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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



    • Timothy J. Houk
      The Nature and Ethics of Manipulation
      Supervised by: David Copp


    • Christopher Healow
      Name and Object: The Semantic Role of Plato's Forms
      Supervised by: Jan Szaif
    • Edward Shear
      Belief Revision Beyond AGM
      Supervised by: Hanti Lin


    • W. Brandon Biggerstaff
      The Need for a Bi-level Account for Reporting Beliefs
      Supervised by: Robert May
    • Danilo Fraga Dantas
      Almost Ideal: Computational Epistemology and the Limits of Rationality for Finite Reasoners
      Supervised by: Bernard Molyneux


    • T. Scott Dixon
      Grounding, Regresses, and Universals
      Supervised by: Cody Gilmore


    • Brian Coffey
      In Defense of an End-Relational Theory of Goodness
      Supervised by: David Copp
    • Emily Barranco Earlenbaugh
      Pluralities of Happiness: An Instrumentalist Argument in Support of Positive Psychology
      Supervised by: Elaine Landry
    • Joshua Earlenbaugh
      Philosophy as Virtuous Rhetoric
      Supervised by: Bernard Molyneux
    • Johnnie Pedersen
      A Defense of Evidentialism about Moral Intuitions
      Supervised by: David Copp
    • Jun Keat (Jared) Poon
      Against an Evolutionary Debunking of Morality
      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
      Plato's Theory of Sensible Particulars
      Supervised by: Jan Szaif


    • Vadim Keyser
      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
    • Jonathan Dorsey
      Cutting The Problem Of Consciousness Down To Size
      Supervised by: Bernard Molyneux
    • Lucas Halpin
      Meta-Philosophy: Contra-Quine
      Supervised by: G. Aldo Antonelli
    • Nate Smith
      Essentialist Heuristics in Biology
      Supervised by: James Griesemer

2001 - 2010


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


  • Dana Lynne Goswick
    An Artifactual World
    Supervised by: L.A. Paul and Cody Gilmore
  • David Ian Spencer
    Time, Tense, and Mind: A Case Study in Metaphysics and Perspectival Representation
    Supervised by: Paul Teller


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


  • James Craig Blackmon
    Computationalism and the Putnam-Searle Thesis
    Supervised by: Paul 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
    The Centrality of Phylogenetic Thinking
    Supervised by: James 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
    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 Griesemer
  • William Russell Payne
    On the Nature of Dispositions
    Supervised by: Michael Jubien


  • Patrick John Findler
    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
    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 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 Teller


  • Scott Andrew Merlino
    Are Biological Species Individuals?
    Supervised by: James Griesemer
  • Robert Wilson Mutti
    The Semantic Content of Proper Names
    Supervised by: Jeffrey C. King
  • David Eric Nachmanoff
    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
    A Revision of David Lewis's "Golden Card": The Classification of Relations Via a New Intrinsic/Extrinsic Property Relation
    Supervised by: Michael Jubien


  • Nancy Elizabeth Shaffer
    Understanding Bias in Scientific Practice
    Supervised by: Paul Teller


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


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


  • Melinda Lou Campbell
    The Reality of Color: The Case for Subjective Realism
    Supervised by: Richard Wollheim
  • William Stafford Hirstein
    The Problem of Self-Belief
    Supervised by: Richard Wollheim
  • Marina Alexandra Lise Oshana
    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
    On Possibility and Possible Worlds
    Supervised by: Michael Jubien

1981 - 1990


  • 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
    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
    Excluded-Opposite Arguments
    Supervised by: Ronald A. Arbini
  • Paula Hunter Manchester
    Architectonic and Critical Philosophy
    Supervised by: George J. Mattey II

1971 - 1980


  • Jerald Lee Mosley
    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
    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