October 2011‎ > ‎

4 - Three weeks, three PhDs

Three doctoral candidates defended their dissertations – two in the Netherlands and for the first time ever one at ICS.

Photo #1 Caption: Allyson Carr (third from right)

Photo #2 Caption: Dr. Lok with Dr. Zuidervaart

Photo #3 Caption: Dr. DeMoor with Dr. Zuidervaart

On June 15, Allyson Carr defended her thesis titled “Fiction as Philosophy: Reading the Work of Christine de Pizan and Luce Irigaray to Write a Hermeneutics of Socially Transformative Fiction-mediated Philosophy.” ICS Senior Member Bob Sweetman served as Allyson’s supervisor: “In her thesis Allyson had the nerve to put women thinkers of very different eras (15th century and 21st century) and scholarly cultures into a conversation that allowed her to explore the ways in which fiction can be employed to further philosophical thought. She succeeded in this delicate task in ways that made her thesis an exceptionally engaging piece to read and think about.” Allyson defended right here at ICS, making her the first student to complete all the requirements necessary for the reception of the first PhD from the Institute in which ICS is the only granting institution.

Less than a few weeks later, a pair of ICS PhD students successfully defended their dissertations and received their doctorates at the VU University Amsterdam. On July 4, it was Michael DeMoor’s turn to defend his thesis titled “Brandom and Hegel on Objectivity, Subjectivity and Sociality: A Tune beyond Us, Yet Ourselves.” The next day Lok Wing-Kai (Peter) completed the summer trifecta with the defense of his thesis titled “Foucault, Levinas and the Ethical Embodied Subject.”

ICS Senior Member Lambert Zuidervaart stood as Michael’s promotor: “Michael’s dissertation offers a lucid and thorough exposition and critique of a leading American philosopher. Many scholars would think twice before tackling a thinker as protean and complex as Brandom or Hegel. To have addressed both of them, to have done this well, and to have done so as a reformational philosopher is indeed a wonderful achievement.”

Zuidervaart was also Peter’s promotor: “Peter’s dissertation uses the work of two prominent French thinkers to develop a conception of the ethical embodied subject. The dissertation undertakes an extensive comparison between Michel Foucault’s later writings and Emmanuel Levinas’s post-ontological ethics. Peter discovers more in common between Foucault and Levinas than one might have expected. And he argues that where they differ, each can learn from the other. To take up two such prominent thinkers like this and put them into constructive dialogue is a notable achievement.”

Dr. DeMoor currently serves as Assistant Professor of Social Philosophy in Politics, History, and Economics at The King’s University College in Edmonton. Dr. Lok lives in Hong Kong and teaches at Ling Lam University.

The three will have their degrees conferred at convocation in May 2012.