So You Want to Diversify Philosophy: Some Thoughts on Structural Change. Leah Kalmanson (Drake) @ Columbia University Religion Dept. 101
Apr 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Efforts to diversify philosophy, at the curricular level, often focus on increasing the content covered in a semester: i.e., making room for more women on the syllabus, making room for more non-Western texts and thinkers, etc. Similarly, efforts to diversify philosophy, at the professional level, often focus on making room for marginalized topics and/or members of under-represented groups at conferences, in anthologies, and among faculty (both in terms of demographics and research specializations). This all serves to create an antagonistic situation where marginalized voices must fight to be heard and those in the discipline must make “tough choices” about where to cede precious resources such as syllabus space, publication credits, and faculty hires. I suggest that part of the antagonism, at least in the case of Asian philosophy, arises because we are trying to fit non-European texts and thinkers into disciplinary structures that are themselves designed to accommodate a Eurocentric model for philosophy. By “disciplinary structures” I mean the philosophical canon and historical narrative as well as departmental course offerings, curricular requirements for majors and minors, classroom pedagogical practices, and academic research methodologies. Truly transformative change must take place at the structural level. In this brief talk, I consider the scope of such changes, in concrete terms, and raise questions about the effects these changes would have on the disciplinary identity of philosophy as we know it today.

With a response from:

Andrew Lambert (College of Staten Island, CUNY)

The Ethical Stance and the Possibility of Critique. Webb Keane @ Wolff Conference Room, D1106
Sep 12 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Critique is an assertion of values pitted against a state of affairs. To say that things should not be the way they are–to respond to questions such as ‘Why do I think this political or economic arrangement is wrong (and why should I care?)?’ implies an ethical stance. Critique thus draws together fact and value, domains that a long tradition of moral thought has argued exist on distinct planes. For there are dimensions of political life that are incomprehensible without this conjunction between ethical motivations and social realities. But if they are to have political consequences, such questions cannot be confined to private introspection. Scale matters. This talk looks at the articulation between everyday interactions and social movements to show the interplay among the first, second, and third person stances that characterize ethical life. Drawing ethnographic examples from American feminism and Vietnamese Marxism, it considers some of the ways in which ethical intuitions emerge, consolidate, and change, and argues that objectifications and the reflexivity they facilitate help give ethical life a social history.

Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech) @ CUNY Grad Center, rm 5307
Apr 28 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Presented by Metro Area Philosophers of Science

Spring 2020 Schedule:

Anthony Aguirre (UCSC) – “Entropy in long-lived genuinely closed quantum systems”
6:30-8:30pm Tuesday Feb 4; NYU Philosophy Department (5 Washington Place), 3rd floor seminar room.

David Papineau (King’s College London & CUNY) – “The Nature of Representation”
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday March 3; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Jim Holt (Author of Why Does the World Exist?) – “Here, Now, Photon: Why Newton was closer to EM than Maudlin is”
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday April 7; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech)
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday April 28; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.