Philip Choi, “Buridan on Moral Certainty”
Tuesday January 29th, 3:00pm, Hellems 269
Joseph Stenberg, "Thomas Aquinas, Happiness, and the Unity of Ethics"
Thursday February 7th, 3:00pm, Hellems 269
Abstract: Most of us think that being happy is just about something like enjoyment or contentment or satisfaction. Because we think of happiness in this way, we also tend to think that, in principle and even in practice, we can be happy while breaking all manner of moral rules, while having questionable character, and while living quite meaningless lives. In this talk, I will trace the origins of this view from the present day back into the Middle Ages. I will then spend most of the talk reconstructing a fascinating alternative view put forward by the 13th century Dominican, Thomas Aquinas – a view that develops out of an ancient understanding of happiness. In the end, I will show that, if Aquinas is right about the nature of happiness, our being happy absolutely requires our following moral rules, our developing good character, and our living meaningful lives.
Dominic Bailey, “Powers in Plato”
Tuesday February 12th, 3:00pm, Hellems 269
James Doyle (Harvard), “The pear-theft in Augustine's Confessions and ancient theories of motivated irrationality”
Monday February 25th, 4:00pm, Hellems 269
ABSTRACT: Socrates supposed that all practical errors were consequences of ignorance, and so held that there is no such thing as akrasia, whereby the agent allegedly knows that he is acting contrary to his best judgment. Plato (Republic IV) and Aristotle (NE VII) both reject Socrates' view as psychologically unrealistic, holding that the prospect of pleasure, for example, can lead one to act akratically. I shall argue that Augustine's diagnosis of his youthful theft of the pears in Confessions II shows that Plato and Aristotle did not fully emerge from the unrealistic 'rationalism' they object to in the Socratic view, because in neglecting the role of unconscious fantasy in human action, they make the role of pleasure in undermining judgment, as it were, too intelligible.
Robert Pasnau, “Medieval Modal Spaces"
Thursday March 21, 2:30pm, Hellems 269
Abstract: The Aristotelian conception of modality tended, for much of its history, to be founded mainly on what happens in the actual world, leaving little room for unactualized possibilities. Beginning in the later Middle Ages, however, particularly in the work of John Duns Scotus, a much more expansive conception of modality appears, tied to Scotus’s libertarian conception of freedom. Here I look at how Scotus and, later, Ockham attempted to create more conceptual space for nonactual possibilities, with regard to the past, the present, and the future.
Dan Wolt (Sao Paolo Post-doc, Princeton PhD), “Kalokagathia in the Eudemian Ethics VIII 3”
Thursday April 4, 2-4pm, Hellems 269
Rachel Barney (Toronto), “Techne as a Model for Virtue in Ancient Philosophy”
Thursday April 11, 2-4pm, Hellems 269
Mitzi Lee, “Aristotle’s revisionist concept of justice”
Thursday April 25, 3-5pm, Hellems 369
Daniel Coren, "Aristotle on External Resting Points"
Monday October 8th, 2-3:30pm, Hellems 269
Monday October 22nd, 2-3:30pm, Hellems 269
Philip Choi, "First Things First in Medieval Epistemology"
Monday November 12, 1:30 pm, Hellems 269
Daniel Coren, "Aristotle on Motion in Incomplete Animals"
April 23, 4:00-6:00pm, Hellems 269
Mark Boespflug, "Locke on Doxastic Voluntarism"
October 19, 2:30-4:00pm, Hellems 269
Joseph Stenberg, "John Buridan on Happiness"
March 3, 3:30-5:00pm Hellems 269
Bob Pasnau, “Moments of Decision: A First Try at Medieval Voluntarism” (joint talk with CMEMS)
April 26, 3:30-5pm Hellems 269
Tuesday Nov. 15, 3:30-5:00pm, Hellems 269
Tyler Huismann, "The art or the artisan? A causal puzzle in Aristotle"
Tuesday Nov. 29 3:30-5:00pm, Hellems 269
Daniel Coren presenting to the History of Philosophy Group workshop, April 23, 2018