Events (2017-2018)

 

2017-2018 Forry and Micken Lecture Series on "Racial Justice and Injustice"

A lecture series funded by the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science

Meena Krishnamurthy (University of Michigan)
Thursday, March 1, 2018, 5:00 p.m., Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
“TBA”


 Michele M. Moody Adams (Columbia University)
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 5:00 p.m., Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
“TBA


Robert Gooding Williams (Columbia University)
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 5:00 p.m., Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall
“TBA”


Brandon Terry (Harvard University)
Thursday, April 26, 2018, 5:00 p.m., Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall 
“TBA”


The Amherst Lecture in Philosophy

Stephen Darwall , (Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy, Yale University)
Thursday, October 12, 2017 5:00 p.m., Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall 

The title of  the Twelfth Annual ALP Lecture is:

“What Are Moral Reasons?”

Abstract:

In The Second-Person Standpoint and subsequent essays, I argue that the deontic moral concepts of obligation, duty, right, wrong, and the like resist analysis in terms of moral reasons for acting.  I claim that the “fully deontic” ought of moral obligation has a conceptual connection to accountability and culpability that being recommended by moral reasons, however weighty, does not.  Since oughts and reasons are so closely connected generally, however, the thought can seem irresistible that moral oughts must be understood in terms of moral reasons also.  Here I put additional pressure on this admittedly attractive idea by asking what makes a reason a moral reason.  Far from supporting the thought that deontic moral oughts follow from (independent) moral practical reasons, I argue that the most promising account of what makes a reason a moral one is that it is a consideration that supports a pro tanto moral obligation, where this latter idea is irreducibly deontic and conceptually tied to accountability.  Moral reasons for acting are, I claim, pro tanto moral obligation-making considerations.  This turns the otherwise attractive idea on its head.

Reception will follow

For further information, please phone Dee Brace at (413) 542-5805 or send e-mail to djbrace@amherst.edu.


Other Events & Lectures Scheduled 2017-2018

Jason Bridges (The University of Chicago)
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 5:00 p.m.  Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall

“Comparison and Practical Reason”

Abstract:

It is very widely assumed that practical rationality is comparative: that what it is rational for an agent to do is a function of how the merits of the options available to her compare. This assumption is everywhere in contemporary practical philosophy, operating in the background of discussions of a range of topics in action theory and meta-ethics. But it is mistaken. Indeed, it is inconsistent with very basic features of the structure of agency. Comparison is not the ground of practical rationality, and will not make progress toward a satisfying philosophy of action until we can see clearly that, and why, this is so.

 

For further information, please phone Dee Brace at (413) 542-5805 or send e-mail to djbrace@amherst.edu.

 


Berislav Marusic (Brandeis University)
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall

“ How Can Beliefs Wrong? -- A Strawsonian Epistemology”

Berislav Marušić and Aarthy Vaidyanathan

Abstract:

Sometimes believing something, or failing to believe something, can be a way of wronging someone. For example, sometimes you can be wronged if another person doesn’t believe you when you tell them something. Or, sometimes you can be wronged if another person believes that you are saying something just because you have a particular gender, race, class, sexual orientation, or some other feature that they take to be a defining feature of your speech. However, it is puzzling how beliefs could wrong: if they are based on adequate evidence, then these beliefs seem to be rational, and if they are based on inadequate evidence, then they seem to be irrational or ungrounded or simply stupid. But how could they wrong you? The aim of this paper is to explain how this is possible. We argue that in belief as in action, it is possible to take what Peter Strawson has called the objective stance towards others, and doing so has the potential of wronging them—of seeing them as mere objects that, like thunderstorms, are part of a world of evolving events, rather than as persons who say and think things for reasons.

For further information, please phone Dee Brace at (413) 542-5805 or send e-mail to djbrace@amherst.edu.


 Bernard Reginster (Brown University)
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 5:00 p.m.  Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall

Ressentiment, Power, and Values”

Abstract:

In On the Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche formulates a critique of moral values that is grounded in their psychological history. The phenomenon of ressentiment plays a central role in this critique. Yet, precisely what sort of psychological state ressentiment is, what it reveals about human psychology, and why it is well suited to affect beliefs about value, remain sources of considerable perplexity. In the lecture, I sketch out some new answers to these questions.

For further information, please phone Dee Brace at (413) 542-5805 or send e-mail to djbrace@amherst.edu.
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