Call for Papers for the Florida Philosophical Association’s Annual Meeting

This year USF will host the Florida Philosophical Association’s annual meeting on November 14th and 15th. The call for papers is here. In addition to the FPA’s normal program of speakers, there are also competitions for the best undergraduate and graduate papers; the winners will have their papers published in The Florida Philosophical Review and receive a monetary prize.

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April 11th Meeting

At this week’s meeting we will have a few short debates on a variety of topics, which will be announced at the meeting. We will also have elections for next year’s officers. Pizza will be served at the meeting.

We meet from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in MSC 2707.

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This Week’s Meeting

Two reminders about this week’s meeting: First, we will have a series of short formal debates. If you are interested in competing, contact Michael Jenkins at michaelj [at] mail [dot] usf [dot] edu for more details. Second, we will have elections for next year’s officers. If you are interested in running for President, Vice President, or Treasurer, contact Paul Clarke at ppclarke [at] mail [dot] usf [dot] edu or plan on attending this week’s meeting.

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Web Resources on Diversity in Philosophy and Implicit Bias

See here for a list of online resources about diversity in philosophy and implicit bias provided by Dr. Brook Sadler.

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April 4th Meeting: Racist and Sexist Philosophy for Everyone!

At this week’s meeting Dr. Brook J. Sadler will give a lecture with Q&A titled “Racist and Sexist Philosophy for Everyone!” Pizza will be served. We meet in MSC 2707 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Summary: Several recent stories in the national and international media have brought negative attention to the discipline of philosophy as a place where sexual harassment and sexism are commonplace. (There is far less discussion of racism in the discipline, a point worth further comment.) This negative portrayal of philosophy is based in fact, and it may lead some to abandon philosophy as irredeemably sexist (and racist). I begin with the question: Is philosophy an inherently racist and sexist discipline? My answer is firmly “no.” Yet, the academic discipline of philosophy has a very poor record of integrating women and racial and ethnic minorities and the work they produce. Further, the discipline has been extremely reluctant to incorporate race, gender, sexuality (and other aspects of minority identity and related issues) either as subjects or as methodologies. I will discuss how and why academic philosophy fails to address adequately gender and race in its curriculum and the many effects on the discipline of this exclusion, marginalization, and silencing. I will suggest ways that philosophers can effect positive change to improve the climate of philosophy so that it might become a discipline genuinely open and welcoming to everyone.

Biography: Dr. Brook Sadler earned tenure in the philosophy department at USF. She is now Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies. A past President of the Florida Philosophical Association and winner of the USF Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Dr. Sadler has published widely in ethical theory. She specializes in Kantian ethics, feminist theory, and philosophy of love and sex. She also has interests in film and philosophy, philosophy of emotion, and poetry. She has been vocal and active in promoting diversity in philosophy for many years.

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Elections for Next Year’s Officers

We’ll have elections for next year’s officers at our meeting on April 11th. All active members may run for office. (See here for details about membership requirements.) Current officers may run for reelection or another office.

The available offices are President, Vice President, and Treasurer. An officer’s term lasts one academic year.

You can nominate a member or yourself at any time between now and the election, including at the meeting of the election.

If you have questions or would like to run for office, contact Paul Clarke at ppclarke [at] mail [dot] usf [dot] edu.

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March 28th Meeting

We’ll have a meeting this week at 5:30 in MSC 2707. The topic will be determined at the meeting.

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March 21st Meeting

At this week’s meeting, we will discuss Astra Taylor’s interview with Martha Nussbaum in Examined Life. You can read an unedited transcript of the interview here. “Examined Life (Inheriting Socrates),” Nussbaum’s review of Examined Life, is available here. A link to a video of the interview is below.

Martha Nussbaum in Examined Life

We meet on Fridays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in MSC 2707.

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Next Year’s Ethics Bowl Team

Every year USF competes in the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl Competition. If you’re interested in debating ethical issues of contemporary relevance, you should consider joining next year’s team. There will be an informational meeting for those who are interested Friday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. in FAO 222. For more information about the Ethics Bowl, visit the official website here. For more information about the USF team, or if you are interested but unable to make Friday’s meeting, contact the team’s coach, Steven Starke, at starke.steven [at] gmail [dot] com.

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March 7th Meeting

At this week’s meeting Areins Pelayo will present her paper “Individuals, Identity and Interest Groups.”

Abstract: Within his work The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition, M.H Abrams contends that literary criticism tends to emphasize either one or two of four areas. These four areas are the work, the author, the world, and the readers. Historically, formalist approaches of literary criticism stress just the work itself while romanticist approaches stress the work’s relationship with the universe, the author, and his or her readers. However, Abrams did not portend the rise of postmodernism, which fails to stress any of the previous four areas. Indeed, postmodernism approaches interpret literature by asking whether a work assumes either racial, or gender biases, and also emphasizes the cultural, or socio-economic and political circumstances that occurred during the production of a given work. Postmodernists believe that this approach will assist historically oppressed groups in gaining a sense of equality. In this paper I agree with postmodernists goal, namely to help historically oppressed groups, however I disagree with their methods toward this goal. I first argue against “interested readings” for interest groups, since insofar as interest groups are a collection of people, the important differences between individuals within the interest groups are abstracted away, and stunt the growth of an individual’s self-identity within that interest group. After, I argue for a blend of formalism and romanticism, and I claim that this approach in literature is the best means for assisting historically oppressed groups to achieve self-identity. I then entertain an objection and argue that there is nothing wrong with favoring a hierarchal model if it is a necessary condition for assisting historically oppressed groups.

We meet on Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in MSC 2707.

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