Rutgers Philosophy Dept. Colloquia @ Seminar Room, Gateway Transit Building, 5th flr
Mar 28 @ 3:00 pm

The Department’s colloquium series typically meets on Thursdays in the Seminar Room at Gateway Transit Building, 106 Somerset Street, 5th Floor at 3:00 p.m. Please see the Department Calendar for scheduled speakers and more details.

  • 01/31  Department Colloquium-Prof. Brian Epstein (Tufts)
  • 02/07  Inclusive Pedagogy by Prof. Zoë Johnson-King (NYU)
  • 02/28  Climate Lecture-Prof. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke (Gallaudet University)
  • 03/14  Mesthene Lecture-Prof. Lara Buchak (UC Berkeley)
  • 03/28  Break It Down Lecture-Prof. Paul Pietroski, “Human Languages: What are They?”
  • 04/11  Class of 1970s Lecture: Prof. Gideon Rosen (Princeton) Alexander Teleconf. Lecture Hall, 4:30-7:30 pm
  • 04/18  Break It Down Lecture-Prof. Larry Temkin, “Population Ethics: Forty Years On”
  • 04/25 – 04/27 Semantics Workshop (Lepore)
  • 04/27  Rutgers Day 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • 05/03  Epistemology Conference
  • 05/04  Epistemology Conference
  • 07/21 – 07/26 Summer Institute for Diversity in Philosophy
Is it wrong for feminists to pay other women for housework? Johanna Oksala, Pratt @ Wolff Conference Room, NSSR, D1103
Mar 28 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Many philosophers have suggested that the aim of imaginative philosophical inquiry is not to provide right answers, but right questions. This means demonstrating why certain questions are meaningless, based on false assumptions, or become senseless when posed in a wrong context. The question in my title appears to be a good candidate for this type of philosophical inquiry and I will try to show why. However, I will also argue that posing the question is nevertheless important, perhaps not for moral philosophy, but for feminist politics.

The argument proceeds in three stages. In the first section, I will discuss Gabrielle Meagher’s article, Jstor, Spring 2002, ‘Is it Wrong to Pay for Housework?’. I will contend that rather than posing this question as an abstract philosophical question, it is crucial to place it in the specific historical and socio-economic context in which we encounter it today. A thorough politico-economic analysis of paid housework should then open our eyes to the fact that feminists need to make demands that are not merely ameliorative but embody a radically emancipatory future for all women. In the second section, I will critically assess one such demand, the idea of universal basic income (UBI) – a monthly income paid by the government to each member of society regardless of income from other sources and with no conditions attached. My contention is that a feminist demand for UBI could contribute to the attempts to tackle the deep causes behind the growing socio-economic disparities between women, as well as improving the status of unpaid care work, but only in the context of a feminist revolution of everyday life. In the third section, I will ask what such a revolution might entail and return to the question of individual choice. While I insist that scapegoating women who pay other women for housework misses the real political problem, I will nevertheless conclude by suggesting that there are compelling political reasons for feminists to answer the question in my title with a resolute yes.

Nietzsche and the Disadvantage of History: the Rise of Western Oikophobia. Benedict Beckeld @ Meyer Hall, Room 102, NYU
Mar 28 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

New York University’s Liberal Studies, in Collaboration with Nietzsche Circle, Presents:

Nietzsche and the Disadvantage of History: The rise of Western Oikophobia

More Info & RSVP:
If you like to attend, Please RSVP by sending email to Luke Trusso at

Celebrating Yirmiyahu Yovel @ Wolff Conference Room, D1103
Mar 29 – Mar 30 all-day

The Philosophy Department of The New School for Social Research invites you to a conference in honor of the life and work of Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy Yirmiyahu Yovel.

The conference will be on March 29th and 30th in the Wolff Conference Room, D1103, 6 E 16th Street.

Celebrating Yirmiyahu Yovel

Friday, March 29th

Chair: Richard J. Bernstein

9 AM – 11 AM: Agnes Heller “The Other Within”

11 AM – 1 PM: Jay Bernstein “Yovel and Hegel’s Phenomenology


2 PM – 4 PM: James Dodd “The Historical Antinomy”

4PM – 6PM: Jonathan Yovel “Normativity as a Poetic Quality”


Saturday, March 30th

Chari: Dmitri Nikulin

9 AM – 11 AM: Joel Whitebook “Immanence, Finitude, and Emancipation: A Psychoanalytic Perspective”

11 AM – 1 PM: Omri Boehm “Immanence, Knowledge, and Immortality: Spinoza’s Ethics as an Inversion of the Biblical Fall”


2 PM – 4 PM: Chiara Bottici “Marrano of Reason”

4 PM – 6 PM: Eli Friedlander “On the Different Ways to the Highest Good”

Thinking and Living the Good Life @ Philosophy Department, Fordham U
Mar 29 – Mar 31 all-day

The theme of our conference, “Thinking and Living the Good Life,” asks participants to think upon what it means to live well in contemporary society, how we can know the right or best way to live, and the role of thought in the enterprise of human life. Evocative of ancient theories of virtue, the theme of the good life also bears on prominent areas of discussion in contemporary political philosophy, epistemology, and metaphysics. Papers topics may include, but are not limited to: the relationship between political structures and the shared goal of realizing a common good; the complexities that arise in trying to achieve knowledge of the good; and the nature of the good in and of itself. Our conference aims to bring together graduate students that work in different areas in order to think through this singular theme of the good life and to search for commonalities and intersections amongst a broad array of approaches.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to by December 20, 2018. Authors of selected papers will be notified by January 10, 2019.

Keynote speakers:

Fordham University


Fordham University
Fordham University
Fordham University
Fordham University
Fordham University
Cognitive Science Speaker Series @ CUNY Grad Center, rm 7102
Mar 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Spring 2019
2/15: Andrew Lee, Philosophy, New York University
2/22: William Robinson, Philosophy, Iowa State University
3/1: Wesley Sauret, Philosophy, University of Bayreuth
3/8: Jean-Paul Noel, Center for Neural Science, New York University
3/15: Santiago Echeverri, Philosophy, New York University
3/22: TBA
3/29: TBA
4/5: No Cognitive Science talk: CUNY Graduate-Student Conference
4/12: TBA
4/19, 4/26: No talks; Spring Break
5/3: TBA

Additional information at: or e-mail David Rosenthal <>

Bjorndahl: The Epistemology of Nondeterminism. Logic, Probability, and Games Seminar @ Faculty House, Columbia U
Mar 29 @ 4:00 pm

Propositional dynamic logic (PDL) is a framework for reasoning about nondeterministic program executions (or, more generally, nondeterministic actions). In this setting, nondeterminism is taken as a primitive: a program is nondeterministic iff it has multiple possible outcomes. But what is the sense of “possibility” at play here? This talk explores an epistemic interpretation: working in an enriched logical setting, we represent nondeterminism as a relationship between a program and an agent deriving from the agent’s (in)ability to adequately measure the dynamics of the program execution. More precisely, using topology to capture the observational powers of an agent, we define the nondeterministic outcomes of a given program execution to be those outcomes that the agent is unable to rule out in advance. In this framework, determinism coincides exactly with continuity: that is, determinism is continuity in the observation topology. This allows us to embed PDL into (dynamic) topological (subset space) logic, laying the groundwork for a deeper investigation into the epistemology (and topology) of nondeterminism.

The seminar is concerned with applying formal methods to fundamental issues, with an emphasis on probabilistic reasoning, decision theory and games. In this context “logic” is broadly interpreted as covering applications that involve formal representations. The topics of interest have been researched within a very broad spectrum of different disciplines, including philosophy (logic and epistemology), statistics, economics, and computer science. The seminar is intended to bring together scholars from different fields of research so as to illuminate problems of common interest from different perspectives. Throughout each academic year, meetings are regularly presented by the members of the seminar and distinguished guest speakers.

details tba

02/08/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
4:00 PM

03/29/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
4:00 PM

04/19/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
4:00 PM

Confucian Approaches to Intergenerational Ethics. Timothy Connolly (East Stroudsburg) @ Columbia University Religion Dept. 101
Mar 29 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Since Confucianism is an intergenerational phenomenon, it should have unique insights into ethical issues surrounding our obligations to future generations. In the first part of this discussion, I examine two contemporary Confucian perspectives on intergenerational ethics. Proponents of Confucian Role Ethics have developed an interpretation of xiao as “intergenerational reverence” that binds the community together over time by reference to shared cultural models and evolving ethical values. The Chinese thinker Jiang Qing in turn argues for a political constitution in which the state depends not just on the will of presently existing citizens, but also serves to preserve and transmit the values of the past for the sake of future generations. While both interpretations share in common a critique of Western individualism and rights-based ethical framework, Jiang’s account of Confucian intergenerationality rests on the authority of tradition, whereas Confucian Role Ethics prioritizes the uniqueness of the situation at hand. In the second half of the discussion, I develop an alternative Confucian approach that is aligned with virtue ethics. On this view, our present virtue is the point of departure for understanding our relations with the past and future. I examine passages in early Confucian texts that suggest a notion of intergenerational virtue, which brings together various dispositions to see our own flourishing as linked with both past and future generations.

With a response from:

Susan Blake (Bard College)

Does Time Flow? Stuart Kurtz, PhD @ The New York Academy of Sciences, flr 40
Apr 1 @ 1:15 pm – 3:00 pm

Physicists and philosophers question the validity of one of the most observed and seemingly obvious appearance in our world: that time flows. Many in the physics and philosophy communities contend that the flow of time is not a fundamental feature of the world, nor even a fact of the world, but is an illusion. As a case in point, we will consider Brian Greene’s view of time in his PBS exposition “The Elegant Universe” holding that time may not flow, the past may not be gone, the future may already exist, and that now is not special. Most people, as observers of time’s passage, might agree with the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who expressed the idea that all is change and that change occurs with the flow of time. I will explore some of the motivation and reasons given for these positions and contrast the arguments made for each viewpoint.

The schedule: a short presentation on topic of 3-D Printing, and then Stuart’s presentation for about 1 hr. plus time for questions.  It is necessary to register beforehand to be admitted.

CV: Stuart Kurtz graduated from MIT with an SB in Chemical Engineering and from Princeton with an MS degree in Polymer Engineering and an MA and PhD. in Chemical Engineering.  He taught at RPI and in Brazil as Professor Titular in Materials Engineering.  This was followed by a research career in industry accumulating around 30 patents and publishing at least a few good papers.   He now focuses on Philosophy of Science and Physics and climbing mountains because they are there. He has spoken to the Lyceum Society many times; most recently in January, 2018  he spoke on the topic: Lessons from Science Lysenko, Velikovsky and the Demarcation Problem; In February, 2018 he spoke on Geoengineering for Climate Change Mitigation.  In December, 2018 he reviewed the Nobel Prize in Physics for that year.

What does it mean that Contradiction is the Norm of Truth? Elena Ficara (Paderborn) Logic & Metaphysics Workshop @ CUNY Grad Center, 7314
Apr 1 @ 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm

In my talk I argue for the thesis CT: contradiction is the norm of truth, and ask about its relevance for contemporary philosophical logic. I first present three positions in the history of philosophy that have advocated some versions of CT, namely Plato’s idea of the “dialectical gymnastics” in the Parmenides (Plato, Parmenides 136 B-E), Aristotle’s notion of dialectics in the Topics (Aristotle, Topics I, 2-3) and Metaphysics (Aristotle, Met III 1, 995 a 24-29), and Hegel’s contradictio est regula veri (Hegel Werke 2, 533), then derive from them some answers to the questions:

What is meant by “contradiction” in CT?

What is meant by “truth” in CT?

What is meant by “norm” in CT?

I will show that to examine the meaning of CT in historical perspective is useful to understand the seeds of genuine glut theories.

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will be meeting on Mondays from 4:15 to 6:15 in room 7314 of the Graduate Center, CUNY (365 5th Avenue). The (provisional) schedule is as follows:

Feb 4. Melvin Fitting, CUNY

Feb 11. Benjamin Neeser, Geneva


Feb 25. Achille Varzi, Columbia

Mar 4. Eric Bayruns Garcia, CUNY

Mar 11. Jeremy Goodman, USC

Mar 18. Romina Padro, CUNY

Mar 25. Kit Fine, NYU

Apr 1. Elena Ficara, Paderborn

Apr 8. Chris Scambler, NYU

Apr 15.  Jenn McDonald, CUNY


Apr 29. Tommy Kivatinos, CUNY

May 6. Daniel Durante, Natal

May 13. Martina Botti, Columbia

May 20. Vincent Peluce, CUNY