2009-10 RCA Program in Ethics Theme: Ethics in Everyday Life 

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Monday, Mar 15, 2010

3:00-4:30pm, Forest Suite, Union
Dr. Tim Pickavance, Philosophy, Biola University
The Problem of the Criterion

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.

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

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.

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010

10:30-noon, Redwood Room, Union
Dr. Dennis Senchuk. Philosophy, Indiana University
The Peculiar Unreality of Race

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.

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

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.

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

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, 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. 

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.

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.

Monday, Oct 26, 2009

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

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 

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, Sept 28, 2009

3:00-5:00pm Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Dr. Stephen Bloch-Schulman, Elon University 
Responsibility and Resistance 

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.

2008-09 RCA Program in Ethics Theme: Personal and Professional Ethics

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

9:00-12:00pm, Foothill Suite, University Union
RCA Closing Plenary: Student Ethics Essay Contest Winners' Presentations
Theme: Personal and Professional Integrity

The two winners of the 2008-09 Student Ethics Essay Contest presented their prize winning essays for public discussion. 
video-link Click to view (46min)

Friday, May 1st, 2009

9:00-12:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
John Gisla, Mechanical and Aeronautic Engineering, UC Davis
Making Good Choices: Ethics for Engineering and Science Professionals

Why do we need ethics in engineering and science? John Gisla raises some revealing cases of engineering mishaps to illustrate how greater attention to ethics, espeically to fiduciary duty and to professional integrity, could prevent such behaviour. 
video Click to view Part I (1h09m)
video Click to view Part II (1h26m)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

10:00-12:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Wesley J. Smith, Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute
Bioethics: Creating a Disposable Caste of People?

Wesley J. Smith argued that personhood theory destroys the concept of universal human rights and illustrated the discriminatory practices rejecting the equality of life ethic would permit, ranging from infanticide to medical futility.
video Click to view (1h58m)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

3:00-5:00pm, Summit Room, University Union
Dr. Rick Schubert, Philosophy Department, Cosumnes River College
Academic Integrity

Prof. Schubert will discuss the value of academic integrity to students and institutions, why students should care about their own and others’ academic integrity, as well as offer some hands on guidance for how to steer clear of academic mischief.
video link Click to view (2h)

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Noon-2:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Antonia Juhasz, Fellow, Oil Change International, and the Institute for Policy Studies; Senior Analyst, Foreign Policy In Focus
The Tyranny of Oil: Big Oil's Destruction of Ethical Politics, at Home and Abroad

Drawing on considerable historical research, Juhasz explored the parallels between today's companies and Standard Oil, the most powerful corporation of the early 20th century, whose stranglehold on the economy and government was broken only by the vision and persistence of activists and like-minded politicians. We are in a similar position today, she argued, with the 2008 elections offering a unique opportunity for ordinary Americans to come together, reclaim their voices, and shore up our nation's crumbling democratic and ethical foundation. video link Click to view (1h31m)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

8:30-5:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Edwin Hartman, Stern School of Business, New York University
For video link to 2008 Annual Fall Ethics Symposium

Thursday, October 9, 2008

10:00-Noon, Willow Suite, Modoc Hall 
Dr. Lida Anestidou, DVM, PhD, Program Officer, National Academies, Washington, DC. 
Responsible Conduct of Research - A Concept for All

A workshop for specific faculty and their students, focusing on specific strategies and practices related to the ethics and integrity issues that emerge in doing student research. Note: This event is a faculty and staff workshop offered in partnership with the Center for Practical and Professional Ethics and the Office of Research and Contract Administration.
 Video not available.

2007-08 RCA Program in Ethics Theme: Governmental and Political Ethics 

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

7:00-9:30pm, Ballroom, University Union
RCA Closing Plenary: Student Ethics Essay Contest Winners' Presentations
Theme: Governmental and Political Ethics

The three winners of the 2007-08 Student Ethics Essay Contest presented their prize winning essays for public discussion. This video is offered in two parts. 
video link Click to view (Part 1: 1h02m)

video link Click to view (Part 2: 1h03m)

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

10:30-12:00pm, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Special Panel on Ethics in Lobbying

A panel of experts discuss the ethical issues which arise in lobbying in the California legislative context. This event is co-sponsored with the Center for California Studies. 
video link Click to view (1h26min)

Thursday, February 14th, 2008 

10:30-Noon, Hinde Auditorium, University Union
Mr. Andrew G. Pasztor, Senior Special Writer, The Wall Street Journal
Imposing Ethics in Government Contracting

Focusing on high-profile criminal probes and prosecutions of some of America’s most renowned companies -- including aerospace giant Boeing Co.-- Mr. Pasztor offered insights based on his wide-ranging work as an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He explored actual examples of multi-billion dollar contracts tainted by flagrant violations and scandals, as well as shortcomings in responses by corporate executives and government watchdogs. Participants were challenged to consider the question: Is legal always ethical?
video link Click to view (1h12m)

Monday, October 29, 2007 

10:00-Noon, Hinde Auditorium, University Union 
Mr. Steven Epstein, Ethics and Compliance Leader (Government Contracts), PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP 
Taxonomy of Ethical Failure: Some Observations on Why People Make the Wrong Choices

Drawing on his 14 years as an ethics and compliance advisor in the military, Federal Government, and private enterprise, Stephen Epstein will offer his insights and observations about ethical failure. This experience has led Mr. Epstein to formulate a uniquely pragmatic and concise taxonomy of wrong-doing which illuminates some of the salient factors and offers a guide toward reducing or minimizing ethical failure in government. This video is offered in two parts. 
video link Click to view (Part 1: 59m)
video link Click to view (Part 2: 45m)

Monday, October 29

3:00-4:15pm, Delta Suite, University Union
Mr. Steven Epstein, Ethics and Compliance Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP 
Landmines in Academia: Compliance Issues for Grantees

A faculty and staff seminar for discussion of some of the more common compliance requirements of research grants, highlighting current problem areas such as conflicts of interest, financial disclosure, and export controls. This event is co-sponsored with the Office of Research Administration and Contracts Administration. This video is offered in two parts. 
video link Click to view (Part 1: 57m)
video link Click to view (Part 2: 19m)

Thursday, October 18, 2007 

9:00-10:30am, Hinde Auditorium, University Union 
Col. (Ret.) Ann Wright, US Foreign Service (resigned), Former Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Mongolia

The Ethical Challenges in Diplomatic and Military Service

Ann Wright, a 29 year US Army veteran who retired as a Colonel and a 16 year US diplomat spoke on the role ethics in diplomat and military decision making and the responsibilities of ethical behaviour for commanding officers and ambassadors. Ms. Wright was one of three US diplomats who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. This video is offered in two parts. 
video link Click to view (Part 1: 58m)
video link Click to view (Part 2: 38m)