2009-10 Theme: Ethics in Everyday Life


FALL 2009

Monday, Sept 28, 2009
3:00-5:00pm Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Dr. Stephen Bloch-Schulman, Elon University
Responsibility and Resistance
Abstract: Who cares? In this interactive and engaging discussion, Dr. Stephen Bloch-Schulman will explain why, as an ethicist, what you care about doesn't matter. Drawing from the work of Hannah Arendt, Dr. Bloch-Schulman will explore how we experience obedience and responsibility-taking through audience involvement and discussion. Come ready to roll up your sleeves and become involved in genuine philosophical inquiry!
video link Click to view. 1 hour 42 min.

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2009
3:00-5:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Dr. Manuel Vargas, University of San Francisco
Buidling Better Beings: Responsibility in a world of Causes
Abstract: Science tells us that everything has a cause. So, if everything is caused, no one is free, and no one is responsible for what they do. Really? What would that mean for our traditional understanding of moral responsibility, blameworthiness, and merit?  Beginning with the question, what does moral responsibility do for us, Dr. Manuel Vargas offers a new account of responsibility and considers what it might mean for our worries about causal, scientific explanations of human behavior.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 47 min.

Monday, Oct 26, 2009
9:00am - 4:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Symposium: After Proposition 8
For more information and event program LINK HERE.

Monday, Nov 9, 2009
8:30am-5:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Symposium: The Ethics of Food
For more information and event program, LINK HERE.

Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009
12:00-1:30pm, Delta Suite, University Union
Drs. Russell DiSilvestro and Jeremy Garrett
What's God got to Do with It? A Debate on the Prospects of Ethics without Religion.
Abstract: Some 2500 years ago Plato asked Euthyphro what has become a seminal question of both ethics and theology, is something good because God decrees it good, or does God decree something good because it is good? These two philosophy professors go head-to-head, soul-to-soul, on the question of whether and to what extent ethics makes sense in the absense of religion.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 15 min.


Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010
10:30-noon, Redwood Room, Union
Dr. Charles Wallis, Philosophy, CSU-Long Beach
Intelligent Design, Evil Demons, and Other Useless Fictions
Abstract: Intelligent Design theory, which argues that certain features of the natural universe are best explained by the action of an intelligent designer of some sort, has been a subject of intense academic and political attention.  It has gained a number of supporters and detractors both within the philosophical community and within the public at large.  As the title of his talk suggests, Wallis argues that Intelligent Design is not a useful approach to the study of nature.  This promises to be a very entertaining talk, and we look forward to a lively discussion and question-and-answer session.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 28 min.

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010
1:30-3:00pm, Forest Suite, Union
Dr. Karen Hanson, Provost and Professor of Philosophy, Indiana University
Ethics and Academic Administration
Abstract: Drawing upon her background and experience as an ethicist, a philosophy teacher, a department chair, an honors college director, and a provost and executive vice-president of Indiana University, Dr. Hanson’s presentation will consider some of the ethical values, ethical problems, and ethical opportunities that emerge in academic administration.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 18 min.

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010
10:30-noon, Redwood Room, Union
Dr. Dennis Senchuk. Philosophy, Indiana University
The Peculiar Unreality of Race
Abstract: Although biological science has moved on, no longer endorsing the idea of race, this “most dangerous myth” persists.  Reexamining the concept of race from a philosophical perspective, this paper focuses on the difference between a merely intuitive kind and a (science-based) natural kind.  After considering a range of possible as well as actual considerations advanced to characterize what are presumed to be racial groups, it is argued that the concept of race plays no legitimate explanatory role in biology.  One strategy of argument used is to invent a new racial group, rustoids, that fits all apparent criteria for a race, even though no one would mistake it for a natural kind of sub-species of homo sapiens.  It is suggested that race is an unnatural kind, a human invention that’s a theoretically incoherent creature of prejudice.  The paper ends on a cautionary note:  just because race is fiction, that doesn’t mean there are no real racial problems; and no appropriately judicial blindness to race should blind us to the reality of racism.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 24 min.

Monday, Mar 8, 2010
3:00-5:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, Union
Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan,Or Shalom Synagogue, Vancouver, BC
Telling and Re-Telling Stories: A Narrative Path to Ethical Awareness
Abstract: A time-honored technique of ethical reflection, perfected 1500 years ago by early Biblical interpreters: We tell a famous story with a familiar “moral of the story.” Each person present re-tells it, re-imagining the characters’ inner moral process. As we compare the many different “morals of the story,” we learn about our personal and cultural values. We can use a similar technique to study famous philosophical teachings, and to retell our personal stories as we change over time. Philosophers have developed a toolkit of concepts to explain how this process works, including hermeneutics, intersubjectivity, historicity, logic of discovery, and more. Together, we will sample the process and analyze it conceptually, in order to deepen our moral and intellectual self-awareness.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 38 min.

Monday, Mar 15, 2010

3:00-4:30pm, Forest Suite, Union
Dr. Tim Pickavance, Philosophy, Biola University
The Problem of the Criterion
Abstract: The problem of the criterion is, more or less, that problem of saying whether we should start our epistemological theorizing with particular knowledge claims or with principles about what sorts of beliefs count as knowledge, or somewhere in between. After describing the contours of the problem, I defend a fairly strong form of particularism and show how that particular particularism can assist the epistemological enterprise.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 27 min.

April 8-9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Noon-2pm, CRC Recital Hall
Dr. Tricia Bertram Gallant, Chair of the Advisory Council for the International Center for Acaemic Integrity

“But I’m a good person!” and Other Misconceptions about Academic Cheating: Rethinking Academic Integrity as Professional Integrity
Abstract: The popular conception of academic cheating as an act of moral depravity has not been effective at reducing misconduct on our college and university campuses. The truth is, even “good people” (whether students, faculty, staff or administration) sometimes make bad ethical decisions, especially when the environment doesn’t encourage integrity and the situation invites misconduct. In this talk, Dr. Tricia Bertram Gallant redefines academic integrity as a form of professional integrity, reviews the factors that move all of us away from performing our roles with integrity, and calls to action those students, faculty, staff, and administrators who long for new ways to act with, develop, and encourage, professional integrity. This event is free and open to the public.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 45 min.

Friday, April 9, 2010
10:00am-1:00pm, Workshop at Sacramento State
PLEASE RSVP with Christina Bellon CPPE@csus.edu
Dr. Tricia Bertram Gallant, Chair of the Advisory Council for the International Center for Acaemic Integrity
Creating the Ethical Academy: Understanding Misconduct & Empowering Change
Abstract: In colleges and universities today, the phrase “academic integrity” is often invoked as the anecdote to student cheating, yet this is a contemporary distortion of the original phrase meant to reflect “the integrity of the academy.” And, the “integrity of the academy” is affected not simply by the actions of students, but by those of faculty, staff and administration. Through discussion, practical scenarios, quick assessments and exercises, participants in this workshop will explore the state of misconduct in the academy, the failed organizational strategies for stemming misconduct, and how the creation of healthy ethical environments can be facilitated even in financially precarious times. This event requires pre-registration and RSVP.

Monday, April 15, 2010
3:00-5:00pm, Foothills Suite, Union
Dr. David Concepcion, Philosophy, Ball State University
Listening Ethically: Proper Persuadability & Cognitive Authority
When participating in ethical and political debate, a helpful virtue is proper-persuadability. Without this virtue moral and political progress can be stalled. Properly-persuadable people take committed but revisable stands on an issue. They strongly hold a belief but are willing to change their minds if they are presented with convincing reasons. Complicating the ability to be properly-persuadable is cognitive authority. Social power dynamics regarding who is taken to be 'in the know' can make it difficult for many people to listen non-arrogantly. Other times power differences make it difficult for people to present their opinions. Attendees at this presentation will participate in activities designed to illuminate whether they are properly-persuadable and where they sit in various cognitive economies.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 45 min

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
3:00-5:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, Union
Dr. Mark Jensen, Philosophy, Calvin College
The Deck and How to Stack It: A Theory of Civil Society and Liberal Democracy
Abstract: Many scholars and politicians agree that a modern democracy needs a civil society. In this presentation, Jensen will sketch a model of a liberal democracy and civil society that speaks both to the kind of citizens well-functioning democratic political institutions require and the kind of institutions supportive of such citizens. Jensen argues that a socio-political arrangement in which civil society successfully generates the requisite citizen traits is, in part, a matter of luck, insofar as (i) only certain kinds of groups in civil society will generate the required traits, and (ii) we cannot control which groups do so without compromising our liberal commitments to freedom of conscience and association. However, Jensen proposes some regulatory control over civil society can be justified on liberal principles and a liberal democracy has tools for encouraging the development of the required traits without violating citizens’ freedoms.
video link Click to view. 1 hour 32 min

Tuesday April 20 and Wednesday April 21, 2010
10:00am - noon and 1:00 - 3:00pm Daily, Hinde Auditorium
Annual Nammour Philosophy Symposium
The Meaning of Success
For more information and event program, LINK HERE.