May 30: Laurenz Ramsauer

Please join us for our final meeting of the Practical Philosophy Workshop for the 2021-2022 school year on Monday, May 30th.

Laurenz Ramsauer (University of Chicago) will be presenting his paper Reflection in Moral Knowledge.

As usual, we will meet from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.  The workshop is read-ahead. The paper is available under ‘downloads’.

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May 23: David Haunschmid

Please join us for the Practical Philosophy workshop on Monday, May 23rd.

David Haunschmid (University of Chicago) will be presenting his paper On the Paradox of the Law.

We will meet from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.  The workshop is read-ahead. The paper is available under ‘downloads’.

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May 16: Chike Jeffers

Please join us at the Practical Philosophy workshop on Monday, May 16th.

Chike Jeffers (Dalhousie University) will be presenting his paper Du Bois’ Darkwater and the Power of Religious Language and Imagery.

We will meet from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.  The workshop is read-ahead. The paper is available under ‘downloads’.

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May 9: Sarah Buss

Please join us at the Practical Philosophy workshop on Monday, May 9th.

Sarah Buss (University of Michigan) will be presenting her paper “The Impossibility of Reconciling Constitutivist Accounts of Practical Reasons with the Unity of Human Agency”.

We will meet from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.  The workshop is read-ahead. The paper will be available soon under ‘downloads’.

Abstract:

We are capable of a sort of double consciousness:  we can regard something as appealing, worth doing, desirable, etc., even as we also occupy a point of view from which we call this appearance into question; we can experience our circumstances as calling for a certain response, even as we believe that we lack sufficient reason to respond this way.  I argue that constitutivist accounts of practical reason cannot do justice to this possibility.  On these accounts, the point of view we occupy insofar as we aim to determine what we have reason to do (the “deliberative point of view”) and the point of view we occupy insofar as we are the subject of pro- and con-attitudes are inaccessible to each other; what is at stake for us insofar as we are wondering what we have reason to do is not what is at stake for us insofar as we are wondering whether things are as they normatively seem, given our attitudes.  In the paper’s second half, I link this problem to skepticism about whether the capacity to reason is really a practical, end-setting, capacity.

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April 18: Nandi Theunissen

Please join us at the Practical Philosophy workshop on Monday, April 18th.

We will meet from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.  

Nandi Theunissen (University of Pittsburgh) will be presenting her paper “The New Mooreans”.

Abstract:
I address a basic question in value theory about the relationship between being good and being good for someone. Is something (A) good because it is good for someone, or (B) good for someone because it is good? A group of theorists whom I will call the New Mooreans—Joseph Raz, Susan Wolf, and Thomas Nagel—defend B: good has priority over good for. I contend that their arguments are insufficient to secure B: it is false that when something is non-instrumentally good for someone it is so because it is good simpliciter. I conclude by locating a deep point of disagreement between the New Mooreans and their opponents. For the New Mooreans, value affects us as a mere symptom of being good, while for their opponents, value is crucially and essentially affecting. Without settling the question of the better theory of value, I suggest that new Mooreans are under pressure to explain the claim of values on our cognitive and practical attention. If the suggestion stands, they must do more to make a real advance over G. E. Moore.

The workshop is read-ahead.

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April 4: Amy Levine

Please join us on Monday, April 4 for our second meeting of the Practical Philosophy Workshop.

As usual, the meeting will be from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401. There will be no zoom option for this presentation.

Amy Levine (Uchicago) will be presenting her paper “Skepticism, Deliberation, and Anxiety”.

The workshop is read-ahead and a handout is also available under ‘downloads’.

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April 1: Matthias Haase

Please join us on Friday, April 1st from 3:00-5:20 in the Wiebold 408 for a joint meeting of the Practical Philosophy and German Philosophy Workshop. Note the unusual time and location. There will be a zoom option distributed through the email list closer to the date of the workshop.

Matthias Haase (Uchicago) will be presenting his paper entitled Truth in Action.

The paper will be presented during the workshop. There is no paper to read in advance.

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February 28: Patricia Marechal

Please join us on Monday, February 28th from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.

Patricia Marechal (Northwestern) will be presenting her paper entitled Passion, Conviction, and Phronesis in Aristotle’s Ethics.

The presentation is read-ahead and the paper is accessible under downloads.

Abstract:

This paper proposes to rethink the relationship between the virtues of character and phronēsis. By focusing on why virtuous affective tendencies are necessary to become phronimos, an intellectual achievement, we will uncover important features of Aristotelian practical wisdom. I argue that phronēsis is a state of conviction (pistis) in the goodness of our goals based on proper grounds. We can be fully and sufficiently convinced only if rational arguments and principles agree with how things appear to us. When thus convinced, we cannot be convinced out of our commitments. The reason for this, I argue, is that, according to Aristotle, passions influence how things appear to us. Appropriate passions reveal and make salient facts and features of the situations we face. Inappropriate passions, in contrast, deceive us about what is true and valuable. Thus, good passionate tendencies contribute to our conviction that our ends are truly worth pursuing, while bad passions undermine our conviction in the goodness of these ends. For this reason, we cannot be phronimoi without virtuous affective tendencies. Along the way, I argue that this reading allows us to understand the shortcomings of the enkratēs and the akratēs.

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February 14: Warren Wilson

Please join us on Monday, February 14th from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.

Warren Wilson (Uchicago) will  be presenting his paper entitled Autonomy, Happiness, and the Priority Problem in Rousseau’s Political Thought. The presentation is read-ahead and is accessible under downloads.

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February 7: Marya Schechtman

Please join us on Monday, February 7th from 10:30-12:20 in the Social Sciences Research Building Room 401.

Marya Schechtman (University of Illinois, Chicago) will  be presenting her paper entitled The View from Everywhere. The presentation is read-ahead. The paper is accessible under downloads.

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