Events and Lectures 2017–18

All lectures are held at 4 PM in the Philosophy Department Lounge on the 12th Floor of 5057 Woodward, unless otherwise specified.

Fall 2017

Thursday, September 14

Jennifer Saul (University of Sheffield)
"Dogwhistles and Figleaves: Techniques of Racist Political Manipulation"
Location: Philosophy Department Seminar Room (12th Floor of 5057 Woodward)

Friday, September 15

Lewis Gordon (UCONN–Storrs; Global Center for Advanced Studies; and Rhodes University, South Africa)
The 20th Annual Seymour Riklin Memorial Lecture
"Thinking Race Constructively"
Location and Time: Bernath Auditorium in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library, 4–6 p.m.
Abstract: From birth to grave, many of us in the Euromodern world have learned how to avoid talking about race and racism. Ironically, this also involves ways of seeming to talk about this topic that are in fact versions of evading it. This talk will explore, through the ambiguity of "constructive," not only problems of racial construction but also the productive sense of being constructive. This requires addressing neurotic expectations in race discussions, explaining distinctions between Euromodernity and "modernity," the effort of studying race without posing a critical philosophical anthropology, and the confusion wrought from various formulations such as "colorblindness," "race relations," "racial tensions," and "privilege."


Thursday, September 28th

Josh Wilburn (Wayne State University)
Teatime Talk: "Applying to Graduate School in Philosophy"
4:00pm, Philosophy Department Seminar Room (12th Floor of 5057 Woodward)

Thursday, October 19

Nick Riggle (University of San Diego)
"Personal Ideals as Metaphors"
Abstract: What is it to have and act on a personal ideal? Someone who aspires to be a philosopher might think "I am a philosopher" by way of motivating herself to think hard about a philosophical question. But doing so seems to require her to act on an inaccurate self-description, given that she isn't yet what she regards herself as being. In the literature we find just one answer to this question. J. David Velleman develops the thought that action-by-ideal involves a kind of fictional self-conception. My aim is to expand our thinking about personal ideals by developing another way of understanding them. On this view action-by-ideal involves a kind of metaphorical self-conception. I investigate some salient differences between the fiction and metaphor views with the aim of understanding the different perspectives they take on the rationality of action-by-ideal. Action-by-ideal is clearly a complex affair about which there is no tidy story to be told. This talk is an attempt to clarify and understand more of this messy terrain.

On Friday, October 20, Ann Arbor's Literati Bookstore will host a reading and book-signing event by Prof. Riggle, whose book On Being Awesome: A Unified Theory of How Not to Suck will be published by Penguin on September 19. All welcome!

Thursday, October 26, and Friday, October 27

Interdisciplinary Conference on Memory

Thursday, Oct 26, 1:00–4:45pm in the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, and Friday, Oct 27, 9:00–5:30pm, in the Community Room of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library

This conference involves numerous talks of interest to philosophers, including:

Jonathan Cottrell (Wayne State University)
"Memory and Personal Identity"
Friday, October 27; 3:00pm in the Community Room of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library


Friday, November 3

Jessica Gordon-Roth (University of Minnesota–Twin Cities)
"What Kind of Monist is Anne Finch Conway?"
Location: Philosophy Department Seminar Room (5057 Woodward, room 12212.1) 
Abstract: Anne Finch Conway (1631–1679) is often described as a vitalist, who is a monist. Nevertheless, questions about Conway's monism abound. There has been explicit disagreement about whether Conway should be called a "monist," when we consider her ontology as a whole. Some commentators argue that because Conway thinks God, Christ, and creatures are distinct in essence, Conway is better described as a "trialist." But, others contend that because God, Christ, and creatures are all made out of the same vital or spiritual "stuff," Conway is indeed a monist. In this talk, I will argue that there is another aspect of Conway's monism which has, up until this point, been a matter of implicit disagreement within the secondary literature. This concerns what Conway's monism amounts to, when it comes to the created world. As it turns out, there are two very different pictures of Conway's ontology of creation on the table, and this makes it so that even the most basic outline of Conway's worldview is seemingly up for grabs. One of the main goals of this talk is to show that what Conway's monism amounts to, when it comes to the created world, is the subject of disagreement, and why this matters. But an equally important goal of this talk is to problematize this disagreement, and make some headway towards a resolution.

Winter 2018

Thursday, March 1

Imogen Dickie (University of Toronto)
The 40th Annual Gail C. Stine Memorial Lecture
Title TBD

Thursday, March 8

Sean Stidd (Wayne State University)
Title TBD

Thursday, March 22

Kristen Hessler (University at Albany)
Title TBD

Thursday, April 19th

Rachel Singpurwalla (University of Maryland)
Title TBD




 ↑ back to top