Paula Gottlieb
November 16, 2017

Steven Nadler
October 26, 2016
Elliott Sober
October 29, 2015

Sarah Paul
October 22, 2014
Larry Shapiro
March 12, 2014

On Marriage Equality - Russ Shafer-Landau
Russ Shafer-Landau
November 7, 2013

Claudia Card
April 22, 2013

Harry Brighouse
October 17, 2012

Dan Hausman
February 22, 2012

In an effort to promote the Wisconsin Idea, the UW-Madison Philosophy Department sponsors a lecture series entitled "UW Philosophers at Work." Talks in the series are free and are open to everyone interested in attending. If you'd like to read an abstract of a given talk or see a video of the lecture, please click on the relevant poster.

The inaugural lecture was given in February 2012 by Herbert A. Simon and Hilldale Professor Dan Hausman, on the topic of preferential admissions at UW. The second lecture in the series, entitled "Social Justice and Flagship Public Universities," was given by Prof. Harry Brighouse in October 2012. The third lecture in the series was given by Emma Goldman Professor of Philosophy Claudia Card, on the topic of "Genocide and Social Death," in April 2013. On November 7th, 2013, former UW Philosophy Department Chair Professor Russ Shafer-Landau continued the series with a lecture titled "On Marriage Equality." A video of his talk is available here.

Our next talk, entitled "A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Aristotle’s Ethics," will be given by Professor Paula Gottlieb on November 16th, 2017 at 7PM in Grainger Hall, Rm 1100.

"The Declaration of Independence hails the importance of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (my emphasis), but what is the happiness that is to be pursued? If happiness is whatever any particular individual thinks it is, then why should a lawgiver pay attention to that if it does not harmonize with others’ good?   But if happiness is objective, what is it?  To answer these questions I shall take the audience on a tour of Aristotle’s ethical theory from the traits of character required to be happy to the type of friendship needed for a happy life.  In sum, Aristotle argues that the decisive factor in being happy is ethically good activity.  Therefore, according to Aristotle, my pursuit of my happiness, far from being selfish, should be congenial to others’ pursuit of their happiness also."