Talk by Sara Goering: “Stimulating the Self: Neural Technologies and Agency”

Professor Sara Goering (University of Washington) will be giving one of the keynote addresses at the Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference on Friday 2/12 at 5:30pm in the Tahoma Room, Commencement Hall.  Here below is her abstract for the talk.

“Stimulating the Self: Neural Technologies and Agency”

Neural technologies — like deep brain stimulation — hold great promise for treating diseases that have proven resistant to pharmaceutical interventions, but they also raise concerns about effects on personal identity and our sense of agency. I will explore how philosophers can contribute to these debates, by exploring concepts of self and relational autonomy and connecting them with reports from people using the devices.


GoeringTalk FINAL

Reminder: Talk by Naomi Zack on Thursday 10/22

Naomi Zack will be giving a talk, “A New Paradigm of Anti-Racism: Why Discourse of WhitenaomizackPugetSoundFinal Privilege, Justice, and Equality Do Not Work,” on Thursday, October 22nd @ 5 p.m. in the Rasmussen Rotunda, Wheelock Student Center.

There will also be a reception before the talk, starting at 4pm, also in the Rotunda.  Please join the members of the philosophy department and Professor Zack for some refreshments and conversation.

You can read more about the talk and professor Zack’s here.

A recent interview with Professor Zack can be found in Public Radio International can be found here.

And another interview in the New York Times blog The Stone can be found here.

Lecture by Naomi Zack: “A New Paradigm of Anti-Racism: Why Discourse of White Privilege, Justice, and Equality Do Not Work”

5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22
Rasmussen Rotunda, Wheelock Student Center

NaomiZack_PhotoNaomi Zack is a leading figure in the philosophy of race. She has developed a distinctive brand of anti-racism in her recent and forthcoming books: White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of U.S. Police Racial Profiling and Homicide? (2015); The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy(2011); and Applicative Justice: A Pragmatic Revision of Injustice Discourse (2016).

The lecture “A New Paradigm of Anti-Racism: Why Discourse of White Privilege, Justice, and Equality Do Not Work” will present a new way to think about racial oppression and other forms of current injustice. Consider what Zack says about the term “white privilege.” Although this concept is prominent in standard liberal thinking about anti-racism, Zack argues that it leads to misdescriptions of the ethical landscape. “A privilege is special treatment that goes beyond a right. It’s not so much that being white confers privilege, but that not being white means being without rights in many cases,” she said in a New York Times interview with George Yancy. “Not fearing that the police will kill your child for no reason isn’t a privilege. It’s a right.”

“Naomi Zack is one of a handful of thinkers who have convinced philosophers of the centrality of issues of race to philosophy,” said Douglas Cannon, professor of philosophy at Puget Sound. “She has cast the nature of race as a metaphysical problem, particularly highlighting mixed race as a pervasive challenge to resolving this problem. More recently she has dared to renounce shibboleths of equality in favor of what, to her mind, are more promising ideals of fairness.”

The free public lecture is part of the inaugural Cascade Lecture Series in Philosophy. Zack will also give lectures at Whitman College and Lewis and Clark College as part of the series. The series is organized by the philosophy departments of the members of the Northwest Five Consortium (NW5C), as part of their Philosophy in an Inclusive Key project. The NW5C, founded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, includes Lewis and Clark College, Reed College, University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, and Willamette University.

Naomi Zack is professor of philosophy at University of Oregon. She received her doctorate in philosophy from Columbia University and is the author of numerous books on philosophy of race, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, and philosophy of science. Some of her earlier works include Ethics for Disaster (2009);Inclusive Feminism: A Third Wave Theory of Women’s Commonality (2005); Race and Mixed Race (1993);Philosophy of Science and Race (2002); and the short textbook, Thinking About Race (2nd edition, 2006).  Zack is also chair of the Community Philosophy Institute Homelessness project, at University of Oregon, that aims to support creative, intellectual, and practical means to address the problems of homelessness.

To read an interview with Naomi Zack in the New York Times visit:

For more Information about the talk visit

Philosophy Department Pizza Party on Friday 9/25/15

Interested in Philosophy?

Come to meet the Philosophy professors
and other students interested in Philosophy,
find out about upcoming activities
and courses for spring, get involved in planning
the Philosophy Conference, and more.

Friday, September 25th at 4:00 pm
Wyatt Hall, 3rd floor atrium

All majors, minors, and
all students interested in philosophy
are welcome!

 Philosophy Dept Party Flyer

Call for Papers: Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, WA

February 12-13, 2016

Keynote addresses by
Professor Sara Goering (University of Washington, Department of Philosophy)
Professor David Wong (Duke University, Department of Philosophy)

Call for Papers

We welcome papers from undergraduate students on any topic of philosophy.
Selection criteria will include overall quality and diversity of theme.
Submissions should be approximately 3000 words and should include a brief abstract (no more than 250 words).  Longer papers will be considered but presenters will have 30 minutes to present their work.

Submission deadline: October 15th, 2015.

Send submissions (prepared for anonymous review, in Microsoft Word, .rtf, or .txt format)
as an email attachment to

In the body of the email include the author’s name, college affiliation, contact information,
and title of the paper.  Include no identifying information in the file with the paper.
Decisions will be made in November.

For more information, email us with any questions.
Further information at the Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.

We aim to be an inclusive and accessible conference.
Please email us at to discuss how we can best offer accommodation.