Philosophy Day 2017

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!

Date            02/17/2017
Time            1pm-5pm
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.


Philosophy Conference on Campus

The Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference will take place on campus on Friday 2/12 and Saturday 2/13.  In addition to the keynote addresses by Sara Goering and David Wong, there will be 12 papers presented by students from all over the country.  Each paper will have commentary by a Puget Sound student.  Please don’t miss this great event!  You can read more about the keynote addresses and the conference here.  And look at the full schedule and get more information at the conference page.


Two talks by philosopher Alfred Mele at Seattle Pacific University

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).

Food Symposium and “Hunger Games,” a talk at PLU by philosopher Thomas Pogge

The 2014 Food Symposium will be taking place across town at PLU.  Among the events taking place April 2-5, there is a talk by Yale philosopher Thomas Pogge, entitled “Hunger Games.”  Here is a brief description of the talk:

Since the 1996 World Food Summit, the world has been committed to halving world hunger by 2015. But the specification of this promise has changed from the Summit version to the Millennium Declaration to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These revisions have dramatically diluted the promise, raising the number of hungry people deemed acceptable in 2015 by 55 percent. In a final push, in 2012 (year 22 of the 25-year MDG exercise) the FAO revised its methodology for counting the hungry with the effect of raising the 1990 number of hungry people by 157 million and lowering the 2010 number by 57 million. This switch harmonized the hunger numbers with the World Bank’s rosy poverty trend line and enabled the FAO to proclaim: “The Millennium Development Goal 1 hunger target, halving the proportion of hungry people in developing countries by 2015, is still within reach.” As new development goals are about to be formulated, we must urgently learn the lessons from the expiring ones which have brought mainly cosmetic efforts and cosmetic progress. The very least each of us owes to the world’s undernourished people is an honest recognition of what we are doing to them.



Jaegwon Kim is coming to Seattle

On Friday October 9th, Jaegwon Kim will be giving a talk at Seattle Pacific University.  The title of the talk is, “Metaphysical Considerations on Consciousness and the Science of Consciousness.”  Kim is one of the leading philosophers of mind and metaphysicians today.  If you’ve taken the philosophy of mind class, you’ve read his textbook.  If you’ve taken epistemology, you’ve read the anthology he co-edited, and also his paper on naturalized epistemology.  If people are interested in attending the talk, let me know, or leave a comment on this post.