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Past Speakers

Spring 2012

Nancy Sherman (Georgetown)
Lone Star Tour, April 9-13
(co-sponsored by UH and Rice Philosophy Departments)
UH Lecture
"Accountability for Emotions:  Aristotle, the Stoics, and Kant"
Monday, April 9th
108 M

Roger Wertheimer 
"Meaning as Explanation"
Friday, March 30
301 Agnes Arnold

Professor Wertheimer has worked throughout his career in both ethics and the philosophy of language/logic.  His first published paper was “Conditions” (JPhil, 1968), which was followed by The Significance of Sense (Cornell) and his much-anthologized “Understanding the Abortion Argument” (PPA) in the early 1970’s.   His Empowering Our Military Conscience (Ashgate, 2010) is a collection based on talks given at the U S. Naval Academy while he served there as Distinguished Chair of Ethics (2001-2003), and includes essays by Richard Miller, T. M. Scanlon and Michael Walzer, as well as two of his own.

He has been working on matters bearing directly on “Meaning as Explanation” at least since the late 1990’s.    

Jonathan Dancy (University of Texas, Austin)

"From Thought to Action"
Friday, March 2
Agnes Arnold 301

Laurence Goldstein (University of Kent)
"Clambering out of the Soritical Bog"
Monday, Feb 27
4:00-6:00 pm
SEC 204

Colin Allen (Indiana University, Bloomington)
"Do Fish Feel Pain?"
Wednesday, January 25
Phillip Guthrie Hoffman Hall 232

Fall 2011

Neil Sinhababu (National University of Singapore)
"Ethical Reductionism"
Monday, Nov. 14
4:00 - 6:00
204 Agnes Arnold

Timothy Sundell (University of Kentucky)
"Metalinguistic Disagreement and the Shared Meaning Task"
Friday, Nov. 11
3:00 - 5:00
301 Agnes Arnold

Jim Garson (UH Faculty Work-in-Progress Talk)
"On Open Futures in Propositional Logic"
Friday, Nov. 4
3:00 - 5:00
301 Agnes Arnold Hall

Pete Mandik (William Patterson University)
"Conscious-state Anti-realism and the varieties of consciousness worth being a realist about"
Friday, Oct. 28
3:00 - 5:00
301 Agnes Arnold Hall

L.A. Paul (North Carolina)
"Experience and Temporal Asymmetry"
Friday, Oct. 21
3:00 - 5:00
301 Agnes Arnold Hall

Spring 2011

burqa panel

Friday March 25, 12 p.m. Honors Commons. A panel discussion titled "Banning the Burqa in France: Where Multiculturalism and Secular Values Collide" will feature Ron Mallon, Department of Philosophy at the University of Utah; Dina Alsowayel, Department of Women's Studies, University of Houston; Fatima Hye, student, University of Houston; Robert Zaretsky, Department of History and Honors College, University of Houston. The panel is sponsored by Phronesis: A Program of Politics and Ethics in the Honors College.

Dr. Mallon

Friday March 25, 4 p.m. Honors Commons. Ron Mallon, associate profesor of Philosophy at the University of Utah will present a lecture titled "All the World's a Stage? Presenting and Excusing the Natural Self." The secondary title for the lecture is "How we use beliefs about the natural world to make ourselves up." The lecture is sponsored by Phronesis: A Program in Politics and Ethics in the Honors College. Mallon's research is in social philosophy, philosophy of cognitive psychology, and moral psychology. His articles have appeared in EthicsJournal of Political PhilosophyMind and LanguageNoûsPhilosophy and Phenomenological ResearchSocial Neuroscience, and Social Theory and Practice, and many other scholarly journals.

Friday, January 28
George Sher (Rice)
The Unity of Luck Egalitarianism
3-5 p.m., Room TBA

Fall 2010

Friday, October 15
Anna Christina Ribeiro (Texas Tech)
What is a Work of Poetry?
4-6 p.m., Agnes Arnold Room 202

Friday, November 19
Thomas Kelly
Department of Philosophy, Princeton University
3-5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19
302 Agnes Arnold Hall



Friday, April 23
UH Faculty Talk
Prof. Joshua Brown
"Natural Objects and Restricted Composition"
3-5 p.m., Room: Roy Cullen 104


Friday, April 16
Brian Prince (Rice University)
"A Metaphysical Monstrosity: the Form of Soul"
3-5 p.m., Room: Roy Cullen 104

See/hide abstract »

The final argument for the soul's immortality in the Phaedo presupposes a Form of Soul, although the text does not mention it. I survey a number of passages in which Socrates describes his theory in ways that imply a very large number of Forms; such passages show that we have no reason to deny the Form of Soul. I then show that several attempts to argue for a limit on the number or kinds of Forms in the theory fail. I then examine the final argument for immortality in detail, and show that its background assumptions and logic positively require a Form of Soul.


Thursday, March 4
Robert Kane (University of Texas-Austin)
"Are All Values Relative? Seeking Common Ethical Ground in a World of Conflicting Beliefs"
4:30 p.m., Room: Honors Commons

Friday, March 5
Robert Kane (University of Texas-Austin)
"Rethinking Free Will: New Perspectives on an Ancient Problem"
3-5 p.m., Room: Agnes Arnold 302


Friday, Feb. 26
Fred Sommers (Brandeis University, Emeritus)
"The Elephant in the Logic Classroom"
3-5 p.m., Room: Agnes Arnold 302


February 12
Martha Bolton (Rutgers University)
"Leibniz and Locke on Substance and Moral Subjects"
4-6 p.m., Room: Agnes Arnold 302


January 25
Lone Star Tour: Michael Smith (Princeton University)
"Williams vs. Scanlon on Internal Reasons"
4-6 p.m., Room: Agnes Arnold 2

October 1
UH Faculty Talk: Jim Garson
"The Incompleteness of Propositional Logic: Can Syntax Determine a Semantics?"
3:00 – 5:00
512 Agnes Arnold Hall

November 14
David G. Dick (University of Calgary)
"The Normativity of Unbreakable Rules"
3:00 – 5:00
Location TBA

2008 – 2009

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  • Thomas Hill (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
    "Moral Responsibility of Bystanders"
  • Ken Kipnis (University of Hawaii, Manoa)
    "Forced Abandonment and Euthanasia: A Question from Katrinas"
  • Aime Thomason (University of Miami)
    "Ontology Made Easy"

2007 – 2008

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  • Timothy Williamson (Oxford University)
    "What is A Priori Knowledge?"

2006 – 2007

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  • Robert Brandom (Pittsburgh)
    "Kantian Lessons about Mind, Meaning and Rationality"

2005 – 2006

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  • Susan Wolf (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
    "The Meanings of Lives"
  • Stephen Yablo (MIT)
    "Limits to Imagination"
  • Mary Domski (University of New Mexico)
    "Locke, Newton, and the Mathematical Nature of Natural Philosophy"