News Archive



Fall Colloquium

Dear philosophers and friends of philosophy, welcome to the start of our fall colloquium!



SN 2105

Dr. Shannon Hoff, Philosophy Department, Memorial University

"The Right and the Righteous: Hegel on Confession, Forgiveness, and the Necessary Imperfection of Political Action."


Upcoming Philosophy of Education Lecture


Social Rights and Higher Education

Dr. Chris Martin, University of British Columbia

Monday, July 30, 2018

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

McCann Centre, ED2030B G.A. Hickman Building


Jockey Club, June 29, 2018

This week, Dr. Walter Okshevsky will introduce an article by Harvey Siegel entitled "Multiculturalism and the possibility of transcultural educational and philosophical ideals." A copy of the text is attached below in PDF form. We will meet, as always, at 4:30 PM at the Peter Easton Pub. The discussion begins at 5:00PM and ends at 6:30PM.

Click here for a copy of the paper

Jockey Club June 22, 2018

This Friday, MUN PhD candidate Shannon O'Rourke will introduce a piece by Charles Peirce entitled "Design and Chance." As always, we will meet at 4:30 PM at the Peter Easton Pub. The discussion begins at 5:00PM and ends at 6:30PM.

Click here for the paper!

Per-Course Instructor Positions for Fall 2018

The Per-Course Instructor positions available in the Department of Philosophy for the Fall Semester, 2018, have just been posted. Click 'About' and then 'Employment Opportunities' for a list of available courses and the application form / instructions.

Jockey Club June 8, 2018

The Summer Jockey Club session begins this Friday, June 8, 2018.

On Friday, June 8th, MUN PhD student Elizabeth Hill will introduce an article by Judith Butler, entitled "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory." As always, we will meet at 4:30 PM at the Peter Easton Pub. The discussion begins at 5:00PM and ends at 6:30PM.

Click here for a copy of the paper.



State of the Arts

Department of Philosophy head Dr. Sean McGrath will be the guest on fourth episode of State of the Arts,  a Facebook LIVE broadcast hosted by novelist and professor Lisa Moore, on April 13 at 12:30 p.m. NL time.  Tune in on the day by visiting




In June, 2017, the Memorial European Summer School in Philosophy took place in the Husserl Archives, Higher Institute of Philosophy, at KU Leuven, Belgium.

A contingent of Professors and Graduate Students from the MUN Philosophy Department, along with students from KU Leuven, Krakow (PL), Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA) and Germany came together to discuss the theme "Politics and the Phenomenological Tradition." The event was a wonderful success and we all look forward to reconvening at the next MESSP meeting!



St. John's Public Philosophy Lecture

Dr. Sean McGrath will present "Why You Should Care About Climate Change"  This event is co-sponsored by For A New Earth, a St. John's based initiative in integral ecology.  Please see poster for more information.  


Jens Soentgen - Hot Air: The History and Philosophy of Carbon Dioxide

Dr. Jens Soentgen, Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences at the University of Augsburg and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at MUN, recently visited the St. John's campus. Dr. Soentgen is both a philosopher and a chemist and a frequent collaborator with the Department of Philosophy. He gave two talks, one in the Department of Geography on Tuesday, and one in the Department of Philosophy.

His paper in the Department of Geography (February 28. 2017) was entitled: "Win-Win-Win. From the 'terra preta do índio' to the 'terra preta do gringo': Commodification and Mythification of the Amazonian dark earths." His talk in the Department of Philosophy (March 2nd, 2017) entitled:"Hot Air: The History and Philosophy of Carbon Dioxide." 




Dr. O'Neill Lectures at St. Thomas University

How Demonic Possession Works: Augustine and Aquinas on Demonic Nature and Agency - Dr. Seamus O'Neill, Department of Philosophy, Memorial University

Jointly hosted by St. Thomas University's Philosophy, Catholic Studies, and Great Ideas departments.  



Idea of God Conference

From Wednesday 23 November to Friday 25 November the Philosophy Department and Queen's College will co-host a conference on the Idea of God. This international event will feature keynote addresses from Jean Grondin (U de M) and Garth Green (McGill). For more information, to see the event poster and schedule.

What is a Green Economy? Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change

Dr. Sean McGrath, head of the Department of Philosophy and director of For A New Earth, will moderate a town hall meeting on climate change and the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador on Tuesday, November 29, from 7:30-9:30pm in the Aula Maxima of St. Bonaventure's College. 


Dr. Barbara Neis (Sociology), Dr. James Feehan (Economics) and Dr. Bill Montevecchi (Ocean Sciences) will present, followed by an open discussion.


For more information check out the poster or go to

Cogito Relaunch Party and Mixer

The COGITO student journal was relaunched via a party on Thursday, November 10th, at The Loft in the UC. We celebrated 26 years of undergraduate publishing at MUN.

The undergraduate journal of philosophy at Memorial was first launched in 1990 as the Codgito. The cod may be gone, but the journal remains. Feel free to pick up your own printed copy of the Journal in the Kiefte room today!

See the poster from the event here.  


Fall 2016 Colloquium

Dr. Richard Kearney (writer, performer, co-director) is a writer, professor, and cultural organizer of several international projects, most recently "Exchanging Stores. Changing History" (see  He has written two novels, Sam's Fall and Walking at Sea Level, translated into several languages, alongside a volume of poetry, Angel of Patrick's Hill.  He has also written several books on the role of imagination and natrrative in Irish culture, literature and the arts -- most notably, The Irish Mind (1984), Transitions:  Narratives in Modern Irish Culture (1988), Post-Nationalist Ireland:  Culture, Philosophy, Politics (1998), and Navigations:  Collected Irish Essays (1976-2006).  As a member of the Irish Arts Council, Chair of the UCD Film School, and public intellectual and broadcaster, he was actively involved in organizing many national and international cultural projects.


Kant and Hospitality

4th Conference in Kantian Studies at Memorial, Kant and Hospitality, September 22-23, 2016.  Keynote Speaker Katrin Flikschuh is Professor of Modern Political Theory at the London School of Economics.  She works mainly on Kant's political philosophy but also has a growing interest in African philosophy.  She is principal investigator of a three year Leverhume Trust Project, and is currently completing a book on "What is Orientation in Global Thinking?  A Kantian Inquiry" (CUP forthcoming).  Her previous books include Kant and Modern Political Philosophy (CUP 2000) and Freedom. Contemporary Liberal Perspectives (Polity 2007)  See here for complete programme.


The First Science, Who We Are, What We Do: The Department of Philosophy


If academic disciplines were Olympic events, philosophy would be weightlifting.

From the Greek meaning “love of wisdom,” philosophy addresses fundamental questions concerning life, death, form, existence, being and God. Historically, philosophy encompassed any body of knowledge and, until the 19th century, included the study of medicine, astronomy and physics.  Please see complete article below.


Kant and Education 2016

The 2016 Kant and Education Conference will be held at Memorial University on May 19-20, 2016.  Please click here for full program of events.


Healing Voices

Digital Eyes Film invites you to a World Premiere screening of Healing Voices, April 29th in the Innovation Hall, Bruneau Centre.  You are invited to be a part of the grass roots, non-theatrical release of Healing Voices, a social action documentary that asks the question:  What are we talking about when we talk about 'mental illness'?

Doors open at 7:00 pm with the screening starting at 7:30.  Screening will be followed by an audience discussion.


2nd Bi-annual Graduate Conference in Philosophy

The 2nd Bi-Annual Memorial University Graduate Conference in Philosophy will be held on April 22-23, 2016, on the topic of “Metaphysics Today.”

A keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Marc De Kesel of Saint Paul University. Graduate students from MUN, as well as graduate students from across Canada and abroad, will be delivering 15-20 minute papers presentations on this year’s conference topic.

The graduate conference will begin on Friday, April 22 at 2:30pm. Dr. De Kesel’s keynote address will be delivered at 5pm. The conference will then continue on Saturday, April 23, from 8:30am to 4:00pm. 



Winter Colloquium, 7 April

The Department of Philosophy's Winter Colloquium continues this week with:

Dr. Peter Trnka

"Dancing with Ghosts: the Dislocations of Marxism and Deconstruction"

Thursday, 7 April, 4:30-6:00pm

SN 2098 (Science Building)

All are welcome and encouraged to attend!



Winter Colloquium, 29 March


Dr. Michael Naas, Professor, DePaul University will give a talk titled "Plato and the Invention of Life." on March 29th, 2016 in SN2098 from 4:30 - 6:00.  Professor Naas is  leading scholar and translator, along with Pascale Anne Brault, of Jacques Derrida. His first book took up the themes of Platonic philosophy as a turning against the Homeric tradition, and his many books since have famously challenged central tenets of Platonism. Naas has always written extensively on Plato and he returns to these themes with this talk on Plato's conceptions of life.


Winter 2016 Philosophy Colloquium

Dr. Shannon Hoff, Assistant Professor with the Department of Philosophy will present "Desiring the Law:  Julia Kristeva on Authority and Freedom".  This event will take place in SN2098.

Nature and Ethical Thought: Reflections on Laudato Si

On the 7th and 8th of March, Dr. Sean McGrath and Dr. Joel Madore of Memorial Philosophy co-organized with Dominican University College a workshop in ecology and metaphysics.  "Nature and Ethical Thought:  Reflections on Laudato Si" demonstrated that ecology is the new metaphysics or the old metaphysics in a new key.

The Future, the Arts, and Ecology

From March 3-5, 2016, a three-day interdisciplinary ecology event occured at Memorial. The event began on 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 3rd in the Great Hall at Queen's College with an engaging talk by Professor Heather Eaton of Saint Paul University and a response from Dr. Michelle Rebidoux from Religious Studies, Memorial University.  This was followed by an open reception.  At 9:00 am on Friday, March 4th in the Junior Common Room, Dr. Antoine Guggenheim of the Bernardine College in Paris, opened a day of interdisciplinary presentations with a lecture on Thomas Aquinas.


Michelle Mahoney recognized as Graduate Student of the Month

MUN Philosophy doctoral candidate Michelle Mahoney was recently featured as Graduate Student of the Month on the MUN Faculty of Arts website. To read the full interview with Michelle and to learn more about her work, please visit the following link.

Congratulations, Michelle!



Special Edition of Con-textos Kantianos: International Journal of Philosophy

In fall 2015, Dr. Joël Madore and Dr. Scott Johnston guest edited
an issue of Con-textos Kantianos (2015:2), which features publications from four of our faculty members: Dr. Suma Rajiva (“Solus Secedo and Sapere Aude: Cartesian Meditation as Kantian Enlightenment”), Dr. Jay Foster (“Kant’s Machiavellian Moment”), Dr. Madore (“When Reason Began to Stir… —Kantian Courage and the Enlightenment”) and Dr. Johnston (“Afterword. On Enlightenment and the Most Difficult Problem of the Human Species”).


Dr. Arthur Sullivan publishes two articles in Language & Logic

Dr. Arthur Sullivan has recently published an article entitled “The Future of the Proposition” in Language & Communication (40): 14-23 (2015). He has also published “What do Deviant Logicians Show about the Epistemology of Logic?” in Synthese (190): 2773-2800 (2015).


Dr. Seamus O'Neill presents work in Medieval Philosophy at three different conferences

Faculty member Dr. Seamus O'Neill recently presented his work at Villanova University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), at the Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association (Washington D.C.) and at the Annual Meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.



MUN Hosts The North American Schelling Society

MUN re-confirmed its reputation as the place for the study of German Idealism by hosting the fourth annual meeting of The North American Schelling Society from the 17th to the 19th of September.  


Second Annual Kant Conference: Why Faith?

MUN hosts the Second Annual Kant Conference: Why Faith? 21-22 May

This past spring, the second annual Kant meeting was held at Memorial with a keynote lectures by Paul Abela, Acadia University, George Di Giovanni, McGill University and Pablo Muchnick, Emerson College.


Memorial Well Represented at the 12th International Kant Congress in Vienna

Dr. Suma Rajiva and PhD student Vahid JD both presented at the 12th International Kant Congress in Vienna, 2015. The Congress is held every 5 years. It ran from Monday, September 21 to Friday, September 25. Masters student Sarah Messer also attended and participated in the conference.

MUN hosts Gwich'in Tribal Council Conference with Follow-Up Publication

In March. 2015, Memorial University hosted the annual Gwich'in Tribal Council Academic Conference. This year's conference was entitled "Aboriginal Citizenship in the 21st Century, A Time of Challenge and Possibility." Following the conference, a special issue of Northern Public Affairs entitled "Aboriginal Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century" was published, featuring two pieces by our own Dr. Peter Trnka, authored and co-authored, respectively.

Michelle Mahoney presents and wins prize for her work on C.S. Peirce

PhD student Michelle Mahoney has won the 2016 Aristotle Prize from the Metaphysics Society of America for best paper. Her paper is entited:  “Agape, Evolution & Chance” 



The department welcomes new graduate students!

The department would like to welcome its three new PhD students: 
Adam Haaga (Oregon) 
Zachary Fouchard (Ottawa)
David Tracey (Leuven) 

along with its new Masters' students:
Stephanie Butera
Marlana Duggar
Maliheh Deyhim
Chris Herbert
Ali Karbaleei Mahdi
Ashkan Parchizadeh
Benedikt Rottenecker


Staging an Ecological Intervention: Future of Nature, Gros Morne Park September 2015

From September 10th to the 13th, several members of the philosophy department, led by the principle investigator, Dr. Sean McGrath, convened the Future of Nature, a four day festival of ideas on the West Coast of Newfoundland. With over seventy participants from aboriginal communities, the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and the visual and performing art, and moving between four venues in Corner Brook, Norris Point and Woody Point, The Future of Nature was the first in a series of ecological interventions planned by For a New Earth, an international research initiative in environmental thought and action.


Public Talk on Islam Online

Join us on Thursday, August 13th at 5:30pm at the Rocket Room (the 3rd floor of the Rocket Bakery) for a talk by Jon A. Anderson, "Islam through the Internet Looking-Glass."


Department of Philosophy

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Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000