Two talks by philosopher Alfred Mele at Seattle Pacific University

Posted October 7, 2014 by atubert
Categories: Announcements, Events in Tacoma/Seattle

Professor Mele will give a public lecture entitled “Neuroscience and Free Will” on Thursday 10/9 at 5:30pm.  The talk will be at Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall 150 and it is free and open to the general public.

He will also give a talk for philosophy students and faculty entitled “On The Situationist Challenge to Free Will” on Friday, Oct. 10 at 3:30pm (Seattle Pacific University, library seminar room, 2nd floor).

Professor Mele is the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University.  He is the author of several books on topics such as free will, agency, weakness of will, and self-deception, including A Dialogue on Free Will and Science (Oxford UP, 2014), Backsliding: Understanding Weakness of Will (Oxford UP, 2012), Free Will and Luck (Oxford UP, 2006).

Philosophy Talk Friday 10/3 at 4pm

Posted October 2, 2014 by atubert
Categories: Announcements, Events on Campus

“What is so special about agency?  Constitutivism and Inescapability”

A talk by

Luca Ferrero

Professor of Philosophy,

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Friday, October 3 @ 4:00pm

Wyatt 308

Abstract: What grounds the objective authority of the norms of practical rationality and morality? According to an influential view—known as constitutivism—the ground is to be found in the nature of agency. For the constitutivist, failing to be governed by the norms of rationality and morality would ultimately amount to the loss of agency. But giving up agency might not be an option for us. If agency is ‘inescapable’, then we cannot but be unconditionally bound by its standards and by the norms that can be derived from them. Not all the ways in which agency might be thought to be inescapable, however, are able to support this strong conclusion. In this talk, I will show that there is only one kind of inescapability that might help constitutivism, viz.: the closure of reflective agency under its characteristic operation. But I will also argue that this is only a first step and much more work needs to be done to make constitutivism compelling.

Panel discussion on “Agency, Narrativity, and Oppression” today!

Posted September 26, 2014 by atubert
Categories: Uncategorized

The panel discussion features the work of 3 Puget Sound Philosophy seniors and is part of the Race and Pedagogy National Conference taking place on campus.

“Agency, Narrativity, and Oppression”
Friday 9/26 from 12-1:15pm in McIntyre 203.

Ariela Tubert (Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Puget Sound), chair of the session
Maia Bernick ’15 (Philosophy major and Economics minor)
Austen Harrison ’15 (Philosophy/Political Theory/Classics major)
Si-Won Song ’15 (Philosophy major and Studio Art minor)

What effects does oppression have on a person’s identity and possibility for agency? On the one hand, it would seem that oppression has deep effects on a person’s identity and is ultimately limiting of a person’s agency. On the other hand, such a view may seem to leave the person who is subject to oppression without a possibility for liberation. If the agency of the oppressed is limited, then there seems to be little chance of self-liberation. But if agency under oppression is not limited, it would seem to be up to the oppressed to liberate themselves making it unclear why it seems so difficult and who is responsible for the continuing oppression. In this panel, we investigate the issue of agency and identity under oppression within the conceptual framework provided by the narrative view of personal identity. The narrative view of personal identity holds that a person’s identity is self-constituted by a narrative. We focus on this view because of its potential for both explaining oppression’s deep effect on a person’s identity (oppressive narratives are internalized) and the possibility of liberation through counter-narratives. Education’s liberatory role can also be understood within this framework as one of its roles would be to enable those who are subject to oppression to develop counter-narratives that allow for liberation.

Philosophy Conference on Campus this week!

Posted September 15, 2014 by atubert
Categories: Uncategorized

The Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is taking place on campus this coming Thursday and Friday 9/18 and 9/19 thanks to the effort of a lot of philosophy students!

The keynote address for the conference “Moments of a Life: Some Similarities Between Life and Literature” will be delivered by Professor Marya Schechtman from the University of Illinois at Chicago at 5:30pm on Friday 9/19 in the Tahoma Room, Commencement Hall.  You can read more about the keynote address and the conference here.

Philosophy students from various other schools will be coming to campus to present their papers and receive commentary from University of Puget Sound students.  The talks will be taking place on Thursday and Friday in Trimble Forum.  You can find the full schedule here.


Call for Papers: PLU Undergraduate Applied Ethics Conference

Posted May 1, 2014 by atubert
Categories: Uncategorized


Pacific Lutheran University
October 17-18, 2014
Submissions due June 15, 2014
Email Submissions and Questions to:

The students of the Philosophy B.A. program at Pacific Lutheran University are excited to host their first annual undergraduate applied ethics conference in the fall. Pacific Lutheran University’s Department of Philosophy has an emphasis in applied ethics, and this conference offers undergraduate philosophy students a unique opportunity to present work in applied ethics to fellow undergraduates.

Paper submissions to the National Undergraduate Applied Ethics Conference can be on any topic in applied ethics. All papers will go through a double-blind peer-review process, ensuring an unbiased review.

Submission Guidelines:
*Submissions may be on any topic in applied ethics
*Papers should be a maximum of 3500 words
*Please submit papers, prepared for blind review, by June 15, 2014, to Please include a cover sheet with the title of your paper, your name, contact information (email and phone), the name of your institution, and a 100 word abstract
*Notification of acceptance or rejection will occur by August 15, 2014

Talk on Philosophy of Language on Tuesday!

Posted April 18, 2014 by atubert
Categories: Announcements, Events on Campus

“A Defense of a Weak Linguistic Relativist Thesis”
A talk by Juan Colomina-Almiñana
Tuesday, April 22nd at 5:30pm in Wyatt 109  

In this public talk, Professor Colomina-Almiñana will discuss the relationship between language, culture, and thought. He argues that some aspects of language mold some aspects of thought and that language could provide new patterns to adequately accomplish certain social interactions.

Juan Colomina-Almiñana is Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies and the Center for Mexican American Studies and an affiliate of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, Spain. His research is focused on the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.


Talk today! Transforming Ordinary: Strike Debt Jubilee

Posted April 16, 2014 by atubert
Categories: Announcements, Events on Campus


Transforming Ordinary: Strike Debt Jubilee

a talk by Ali Aslam, Lecturer at Princeton University

5pm, Thompson 193

Is a world without debt possible? How? What would it take? What obstacles must be overcome? This talk will explore these questions and the Strike Debt resistance movement through the lens of recent debates in democratic political theory.




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