Past Dissertations

This is a comprehensive list of UC Davis Philosophy Ph.D. Program graduates, their dissertations and their respective faculty advisers.

These UC Davis graduates made insightful contributions to the literature in the field of philosophy.

2011 - present



  • "Name and Object: The Semantic Role of Plato's Forms" — Chris Healow, supervised by Jan Szaif


  • "Belief Revision Beyond AGM"
— Ted Shear, supervised by Hanti Lin



  • Brian Coffey
    In Defense of an End-Relational Theory of Goodness
    Supervised by: David Copp
  • Sarah Roe
    The Salmon-Roe Approach to Mechanistic Explanation
    Supervised by: Roberta Millstein


  • Bert Baumgaertner
    Vagueness Judgments: An Information Theoretic Approach
    Supervised by: Bernard Molyneux
  • Christopher Buckels [link to]
    Plato's Theory of Sensible Particulars
    Supervised by: Jan Szaif


  • Vadim Keyser [link to]
    The Stabilization View of Measurement
    Supervised by: James Griesemer
  • Huaping Lu-Adler
    Kant's Conception of Logical Extension and Its Implications
    Supervised by: Henry Allison


  • Greg Damico
    On Definitional Unity in Aristotle
    Supervised by: John Malcolm
    Initial position: University of California, Davis (ONTT)
    Current position: Bellevue Community College (ONTT)
  • Jonathan Dorsey [link to]
    Cutting The Problem Of Consciousness Down To Size
    Supervised by: Bernard Molyneux
    Initial position: Texas Tech University (VAP, two years)
    Current position: Texas Tech University (ONTT)
  • Lucas Halpin
    Meta-Philosophy: Contra-Quine
    Supervised by: G. Aldo Antonelli
    Initial position: California State University, Sacramento (ONTT, DNS)
    Current position: Unknown
  • Nate Smith
    Essentialist Heuristics in Biology
    Supervised by: James Griesemer
    Initial position: Quality Assurance Engineer, Applied Security, Inc. (NA, DNS)

2001 - 2010


  • Gina Marie Calderone [link to]
    The Indeterminacy of Meaning
    Supervised by: Michael Jubien and Paul Teller
  • Nicholas Jeremiah Diehl [link to]
    Narration in Literature and Film
    Supervised by: George Wilson and James Griesemer
  • Michael Trestman
    Goal-Directedness, Behavior and Cognition
    Supervised by: James Griesemer


  • Dana Lynn Goswick [link to]
    Ontology and Modality
    Supervised by: L.A. Paul and Cody Gilmore
  • David Ian Spencer [link to]
    Time, Tense, and Mind: A Case Study in Metaphysics and Perspectival Representation
    Supervised by: Paul R. Teller


  • Brooke S. Roberts
    A Reactive Attitudes Account of Desert
    Supervised by: Gerald Dworkin and Pekka Väyrynen


  • James Craig Blackmon [link to]
    Computationalism and the Putnam-Searle Thesis
    Supervised by: Paul R. Teller and Robert C. Cummins


  • Christian Lang Coons
    The Value of Individuals and the Value of States of Affairs
    Supervised by: Pekka Väyrynen and Connie S. Rosati
  • David James Freelove
    The Axioms and Substance in Aristotle's Science of Metaphysics
    Supervised by: Michael V. Wedin
  • Alexa Heidi Lee
    A Defense of Descriptivism
    Supervised by: Michael Glanzberg and Robert C. Cummins


  • Matthew Horace Haber [link to]
    The Centrality of Phylogenetic Thinking
    Supervised by: James R. Griesemer


  • Lynne O'Neil Fox
    Equality in Meeting Basic Needs: Reasons for, and Challenges to, a Theory of Distributive Justice that Focuses on Basic Needs
    Supervised by: Gerald Dworkin and David Copp


  • James David Byrd Jr.
    Is a Unified Account of Concepts Possible?
    Supervised by: Robert C. Cummins
  • Martin Anthony Anderson Roth [link to]
    The Role of Programs in Connectionist Explanations of Cognition
    Supervised by: Robert C. Cummins


  • Todd Harris
    The Construction and Evaluation of Data Models in Cell Biology
    Supervised by: James R. Griesemer
  • William Russell Payne [link to]
    On the Nature of Dispositions
    Supervised by: Michael E. Jubien


  • Patrick John Findler [link to]
    Moral Properties, Secondary Qualities, and Moral Motivation
    Supervised by: David Copp
  • Robert Scofield
    Skepticism and Analogical Reasoning in Law
    Supervised by: David Copp
  • Christina Waters [link to]
    Sartre on the Magical
    Supervised by: William H. Bossart

1991 - 2000


  • Sherry Lynn Deveaux
    The Essence of Spinoza's God
    Supervised by: Joel I. Friedman and Don Garrett


  • Judith Worth Cross
    The Nature of Events
    Supervised by: Michael E. Jubien
  • Richard Constanz Schubert
    Moral Judgments, Normative Reasons, and the Motivation of the Practically Rational
    Supervised by: David Copp


  • Elizabeth Volk Forrester
    Emergent Properties
    Supervised by: Paul R. Teller


  • Scott Andrew Merlino
    Are Biological Species Individuals?
    Supervised by: James R. Griesemer
  • Robert Wilson Mutti [link to]
    The Semantic Content of Proper Names
    Supervised by: Jeffrey C. King
  • David Eric Nachmanoff [link to]
    A Moral Justification for the Right to National Self-Determination
    Supervised by: David Copp
  • Howard Mark Pressman
    Hume on Geometry and Infinite Divisibility
    Supervised by: George J. Mattey II
  • Leslie Elizabeth Stapp [link to]
    A Revision of David Lewis's "Golden Card": The Classification of Relations Via a New Intrinsic/Extrinsic Property Relation
    Supervised by: Michael E. Jubien


  • Nancy Elizabeth Shaffer [link to]
    Understanding Bias in Scientific Practice
    Supervised by: Paul R. Teller


  • Jordi Cat [link to]
    Maxwell's Interpretation of the Electric and Magnetic Potentials: The Methods of Illustration, Analogy and Scientific Metaphor
    Supervised by: Paul R. Teller


  • Leonard David Olson
    Hegel and the Doctrine of the Trinity
    Supervised by: William H. Bossart


  • Melinda Lou Campbell [link to]
    The Reality of Color: The Case for Subjective Realism
    Supervised by: Richard Wollheim
  • William Stafford Hirstein [link to]
    The Problem of Self-Belief
    Supervised by: Richard Wollheim
  • Marina Alexandra Lise Oshana [link to her UC Davis Philosophy Dept bio page]
    Autonomy as a Social Phenomenon
    Supervised by: John Martin Fischer


  • David Lopez
    The Question of a Sartrean Ethics
    Supervised by: William H. Bossart


  • Tony Daniel Roy [link to]
    On Possibility and Possible Worlds
    Supervised by: Michael E. Jubien

1961 - 1988


  • Jay Wallis Gallagher
    Staking a Claim to Knowledge in an Alien Framework: From Foucault's Critique of the Confessional to Mae West on Men
    Supervised by: George J. Mattey II and Mary Anne Warren


  • Dirk Meier Leben (deceased)
    On the Possible, the Impossible and God: The Medieval Latin Philosophical Development of New Testament Sources


  • Katarina Elsbeth Helene Dulckheit
    Hegel on Meaning and Reference
    Supervised by: George J. Mattey II


  • Theodore Ambrose Gracyk [link to]
    Epistemological Sources of Kant's Aesthetic Theory
    Supervised by: George J. Mattey II
  • Alistair Moles
    The Metaphysical Principles of Nietzsche's Cosmology
    Supervised by: Joel I. Friedman
  • Timothy Dean Roche
    Aristotle on the Good of Man
    Supervised by: Michael V. Wedin


  • Linda Kay Bomstad
    The Corpuscular Theory and the Semantics of Natural Kind Terms in Locke's Essay
    Supervised by: Ronald A. Arbini


  • Burke Hilden [link to]
    Excluded-Opposite Arguments
    Supervised by: Ronald A. Arbini
  • Paula Hunter Manchester
    Architectonic and Critical Philosophy
    Supervised by: George J. Mattey II

1971 - 1979


  • Jerald Lee Mosley [link to]
    A Posteriori Necessity: Some Recent Views
    Supervised by: Michael V. Wedin


  • Stephen Richard Hibbard
    Particular Identity and Particular Reality in Plato's Middle Dialogues
    Supervised by: John F. Malcolm


  • Bruce Alan Russell [link to]
    Rawls and Utilitarianism: A Comparison and Critique
    Supervised by: Fred R. Berger


  • John Michael King
    Functionalist Explanations of Behavior
  • Judy Carol Williams
    The Philosophical Significance of the Notion of Seeing-as
    Supervised by: Ronald A. Arbini


  • Frederick Joseph O'Toole []
    Qualities and Powers in the Corpuscular Philosophy of Robert Boyle
    Supervised by: Ronald A. Arbini


  • George Daniel Gale, Jr.
    Leibniz: the Physicist and the Philosopher
    Supervised by: Marjorie Grene