The Department of Philosophy held its second annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference March 27 and March 28.

Jessica Wilson, a philosophy professor at University Of Toronto, Canada, gave the keynote speech, titled “Causal Composition,” on March 27 beginning at 4 p.m. Her main research interests are in metaphysics, particularly the metaphysics of science and mind, and epistemology. Wilson has published articles in a number of leading philosophy journals including InquiryMetaphysics and Science, Analysis, The Monist, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Quarterly, and Nous, as well as in a number of edited collections.

Material composition is typically understood in terms of classical mereology, sometimes “souped-up” so as to include formal parts or functional elements capable of accommodating structure. In her talk, Wilson proposed and defended an account of material composition that takes seriously the scientific appearances according to which composition involves causal relations among composing elements.

The undergraduate speakers at the event included students from several universities:

  • Alan Barat, University of Illinois—”Against Mereological Nihilism”
  • Vincent Cialdella, Illinois State University—”Problems Of Reduction: A Mind-Body Distinction”
  • Jake Folger, University Of Illinois—”Random Mutation and Representational Content: Against Ruth Millikan’s Teleological Theory of Mental Content Fixation”
  • Joshua Miller, Trinity International University—”The Simple Society of the Trinity: Divine Simplicity, Social Trinitarianism, and Platonic Forms”
  • Aaron Thieme, IPFW—”Being and Truth: Aristotle and Future Contingents”
  • Darren Will, Illinois State University—”Ecological Externalism and the Philosophy of Mind”

The undergraduate presentations were held from 1–3 p.m. March 27, and 11 a.m.–noon and 1–3 p.m. March 28. The keynote speech was held 4–5 p.m. March 27. All of the events were held in 148 State Farm Hall of Business.