“Humeanism and the Categorical Character of Epistemic Normativity”
Talk by Dr. Neil Mehta, Yale NUS College
Monday April 17th |3:30 – 5:30 pm | Wyatt 305
The talk brings together issues in philosophy of mind, meta-ethics, and epistemology. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome!
Abstract: According to the Humean view, any subject’s having a foundational practical reason to φ is fully grounded in her having desires or desire-regulating systems of a certain kind. According to the unity view, foundational reasons form a genuine kind that subsumes both foundational practical reasons and foundational epistemic reasons. And according to the epistemic categoricity view, no subject’s having a foundational epistemic reason to φ is ever grounded even partly in her having desires or desire-regulating systems of any kind. I find all of these claims very attractive; the rub is that they appear to be jointly incompatible. This paper, however, is a possibility proof to the contrary: I construct a theory, the telic theory, that accommodates them all.
“Rational Devotion and Human Perfection”
Christina Chuang (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Monday April 3rd | Wyatt 313 | 3:30-5:00 pm
Abstract: In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna lays out three paths of yoga as the means to achieve human perfection: the path of self-less action (karma yoga), the path of knowledge (jnana yoga), and the path of devotion (bhakti yoga). In this talk I will argue for an interpretation of the Gita in which the path of devotion is the last step that leads to moksha. This is not to claim that bhakti yoga is more important than karma and jnana yoga, but rather that the latter two are more elementary. In order to practice bhakti yoga, one must first have practiced karma and jnana yoga. All three forms of yoga are equally important—but there is a prioritized order in which they are to be practiced. On my reading, bhakti is more than having an intense feeling of love for God, because practicing devotion to God is an intellectual love of God that entails an intuitive understanding of the essence of things. My approach is to cross-examine the concept of human perfection as discussed in the Gita and Spinoza’s Ethics. Human perfection is characterized in both texts as a total liberation from being guided by things external to oneself other than one’s own nature. In other words, the aim of life is to liberate oneself by acquiring the right kind of knowledge. The freer one becomes and the more knowledge that one has, the more perfect one becomes.
Isabella Gresser is having an opening at the Kittredge Gallery on Wednesday, March 22 from 5-7pm and the screening of her film, Fatigue Society – Byung-Chul Han in Seoul / Berlin will be on Thursday, March 23 at 5pm in Rausch Auditorium. The screening with be followed by a discussion of the film which is based on philosopher Byung-Chul Han’s book, Burn-Out Society.
Philosophy Day is a showcase of the philosophical community at University of Puget Sound. There will be four student presentations on topics such as free will, the replication crisis, justice, and metaphysics. There will also be a presentation from the Ethics Bowl team on real-world ethical dilemmas.
No previous experience with philosophy is required. Feel free to pick and choose the sessions that best fit with your interests and schedules!
Place Murray Boardroom, SUB
1:00-1:30: Jenny Paul, “Compatibilism and the Degrees of Influence: An Analysis of the Morality of the Self and its Relation to the External”
1:30-2:00: Eric Ralph, “The Paradox of Psychology: Replication Crises as Opportunities”
2:00-2:30: Steven Baptiste, “Justice as Harmony – Plato’s use of Literary Symbolism in the Republic: Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Socrates”
2:30-3:00: Conor O’Keefe, “The Advantages of Dogmatic Metaphysics over Kantian Synthetic Metaphysics”
3:00-3:30: Coffee Break
3:30-5:00: Ethics Bowl, “Civil Disobedience” & “The Tunnel Problem” – Cases about the ethics of leaking classified information and the responsibility for accidents from self driving cars.
This Wednesday (2/8) at 7pm, Bioethics Club will be hosting a talk and discussion in Thompson 191 with Professor Sam Liao discussing philosophical theories of race.
Northwest Student Philosophy Conference Call for Papers
The Northwest Student Philosophy Conference (NWSPC) is an annual conference organized by undergraduate students at Western Washington University and aims to showcase the philosophical research of undergraduate, graduate and professional philosophers. Our keynote speaker will be Thomas M. Crisp from Biola University. He will be lecturing on immigrant and refugee ethics, arguing that affluent nations have greater obligations toward immigrants and refugees than is typically recognized. Last year our keynote speaker was Heather Battaly. In the past several years, we have been privileged to host Alex Guerrero, Meghan Sullivan, Carrie Jenkins, Jonathan Ichikawa, Kris McDaniel, Ben Bradley, Shieva Kleinschmidt, Laurie Paul, Kit Fine, Michael Rea, Dean Zimmerman, and Jonathan Schaffer as keynote and guest speakers.
This year, our conference will be taking place from May 26-28. Both graduate and undergraduate students are invited to submit papers. Papers can be on any philosophical topic, and should be at least 2,000 words in length, but preferably no longer than 15,000. Entrance is fairly competitive, as we have only 6-8 open slots for student presentations, but this should not discourage interested applicants. The submission deadline is March 17th.
HOW TO SUBMIT PAPERS:
• Prepare your paper for blind review • Provide an abstract around 200 words between the title and main text of the paper • Send a copy as an attachment (either as word document or pdf) to Ryan.Wasserman@wwu.edu • Provide relevant contact information (Name / Institution / Email / Phone) in any emails sent.
For additional information regarding the conference, as well as information on WWU, our philosophy club and our philosophy department, please visit our website.
Please feel free to email us at email@example.com with any questions you may have.
Call for Papers: 21st Annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference
April 21-22, 2017 | Pacific University | Forest Grove, Oregon | Keynote talk by Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley)
The 21st annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference will be held April 21-22, 2017 on the campus of Pacific University, in Forest Grove, Oregon. The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for the presentation of philosophical work of undergraduates to their peers. Papers are required to be of philosophical content, but there are no specific restrictions on subject matter within the arena of philosophical discussion itself. Papers should be approximately 3000 words (10-12 pages). Electronic submissions, including paper and abstract (Word documents), should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.Submission deadline is February 1, 2017. Final decisions will be made by February 28, 2017. Volunteers for session chairs are also welcome.
Selected papers from the conference will be published in Volume 8 (2017) of the journal Res Cogitans. This is strictly an undergraduate conference, with only undergraduates allowed on the conference program. The single exception is the keynote speaker. Past keynotes speakers have included: Elliot Sober, Paul Churchland, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Keith Lehrer, Catherine Elgin, John Perry, Hubert Dreyfus, Jerry Fodor, Alvin Plantinga, Cora Diamond, James Sterba, Peter Kivy, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Daniel Dennett, and Elliott Sober. This year’s keynote talk will be by Alva Noë.The conference banquet will be on Friday, April 21 and all paper sessions, including the keynote talk, will be on Saturday, April 22. Travel and lodging information can be found by going to the conference web site at: www.pacificu.edu/as/philosophy/conference.
Registration costs: $50, payable at the conference. Three meals will be provided: Friday night banquet, Saturday breakfast and lunch.
For further information, contact Professor O’Loughlin via email (email@example.com) or by phone (503 352 1547) or at the address: Dept. of Philosophy, Pacific University, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116