Category Archives: Happenings

Nietzsche lecture coming up

See the details in the Announcement box, on the right. Here is the abstract for Rutherford’s talk:

“Nietzsche’s writings offer pointed challenges to received views in almost every area of philosophy, from metaphysics to ethics.  One question that is too infrequently raised, however, is how Nietzsche conceives of the activity of philosophy itself.  What is the overall goal of philosophy?  What does it mean to think and live as a philosopher?  I canvass a range of answers to these questions, and argue for the distinctive answers that I believe Nietzsche gives to them.  I conclude by describing what I see as the significance of these answers for Nietzsche’s principal philosophical project: the revaluation of all values.”

All are welcome to attend!

Undergrad Philosophy conference, UVSC

Call for Papers: Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference will be held Thursday, April 3, 2008. The topic of this year’s conference, titled The Greening of Ethics, addresses the expansion of the scope of moral considerability in Western Philosophy from the traditional focus on human beings. This includes, but is not limited to, topics such as:

Ecological Feminism
Animal Rights/Liberation
Holistic (Ecosystem) Ethics
Religious Stewardship Ethics
Social Ecology/Marxist Critiques of Capitalism

Presentations will be 20 minutes.

Please email a title and 250-word presentation proposal by noon, February 15, 2008, to:

Presenters will be awarded $100 honorarium.

If you have any questions, please contact Dave Newlin <> or David R. Keller <>.

The Conference is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Humanities
and the Center for the Study of Ethics, UVSC.

Philosophy forum

We had our philosophy forum last night on “God vs. Evil” — a stunning success! Over 80 students attended, and the discussion was both friendly and penetrating. I presented the problem of evil, and Kleiner and Sherlock offered theistic ways of responding to it. Students raised many insightful questions and comments, and though the official forum ended after about an hour and a half, informal discussions continues until nearly 10:30. A special treat was Chuck Johnson’s appearance, and his characteristically droll and logical reformulation of the problem. We are all looking forward to more events like this to come!

T-shirts are in

and they sure are spiffy. You can stop in at Main 208 to get yours, or stop by the Philosophy table at the Day on the Quad on Wednesday, August 29th. They are free for majors, $5 for minors, and $10 for anyone else.

T-shirts on the way!

At the beginning of the fall term, we’ll have “Philosophy” t-shirts available! They will look pretty cool, and come in 3 different colors. And they’ll only be $5.

If you just can’t wait for a t-shirt, or if you want a hoodie or mug or messenger bag, we have set up a store at this website.

Philosophy iLecture

USU is in the process of putting together some brief “iLectures” for interested prospective students (and anyone else). So I have put together one on Philosophy, which you can read here if you want:

Loving wisdom

Here’s the final paragraph, so you can better determine if you’re interested:

“But more than all that: philosophy, as the love of wisdom, is the intelligent and honest attempt to become, as Aristotle might have put it, a ‘professional human being,’ which is a human being who has worked out his or her moral obligations and theoretical beliefs and integrated them into an honorable, well-balanced life. For in the final analysis, none of us wants to have lived a mistake; nobody wants to regret how they have lived. We want to live the best possible life, given who we are and what we face. And that is why we are all interested in wisdom. It is the science of figuring out how to live as a fully human being.”

(I’ll post a link to the actual iLecture once it’s recorded and posted.)

Also: for anyone interested in listening to other philosophers discuss interesting topics, check out the podcasts available here on “Philosophy Bites.” It’s an interesting set of topics, discussed by well-known professional philosophers, and the series is growing increasingly popular in the set of educational podcasts.

Richard Rorty (1931-2007)

Richard Rorty, a very influential philosopher, who tried to connect philosophy’s concerns with other concerns across the academy, died recently. His obituary can be found here.

I’m not sure how many readers of this blog have read any of Rorty’s works, but I’d be interested in anyone’s opinion as to their worth. I myself think he had a real talent at writing clear and compelling prose, and finding creative and controversial perspectives. But I think usually he was wrong, and usually misrepresented the philosophers he described.

For more discussion of Rorty, see the entry on Brian Leiter’s webapge, on the blogroll to the right.