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February 6th, 2015

  • Image preview 3:30pm - 5:00pm: “Falling Through Time” by Craig Callender (University of California, San Diego)

    As we navigate through life, we adopt an implicit model of time that is very important to us. In this model the present is special and the past fixed, and this whole structure “flows” forward. Physics suggests that this conception of time is fundamentally wrong about time. It is commonly dismissed as an illusion and removed from their desks and placed on the desks of psychologists. However, psychologist don’t know it’s been put on their desks. So why we have no explanation of why we all naturally adopt this picture of falling through time. The cosmologist Gold emphasized that before we can dismiss the flow we need to explain the “self-consistent set of rules that would give a beast this kind of phoney picture of time.” Here I take up this interdisciplinary project. Appealing to the hard facts of life in a relativistic world, evolution, cognitive science and psychology, I develop a theory of why “beasts” like us feel like we’re falling through time.

January 30th, 2015

December 5th, 2014

  • Image preview 3:30pm - 5:00pm: A Guilt Trip: Moral Psychology, Expressivism, and the Basic Emotions
    Jay Odenbaugh, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Lewis & Clark College

    According to moral sentimentalism, moral judgments necessarily involve emotions. The most sophisticated version of sentimentalism is that articulated by Allan Gibbard in his Wise Choices, Apt Feelings. On his view, a moral judgment that an action is wrong expresses acceptance of norms that permit guilt for having done it and resentment on the part of others. Shaun Nichols, in his Sentimental Rules, argues that Gibbard’s account is fatally flawed. First, children cannot experience or recognize guilt until they are six or seven years old. Second, children can make moral judgments as early as three or four years old as shown by their ability to pass the moral-conventional task. In this talk, I respond on behalf of Gibbard showing Nichols’ argument fails. Finally, I turn to a more pressing worry about guilt. Since guilt is so difficult to show sincerely, how can it coordinate our moral lives? Using evolutionary game theory, I show how one might respond to this worry.



    Visit his webpage here

November 7th, 2014

October 31st, 2014

  • Image preview 3:30pm - 5:00pm: Imagery, Expression, and Figurative Meaning - Mitchell Green (University of Connecticut)

    Metaphorical utterances are construed as arrayed along a continuum, on one end of which are semi-conventionalized cases amenable to analysis in terms of semantic content, speaker meaning, and satisfaction conditions, and where image-construction is permissible but not mandatory. I call these image-permitting metaphors (IPM’s), and contrast them with image-demanding metaphors (IDM’s) inhabiting the continuum’s other end and whose understanding mandates the construction of a mental image. This construction, I suggest, is spontaneous, is not restricted to visual imagery, and its result is typically somatically marked sensu Damasio. IDM’s may accordingly be used in service of self-expression, and thereby in the elicitation of empathy. Even so, IDM’s may also be vehicles of speaker meaning, and may reasonably provoke banter over the aptness of the imagery they evoke.

October 21st, 2014

  • 7:00pm: Explore Potential Majors 2014

    Still unsure about your major? Come hear from faculty, staff, and students about why a Philosophy major is exciting!

    Already declared? Learn from faculty and upper division students about what’s coming up next!

    You can also attend multiple events over four evenings to make or confirm your choice. Each gathering will start with a short presentation, so please be on time. Also, there will be free food! You can RSVP here.

October 19th, 2014

  • All Day: Socrates: A Conference in Honor of Nicholas D. Smith

    Please join the departments of Philosophy and Classics in honoring Nicholas D. Smith, the James F. Miller Professor of Humanities. Socrates: A Conference brings scholars from across the country who have been influenced by Professor Smith’s scholarly work in epistemology, ancient philosophy, and classical studies, especially his work on Socrates. The conference is free and open to the public.

    Please register for the conference HERE.

     

    Here is the schedule for the conference.

October 18th, 2014

  • All Day: Socrates: A Conference in Honor of Nicholas D. Smith

    Please join the departments of Philosophy and Classics in honoring Nicholas D. Smith, the James F. Miller Professor of Humanities. Socrates: A Conference brings scholars from across the country who have been influenced by Professor Smith’s scholarly work in epistemology, ancient philosophy, and classical studies, especially his work on Socrates. The conference is free and open to the public.

    Please register for the conference HERE.

     

    Here is the schedule for the conference.
    until October 19, 2014

October 17th, 2014

  • All Day: Socrates: A Conference in Honor of Nicholas D. Smith

    Please join the departments of Philosophy and Classics in honoring Nicholas D. Smith, the James F. Miller Professor of Humanities. Socrates: A Conference brings scholars from across the country who have been influenced by Professor Smith’s scholarly work in epistemology, ancient philosophy, and classical studies, especially his work on Socrates. The conference is free and open to the public.

    Please register for the conference HERE.

     

    Here is the schedule for the conference.
    until October 19, 2014

September 19th, 2014

  • 3:30pm - 5:00pm: Real Moral Progress: Why Pragmatic Naturalism Requires Moral Realism by William Rottschaefer

    In his recent book, The Ethical Project, Philip Kitcher offers a pragmatic naturalistic metaethical account of moral progress.  Examining ethical practice, Kitcher presents a functional account of it as a social technology for alleviating altruism failures, one exemplified in a phylogeny of moral practice including elimination of chattel slavery and recognition of both women’s rights and gay rights.  He suggests a theory of bio-cultural evolution as an ultimate explanation of this phylogeny and, as proximate mechanisms, social-cultural learning, socially engaged normative guidance and cognitively equipped emotions.  Given these scientifically supported bases, Kitcher argues that pragmatic naturalism offers the best metaethical account of why these changes in moral practice are morally progressive.  Making use of these same scientific bases, I argue that Kitcher’s metaethical account requires the adoption of an objective moral realism, one, nevertheless, that is compatible with his core pragmatism. 

Philosophy

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