LECTURES AND COLLOQUIA 2016-17
All lectures are held at 4pm in the Philosophy Department Lounge on the 12th Floor of 5057 Woodward, unless otherwise specified.
September 13 Neil Sinhababu, Unversity of Singapore
September 29 Rebecca Kukla, Georgetown
That's What She Said: The Linguistic Pragmatics of Sexual Negotiations
Rebecca Kukla argues that the language of 'consent' provides an impoverished framework for thinking about sexual autonomy and our social negotiations over when, how, and with whom to have sex. Drawing on speech act theory, she identifies a rich array of types of discourse that play an important role in sexual negotiations. Many of these types of speech have pragmatic structures that are interesting just from the point of view of philosophy of language. Furthermore, an adequate ethics of sexual autonomy and sexual negotiation needs to move beyond consent. It requires attention to the rich texture of sexual discourse, and the ways that power, pleasure, and agency are shaped by such discourse.
October 13 Dan Korman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaig
Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics
Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object beliefs—which involve “bootstrapping” from our experiences as of midsized objects—and I defend bootstrapping maneuvers against a variety of objections. Finally, I argue for an explanatory constraint on legitimate bootstrapping and show how some attempts to respond to debunking arguments (e.g., Hofweber 2016) run afoul of the constraint.
October 14 Jason Stanley, Yale
Humanities Center Ideology Symposium (see Humanities Center website for details)
October 27 Derrick Darby, University of Michigan
Vindication of Voting Rights
The paper vindicates a legal system of rights that guarantees all citizens the right to vote by drawing on philosophical insights about dignity found in the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.
November 3 Sally Haslanger, MIT
The 19th Annual Seymour Riklin Memorial Lecture
Location: Bernath Auditorium
Culture and Critique
How do we achieve social justice? How do we change society for the better? Some would argue that we must do it by changing the laws or state institutions. Others that we must do it by changing individual attitudes. I argue that although both of these factors are important and relevant, we must also change culture. What does this mean? Culture, I argue, is a set of social meanings that shapes and filters how we think and act. Problematic networks of social meanings constitute an ideology. Entrenched ideologies are resilient and are barriers to social change, even in the face of legal interventions. I argue that an effective way to change culture is through social movements and contentious politics, and that philosophy has a role to play in promoting such change.
November 17 Gabriel Richardson Lear, University of Chicago
February 10 Susanna Siegel, Harvard University
The 39th Annual Gail C. Stine Memorial Lecture