Lecture: “Reconciling Environmental Heritage by Transformative Justice: Confronting Environmental Racism Century after Century”

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
Time: 5 pm–6:30 pm
Location: Wyatt Hall, Room 109
Figueroa

Article: Minnesota professor explores link between philosophy and Lego

An article published to StarTribune overviews the philosophical implications of Legos discussed in the book LEGO and Philosophy: Constructing Reality Brick by Brick by University of Minnesota philosophy professor Roy T. Cook. StarTribune contributor Richard Chin provides a brief summary of the topics discussed in Cook’s book:

Nearly 100 people responded to the call for essays, 21 of which are in the book. The essayists, many of them fellow philosophy professors, dove into issues about Lego and gender stereotypes, Lego and ethics, Lego and the nature of impermanence, Lego and German philosopher Martin Heidegger, Lego and autonomy and the human individual (Lego my ego?).

Visit the article to read more.

Featured image courtesy of http://ew.com/news/2017/02/28/hidden-figures-katherine-johnson-lego/

 

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

Philosophy talk: “Humeanism and the Categorical Character of Epistemic Normativity”

“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.

 

Mehta Talk flyer Draft 2.jpg

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.

Call for Papers: Northwest Student Philosophy Conference

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 antala@wwu.edu with any questions you may have.