Prindle Institute events
The Prindle Institute for Ethics frequently hosts events of philosophical interest for students and faculty, including the Undergraduate Ethics Symposium, faculty reading groups, and lectures by distinguished guests. Information about upcoming events can be found here on the Prindle Institute site.
Our last meeting of the semester will be 11:30AM this Thursday May 1 in the Philosophy Department lounge. Professor Wielenberg will lead a discussion centered on the troubling quest to define "consciousness." Here's a brief summary of what's in store:
Philosophers have long puzzled over the nature of consciousness. For example, David Chalmers opens his book The Conscious Mind with this remark: “Conscious experience is at once the most familiar thing in the world and the most mysterious.” Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku (who will speak at DePauw on May 5) has proposed a definition of consciousness in his new book The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind. We’ll contemplate some of the mysteries of consciousness as well as Kaku’s proposed definition.
Wielenberg (in black & white stripes) discussing the possibility of divine deception.
Some recent Philosophy Club announcements
The Philosophy Club is excited to host a talk by Paul Draper, philosophy professor at Purdue on April 9, at 4:30 in Peeler Auditorium. The title of Professor Draper's talk is "Immortality Without God?" The event is free and open to the public.
On April 15 from 11:30-12:30, Philosophy Club is teaming up with the DePauw Environmental Club to lead a discussion about philosophical issues related to the environment. This event has been planned to coincide with Earth Week. Free food will be provided at the meeting. All are welcome to attend!
- On Thursday, December 5, we'll be discussing the harmfulness of death. Many philosophers, most notably Epicurus, have claimed that death cannot be harmful for the one who dies because in death (not in the act of dying) there is no pleasure or pain. Others retaliate with arguments about ways in which one's death can be a misfortune, for example, it may deprive one of the goods experienced in existence. Senior philosophy major Kristina Mulry will lend her thoughts about ways to reduce death's harmfulness.
- On Thursday, September 19, John Caraher, Professor of Physics, will join us to discuss some philosophical conundrums that go along with the study of quantum physics. When physicists become too absorbed in the strict calculations involved with quantum theory, they often overlook the broader ontological picture. This can lead to unfortunate miscalculations and a vague understanding of the language involved. Professor Caraher will speak about this problem and some of his own experiments that relate to it. He’s entitled his discussion “Are there particles? Are there fields?”
- On Thursday, September 5, we will be having our first Philosophy Club Meeting of the year! We will be meeting at 11:30am in the philosophy department (second floor of Asbury). This week's discussion will focus on the NSA surveillance programs and our right to privacy. Should we support the NSA surveillance in light of the threats they attempt to protect us from? Or is it a blatant violation of privacy that cannot be justified?
- On Thursday, February 8, at 11:30am in the comfy chairs of the Philosophy department (2nd floor of Asbury), our very own Professor Wielenberg will be leading in us a discussion entitled, "Might God Deceive Us?" Join us at 11:30 in the PHILOSOPHY LOUNGE for pizza and what is sure to be an exciting discussion.
- We will meet one last time before we break for the Winter Holidays. Good times are guaranteed when we gather this Wednesday to watch the critically acclaimed film Blade Runner! After the movie we'll stick around for a bit and discuss some of the important philosophical themes in the movie, primarily ones about artificial intelligence and the nature of being a human.
Plus it has Harrison Ford.
- Philosophy Club will be presenting at Peace Camp on Tuesday September 30th from 6:30-7:30pm and discussing the Ethics of Public Health Intervention and Respecting Cultural Traditions. Peace Camp is taking place on East College Lawn this year, as opposed to Academic Quad. Don't worry, we'll have pizza!
- Wednesday night, October 1st, Phil Club is co-sponsoring a Presidential Election Forum with Management Fellows and Media Fellows. David Dietz and Matt Newill will be discussing issues and strategies of the on-going presidential campaigns. It will be moderated by Andy Bruner and Kali Geldis from The DePauw. This will take place at 6:30 in the UB Ballroom.
- Philosophy Club will be co-sponsoring an event at which Professor Thomas Hibbs will be discussing Film Noir and the ethical implications of such films, including the recent hit The Dark Knight. For those of you who remember, Professor Hibbs visited last year and we discussed The Exorcist with him over lunch.
- On May 3rd and 4th some students from DePauw will be attending the Wisconsin Epistemology Conference in Madison. We are currently in the works of getting funding for this, so it should cost little or no money to attend.
- On Wednsday, March 12, at 7 PM, John P. O'Callaghan, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame, will give a talk in Watson Forum. Professor O'Callaghan's talk is aimed at an undergraduate audience. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. This event, which is a wonderful opportunity to hear from a distinguished philosopher, substitutes for our regular Wednesday night Philosophy Club meeting. We hope to see many of you there. Anyone interested in philosophy, politics or justice should find something of interest in O'Callaghan's lecture.Here are the title and description of the talk: "Honor Among Thieves? Justice, Prudence, and Imperfection in Politics." The talk is a reflection upon the roles of prudence and imperfection in a just political order. It begins with a reflection upon Plato's famous "Justice Among Thieves" argument in the Republic*, and using Aristotle's and Aquinas' discussions of prudence seeks to show why there is no justice among thieves, and the danger that a political order will be little better than a band of thieves if it too lacks what a band of thieves lacks—prudence. Finally, looking again at Aquinas, it considers whether the necessity of prudence requires perfection in those who rule, or whether a political community isn't better served by a certain kind of imperfection in those who rule it.
- On Thursday, October 25, we will be hosting Andrew Cullison, a philosopher who is currently teaching at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Cullison is a 2001 graduate of DePauw who went on to get his PhD in philosophy at the University of Rochester. He was also a member of DePauw's very first ethics bowl team! His talk is entitled "Divine Hiddenness" (roughly, if God exists, why doesn't He show Himself?). Cullison will also be available on Friday the 26th to talk to students who are considering going to graduate school in philosophy and who have questions about the application process, choosing a school, job prospects, etc.
- On Wednesday September 25th, Nate Placencia, new faculty in the Philosophy Department, will be presenting on Social Identities and Social Norms.
- On April 12th the Philosophy Club hosts Professor Rich Cameron as he presents on free will and character development in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Elections will be held within the next few weeks so if you're interested in being President, Vice President, VP of Communications, Treasurer, or VP of Operations then send and email to us and we answer any questions you have or just to let us know you're interested. (This includes people off campus!!)
- Thursday, February 15: Special event. You are invited to participate in a discussion of free will and determinism as they relate to science and religion. This event is part of a series sponsored by DePauw's Commons Project, which is an initiative to encourage dialogue on issues pertaining to science and religion. Discussion will be led by faculty members from philosophy, biology, psychology, and religious studies (I think). This event will be held next Thursday, February 15, from 5:00 to 6:30 PM in Reese Hall - note special time and place.