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Over the last decade there has been a surge in academic interest in other-oriented behaviour. Central to this inquiry have been attempts to identify what makes behaviour "prosocial" and to understand the developmental causes and consequences of these fundamental human behaviours. The focus of this talk will be how categorization has affected the measurement and understanding of prosocial behaviour from infancy through adolescence, highlighting outstanding questions that may be beyond the scope of empirical inquiry. Dr. Kristen Dunfield is Associate Professor of Psychology at Concordia University and Member of the Centre for Research in Human Development.
The Concordia Graduate Philosophy Students' Association is pleased to feature a talk by Dr. Ásta as one of our Liberating the Future keynote addresses. “Categories We Live By” skates across continental and analytic traditions to present a systematic theory of social construction. Borrowing from philosophy of language and feminist political philosophy, Ásta shores up a formidable defense of a popular form of critical theory (the 'debunking' project). From within her theoretical stronghold, Ásta unfolds the connection between social structure and personal identity, eventually answering the paradoxical question: how can one make an empowering identification with a social category whose very presence is oppressive?
On the face of it, we hold people responsible for their opinions. For instance, we blame them (“How can you think this?!”) for what they think. Also, we address their beliefs directly, by arguing with them and offering reasons for thinking otherwise, and do not just encourage them to rethink some matter. This practice seems to presuppose that we have some sort of direct control over what we believe. However, on reflection it seems plain that we cannot control our beliefs in the way we control our actions: we cannot believe at will. In this talk, Christian Kietzmann will offer an account of how we enjoy active and direct discretion over what we believe.
The centrality of de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and her attention to gender oppression have over-shadowed her broader political vision. In Emancipatory Thinking, Elaine Stavro brings together her existential insights and materialist disposition that underpin her activism and help her navigate the dilemmas raised by revolutionary thinking in the post-war and post-'68 periods. Drawing from a range of work, including novels, autobiographical writings, philosophic essays, Stavro explains freedom as a movement requiring both personal and collective transformation. Applying de Beauvoir’s problematic of embodied and situated subjectivity to recent debates within gender, literary, sociological, cultural and political studies, Emancipatory Thinking provides a lens to explore the current political and theoretical landscape.
In the present context of widespread attacks on intellectual and political expertise, Plato’s aristocratic radicalism deserves a more charitable reading than it has been given by liberals.
Neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics is one of the most theoretically well-developed approaches to virtue currently on offer. This lecture explores challenges presented by genome editing to the dominant conception of neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism and its conception of human goods and virtues. Dr. Nancy E. Snow is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma.
Epistemologists often assume that rationality bears an important connection to the truth. In this lecture, Sophie Horowitz examines the implications of this commitment for permissivism: if rationality is a guide to the truth, can it also allow some leeway in how we should respond to our evidence?
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Affiliated Lecture Series
Interuniversity Research Group in Political Philosophy (GRIPP) (Profs. Matthias Fritsch, Pablo Gilabert, Researchers)
Interuniversity Research Group in Normativity (GRIN) (Profs. Murray Clarke, Ulf Hlobil, Katharina Nieswandt, Researchers)
Centre de recherche en éthique (CRÉ) (Profs. Pablo Gilabert, Katharina Nieswandt, Ulf Hlobil)