Welcome from the Chair
Elaine Miller
Dear Alumni and Friends:
The Department of Philosophy returned to full-time in person teaching in the fall of 2021, and in 2022 we have slowly accustomed ourselves to the new reality: continued faculty concern about masking and social distancing while teaching students who are understandably sometimes eager to forget the pandemic. We returned to in-person conferences, and started welcoming colloquium speakers on campus again.
In 2022, we combined the Harris and Singer lectures to bring Jasbir Puar, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, to the department. Puar’s lecture, which had broad interdisciplinary appeal, was entitled “Homonationalism, Militarism, and the Waning of LGBTQ Rights,” and attracted an audience of faculty and students from multiple departments.
This November, Quill Kukla, Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, presented a paper entitled “Maps and the Epistemic Risks of Visual Representation.”
In spring 2023, we are very excited that Amia Srinivasan, Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford University, will deliver the 2023 Singer lecture.
All of these speakers, and our newly appointed diversity & inclusion liaison to the College of Arts and Science’s Academic Diversity Officer’s committee (Emily Zakin) reflect the department’s commitment to the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and initiatives of the College and the University.
Elaine Miller
Professor and Chair

A Conversation with Kennedy Hughes
Kennedy Hughes
Pascal Massie: Hello Kennedy, could you tell us a bit about you?
Kennedy Hughes: I am a double major in Philosophy and Political Science, and I am currently enrolled in the BA/MA program so I am finishing my Bachelor’s degree and starting a Master’s.
P.M.: I understand that you recently attended a workshop that focused on diversity and inclusion in philosophy. Can you tell us a bit more about it? 
K.H.: It is called Philosophy in an Inclusive Key (PIKSI) and was held at MIT in Boston for a week. It is a summer program designed to encourage undergraduates from underrepresented groups to consider future study in the field of philosophy. It had philosophical lectures from professors from the area and it also had workshop on how to apply to PhD programs, how academia looks like in terms of philosophy, how underrepresented students fare in philosophy. The general idea was to prepare us for the application process but also to create a cohort of other underrepresented identities in philosophy to have a kind of support group.
P.M.: What kind of problems do you think arise, specifically in philosophy, with respect to issues of diversity and identities?
K.H: As a philosophy student, I have observed that philosophy, among the humanities, tends to be dominated by white, cisgender, able-bodied men, and there is research to support that. There is a social component in the classroom that feels exclusive but also in the kind of texts that we read. There is a presumption of what it means to be a philosopher or a human being in general as being a white, middle-class man. The issues and concepts we focus on tend to be those of, in essence, dead white men. Philosophical texts written by women, people of color or queer people are emphasized only in classes that specifically focus on these issues, implying that their worth in the field is dictated by only working in the realm of their identities. There should be an acknowledgement that identity influences philosophizing, but it should not mean that you must only work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion issues, or feminist philosophy or queer theory to be successful, or taken seriously.
P.M.: Yes, I see what you mean. As you know, I work primarily in Ancient Philosophy and as such, my options seem rather limited. I cannot reinvent the primary texts. They are what they are. Yet, it is possible to observe that the ancient conception of human nature privileges rationality as a defining trait (a faculty that is gendered), or that even apparently very abstracts terms of metaphysics such as substance, form, and matter are saturated with feminine and masculine connotations.
K.H.: Right!
P.M.: I’d like to ask you a personal question if I may. What do you think the department should do or do better to promote diversity and inclusion in our teaching, hiring, our relations with the students?
K.H.: One thing I have been talking with Dr. Pohlhaus is to create a Minorities and Philosophy chapter at Miami University to create a community of students with underrepresented identities. I think focusing on supporting those students is really important and not just by saying that “philosophy is hard;” everybody knows that philosophy is hard! The point is that there are differences among students that makes navigating philosophy and philosophical questions different for each student. I have experienced a lot of support from different professors in the department, and I identify this to be why I stayed in the major. The philosophy department has been one of the most receptive departments at Miami and being able to provide support to students with underrepresented identities is vital. Additionally, having faculty that have those identities. I want to know that this professor has experiences that are like mine. Finally, a big thing is diversifying the sources we study and expanding our view of what a philosopher is. 
News from Our Alumni
Lim photo
Lim photo
It's great to hear from you and the philosophy department (which I miss dearly, of course!). Right now, I'm applying to graduate schools in both physics and (cognitive) psychology for a doctoral degree. This may seem like a bad idea, but I am equally passionate about both and will pursue a philosophical line of study in either. They're both motivated by my passion for reason and knowledge, exploring the interface between ourselves and reality. I do suppose, however, that philosophy people will understand the connection better than those isolated in either field!
I'm living back in my hometown of Charleston, West Virginia for the time being, spending my spare time writing and recovering from undergrad. I also have a job right now as an instructor and professional tutor at West Virginia State University, which I am doing part-time as I work relentlessly on applications.
Again, great to hear from the department, and attached are pictures of my dog Coconut and Fall in West Virginia, which essentially encapsulate my life right now (I don't take many pictures of myself).
This past July I moved to Dallas, and have been working for Goldman Sachs as a Corporate Treasury analyst since moving.
Recently I have been accepted into two philosophy conferences: (1) the Illinois Philosophy Association Conference 2022, and (2) 2022 SEPL Graduate Student Philosophy Conference at Binghamton University. Both events will be in November, and I will be presenting on work from my senior thesis. 
Just wanted to provide an update on my post grad life so far! Miami’s philosophy department has been extremely valuable for my personal and professional development.
After working about 10 months at an advertising agency after graduating, I was hired at Amazon as an Account manager on the Toys advertising team. I’ve been working there over a year and a half now, mostly virtually but based out of the Arlington, VA office. I moved to Nashville this past summer for fun and have been enjoying the music scene and wonderful food! I’ll be transferring to the NYC office and moving up there in the spring, but will definitely miss Nashville a lot. 
I am now attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in their Labor Center's Masters of Science in Labor Studies program.
I just started working at the Houston office of the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. My practice area is in M&A, and I'd love to talk to anyone in the philosophy department who might be interested in pursuing a career in corporate law. Hope everyone at Miami is doing well!
Nood photo
Since 2019, I've been living in the Netherlands and teaching philosophy for Leiden University (teaching and having students is wonderful, though a consistent source of professional and personal trouble is that the management of our institute is not so interested in labor law).
I came here to be with my (since the Summer!) fiancé, Michelle, hoping as well to pursue professional philosophical life here. This has been an adventure full of ups and downs as we try to settle amid housing shortages and overwork, but one lovely oasis from the hustle and bustle for us both has been an out-of-hand Saturday lockdown hobby--learning how to run a windmill. It turns out there's a shortage of millers (the average age is almost 70). I'll never look at clouds or the weather in general the same way, I get to feel like the captain of a land galleon, and Michelle and I have gained several adoptive miller-uncles.
I've attached a photo of me securing the mill after a day of turning in the "joyous" position (vreugdstand), where the wings are set at an angle before they pass the door and which traditionally announces life events like births, marriages, or, in our case, a miller's engagement.
I'm now assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona) and was recently interviewed by Truthout. Here is the article.
I just published a book in the metaphysics of science, Causal Powers and the Intentionality Continuum (Cambridge University Press, October 2022).
Miller photo
We have been in Nashville almost 3 years now, but continue to stay anchored to Ohio, where much of my work takes place. I am going into my 4th year with the Center for Child Policy (child abuse think tank), and have taken on some interesting consulting jobs on the side. In one gig, I am training psychologists who assess refugee children, in order to bolster their asylum claims (mostly Afghan children). In other gig, I am an expert witness in cases where a child abuse victim is suing for monetary damages, but they are suing someone other than the perpetrator (and their claim against the Third Party is questionable). Every single day on the job, I use philosophy that I learned at Miami (logic, ethics, theories of oppression, epistemology, written argument).
Family members are doing great!  Our little Lila is 3.5 years old and growing by leaps and bounds in her intellect and intuition. She attends Montessori school and is learning to play the piano (very simple note patterns she learns by rote). Over the summer I brought her to see Oxford and Miami for the first time - her favorite thing was throwing sticks in the pond at Miami's Dogwood Park. Our au pair Karla has been with us for almost 2 years since she came from El Salvador and she is planning to start community college next year. Spouse Rob continues to work at KPMG, his favorite new hobby is tinkering with a 1975 classic car.
I appreciate hearing about other alumni. I'm still teaching as a Professor of Education and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. I recently concluded my time as President of the John Dewey Society. My most significant recent publication was a commissioned piece on the philosophical and moral foundations of civic reasoning for the National Academy of Education. I'm now working on a book about truth & honesty, explaining what they are, why they matter to democracy during times of populism, and how we should teach for them in schools. I remain in touch with my undergraduate advisor, Rick Momeyer, and enjoy the excuse to wander around campus when I make my way to Oxford to visit him.
As the late Dr. Lee Horvitz suspected, I have used my degree to make bagels. I own Chicago Bagel Authority, a cousin to Oxford’s Bagel & Deli.
I have been living in Jonesboro, Arkansas since I graduated from Miami in 1990. I have been abstracting/land title searching for all these years. I have been doing so independently since March of 2000. There are good times and not so good times with work, but I don’t regret going out on my own.
I have been married to my wife Amy for 28 years. We have 3 children. Madeline graduated several years ago from the University of Arkansas. Audrey graduated this past May from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. And our son Evan is a freshman at Miami University. I am hoping he is liking it there. I think he does.
I only went to Miami my senior year wherein I graduated. But Miami means a lot to me. I was the 5th generation of my family to attend Miami. My son Evan is now the 6th generation of my family to attend Miami. My great-great grandfather, Samuel Markle, great grandfather Minor M. Markle, Sr., my grandfather Minor M. Markle, Jr., my great aunt Marion Markle, my uncle Minor M. Markle, III, my mother Marilyn Markle, myself and now Evan Elk. Anyway, it is just something that has sentimental value for me, I suppose.
My son and a young lady named Lauren Lewis (from Jonesboro) are the only two students from the state of Arkansas currently attending Miami, I think.
Also, interestingly enough, the new Chancellor at Arkansas State University here in Jonesboro is Dr. Todd Shields. Where did Dr. Shields go to undergraduate school?
I loved my philosophy classes at MU! I am an Ohio attorney but currently work in the records department of my local District Attorney office in the Bay Area. There I also do Family Genetic Genealogy research, used to help solve cold cases.
My husband (Todd Spohn ‘86) was the MU Diving Coach for 20 years. He was inducted into the MU ‘Cradle of Coaches’ in 2016.
I graduated from Miami in 1977 with a dual major in Philosophy and Political Science, and currently reside in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I enrolled this fall in the Graduate Institute at St John’s College in Santa Fe to pursue a masters of arts degree in the Eastern Classics.  The Eastern Classics program at St. John’s College focuses on the great works that are central to the philosophical, literary and religious traditions of India, China and Japan. The program also includes an intensive study of the Sanskrit language. I expect to complete the masters degree requirements by August of 2023.
Faculty Notes
Facundo Alonso
Pascal Massie
Gaile Pohlhaus
Facundo Alonso published “The Limits of Partial Doxasticism,” Philosophical Quarterly (2022). He was awarded the Miami University’s Associated Student Government Top Ten Outstanding Professor Award, 2022. He presented a paper entitled “Fickleness and Control in Individual and Shared Agency,” at the XI Social Ontology Conference, University of Vienna, August 2022 and commented on Sara Purinton’s “Uncertain Ability, Diachronic Agency, and Future Selves,” New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility, March 2022. 
Michael Hicks published “Idealism, quietism, conceptual change: Sellars and McDowell on the knowability of the world,” Giornali di Metafisica and “Singular Mental Abilities,” in European Journal of Philosophy.
Chris King has a forthcoming publication: “Teaching Justice as Fairness as a Theory of Distributive Justice,” (Teaching Philosophy, volume 46, issue 3).
Pascal Massie published “Contradiction, Being, and Meaning in Aristotle’s Metaphysics Gamma” Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 16 (1), 2022 and presented at the Ancient Philosophy Society conference at Penn State. Last summer he taught a class in ancient ethics at MUDEC (Luxembourg) and took his students for a study tour in Sicily. Thanks to a research appointment in the spring semester, he completed four papers that are currently under review.
Elaine Miller published “From ‘Vegetable Values’ to the Human Animal: Wynter and Foucault on Race and the Unsettling of Culture,” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, forthcoming and “Proust Among the Patients: Kristeva on Proust, Psychoanalysis, and Politics,” in Kristeva’s Revolution in Poetic Language, ed. Emilia Angelova. In October 2022 there was a scholar session on her work at the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.
  • Elaine Miller at the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy between Sid Hansen of Cal State Northridge, and Rachel Jones of George Mason University.
Gaile Pohlhaus presented at “Decolonizing Epistemic Injustice” conference hosted by University of Potsdam (Germany), the Central APA, and the North American Society for Social Philosophy this past year.
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