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Philosophy Colloquia

Allen Buchanan, University of Arizona (Emeritus Duke University)
September 20, 2019
Time: 3:50 - 5:30 p.m. 
Location: Coor Hall 4403

"The Perpetual Struggle: How the Co-Evolution of Domination and Counter-Domination Drives the Evolution of Morality and Institutions" 

Keith DeRose, Yale University 
October 25, 2019
Time TBA
Location TBA

Jason Brennan, Georgetown University
November 15, 2019
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Coor Hall 4403

 “The Ethics of Ethics: The Case for Granting Moral Philosophy a Moral License”

"In this paper, I defend the thesis that moral philosophers require and ought to have a special moral license to advocate, defend, entertain, and even believe what would normally be abhorrent ideas. For the field do its work, philosophers must be granted a kind of special moral dispensation to defend and believe various things which we might otherwise regard as wrongful. Or, at least, philosophers need to be relatively free from or immune to being punished, ostracized, or censured for their work."

Mark Colyvan, University of Sydney 

December 12, 2019
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Coor Hall 4403

The Role of Toy Statistical Models in Legal Reasoning

A great deal of theorising about the proper place of statistical reasoning in the courtroom revolves around several canonical thought experiments that invoke toy statistical models of the situation in question. I will argue that all of these canonical thought experiments are flawed in various (albeit interesting) ways. In some cases the flaws involve subtle underspecification that leads to ambiguity about the intuitive judgement; in other cases the flaw is that the thought experiment stipulates that we forgo freely-available and relevant evidence. The upshot is that these thought experiments do not succeed to undermine the use of statistical evidence in the courtroom.

Ned Block, New York University
February 21, 2020
Time: 3 p.m. 
Location: Coor Hall 4403

A joint in nature between perception and cognition even though perception is cognitively penetrable

Fodor and Pylyshyn were wrong: perception is massively cognitively penetrable by cognition. But nonetheless there is a joint in nature between perception and cognition. Perception is iconic, non-propositional and non-conceptual and cognition is none of those.

Adam Cureton, University of Tennessee
March 4, 2020
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Coor Hall 4403

Exercising Just Entitlements in Apparently Unjust Ways
Just practices permit people to act in ways that nonetheless seem, on reflection, to be unjust.  Unlike cases in which such practices allow us to violate other kinds of moral duties, such as exercising our constitutional right to free speech by using hurtful or offensive language, justice itself apparently favors practices that permit us to act in ways that justice itself also opposes.  Focusing mainly on exercising or claiming special entitlements to disability accommodations, my aim is to describe one kind of apparent conflict between the justice of practices and the justice of individual conduct and to suggest a way of resolving conflicts of this kind by appealing to ideals of justice that we should aspire to incorporate into our lives.