Philosophy Talk: “The Perfect Bikini Body: Can We Really All Have It? Loving Gaze as an Anti-Oppressive Beauty Ideal”

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.”
Date: September 22, 2017
Time: 4 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Location: Wheelock Student Center
Rasmussen Rotunda

Professor Tiehen Publishes on Ad Populum

Professor Justin Tiehen recently published a blog post on Ad Populum about how statistics of tweets about anti-Semitism may be misleading. You can read the post here.

“More realistically, a scenario in which lots and lots of people are writing occasional anti-Semitic tweets while a few people are writing tons of them (70% worth) doesn’t seem like much of an improvement on a scenario with the same overall number of people writing anti-Semitic tweets but with a more equal distribution. If this is right, the 70%-1,600 figure seems like the wrong way to try to get a handle on the extent of the problem.”

 

 

Implicit Stereotypes and Racism with Professor Protasi

“And it doesn’t even stop at race: I have become aware of many other forms of discrimination, over the years, and that has greatly increased my capacity at catching myself being implicitly homophobic or transphobic, fattist, ableist, and so forth. But, in fact, it seems to have only increased my awareness, not my ability to be less biased.” 

Puget Sound Philosophy Professor Sara Protasi writes about implicit racist behavior and uses an ancient metaphor from the Buddhist tradition to compare and examine how we can change these tendencies in her essay in The Prindle Post: So I am a racist: What do I do now?

Experimenting with Coffee with Professor Liao

Can you know how something tastes without tasting it yourself? Some philosophers say that first-hand experience is required to judge something’s taste. But this is odd since first-hand experience isn’t required to know what colour or shape something is—you can learn that from another person. So other philosophers say that you can learn about tastes from others—although it might be difficult in ordinary circumstances.  How well, then, do we communicate about taste?

Does a moral flaw in a cup of coffee make it worse as a cup of coffee? Does our knowledge of a coffee’s moral status make any difference to the way we experience its flavour? Or, to give a simple example, would a direct-trade coffee taste better than its non-direct-trade counterpart?

Puget Sound Philosophy Professor Sam Liao and co-writer Aaron Meskin integrate philosophy into everyday life by exploring how well people communicate about the taste of coffee and how morality relates to taste in Experimenting with Coffee.

Lecture by Justin Tiehen: “A Theory of Everything that Exists in the Entire World”

Justin Tiehen, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Puget Sound, will be delivering the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Magee Address titled “A Theory of Everything that Exists in the Entire World” on Wednesday, October 28th @ 5pm in Trimble Forum.

Professor Tiehen sent us the abstract for the talk:

Philosophers have long sought a unified theory of everything. Consider Thales, the first Western philosopher, who thought everything that exists is ultimately made of water. Today a more common view is Physicalism, the thesis that everything that exists is ultimately physical, that is, made up of the sort of entities described by the science of physics. My talk will examine the prospects of Physicalism, focusing especially on potential problems for the view that arise in connection with attempts to provide Physicalistic explanations of consciousness, of normativity (including morality), and of absences (things that don’t happen).

Justin Tiehen is the author of numerous articles in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. His recent works include“A Priori Scrutability and That’s All,” in The Journal of Philosophy (2014); “Explaining Causal Closure,” in Philosophical Studies (2014); and “The Role Functionalist Theory of Absences,” in Erkenntnis (2015). More information about these and his other writings can be found in his webpage.