The Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto invites inquiries from scholars interested in spending time in residence at the Centre as Visiting Researchers. While such positions carry no financial support in the coming year, Visiting Researchers will be provided with office space, library privileges, and modest administrative support, and are warmly encouraged to participate and share their research in seminars and other Centre activities throughout the academic year.
PIKSI 2011 GRADUATE ASSISTANT CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The sixth annual meeting of Philosophy in an Inclusive Key Summer Institute (PIKSI) will take place from July 31 – August 6, 2011, at the Rock Ethics Institute on the campus of Penn State University in State College, PA. At least two graduate students will assist Ladelle McWhorter, who will direct the Institute. In addition, one graduate assistant will come from the Penn State philosophy department. We expect that, as was the case in previous summers, the home institution of the other graduate assistants will fund their positions. (The philosophy departments of the University of Memphis, Binghamton University, Villanova University, Michigan State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Stony Brook University, Dalhousie, American University, and DePaul University generously supported PIKSI graduate assistants in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.)
We invite those of you teaching in graduate programs to nominate graduate student assistants for PIKSI. The applications will be screened according to the graduate student’s accomplishments as a researcher, a teacher, and mentor; the relevance of her or his research to the topics of the institute; and the home institution’s willingness to fund the student (approximately $2000, including travel, housing, and stipend).
Applications should include a cover letter from the graduate student in which they discuss why they would like to be a graduate assistant for PIKSI, the graduate student’s CV, a letter of support from a faculty member, and documentation of institutional support, if available. Please email complete applications to Ladelle McWhorter, Philosophy Department, University of Richmond, 28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA 23173, by March 7, 2011. If you have any further questions please contact Eva Feder Kittay, PIKSI Board Chair, at email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Ladelle McWhorter, Director of PIKSI Summer 2011, at email@example.com
The Rutgers Institute for Law and Philosophy, based at the Rutgers School of Law-Camden, will host a two-day symposium on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's The Idea of Justice (Harvard 2009) on Friday April, 15th and Saturday, April 16th 2011. The conference will feature six presentations on Sen's recent book and its themes by leading figures in political philosophy: David Estlund (Brown), Samuel Freeman (Penn), Gerald Gaus (Arizona), Erin Kelly (Tufts), Henry Richardson (Georgetown), and Debra Satz (Stanford). Professor Sen will also attend. The symposium's proceedings will be published in a special issue of the Rutgers Law Journal. Schedule and registration details appear after the fold.
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee (with generous support from the Humanities Initiative within the UTK Office of Research) is pleased to announce the upcoming Epistemic Norms & Values Symposium, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 25th-26th, 2011. The speakers will be Robert Audi (Notre Dame), EJ Coffman (Tennessee), Thomas Kelly (Princeton), Jonathan Kvanvig (Baylor), and Linda Zagzebski (Oklahoma).
One of my favourite objections is the conditional fallacy. It reveals a structural flaw in theories which attempt to give a philosophical account of something in terms of what happens in some specific counterfactual circumstances. It was first formulated by Robert Shope in his 1978 “The Conditional Fallacy in Contemporary Philosophy”. Despite this objection, many still continue to construct counterfactuals-based theories. As an illustration, I want to look at deliberative contractualism – a new form of contractualism recently introduced by Nicholas Southwood in his Contractualism & Foundations of Morality. The book itself is brilliant – it clarifies the distinguishing features, advantages, and problems of different forms of contractualism. I just worry that Southwood’s theory too commits the conditional fallacy.
I want to discuss a problem for ethical intuitionism and an argument that seems to show that ethical intuitionists either have to embrace skepticism or naturalism. It's an interesting argument and I'm not entirely convinced that the response I set out below adequately addresses the worries that motivate it, but I thought I'd give it a shot. The argument from cosmic coincidence is taken from Matthew Bedke's Pacific Phil Quarterly paper (here or here if you can't get library access). Before we get to the argument, I should say that the view I want to defend is the view that it's possible to have non-inferential moral knowledge based on intuition alone even if we have no independent grounds for thinking that our intuitions are reliable (provided, of course, that there aren't reasons to think intuition is unreliable that we ought to take account of). The argument seems to show that if ethical properties are non-natural properties, intuitionists have to say that we cannot have moral knowledge. Once we recognize this, we cannot have justified moral belief. (Maybe you can have justified belief without knowledge, but I don't think you can justifiably believe that which you have good reason to think you aren't in a position to know.) So, given some assumptions about the metaphysics of moral properties, the argument can lend some support to the skeptical view that it's not possible to have moral knowledge (ST1) and that it's not possible to have justified moral judgment (ST2).
A call for abstracts for the Eighth Annual Metaethics Workshop, to be held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on September 16-18, 2011. Christine Korsgaard (Harvard) will be this year's keynote speaker. Abstracts (of 2-3 double-spaced pages) of papers in any area of metaethics are due by May 1. There is a limit of one submission per person. Speakers in the 2009 or 2010 workshop are not eligible to submit abstracts for this year’s event. A program committee will evaluate submissions and make decisions by early June. Information on submitting an abstract, plus much other relevant information about the workshop, can be obtained at the workshop website.
All questions about the workshop may be directed to me (that's Russ).
Note the new deadline and, especially, the salary:
The Center for Ethics and Public Affairs at the Murphy Institute at Tulane University has extended the application process for 2011-2012 Faculty Fellowships. The new deadline is March 7, 2011. These fellowships, made possible by funds from the Tulane Murphy Foundation, are available to support outstanding faculty whose teaching and research focus on ethics, political theory, political philosophy, or questions of moral choice in architecture, business, government, economics, law, or medicine. Faculty Fellows receive a salary of 60,000 USD and are eligible for Tulane faculty benefits, including health insurance.
This is the final call for abstracts for NOWAR, which will take place November 3-5, 2011, in New Orleans at the Intercontinental Hotel. Check here for details. Abstracts (which don't need to be prepared for blind review) must be sent to David Shoemaker (dshoemak AT tulane DOT edu) no later than March 1, 2011.