Events and Lectures, Winter 2018

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are held at 4 PM in the Philosophy Department Seminar Room (5057 Woodward, 12th Floor, Room 12212.1).


Thursday, February 15

Dovie Jenkins (Wayne State University)
"Salvaging the Moral Saint"


Thursday, March 1

Imogen Dickie (University of Toronto)
The 40th Annual Gail C. Stine Memorial Lecture
Welcome Center Auditorium (note unusual location)
"Loneliness and Other Minds"

Thursday, March 22

Kristen Hessler (University at Albany)—TALK POSTPONED
"Adjudicating Human Rights in International Courts: Lessons for Theory"
Abstract: I argue in this paper that paying attention to what human rights can do, in particular in international courts, yields important lessons for theorizing about what human rights are. My goal is to explore a case study method for theorizing about human rights, to see what we can learn from looking at how a specific case in international human rights law might be relevant to philosophical theorizing. The particular theoretical issue of interest in this paper is whether and how to justify the existence of human rights to substantive (not merely formal) social and political equality for women, with a focus on rights against rape and sexual assault. Bringing these two strands together, I consider what lessons we can draw from a landmark case for women in international law: the Akayesu case before the International Criminal Court for Rwanda. I'll argue that an analysis of this case provides some empirically-grounded reasons (in addition to other more theoretical reasons) for calling into question some familiar arguments against the existence of robust human rights to substantive social and political equality.


Thursday, March 29

Sean Stidd (Wayne State University)
"Tractatus 5.542"

Thursday, April 19

Rachel Singpurwalla (University of Maryland)
PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT LOUNGE (note unusual location)
"Unity and the Happiness of the City: Plato's Political Ideal in the Republic"
Abstract: In the Republic, Socrates claims that his aim in constructing the ideal city, Kallipolis, is to make the whole city happy. But commentators have wondered what, exactly, Socrates means by this. Specifically, they have wondered whether his aim is to make the city itself happy, where this is understood in terms of promoting some property or feature of the city itself, a feature that may be independent of the happiness of the citizens, or whether his aim is simply to make all of the citizens happy. Recent scholarship argues that Socrates' aim is to promote a feature of the city—its unity and harmony—which is good for the city itself, but which bears no obvious relationship to the happiness of the citizens. In this paper, I argue against this view: Socrates is interested in promoting the unity of the city, but unity bears a crucial relationship to the happiness of the citizens. To argue for this, I provide an account of the unity of the city—something which recent commentators have failed to do. I then use this account to show that unity promotes the virtue and so happiness of the citizens.

Thursday, April 26

Lawrence Lombard (Wayne State University)
"Causation by Absence—Omission Impossible"




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