Professor Rosa Terlazzo will be presenting a paper to the KU philosophy department in Lawrence on Tue March 10.  Her talk is entitled “Do we have a duty to resist oppression that benefits us?” and argues that victims of oppression have an other-regarding duty to resist their oppression even when oppressive practices benefit them.​Abstract:  In this paper, I argue both that acting in accordance with oppression can be in the genuine long-term interests of victims, and that victims can have a duty to resist oppression even in such cases. Other accounts of duties to resist oppression rightly recognize either the importance of victims’ own well-being or the importance of victims’ duties not to contribute to oppressive norms that harm others, but fail to give appropriate weight to both considerations at once. In order to balance these competing interests, I propose a duty to resist oppression which is a) other-regarding rather than self-regarding, and b) a duty to benefit others rather than a duty not to harm them. The duty must be other-regarding because self-regarding duties let victims genuinely benefited by acting in accordance with oppressive practices off the hook too easily. They allow individual victims to act in accordance with oppression even when doing so contributes to oppressive norms that harm their fellow victims. Accordingly, other-regarding duties are better able to demand social change that will benefit victims of oppression as a group. However, I also grant that it may be in the genuine long-term interest of some victims of oppression to live in ways that accord with oppression, and recognize the importance of the well-being of individual victims of oppression who fall into this category. For this reason, the duty I propose is a duty to benefit others by exposing them to a variety of live options from which to choose a way of life, rather than a duty to stop harming them by ceasing to reinforce oppressive norms. Duties not to harm others are extremely stringent, and may require victims to entirely ignore their own well-being in order to stop harming others. Duties to benefit others, however, may be relaxed when the cost to the individual of acting is too high. Individuals whose well-being is only served by acting in accordance with oppression, then, are excused from resisting oppression. Individuals whose well-being may be served either by acting in accordance with oppression or by acting in an alternate way, however, have an obligation to take on some costs to act in the alternate way, in order to provide others with a set of live options that includes more members that challenge and ultimately may collectively transform oppressive norms. I give reasons to think that many victims will fall into the latter group.

Professor James Hamilton will be presenting a paper at the University of the Arts, London on March 14.  This paper is entitled “Spaces, places and sounds in performance arts”.  He will also be commenting at the Eastern Division of the American Society for Aesthetics meetings on March 21 in Philadelphia.Abstract.  How are space and time used to achieve both particular aesthetic effects and specific political effects? Is there a reliable connection between the uses of space to generate specific aesthetic effects and conceptualizations of space that are useful in the social sciences, fine arts, and humanities? In the arts of performance (most notably theatre, dance, performance art) a spatial dimension is introduced by way of the presentation of live bodies in art, i.e., on stage. Accordingly, I propose to approach the questions I have just set forth by way of thinking about how a sense of space is generated by performances.​

Dillon Rockrohr (K-State) – “Dismantling the Race Label" (Tuesday 24 March, @ 4pm)  In racial identification, certain known characteristics about a person, usually visible, morphological ones, are picked out and taken to signify the presence of other characteristics which are unknown or not visible and which mark a person as similar to or different from a particular set of people. Race, used in this way, often produces negative, discriminatory behavior where group identities are placed in relation to each other in the form of a hierarchy. This paper aims to synthesize Linda Alcoff’s descriptive accounts of race as an extant ontological category and of social identity as a location within a complex network of identifications with Anthony Appiah’s criticism of racialism and Sally Haslanger’s ameliorative definition of racialized identities to show that race, as it stands, is a reductively misrepresentative way of ascribing identity. By dismantling race as a concept in use we will better understand the actual complexity of social identity, and we will cultivate more justice in social relations.

Joseph Savage (UNH Law) - “Law, Language, Lies, and Logic” (Friday 2 April, @ 4pm)  Over the last century, problems of meaning in language and communication took on greater focus for Western philosophers, resulting in an abundance of ideas and models of language, meaning, and communication. Jurists and Lawyers have particular reason to consider the nature and function of language because the law itself operates through language. Abstract, philosophical assertions about the relationship between language and logic take on a new layer of relevance and importance when millions of dollars are on the line—as is often the case in allegations of false advertising. The questions of understanding meaning are doubly important in making a legal evaluation of an advertisement, as both the law and the advertisement must be evaluated. I argue that a more stable and predictable legal regime demands a deeper and more thorough consideration of the use of language in advertising. After considering different models of language and communication, as well as current advertising laws and approaches to false advertising, I look at several recent examples of false advertising and the arguments surrounding the advertising decisions in question. I then consider possible answers to the call to improve the way we analyse claims of false advertising.


Speaker Series 2014-2015

  • Ben Caplan "Brutal Proposition" Monday, September 22, Dickens 203, 3:30 pm.
  • William Melanson (University of Nebraska, Omaha) "The Epistemic Role of Confidence and Surety" Monday, October 6, Dickens 203, 3:30 pm.
  • Daniel Silvermint "Complicity and Victim Well-being" Thursday, October 17, Dickens 203, 3:30pm. 
  • Tracey Bamberger (KSU and UT Austin) Alumni and local attorney.  "Think Like a Lawyer" Thursday, October 23, Dickens 203, 3:30pm.
  • Adrian Currie  (Calgary) Seminar, Thur 30 Oct, 4pm "How to Build a Sea Urchin & Manufacture Smoking Guns" Dickens 203
  • Michael Detlesfsen (Notre Dame)  Seminar, Thur 13 Nov, 4pm Title TBD (Philosophy of Math)  Dickens 203
  • Heather Douglas (Waterloo) Seminar, Thur 4 Dec, 4pm "Responsible Science in Democratic Societies" Dickens 203
  • John Christman (Penn State) Seminar, Thur 19 Feb, 4pm "Autonomy, Respect, and Joint Deliberation" Dickens 203
  • Simon Huttegger (UC Irvine) Seminar, Thur 5 March, 4pm “Bayesian convergence to the truth and the metaphysics of possible worlds” Dickens 203

Speaker Series 2013-2014

  • Susan Sterrett (Wichita) "The Moral of Model Making" Friday, October 18, Dickens 203, 3:30 pm.
  • Sean Walsh (Birkbeck) 
  • Eileen Nutting (University of Kansas)
  • Kansas Philosophical Society Meeting.  (Hemisphere Room of Hale Library on KSU Campus.)
  • Tommie Shelby (Harvard)  "Punishment, Condemnation, and Social Justice," Thursday, February 27, Dickens 203, 4:00 pm.
  • Dustin Stokes (Utah) "Towards a Consequentialist Understanding of Cognitive Penetration," Thursday, March 6, Dickens 203, 4:00 pm. 
  • Geoffrey Hellman (Minnesota) "Resolving Paradoxes: Extendability of Structures," Thursday, April 3, Dickens 203, 4:00 pm.
  • Roundtable on Philosophy and Borges. Monday, April 7, UMB Theater, Beach Museum of Art, 4:00 p.m.
  • Jorge J.E. Gracia (Buffalo) Tuesday, April 8, UMB Theater, Beach Museum of Art, 4:00 p.m.
  • Camille Hébert (Moritz College of Law, Ohio State) "Applying Philosophical Principles in Law," Thursday, April 17, Dickens 203, 4:00 pm.
  • Aaron Meskin (Leeds) "Experiments in Aesthetics: From Beauty to Bad Art," Monday, April 21, Dickens 203, 3:30 p.m.

Speaker Series 2012-2013

  • Kevin Elliott (University of South Carolina): "Anthropocentric Indirect Arguments for Environmental Protection."  Thursday, Sept. 27, Dickens 203.
  • James McBain (Pittsburg State University): "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." 4:00 p.m., Friday, October 19, Dickens 203.
  • Andrew Moon (Kansas State University): "Religious Disagreement, Epistemic Circularity, and the Cognitive Science of Religion." 3:30 p.m., Friday, October 26, Dickens 203.
  • Margaret Little (Georgetown University): "Conscientious Objection and the Ethics of Provision" (with Anne Lyerly).  4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 7, Dickens 203. 
  • Neil Sinhababu (National University of Singapore): "Desire's Explanations." 3:30 p.m., Friday, March 29, Dickens 203.
  • Harry Brighouse (University of Wisconsin, Madison).  "High Commitment Charter Schools and Principles of Educational Justice." 4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 11, Dickens 203.
  • Dennis Whitcomb (Western Washington University): "'You only believe that because you're a philosopher': debunking anti-foundationalism via the tools-to-theories heuristic." 4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 25, Dickens 203.
  • Diana I. Pérez (University of Buenos Aires): "Folk psychology, psychological concepts and the second person." 4:00 p.m., Thursday, May 2, Dickens 203.