Visiting Speakers


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Walter Murray Lecture Series 2019/20
Michael Cholbi, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

November 22-23, 2019
Locations TBA

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Upcoming talks in January

Wed Jan 15
Jacob Barrett (University of Arizona)
Efficient Egalitarianism 

Arts 100

Fri Jan 17
Dr. PF Noppen (University of Saskatchewan)
Like Spellbound:  Adorno on Hollywood, the Imagination and the Workings of Propaganda

Arts 100

Wed Jan 22 

Dr. Michael Barnes (Georgetown University)
Who Do You Speak For?  And How?: Anonymity and Identity in Online Abuse

Arts 100

Fri Jan 24, 
Dr. Kelin Emmett (UBC)
Another Lockean Argument for a Basic Income

Arts 100

Department Colloquia

September 27


Sarah Hoffman

Kantian Morality and Harm Reduction

The justification for harm reduction as an approach to drug use and addiction is seen by many to be consequentialist in form and it has been claimed that as a deontologist Kant would thus reject harm reduction. I argue this is wrong on both counts. A more nuanced, accurate understanding of harm reduction approaches and Kantian ethical theory shows them compatible and Kant ‘s own remarks about intoxication reinforce this.

October 18


Emer O'Hagan

Is Resiliance after Loss a Bad Thing?

Should we be troubled by the thought that, after the death of a loved one such as a spouse, we might be resilient, adjusting well and suffering little depression?  Some philosophers argue that resilience is troubling because it indicates a superficial appreciation of what one has lost.  I argue that understood as a multi-faceted characterological response, resilience is not problematic.  Skeptical challenges to resilience attack an overly simplistic view of it, and appeal to an overly romantic conception of love.  The Buddhist-inspired account of resilience I advance offers a rich account of resilience.  I conclude that resilience is not a troubling prospect.

Postponed - this talk will be rescheduled


Pierre-Francois Noppen

How Do Affects Factor Into Moral Agency?

Adorno proposes a controversial and puzzling account of moral agency which includes the term 'the additional factor', that expresses his the role that affects play in moral agency. I will argue that the main target of Adorno’s criticism is the tendency to overemphasize the importance of moral judgement in moral agency. Against this view, Adorno proposes that we conceive of agency as intricately embedded in a social landscape and that we understand its workings in terms of our responsiveness to that landscape.

 March 6

Stephen Brown

God and Timelessness

In defense of the Christian doctrine, creatio ex nihilo, Augustine portrays God as timeless to explain the creation of the universe out of nothing. But how can we understand the creation of time without time, or the acting of a timeless God within the world? While some problematic implications seem to arise, I will argue that Augustine’s fourth century defense holds up to modern challenges.

March 20

Talk CANCELLED due to the COVID-19 situation.

Peter Alward

You Can't Sing That: Songs, Fictions and Slurs

In this talk, I explore philosophical issues involving songs and, in particular, songs whose content is best understood to be fictional. Using Randy Newman’s song “Rednecks” as a guiding example, I explore the relationships between songs and their performances, the meanings of songs, the fictionality of songs, and moral issues that arise when fictional songs contain slurs. 

Note: Please be aware that, as part of this talk, songs containing derogatory slurs will be played. I will warn the audience prior to playing such songs and give anyone uncomfortable hearing such material the opportunity to leave the room while they are being played.