77th Resolution

Resolution of Gratitude

It has been a pleasure doing philosophy here at Randolph College this weekend. Let us thank Randolph College for hosting us by providing a comfortable venue and a delicious evening meal. Thanks especially to our VPA President, Kaija Mortensen, who organized both the philosophical program and the logistics here at Randolph. We thank our vice-president Eric Moore and the anonymous referees who read paper submissions to help establish a program.

Let us also thank our speakers. We sometimes hear the charge that philosophy is irrelevant to the pressing issues of the day, but our speakers gave us insights that bear on the current presidential election.

Jonathan Barker gave comfort to voters by showing that though the ballots and the atoms that make up the ballots both determine the winner, this does not constitute overdetermined rigging.

Torrance Fung gave us an account of perceptual experience that can explain not only a veridical experience of what Donald Trump says but also Mike Pence’s experience of what he says.

Peter Sutton might pass along his policy ideas on slave reparations by starting with a pitch to the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. He should just make it clear that unlike the Libertarian nominee, most people do not want to be paid in dime bags.

Christian Tarsney gave us a recipe for morally hedging our votes. If you are unsure whether you should value Trump’s experience in the casino business or Clinton’s experience with computers, you can hedge your choice by voting for a slot machine that deletes your winnings.

Renee Hill reminded us that the outcome of this little U.S. election will not make a permanent difference.

Eric LaRock argued that the self emerges from the brain, and let me tell you, this self is terrific, terrific--unbelievable. I've known this self for years, and I can tell you this self is good people. You're gonna love it.

Thom Provenzola tried to subvert this whole campaign season by suggesting that we should base our beliefs on evidence.

Jorge Secada showed us that when we are weary of the election, we can follow Descartes in the more valuable pursuit of philosophical meditation.

And finally, thank you all for coming and making this weekend’s philosophical discussion richer. I hope to see you at next year’s VPA conference, and I hope that you will send in your current work when the call for papers goes out.

--offered by VPA Secretary Catherine Sutton, October 22, 2016