PHIL 265.3 (02)
Decision and Choice Theory

Announcements Archive


2007 Section (01)

PHIL 262 and CUPE 1975 Day of Action (21.11.07)

[Text of message sent to students this evening follows]

CUPE 1975 has called for a day of action tomorrow, Thursday, November 22nd, calling on all members of U of S bargaining units who have a contractual right to do so not to cross their picket line.

I've been mulling this over all evening and it has caused me a great deal of grief. On the one hand, I've already canceled two lectures on account of the CUPE 1975 job action and, if there is no lecture in PHIL 265 tomorrow, it will be almost impossible for us to make any useful headway into the chapter on social choice before the end of the term. On the other hand, I said that if the union specifically called on faculty to respect the picket line I would do so. Plus, if it was a point of principle to respect the picket line two weeks ago, I surely don't want to disrespect it now.

Accordingly, with some misgivings:

-- Class is canceled for tomorrow, Thursday, November 22nd (only).

-- All students are granted a penalty-free extension on Assignment #2 until Friday, November 23rd. You can hand in your assignment by placing it my mailbox in Arts 619 or, if it's more convenient, turn it in to me personally in my office (McLean Hall 126). I'll be there on Friday between, say, 10 AM and 4:30 PM.

-- We will take up where we left off, with PDs and individual rationality, including Gauthier's argument, next Tuesday. This almost certainly means that the course will conclude with a discussion of Nash points and bargaining games and will not extend into social choice theory.

My sincere apologies for the inconvenience (and sense of being ripped off) that I sure this decision causes, but I believe it is justified and important.


Strike Update (11.11.07)

On Friday, just after returning from the rally in support of striking CUPE 1975 workers, I was copied on an e-mail memo from the Associate Dean. The memo suggested, inter alia, that some students had been complaining to the Associate Dean about my decision to cancel classes last week out of respect for the CUPE 1975 picket line.

To those students (if in fact there were any) I say: Thank you. That's exactly how it is supposed to work. A strike is intended to disrupt the employer's operations and typically that means that third parties (customers, suppliers, or, in this case, students) end up being inconvenienced. The complaints of these third parties form part of the employer's motivation to negotiate. So, once again, thanks for the complaints. I mean that sincerely and hold no hard feelings. If you'd like to complain further, I'd suggest contacting the University Secretary and/or any or all members of the University Board of Governors.

I still don't want to cross a picket line without a very good reason, but, as I've mentioned previously, addressing a situation in which students' ability to successfully complete the course constitutes a good reason. Accordingly classes in PHIL 265 will resume this Tuesday, November 13th.

After returning and taking up the midterm exam, we will pick up were we left off, discussing the various methods for solving games presented in Resnik 5-3a-d.


CUPE 1975 Job Action (11.03.07)

As announced in class last week, I do not want (and I reckon some students do not want) to cross a picket line. So, in view of the CUPE 1975 strike, it is quite likely that class will be canceled for Tuesday, November 6th. I strongly suspect that the current job action will not continue for more than a week or so. (Think of all the absolutely essential things that CUPE 1975 members do in science, agriculture, and engineering departments--surely the whole place will grid to a halt within five or six days). In today's Star-Phoenix, however, a union official suggests that the strike may go on "until Christmas." I might not be willing to support the union quite that far. Which is to say, we hopefully will be back in business soon. If things start stretching on to the point that students' ability to complete the course becomes jeopardized, I will look into making other arrangements.


<<< Back

Last Updated: 01.12.2007