Author: Allen, Teresa

ECOM Summer ’19 Graduate Research Fellowship Recipients

We’re pleased to announce that ECOM has awarded summer stipends to support four exciting ECOM-related projects:

  • Ken Ito: “The Origins of Denial” ($2,500)
  • Ryo Tanaka: “Knowledge of Meaning: Reconciling the Epistemic Intuition about Meaning and Empirical Theories of Linguistic Understanding” ($2,500)
  • Eno Agolli: “Pragmatic Unsettledness: A Pragmatic Solution to the Syntactic Problems of the-Predicativism” ($1,250)
  • Aliyar Ozercan: “Curiosity: What May Connect Homo Sapiens to the Rest” ($1,250)

Early in the Fall, we’re hoping to host an ECOM event in which these projects will be presented informally.

Congratulations, Ken, Ryo, Eno, and Aliyar!

Drew Johnson Awarded 2019 Millikan Research Fellowship

ECOM member Drew Johnson was one of the recipients of this year’s Ruth Garrett Millikan Graduate Research Fellowship. This fellowship was created in 2017 with the aid of generous admirers, friends, and colleagues of Professor Ruth Garrett Millikan, one of the world’s most distinguished living philosophers, and a cherished member of UConn’s philosophical community. The recipients are outstanding ABD students in the Philosophy Department who use the fellowship to further their graduate research study in the summer of the award year. Congratulations, Drew!

Phillip Barron to Attend Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute

ECOM member Phillip Barron has been admitted to this summer’s Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute. Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, this summer research program on mind, cognition, and intelligence will be held at the University of St. Andrews from 6/30/19 – 7/20/19.  

Phillip applied to work with other philosophers, cognitive and neuroscientists, and artists on the relationship between intelligence and narrative. His dissertation gives an account of personal identity in which persons are biological, psychological, and narrative entities. Trans-disciplinary thinking is at the core of his work. Because his project spans philosophy, art, and cognitive science, it will benefit from the opportunity to engage with the DISI faculty and other participants from the cognitive and social sciences. Despite the reputation philosophers have for being solitary thinkers, Phillip believes philosophy is done best in a collaborative setting, listening and exchanging ideas with others. 

Dorit Bar-On to Lecture at Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute

ECOM Director Dorit Bar-On will be participating as a faculty lecturer at this summer’s Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute. Sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, this summer research program on mind, cognition, and intelligence will be held at the University of St. Andrews from 6/30/19 – 7/20/19. Dorit’s lectures will take place July 1-2.  See here for more information on the institute.

Upcoming Paris Workshop, 6/17/19: “Animal Linguistics: Take the Leap!”

The study of non-human communication took off in the 1980’s following the foundational work of Seyfarth and Cheney. Since then, by comparing human language to non-human systems, biologists have explored what makes human language unique, when human language evolved from animal communicative systems, and whether the origin of language is gestural or vocal. However, after 40 years of intense research on many taxa, the communication capacities of non-human animals remain little understood, and so does the origin of human language. One of the main obstacles appears to be a lack of consensus on analytic methods. To address this issue, a field of animal linguistics is emerging, with the aim of studying animal communicative systems as formal systems, using general methods borrowed from linguistics.

This workshop aims to bring together leading linguists and biologists, all pioneers in the field of animal linguistics, in order to provide insights on how to combine linguistic and biological approaches to the study of animal communication. We will cover several fields of linguistics, from formal to quantitative approaches, and to apply their methods to a diversity of taxa, such as birds and primates. In addition, the workshop will consider both gestural and vocal communication.

The panel of speakers will consist of Stuart Semple (University of Roehampton), Marion Laporte (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle), Sabrina Engesser (University of Zurich), Kirsty Graham (University of York) and Thom Scott-Phillips (Central European University).

Attendees will have the opportunity to present their research during a poster session that will be
held after the lunch break.

Submission deadline for poster: June 1st 2019 (250-word abstract to be sent to

M. Botero Publishes Paper Given @ ECOM’s `18 Emotions/Expressions CONF

Maria Botero, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Sam Houston State Universtiy, published a paper in the International Journal of Comparative Psychology in 2018. A version of this paper, titled “Bringing Touch Back to the Study of Emotions in Human and Non-Human Primates: A Theoretical Exploration,” was presented at ECOM’s 2018 Conference on Emotions and Expressions. More information about this paper can be found here.