FRIENDS OF philosophy
FALL 2012 NEWSLETTER
W ear Friends of Philosophy,
It is terrific to greet you once again, and share with each of you the news from the Department of Philosophy.
Our faculty con nues to produce a stunning amount of research. I would like to highlight, in par cular, two recent books. Professor Mark Rowlands has just published Can Animals Be Moral? (Oxford University Press, 2012). This is Professor Rowlands’ 15th book, an impressive accomplishment! In this work, he returns to an issue central to his research: the moral status of non‐human ani‐ mals. He argues that, although animals may not be able to reflect on their mo ves, they can act on the basis of some moral reasons involving concern for others. Professor Rowlands was also awarded the 2012 Provost’s Award for Scholarly Ac vity, in recogni on of his seminal contribu ons to the philosophy of mind, applied ethics, and public understanding of philosophy. Please join me in congrat‐ ula ng him for this award! Professor Michael Slote has recently published Educa on and Human Values: Reconciling Talent with an Ethics of Care (Routledge, 2012). In the last two years, Professor Slote has published no less than 5 books (4 with Oxford University Press and 1 with Routledge). Taken together they provide a novel approach to the founda ons of ethics, combining moral sen mentalism with care ethics in an insigh ul way. In Educa on and Human Values, Professor Slote examines the moral implica ons of the fact that diﬀerent people have diﬀerent talents, and by using care ethics, he is able to acknowledge these diﬀerences while s ll being sensi ve to those who lack the talents in ques on. This is Professor Slote’s 14th book, another fantas c accomplishment! But it is not only our faculty who has been producing significant research; our graduate students are now publishing their work in some of the best philosophy journals in the world. (Some of these journals accept less than 10% of the submissions they re‐ ceive. A er a ruthless refereeing process, only the most significant papers are published.) I highlight three cases: Kris n Borgwald (Philosophical Studies), Fredrik Haraldsen (Australasian Journal of Philosophy), and Nurbay Irmak (Philosophical Studies and Grazer Philosophische Studien). But, as it can be found elsewhere in this newsle er, many more graduate students are now publishing their work in excellent journals. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments! We are also just as proud of the accomplishments of our undergraduate students, as they con nue to excel in the classroom and beyond. Details can be found elsewhere in this newsle er. As always, the department will host Friends of Philosophy Dialogues and speakers. Professor Kenneth Goodman, from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, will lead a Dialogue on “Health Care Access: How Ethics Should Influence Public Poli‐ cy” on February 13, 2013, and a Dialogue on “Tom Paine and the Ironies of Social Insurance” will be led by Professor Elizabeth An‐ derson, from the University of Michigan, on November 8, 2012. (Professor Anderson’s talk is also part of the Appignani Founda on lecture series.) Details on these and several other upcoming events can be found elsewhere in this newsle er and on the accompany‐ ing flyers. Please join us for philosophical conversa on as o en as you can. We are always happy to hear from you and to receive your comments and sugges ons for future ac vi es. You can contact me at (305) 284‐9218, or by email at email@example.com; the department oﬃce number is (305) 284‐4757. And of course, we hope you will take this opportunity to renew your membership in Friends of Philosophy. Gi Dona ons can be made at www.as.miami.edu/phi/giving . The Department of Philosophy greatly appreciates your interest and support. Thank you! I hope to see you at one of our events soon!
Otávio Bueno Professor and Chair Department of Philosophy University of Miami
DEPARTMENT NEWS Peter Lewis has been awarded a Humani es Center Fellowship to work on a book tled Quantum Ontolo‐ gy. The book concerns the nature of the physical world according to quantum mechanics, and is intended to be an an dote to the "swarm of par cles" ontology presupposed in much of contemporary philosophy.
Mark Rowlands is one of three Professors awarded the 2012 Provosts Award for Scholarly Ac vity. Rowlands is the author of 15 books and more than 50 re‐ search papers. His publica ons focus on three main areas: philosophy of mind and cogni ve science, applied ethics, and public understanding of philosophy. In the first area, Rowlands is one of the main architects of a view known as the ex‐ tended mind, vehicle externalism, or environmentalism. The central point is that some mental processes extend into the subject’s environment in that they are composed, in part, of manipula ve, exploita ve, and transforma ve opera ons performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. In the second area, Rowlands’ work focuses on the moral status of non‐human animals and the natural environment. Here he is known primarily for developing the idea that the moral claims of animals can be understood in terms of a contractualist moral theory, which extends, adjusts, and refines to the realm of non‐human animals the work that John Rawls has de‐ veloped with respect to human socie es. And in the third area of his work, Rowlands has devoted a considerable amount of me to the public understanding of philosophy. He reaches audiences beyond the more restricted domain of academic philosophy, as his books have been translated into more than 15 languages. His memoir, The Philosopher and the Wolf, was published in 2008 and became an interna onal bestseller. On, September 17, 2012, Michael Slote was interviewed by the Bri sh Broad Cas ng (BBC), in connec‐ on with the ethical significance of the current impasse between the major par es in American Poli cs.
RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS Mark Rowlands: Can Animals Be Moral?, Oxford University Press, 2012 Michael Slote: Educa on & Human Values: Reconciling Talent with an Ethics of Care ,Routledge, 2012
RETROCASUALITY AND TIME‐SYMMETRY IN PHYSICS CONFERENCE
On January 12, the department hosted a one‐day conference on Retrocausality and Time‐Symmetry in Physics. The conference concerned the existence of future‐to‐past causa on, and the role of this kind of causa on in clarifying con‐ ceptual diﬃcul es in quantum mechanics and cosmology. We were honored to have Huw Price (Bertrand Russell Pro‐ fessor of Philosophy at Cambridge University) give the keynote address, en tled "Retrocausality ‐ what would it take?" Visi ng and local philosophers and physicists (including two par cipa ng via Skype) spent a frui ul and enjoyable day learning about each other's work in this exci ng new field of inquiry.
On December 9‐10 the Department hosted a workshop on Kant's philosophy, hosted by Nick Stang. Leading represent‐ a ves of the rising genera on of Kant scholars from the US and Europe presented and discussed papers on all aspects of Kant's philosophy. A volume of papers by conference par cipants will be published by Oxford University Press' Prof. Stang would like to thank the Department, the UM Ethics Program, the Law School, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School for their generous support.
UM ETHICS PROGRAMS
Now in its third decade, the collabora on between the UM Ethics Programs and the Department of Philosophy con n‐ ues to bear valuable fruit. Among the most noteworthy aspects of the partnership is the 2012 Summer Ethics Internship Program, an eﬀort begun in 1997 to support projects by philosophy students. A joint eﬀort by the Department of Philosophy, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Ethics Programs, the summer ini a ve provides s pends for students doing ethics research. The 2012 interns are Daniel Corrigan, Daniel Hampikian, Ho Man Wai, Robin Neiman, Philipp Schwind and Benjamin Yelle. The Ethics Programs also con nue to contribute to the Department mission by mentoring students on other ethics pro‐ jects and applicable disserta ons, taking responsibility for the Bioethics course and occasional others and iden fying support for special projects; for instance, the Ethics Programs provided travel assistance for graduate student Heleana Theixos to give a talk at a bioethics conference in Amsterdam. In addi on, Philosophy faculty and/or students con nued the Department’s unparalleled success in winning Arsht Re‐ search on Ethics and Community grants under a special program oﬀered by the Arsht Ethics Ini a ves under a gener‐ ous gi to the Ethics Programs by UM Trustee and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht. Two such grants were awarded for the 2012‐13 academic year: “Evidence‐Based Medicine and Pa ent‐Centered Ethics: An Integrated Approach to the Philosophy of Medi‐ cine” – faculty member Otávio Bueno and student Robin Neiman. “Can Principles Solve Moral Dilemmas in Bioethics? A Solu on to the Problems of Specifying and Weighing Principles” – faculty member Thomas Nickel (Law and Philosophy) and student Philipp Schwind. The Arsht grant program began in 2008. Since then, Department of Philosophy faculty have received a grant every year, the only UM department for which this is the case. More informa on about the Ethics programs is available at www.miami.edu/ethics.
Caleb Pitcairn was the recipient of the Ramon M. Lemos Excellence in Philosophy Award for Outstanding Gradua ng Senior in Philosophy. Daniel Elfenbaum received the Geri and Edith Schipper Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Philosophy. Monica Morrison and Sarah Lesson were recipients of the Geri and Edith Schipper Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Philosophy. Nicholas Wiltsher received the Ruggerio Disserta on Award in the Hu‐ mani es and Fredrik Haraldsen was awarded the Interna onal Students Summer Scholarship and the Royal Caribbean Cruise line Scholarship for 2012—2013. Jennifer Swanson was the recipient of the department’s first annual graduate Excellence in Teaching Award.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
REQUEST A HARD COPY OF THIS NEWSLETTER AT:
PHILOSOPHY@MIAMI.EDU Page 3
GRADUATE PROGRAM NEWS
WELCOME TO OUR NEW GRADUATE STUDENTS! The Department of Philosophy is delighted to announce the arrival of a fantas c new class of entering graduate stu‐ dents. Please join us in welcoming them to the department, and wishing them all the best for successful philosophical careers here and beyond! Lance Aschilmnan graduated from Indiana University ‐ Purdue University, Indianapolis in 2007 with a MA in Philosophy. His main philosophical interests lies in philosophy of language and its intersec on with metaphysics. Adam Haup eld graduated from the University of California ‐ Santa Cruz in 2009 with a BA in Philosophy. His interests are in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophical methodology. Theodore D. Locke received his B.A. in philosophy, with a minor in mathema cs, from the University of North Florida in 2012 with Summa Cum Laude honors. His general philosophical interests are in epistemology and metaphysics, and his specific philosophical interests are in logic and philosophical methods. Amanda McMullen graduated from Stetson University in 2012 with a BA. Her primary interests are in metaphysics, metametaphysics, epistemology, and Kant. Sueng Oh graduated from Tu s University in 2011 with a MA in philosophy. Her main philosophical interests are in the philosophy of language, par cularly the way language works between mind and world.
RECENT PRESENTATIONS/PUBLICATIONS Noel Alphonse’s paper en tled “Convenient Myths: Reconciling Indispensability and Ontological Rela vity” was accept‐ ed for publica on in the Florida Philosophical Review (2011). Kris n Borgwald’s paper en tled “Women’s Anger, Epistemic Personhood, and Self‐Respect: An Applica on of Lehrer’s Work on Self‐Trust” was accepted for publica on in Philosophical Studies (2012). Fredrik Haraldsen’s paper en tled “What Russell Couldn’t Describe” was accepted for publica on in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy and he presented a paper, “Russellian Two‐Dimensionalism”, at the Central APA in Chicago, Feb‐ ruary 2012. Nurbay Irmak’s paper en tled “The Privilege of the Physical and the Status of Ontological Debates” was accepted for publica on in Philosophical Studies (forthcoming, 2013), “So ware is an Abstract Ar fact” was accepted for publica on in Grazer Philosophische Studien (forthcoming,2013) and “Knowing Wrongly: An Obvious Oxymoron or a Threat for the Alleged Universality of Epistemological Analyses?” was accepted for publica on in the Croa an Journal of Philosophy. Theodor Locke’s paper en tled “Is Sylvan’s Box a Threat to Classical Logic Norms?” will be published in this year’s edi‐ on of the Florida Philosophical Review. Jennifer Swanson’s paper en tled “Nonhuman Animals and Third‐Party Defense” has been accepted for publica on in the journal Between the Species. Heleana Theixos was an invited speaker to the Students for Global Solu ons, Working with the United Na ons, to dis‐ cuss “Moral Repair a er Genocide” at the University of Miami, March 2012, was a Guest Lecturer on the topic “The Moral Duty to Adopt” at Miami Dade College, February 2012, and was the Keynote Speaker presen ng “Care Ethics and Bullying” at Webster College, St. Louis, April 2012. She has also presented her paper “The Moral Duty to Adopt” at the 11th World Congress of BioEthics in Ro erdam, June 2012 and her paper en tled “Bullying the Bully: Why Zero‐ Tolerance Policies Get a Falling Grade” has been accepted for publica on in the journal Social Influence. Aaron Wilson paper en tled “Reid’s Account of Judgment and Missing Fourth Concep on” has been accepted for publi‐ ca on in the Journal of Sco sh Philosophy (forthcoming, 2013).
ANNUAL GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE IN EPISTEMOLOGY Our 8th annual Graduate Student Epistemology Conference was run by Robin Neiman and Sarah Beth Lesson and invited papers on a broad range of topics regarding philosophical and epistemological methodology. Dr. Huw Price delivered a fascina ng keynote address on meta‐metaphysics, discussing his minimalist strategy to existence ques ons. A high point of the conference was the panel discussion involving Huw Price, Amie Thomasson, Simon Evnine and Colin McGinn. They discussed what they thought to be the dis nc ve methods of philosophy and how philosophy compares to other disciplines of inquiry. The 9th annual Graduate Student Epistemology Conference is being orga‐ nized by Micah Dugas and Sarah Beth Lesson, and will be held from Janu‐ ary 10th‐12th. We are invi ng papers on the intersec on between epis‐ temic rela vism and disagreement, and epistemic rela vism in general. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Alvin Goldman from Rutgers University, and we are looking forward to a fun and provoca ve exchange of ideas!
ANNUAL GRADUATE STUDENT WORKSHOP IN ETHICS & MIND This past fall Benjamin Yelle and Daniel Corrigan organized an Ethics Workshop, which featured keynote speaker Jeﬀ McMahan (Rutgers Uni‐ versity). The workshop hosted graduate students from top philosophy departments, including the University of Michigan and Duke University. The vi sing graduate students workshopped their papers with University of Miami philosophy graduate students, faculty, and Professor McMahan. Both the keynote address and the workshop sessions were a great suc‐ cess. All the events were well a ended and received by both philosophy graduate students and faculty. The workshop was made possible with funding from: the Philosophy Department, UM Ethics Programs, the Grad‐ uate School, and the Dean’s oﬃce.
2012 Ph.D. Graduates Benjamin Burgis Daniel Cohen Kristjan Laasik Nicholas Wiltsher 2012 Recent Placements Benjamin Burgis University of Miami Lecturer
Kristjan Laasik Shandong University Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track) Brian Mondy University of Minnesota–Rochester Lecturer Nicholas Wiltsher Leeds University Lecturer
AJ KRIEDER, Ph.D.,01 I remember my me in the Miami graduate program quite fondly. I was fortunate to a end UM with a group of gi ed and collegial students. The friends made there are friends to this day, and though busy with our individual careers, we o en have the opportunity to meet up at conferences. Upon gradua ng in 2001, I took a posi on at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, but have since returned to Miami to take a posi on at Miami Dade College, where I am currently an Associate Professor. This has allowed me to stay in touch with the department by a ending the occasional colloquium (though not as many as I would like). Of course, the department has changed quite a bit since the mid‐90s, and while sad to see faculty from my era beginning to re re, it is heartening to see them replaced with vibrant young philosophical minds. One of the many things for which I am grateful to the program is the way in which they introduced us to a broad range of phil‐ osophical topics. In this day and age, producing "generalist" philosophers is somewhat out of fashion, but the breadth of the curriculum inspires wide interests. When wri ng my disserta on on philosophy of mind, I would not have an cipated turning my a en on to topics like philosophy of sport almost 15 years later! I consider myself rather fortunate to have been introduced to philosophy by the faculty and students in the department. I can say confidently that my me as a graduate student ranks among the most enjoyable of my life. Page 5
FRIENDS OF PHILOSOPHY 2011-2012 HONOR ROLL Dedicated to supporting the philosophy program at the University of Miami
INNER CIRCLE ( $1000 and up )
Louis J. Appignani Founda on, Inc Randy L. Gi ess, D.D.S., P.A Mr. Richard Heise
Mr. Gonzalo Parodi Jonathan S. Saunders, M.D. Richard T. Shankweiler, Esq.
Dr. Carl Cohen
Dr. Aprhrodite G. Alexandrakis Eivind Balsvik, Ph.D. Mr. Geoﬀrey Nathan Brown Mr. & Mrs Benne Brummer Ms. Lily Chen Mr. Andrew Cappel Mr. & Mrs. Kurt F. Erhard Dr. & Mrs. Lawrence M. Fishman Chris an Davis Furman, M.D. John T. Granrose, Ph.D. Alicia Juarrero, Ph.D. Mr. Charles P. Mason, Jr. Mrs. Janet McAliley M. Douwtze Meulen David L. McNaron, Ph.D. Ms. Dawn M. Moreau Dr. & Mrs. Jorge Nobo Mr. Angel Guillermo Reyes Mr. Michael Roberts Mr. & Mrs. Paul B. Rosencrantz Charles Schwab Corp. Founda on Mr. Robert Schwartz Dr. & Mrs. Ernest Sosa Mr. & Mrs. Vernon Sumwalt Dr. David L. Wilson Mr. & Mrs. H. Wine
( $500 ‐ $999 )
FRIENDS ( up to $99 ) .
Mr. & Mrs. Alan Collins Mr. Hector J. Corella Chris an Davis Furman, M.D. Ms. Jaswinder Gundara Mr. & Mrs. Dillard Kilby Shirong Luo, Ph.D. Dr. & Mrs. Thomas McClary Mr. Christopher Pina Alice Perrin, PH.D. Mr. & Mrs. Gregory P. Rich Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. Rosen Mr. Kevin Saunders Dr. & Mrs. Ma hew W. Steele Mr. & Mrs. Mark Weinstein
( $100 ‐ $499 )
The Department of Philosophy and the Miami Art Museum are proud to present
The 9th Annual
Parodi Lecture in Philosophy of Art
Dr. Martha Buskirk Professor of Art History and Criticism, Montserrat College of Art
“Currency, Value & Hype” Sunday, December 9, 2012 Miami Art Museum* (101 W. Flagler St.) Seating begins at 11:00AM; Lecture begins at 11:30AM. Refreshments will follow. Despite the astonishingly large volume of activity in the realm of contemporary art, the subject itself defies easy categorization. Tangible objects may still have a certain edge in the marketplace, but that is far less true in other contexts, including museums, where contemporary programing often centers on ephemeral gestures, and it has become increasingly impossible to distinguish between production and reception. To what extent have expectations about art been transformed by the event-driven nature of the contemporary art world? And to what degree do recent situationbased works simply draw attention to the larger role of art as a social nexus? Dr. Martha Buskirk is Professor of art history and criticism at Montserrat College of Art. She is author of The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art (MIT Press, 2003) as well as co-editor of The Duchamp Effect (MIT Press, 1996) and The Destruction of Tilted Arc: Documents (MIT Press, 1990). Her new book, Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art between Museum and Marketplace, was published by Continuum in April 2012.
For more information visit us on the web:
HTTP://WWW.MIAMI.EDU/PHI This event is free and open to the public, and made possible by the generous support of Mr. Gonzalo Parodi. * Directions to the Miami Art Museum - From the north: Take I–95 south to exit 2C (Downtown, Miami Ave, Biscayne Blvd and Brickell Ave) and make a left on SE 1st Ave. Take SE 1st Ave to Flagler St and make a left and proceed straight until you arrive to Miami Art Museum on the right. From the south: take I-95 north to exit 2A (Biscayne Blvd and Downtown) and make a left on SE 1st Ave. Take SE 1st Ave to Flagler St and make a left and proceed straight until you arrive to Miami Art Museum on the right.
Department of Philosophy
CALENDAR OF EVENTS COLLOQUIA Elizabeth Anderson University of Michigan November 8, 2012 Susanna Schellenberg Rutgers University January 17-18, 2012 Eva Kittay SUNY, Stonybrook January 24 - 25, 2013 Chienkuo Mi Rutgers University Soochow University, Tawian February 8, 2013
Friends of Philosophy Dialogues Wednesday, February 13, 2013 “Health Care Access: How Ethics Should Influence Public Policy” Dr. Kenneth Goodman Professor of Medicine & Philosophy University of Miami
9th Annual Parodi Lecture In Philosophy of Art
Francis Schrag University of Wisconsin February 15, 2012
Sunday, December 9 , 2012
Philippe van Parijs Catholic University of Louvain March 21, 2013
Professor of Art History and Criticism Montserrat College of Art
“Currency, Value & Hype” Dr. Martha Buskirk
Sherrilyn Roush University of California, Berkeley April 4 - 5, 2013 Marc Lange University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill April 25 - 26, 2013
CONFERENCES & WORKSHOPS
Graduate Student Conference in Epistemology Alvin Goldman Rutgers University January 10-12, 2013
Louis J. Appignani Foundation Lectures on Science, Reason & Secular Ethics Thursday, November 8, 2012 “Tome Paine & the Ironies of Social Insurance” Dr. Elizabeth Anderson Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies University of Michigan
—— For more information: Department of Philosophy P.O. Box 248054, Coral Gables, FL 33124-4670 Phone : 305-284-4757 Fax : 305-284-5594 http://www.miami.edu/phi/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Anderson University of Michigan
“The Social Epistemology of Morality: Learning from the Forgotten History of the Abolition of Slavery” Thursday, November 8, 2012 University Center, 241 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm Abstract During the 19th century, the belief that individuals have a right against being enslaved became a nearly worldwide consensus. Most people today believe that this change in moral convictions was a case of moral learning. How we can know this, or similar claims about moral progress, without begging the question in favor of our current beliefs? I answer this question by developing a naturalized, pragmatist moral epistemology through case studies of moral lessons people have drawn from the history of abolition and emancipation. Elizabeth Anderson is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1987 and previously taught at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Value in Ethics and Economics (Harvard UP, 1993), The Imperative of Integration (Princeton UP, 2010), and over 60 articles in journals of philosophy, law, and economics. She has written extensively on issues of equality, race, and antidiscrimination law, the ethical limitations of the market, the interaction of facts and values in social science research, and the intersection of democratic theory and social epistemology. She is currently working on a history of egalitarianism.
Appignani Foundation Lectures on Science, Reason and Secular Ethics h
Thursday, November 8, 2012 Paper: 7:00 pm; Learning Center, Room 160 Reception following the discussion.
â€œTom Paine & the Ironies of Social Insuranceâ€? Critics of every social insurance proposal in the U.S., including recent health care reform, call them socialist attacks on private property. To be sure, social insurance is a central pillar of social democracy, and social democratic parties originated in a socialist critique of capitalism. Yet the equation of social insurance with socialism is doubly ironic. The first realistic proposal to abolish poverty by means of universal social insurance was Thomas Paine, who explicitly advanced his scheme as a defense of private property against socialist revolutionaries. And the first actual social insurance scheme was introduced by Otto von Bismarck, who advanced it against the German Social Democratic Party, which opposed his plan. This talk will consider how Paine grounded the justification of social insurance in a neo-Lockean theory of private property rights, and explore the implications of the ironic inversion of social insurance from a bulwark of to a perceived assault on capitalism.
Elizabeth Anderson Elizabeth Anderson is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Womenâ€™s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1987 and previously taught at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Value in Ethics and Economics (Harvard UP, 1993), The Imperative of Integration (Princeton UP, 2010), and over 60 articles in journals of philosophy, law, and economics. She has written extensively on issues of equality, race, and antidiscrimination law, the ethical limitations of the market, the interaction of facts and values in social science research, and the intersection of democratic theory and social epistemology. She is currently working on a history of egalitarianism.
For details visit: http://miami.edu/phi/ or call us at 305-284-4757 Sponsored by the Appignani Foundation, the University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences Philosophy Department and the University of Miami Humanities Center. The event is free and open to the public. College of Arts & Sciences
Friends of Philosophy - Fall 2012 Newsletter