The following speakers are scheduled for 2018-2019. Details will be announced as they become available.
September 14th Anjan Chakravartty (University of Miami)
"Scientific Disagreement, Uniqueness, and Permissive Rationality"
Scientists often disagree about what our best science reveals, even when plausibly regarded as epistemic peers, but some philosophers hold that given some evidence, there is only one rational option regarding what epistemic peers should believe. Thus it seems that either scientific beliefs are often irrational, or the uniqueness thesis is false. I argue that in some cases disagreement is properly characterized in terms of contrary hopes and heuristic commitments rather than contrary beliefs about what our best science reveals. The latter case is typified by juxtapositions of belief and agnosticism, indicative of underlying commitments that are not themselves propositional or evidential but that are nonetheless rational. The upshot is a rejection of uniqueness and a moderately permissive conception of rationality appropriate to scientific disagreement.
October 5th Reinhardt Lecture: John Bell, University of Western Ontario. Organized by the Reinhardt Lecture rep in consultation with the Chair of Math.
"Infinitesimals and the Labyrinth of the Continuum"
3:15 PM, HLMS 199
Click here for abstract (PDF).
October 12th Susan Wolf (UNC)
November 16th Rik Peels (Amsterdam)
"Can Trust Be Voluntary?"
In this paper, I defend an answer to the question whether trust can be voluntary and, if so, how. First, I make the question more precise by qualifying it in various ways and specifying which kind of trust I am talking about. Next, I consider to what extent trust is voluntary if trust, as some philosophers have argued, is a particular kind of belief. This is a minority view among philosophers working on trust, but even if it is correct, it only works if so-called doxastic compatibilism is true—a particular view on what control over our beliefs amounts to. I argue that if that view is correct as well, we would save responsibility for trust or lack of trust, but not the idea that we choose or decide whether or not to trust. After that, I explain what counts in favor of the thesis that trust is voluntary. I show that there are at least two and possibly three different ways in which trust can be under our control: the constitutive element of reliance is often under our control, the constitutive element of resilience to evidence is often under our control, and there are situations in which we know that trusting actually sufficiently raises a person’s trustworthiness so that we can choose to trust.
Rik Peels is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Among his most recent books are Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology (OUP 2017), and Scientism: Prospects and Problems, ed. with Jeroen de Ridder and René van Woudenberg (OUP 2018). E-mail: email@example.com
January 25th Dominic Lopes (UBC)
February 15th Julia Jorati (OSU)
March 15th John Bengson (WIS)
April 12th Rachel Barney (Toronto)
Professor Peter Klein (Rutgers University)
Rescheduled for Spring 18, date/time TBA
Professor Kendy Hess (Holy Cross)
Friday Oct 13 2017, 3:15-5:00 PM, EDUC 220
"...And There Be Dragons: Modern Corporations As Political Actors"
Abstract: Despite decades of debate about the moral status of corporate agents, there has been surprisingly little exploration of their political status. This paper thus begins with a brief sketch of my own account of corporate agents – from metaphysics to moral obligation – and then moves on to explore some of the political implications. Setting aside the question of political rights and duties, I consider the permissibility of three modes of political engagement: (1) as citizens, attempting to influence government policy; (2) as an extension of the government, under government direction, and (3) as the government, exercising governmental authority in their own right. I suggest that the first two are unproblematic (if complicated). Proponents of the third argue that, in the absence of a successful state, literal “corporations” (a subset of corporate agents) should step in and govern; they call this ”political corporate social responsibility.” I close by considering how my theory of corporate agency helps us resist this proposal.
Prof. Gottlieb specializes in ancient Greek philosophy. She is the author, among many other works, of The Virtue of Aristotle’s Ethics (Cambridge UP 2009) .
Abstract: "Choice" is one translation for Aristotelian "prohairesis". Elizabeth Anscombe comments: "The notion of 'choice' as conceived by Aristotle is a very peculiar one…If it had been a winner, like some other Aristotelian concepts, would not prohairetic be as familiar to us as practical is?" Prohairesis can be good or bad. I argue that the good person’s prohairesis is a special kind of motivation, a combination of thought and desire that is not classifiable according to Humean or Kantian frames of reference, and that "prohairetic" should be in our vocabulary after all.
Louise Antony, The Ohio State University
Friday, October 7, 3:15 pm, HUMN 150
“Is ‘Non-Conceptual Content’ Content?”
Graeme Forbes, Tulane University
Monday, October 24, 3:15 pm, HLMS 196
"The Simple-Sentence Debate"
Jonathan Schaffer, University of Massachusetts
Friday, October 28, 3:15 pm, HUMN 150
Graeme Forbes, Tulane University
Monday, October 31, 3:15 pm, HLMS 196
"Depiction Verbs: Can You Paint a Proposition?"
Sally Haslanger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Friday, November 4, 3:15 pm, HUMN 150
"What Good Are Our Intuitions About Race? Philosophical Analysis and Social Kinds"
Dan Jacobson, Bowling Green State University
Monday, November 28, 3:15 pm, HLMS 241
“Utilitarianism Without Consequentialism"