Keep checking back for detailed information on our up-coming events for Semester 1, 2013. You can see a list of our scheduled speakers on the Semester Calendar.
Our final event of the semester, by Alex Long from the Classics Department. Tuesday, 19 November in the Arts Lecture Theatre. Come at 19:30 for wine and cheese, the talk will begin around 20:00. Free for all members, £2 for non-members.
My talk will assume no more than a basic familiarity with ancient
philosophy. I shall consider how the historical sophists, Socrates and
Plato brought ethics to the centre of philosophy. I suggest that they
conceived of their task not as discovering a new area of inquiry but
as showing the high intellectual demands of an existing area of
inquiry. One surprising conclusion is the affinity between the
sophists on the one hand and Socrates and Plato on the other.
On Tuesday, 12 November, Tim Mulgan will be speaking in the Arts Lecture Theatre at 20:00. Come at 19:30 for wine and cheese. Free for all members.
I examine the impact on moral and political philosophy of four
credible futures: a broken future where our affluent way of life is no
longer available; a virtual future where human beings spend their
entire lives in Nozick’s experience machine; a digital future where
humans have been replaced by unconscious machines; and a theological
future where the existence of God has been proved. These futures are
designed to question several commonplace presuppositions of
contemporary philosophy. Imagining specific futures gives our
obligations to future people a new urgency. It also influences our
current ethical thinking in several surprising ways, altering the
balance between competing moral theories, and pushing morality in a
more objective direction.
Tuesday, 29 October in the Arts Lecture Theatre. Wine and cheese at 19:30, talk at 20:00, and socializing and discussion at Drouthy Neebor's afterwards. This event is free for members.
Paradox is a symptom of disease. So said Tarski. Sextus Empiricus, Descartes, Feigl, Wittgenstein, Chihara, Williamson, and Nussbaum have all employed the same metaphor in various different ways and for various different purposes. In this talk, my goal is to show that treating paradox as a kind of disease is very fruitful for understanding and resolving philosophical issues.
Philosophers working on the so-called problem of free will have left the term 'free will' (and anything having to do with 'free': free choice, metaphysical freedom, acting freely...) in a state of hopeless confusion. We had better just drop the term and reconstruct the 'problem of free will' in other terms. Special attention is paid to the chapter on free will in Dan Dennett's latest book: 'Intuition Pumps'.
Before the talk on Friday, we will be taking van Inwagen to dinner. There is space for a couple Philsoc members to come along. If you're keen for this once in a lifetime opportunity, contact James Lowe (japl) as soon as possible to reserve your spot!
Sarah Broadie will be speaking at our usual time and place (Arts Lecture Theatre, 19:30 for wine and cheese and a 19:45 talk) on Tuesday, 22 October. The talk is titled "Theoretical versus Practical" and will discuss whether there really is the contrast, with reference to Plato and Aristotle. This event is free for members.
Peter van Inwagen will be giving a paper on Friday at 20:00 in the Arts Lecture Theatre (wine and cheese at 19:30). We expect a high turnout, so we will be selling tickets at the Union throughout the week (check back for specific times, or look for the emails). This event will cost 2gbp for members, 3gbp for non-members.
Just a couple reminders:
Brian Weatherson will be speaking on Tuesday, 15 October about why there is no wrong of moral recklessness. The event is external, and so will cost £2 for members/£3 for non-members. There will be wine, there will be cheese, and there will be some excellent philosophy.
Join us from 19:30 in the Arts Lecture Theatre for wine and cheese, before Justin Snedegar's talk at 19:50. Dr. Snedegar is a new appointment to the St Andrews Philosophy department, and we eagerly await his first talk for the Society.
Reasons and Deontic Modals
A recently popular view in normative philosophy is that all normative notions can be understood in terms of reasons — this is the reasons first program. While I find this program attractive, I want to raise an important challenge. I will argue that a popular strategy — what I'll call the Two Kinds of Reasons strategy — for understanding the normative notions of requirement and permission in terms of reasons fails. The argument is based on considerations about the deontic modals that are used to express these notions: ‘must’, ‘have to’, ‘may’, and so on, as well as the deontic modals -- 'ought' and 'should' -- used to express the distinct normative notion of what you ought to do. These considerations put constraints on our accounts of the normative notions that the Two Kinds of Reasons strategy fails to respect.
See you at 19:30 in the Arts Lecture Theatre for wine and cheese, followed by the talk at 19:45. We will head to Drouthy Neebor's after for discussion and socializing.
Please note this is an external event!
Running Risks Morally
This paper is part of a larger project defending normative externalism - the view that the most important norms concerning the guidance and evaluation of belief and action are external to the agent being guided and evaluated. In this paper I respond to an argument against normative externalism, that it can't account for the wrong of moral recklessness. I argue that there is no wrong of moral recklessness, by consideration of analogies with various actions that are, and are not, reckless.
Philosophers of all years, get excited for this semester's edition of our undergraduate philosophy journal, Aporia. We are looking for articles/essays concerning all areas of philosophy. We urge all students to submit regardless of prior experience in philosophy. It's a great opportunity to be published in a well respected undergraduate publicaiton. We will have our first editing session in Week 6.
Send your article or any questions to email@example.com - we look forward to reading your work!