numbers,” a BBC Discovery documentary series that examines the origins of mathematical understanding in humans.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Maralee Harrell wins Teaching Innovation Award

A significant challenge in philosophy courses is learning how to read and critically analyze philosophical arguments.

Associate Teaching Professor Maralee Harrell is being honored with the Teaching Innovation Award for her development and implementation of argument diagramming as a central tool in teaching Introduction to Philosophy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dietrich College Selects 11 Honors Fellows

Eleven outstanding juniors have been named 2016-2017 Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences Honors Fellows. Part of the college’s Senior Honors Program, the Honors Fellowship Program is designed to give students a head start on their thesis development. Fellows receive financial support to spend the summer before their senior year researching their thesis topics. MORE
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sophomore Receives State Department Scholarship to Study in India

CMU sophomore Ian Asenjo has received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State. Asenjo will be traveling to Chandigarh, India this summer, where he hopes to gain proficiency in Punjabi and explore his passion for Bhangra — a folk dance with roots in the region.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dietrich College’s Top Teaching Award Announced

Alex John London is the 2015-2016 winner of the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Kevin Zollman writes “The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting”

For generations, parents have turned to experts for child-rearing advice. This spring, they can add game theorists to the list of parenting gurus.

On April 5, Carnegie Mellon University’s Kevin Zollman and co-author Paul Raeburn will release “The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting: How the Science of Strategic Thinking Can Help You Deal with the Toughest Negotiators You Know — Your Kids.”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Graduate Student Profile: Rob Lewis

Rob, a Ph.D. student in Pure and Applied Logic, came to CMU in August 2012 and has been working hard ever since on projects involving computers and mathematics. Get to know all about him!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Logic & Proofs: Computer-Supported Learning and the Philosophy of Mathematics

Wilfried Sieg arrived at Carnegie Mellon University in 1985 to help found the CMU Philosophy Department. He was its head from 1994 to 2005. Today, Sieg remains a central figure in the department and is one of the world’s foremost experts in areas ranging from proof theory and computer-assisted education to the history and philosophy of mathematics. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Ethics of Cyberconflict

A philosopher by training, David Danks analyzes how we think about the world around us. As the head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Philosophy Department in the Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Danks is probing an emerging field of the ethics of cyberwarfare.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Philosophy Grad Student Wins Big at Startup Weekend Civic Pittsburgh

involveMINTMost people don’t think philosophers as natural entrepreneurs. But, CMU’s Lizzie Silver is proving that isn’t true.

In September, UP Pittsburgh hosted a Startup Weekend unlike any of the other dozen it has hosted before. And, Silver’s proposal for involveMINT came out on top.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Undergrads Show Off Their Research

In early November, roughly 70 students, faculty and staff gathered in the Baker Hall Coffee Lounge for the third annual Dietrich Undergraduate Colloquium (DUC). Since 2013, the colloquium has provided an opportunity for undergraduate students to immerse themselves in a topic of interest and present their research findings in a structured environment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

First Dietrich College Dean’s Innovation Scholar Announced

Mara Harrell, associate teaching professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named the first Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Innovation Scholar. The three-year, $45,000 award was established to recognize a teaching track faculty member who is doing high-quality and innovative educational research with high potential impact.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Student Spotlight: Recent Graduate Latif Elam

Latif Elam graduated in May 2015 with a B.A. in Ethics, History and Public Policy. Get to know this young alum!

Monday, October 26, 2015

30 Years of Philosophy at CMU

The year was 1985, and three philosophers were asked to establish a Department of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. As current Department Head David Danks recalled, then-CMU President Richard M. Cyert told Clark Glymour, Teddy Seidenfeld and Wilfried Sieg: Whatever the department becomes, make sure you are the best in the world at what you do.

Fast-forward to 2015, and it’s safe to say, “Mission accomplished.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Executive Producer of “The 100” Skypes Into Philosophy Class

When Jason Rothenberg, creator and executive producer of the CW hit show “The 100,” found out that Carnegie Mellon University was offering a class on the philosophical questions the show raises, he immediately said he wanted to participate.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Deliberative Democracy in Cuba

After more than half a century, the United States and Cuba are on a path toward normalizing diplomatic relations. Two CMU professors from the Departments of Modern Languages and Philosophy are helping Cuban citizens prepare for what might eventually happen while a CMU alumnus of Cuban descent learns with his own eyes what might have been.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Andrew Carnegie Society Scholars Announced

ACS Scholars are CMU undergraduates who achieve high standards of academic excellence combined with outside of the classroom activities, such as volunteerism, involvement in student organizations, participation in sports or the arts and leadership.


10 Things to Love About CMU’s Dietrich College

It has been said that Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is not an ordinary liberal arts school.

Dietrich College undergraduates can choose from more than 60 majors – everything from Chinese Studies to Statistics. At the graduate level, students research and collaborate with others throughout the college and CMU to learn how to solve problems outside of the confines of one discipline.

Both undergraduate and graduate students work closely with Dietrich College’s world-class faculty who train them to be leaders and critical thinkers and to use their education as a launching pad for successful and varied careers.

Within the Dietrich College, real world problems are analyzed, challenged and solved, contributions are made in traditional ways and global differences are made. Dietrich College students, faculty and alumni do a lot. Here are 10 of the many things to love.