Philosophy and Beyond
Join philosophy faculty members and students to find out where philosophy can lead you! This event will feature a presentation, “From Philosophy to Law,” by alumna Maia Bernick ’15.
Philosophy majors are well-prepared to pursue a wide variety of career interests, because studying philosophy teaches you how to think critically, how to write clearly, and how to reason effectively. Philosophy majors do exceptionally well after graduation— the proof is in the outcomes!
Friday, November 3rd, 4 pm
Wyatt Hall, Room 109
All majors, minors, and all students interested in philosophy are welcome.
Pizza and beverages will be provided.
On Wednesday, November 1st at 6 pm in Schneebeck Concert Hall, SHOT will be performed by Spectrum Dance Theater. The performance will be followed by a conversation with choreographer Donald Byrd and the dancers. The event is free and open to the public. Here is a description of the event:
Through visceral and urgent contemporary dance theater, you are invited to contemplate the alarming and continuous murder of black people by American law enforcement. With the police’s ever-expanding authority, supported by recent rulings of the Supreme Court, we ask – when will it stop? “SHOT” is an unapologetic critique of the current American landscape, where black people find themselves in an intense cycle of fear, intimidation, aggression, and death.
This event is sponsored by the Chism Lecture in Humanities and Arts Endowment, the Matthew Norton Clapp Visiting Artist Fund, the Department of Philosophy, and the Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement. This event is also supported by African-American Studies, Theater Arts, CWLT, and Gender Queer Studies.
The Department of Philosophy and the Environmental Policy & Decision Making Program are sponsoring a lecture, “Reconciling Environmental Heritage by Transformative Justice: Confronting Environmental Racism Century after Century” by Prof. Robert Melchior Figueroa (Oregon State University) on October 25, 2017. Here is an overview of the talk:
In this talk, Robert Melchior Figueroa will present dimensions of environmental racism from the perspective of critical race theory which provides insights into historical conditions that sustain environmental injustices. Figueroa then contextualizes the discriminatory consequences that recent environmental policies will have upon our environmental heritage. The talk will provide some overview of the current strategies available and those that need to be envisioned in order to address environmental racism and sustain the future of the Environmental Justice Movement.
The Environmental Justice Movement (EJM) is established as a grassroots movement that addresses the inseparability of social justice and environmental conditions. The EJM broadly identifies environmental racism as the unfair and inequitable distribution of environmental burdens compounded by the underrepresentation of people of color in environmental decision-making. Thirty years ago, the EJM claimed a signifying milestone with the released study Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States, sponsored by the United Church of Christ Commission on Racial Justice. The study investigated the ways in which environmental burdens, such as hazardous waste facilities and industrial toxics sites, are targeted at communities of ethnic and racial minorities, as well as poor communities, compared to white and/or affluent communities. Over the past 30 years, Toxic Wastes and Race has been repeated twice, and thousands of studies directly and comparatively continue to address environmental racism in the US. In recent years, communities like Flint, MI; Kettleman City, CA; and the Standing Rock Sioux, demonstrate continued struggles against environmental racism.
Robert Melchior Figueroa is Associate Professor of Environmental Justice and Philosophy at Oregon State University’s School of History, Philosophy, and Religion. He is also the Director of the Environmental Justice Project for the Center of Environmental Philosophy. He has written numerous publications on environmental justice since 1991, addressing conditions and cases of environmental racism in the U.S. and abroad. Figueroa has added a theoretical framework to environmental justice studies and expanded dimensions of justice to address indigenous environmental heritage, Latinx environmental identity, critical disability studies, climate refugees, refugee resettlement, climate justice, national and international environmental policy, ecotourism, environmental colonialism, and gender/transgender environmental politics. Figueroa is co-editor of Science and Other Cultures: Issues in the Philosophies of Science and Technology, with Sandra Harding (Routledge 2003). He is currently working on two books and is editing a book series on environmental justice.
Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Location: Wyatt Hall, Room 109
Stop by to learn about Spring 2018 course:
LAS 399 Latin American Travel Seminar / Argentina: Modernity and Its Discontents
taught by Prof. Lanctot (Hispanic Studies) and Prof. Tubert (Philosophy)
Wednesday, October 4th, 4pm in Wyatt 313
The course satisfies the Connections requirements offers an interdisciplinary examination of the processes of modernization and nation-building in Argentina through the analysis of key primary sources (in translation) and culminating in an immersive, 3-week trip to Argentina upon the conclusion of the semester.
For more information regarding the course, application process, and costs please come to the information session or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Philosophy is sponsoring a lecture, “The Perfect Bikini Body: Can We Really All Have It? Loving Gaze as an Anti-Oppressive Beauty Ideal” by professor Sara Protasi on September 22, 2017. Professor Protasi tells us about her talk:
“We often hear the slogan that ‘everybody is beautiful.’ But what does that mean? This talk examines two possible interpretations, rejects both, and proposes a third one. According to the ‘No Standards View,’ the slogan means that everybody is maximally and equally beautiful. According to the ‘Multiple Standards View,’ the slogan means that we have to widen our standards of beauty. The former fails to be aspirational and empowering, while the latter fails to be sufficiently inclusive. I propose a third view, according to which everybody is beautiful in the sense that everybody can be perceived through a loving gaze (with the exception of evil individuals who are wholly unworthy of love). I show that this view is inclusive, aspirational, and empowering, and authentically aesthetical.”
Location: Wheelock Student Center
“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.