Everyone is welcome to attend our talks. Refreshments are available before the talk, so come early, get acquainted, and have a bite to eat! The talks are 50 minutes in length, followed by a short break for refreshments and then 30 minutes of Q&A.
Please call (336) 758-5359 if you will require special assistance.
Dates and speakers for fall semester 2013
Note: unless stated otherwise, talks are held in the Philosophy Library, 316 Tribble Hall, at 5 pm.
- October 17: Kit Wellman, Washington University in St. Louis. “Procedural Rights”
I will argue that, absent special circumstances, there are no moral, judicial procedural rights. I divide this essay into four main sections. First I argue that there is no general moral right against double jeopardy. Next I explain why punishing a criminal without first establishing her guilt via a fair trial does not necessarily violate her rights. In the third section I respond to a number of possible objections. Finally, (if time permits) I consider the implications of my arguments for the human right to due process.
- November 1: Kevin Schilbrack, Western Carolina University. “Religious Disagreement as a Process.” Co-sponsored with Department of Religion. Please note that this talk will be held at 3:30 pm in Wingate 302.
Abstract: Given the cultural and ideological divisions of the present day, disagreement has become an important topic among philosophers. In this paper, I propose that philosophers study disagreement not simply as a static conflict between those who hold contradictory views, but also as a navigable process of cognitive dissonance and its resolution. Doing so lets us see that important philosophical questions about disagreement arise not only when the disagreement is between epistemic peers, but also earlier in the process before one has assessed the other’s evidence or logic. In this paper, I argue that even before one has assessed the other’s reasons, the mere fact of disagreement usually ought to move a person to reduce confidence in one’s belief. I defend this claim and show its implications for religious disagreements.
- November 7: Sarah Robins, University of Kansas. “Remembering, Relearning, and (Temporarily) Forgetting”
What does remembering require? It is common to think that remembering requires not only an accurate representation of a past event, but also a representation that is brought about in the right way. According to the Causal Theory of Memory (CTM), the right way involves a memory trace. But what are memory traces? Recently, Bernecker (2010) has proposed that memory traces are mental states that form an uninterrupted causal chain between learning and remembering. I argue that this view cannot distinguish remembering from relearning, or tell the difference between temporarily and permanently forgetting something. I conclude by presenting an alternative view of memory traces as capacities.
- November 14: Valerie Tiberius, University of Minnesota. “Well-Being as Value Fulfillment: an Argument for Well-being Holism”
In this talk I present an overview of a theory of well-being that takes values rather than desires or preferences to be the key to well-being. According to the value fulfillment theory, a person’s life goes well to the extent that she pursues and fulfills or realizes things that she values where those values are emotionally suitable and seen by the person to make her life go well. This theory is holistic in the sense that it takes the contribution of individual moments of fulfillment to well-being to be determined by their role in an overall “value-full” life. I argue for holism on the grounds that a holistic theory provides us with the right critical perspective on our current desires and values.
Dates and speakers for spring semester 2014
- February 6: Rebecca Kukla, Georgetown University
- February 20: Steve Nadler, University of Wisconsin. “Why Was Spinoza Excommunicated?”
- March 27: Kieran Setiya, University of Pittsburgh. “Does Moral Theory Corrupt Youth?”
- April 3: Steve Grimm, Fordham University. “What Is Wisdom?”
- April 25: Verity Harte, Yale University (this is a joint colloquium with Classics)