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.
At this week’s meeting we will discuss Astra Taylor’s interview with Slavoj Žižek in Examined Life. You can read an unedited transcript of the interview here. If you’re interested, you can read a review of Examined Life by Martha Nussbaum (another one of the film’s participants) here. The video clip of the interview is below.
Slavoj Žižek in Examined Life
We meet on Fridays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in MSC 2707.
Sometime this semester I’d like for us to view and discuss some of the interviews in Astra Taylor’s documentary Examined Life. Take this quick survey to vote on which interviews you’d most like to discuss.
At this week’s meeting Andrew Winters will give a talk entitled “The Metaphysics of Structure” (the link goes to a PDF of the accompanying slides).
Abstract: What is structure? Medium-sized objects (e.g., chairs and desks) appear to be structured in terms of the relations of the physical parts of which they are comprised. Yet, this neo-Aristotelian account of structure seems problematic for things that are nonphysical (e.g., holes and shadows), since they appear to be structured without possessing physical parts. What is it, then, that allows us to say that objects are structured in virtue of them not possessing physical parts?
In this presentation, I will suggest that it is not in virtue of the relations of parts that allows for something to be structured; instead, something is structured insofar as it is stable. What it means for something to be ‘stable’ will be determined by the object’s dependency conditions for existing. This suggestion requires shifting from a neo-Aristotelian account of structure and adopting a process framework. By understanding structures in process-based terms we are able to overcome the difficulty of accounting for how things such as holes and shadows are structured without having physical parts.
We meet on Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in MSC 2707.
At this week’s meeting Paul Clarke will give a talk entitled “The Vagina Monologues and Feminist Theories of Rape.”
Abstract: Using a scene from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues as a springboard, I will provide an overview of some of the work feminist philosophers have done on rape in recent decades. In particular, I wish to address two questions: (1) What is rape? and (2) How is rape harmful? Although my talk will be more expository than argumentative, I hope at least to demonstrate that rape warrants philosophical reflection and that such reflection has a role to play in our attempt to understand and prevent rape.
You may wish to watch “My Vagina Is My Village” from The Vagina Monologues before the meeting. I will open the meeting by playing this scene and holding a brief discussion on what’s especially striking about the experiences it describes. (Note: the monologue contains descriptions of rape that are graphic, and this may be triggering for those with certain experiences.)
My Vagina Is My Village
We meet in MSC 2707 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Below is the program for the Graduate Student Philosophy Organization’s spring conference and the Southeast Seminar on Early Modern Philosophy. Both events are free and open to the public.
|USF’s Philosophy Graduate Student Organization Conference: Feb 28 – Mar 1
Friday, February 28 – C. W. Bill Young Hall: CWY 206
10:30-11:15 Miles Hentrup (Stony Brook): “Taking Doubt Seriously: Cartesian Doubt and the Achievement of the Cogito”
11:15-12:15 Faculty Address: Douglas Jesseph (USF): “Hobbes and conatus: The Ultimate Explanatory Principle?”
1:15-2:00 Joel Archer (St. Louis University): “Descartes on Freedom and the Universal Constancy of Motion”
2:00-2:45 Adam Hamilton (Florida State University): “Superaddition: Whichcote and Cudworth”
3:00-3:45 Nicholas Baima (Washington University, St. Louis): “Transcendental Uncertainty and the Precondition for Morality”
4:00-5:00 Keynote: Daniel Garber (Princeton): “Why the Scientific Revolution Wasn’t a Scientific Revolution”
Saturday, March 1 – Marshall Center: MSC 3707
10:15-11:00 Daniel Collette (University of South Florida): “Descartes’ Pyrrhonian Morale Par Provision”
11:00-11:45 Christiaan Remmelzwaal (University of Neuchatel): “Spinoza on the Relation between our Ideas of Things and our Emotions “
1200-12:45 Jameson Putnam (San Francisco State): “Disinterested Love, Moral Knowledge and Becoming God: Leibniz’s Rationalist Morality”
Southeast Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy: March 1-2, 2014
Invited speaker: Daniel Garber (Princeton)
|Saturday, March 1 – Marshall Center: MSC 3707
2:00-3:00 Marcus Adams (Pittsburgh): “The Wax and the Mechanical Mind: Reexamining Hobbes’s Objections to Descartes’s Meditations”
3:15-4:15 Lucio Mare (USF): “Holographic Pains: Early Modern Accounts of Phantom Limbs and the Mind-Body Union”
4:15-5:15 Francesca di Poppa (Texas Tech): “Maimonides, Herrera, and Spinoza on Causation and Emanation”
Sunday, March 2 – Marshall Center: MSC 3707
8:45-9:45 Thomas Feeney (Yale): “Strong Necessitarianism, or What Leibniz Left in Paris”
9:45-10:45 Samuel Murray (St. Louis): “An Early Theory of Contingency in Leibniz”
11:00-12:00 Jessica Williams (Stanford): “Did Kant abandon the distinction between judgments of perception and judgments of experience in the revised Deduction?”
12:00-1:00 Daniel Garber (Princeton): “Superstition”
Contacts: Joseph Anderson (email@example.com) and Aaron Spink (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At this week’s meeting Faruk Rahmanovic will present “The Context of Philosophical Thought.”
Abstract: In the traditional academic environment, the study of philosophy is presented as a succession of ideas. In this approach, what is most often disregarded is the variety of non-philosophical contexts in which the idea is generated, be they historical, political, scientific, religious, or otherwise. However, context is what facilitates the understanding of claims and arguments. In fact, it may even have a direct impact on the truth-value of certain claims. When arguments and philosophies are decontextualized, atomized and removed from the compound of which they are a part, we are left with an answer, but lack the question. In certain cases, on the other hand, knowing the context (i.e. the question) allows us to find the correct answer.
We meet from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center, room 2707.
At this week’s meeting Mark Castricone will present his paper “A Heideggerian Interpretation of Comedy.”
Abstract: This essay provides an interpretation of Heidegger’s “Origin of the Work of Art” that deals with Ancient Greek comedy. This essay claims that comedy can be ‘great art’ with the ability to produce a happening of truth. Comedy no less than tragedy can transform speech by making us take a stand on meaningful decisions in our historical community.
We meet from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in MSC 2707.
At this week’s meeting we’ll hold the election for a new treasurer; contact the president if you’re interested in running. (We’ve decided not to create the office of events coordinator at this time, so that election has been suspended.)
The main attraction, however, will be Wilson Underkuffler presenting his paper “Destroying Empiricism: Time and Memory in Hume’s Treatise.”
Abstract: It could be said that ‘empiricism’—the philosophical doctrine that maintains all of an individual’s ideas are derived from experience—is the epistemology of choice by the modern or scientific mind. David Hume is considered to be one of the most important ‘empiricists’ in the modern age, and we find the core of his empiricism in his copy principle which states that ‘all of our ideas (less vivid mental perceptions) are traceable to past impressions (original forceful sensations or emotions)’. In this presentation I will challenge Hume’s copy principle on the grounds that it presupposes, and relies upon, the faulty empirical derivability of the idea of time. The idea of time cannot have an empirical origin because 1) for Hume, time is a relation and never an impression 2) no two successive impressions are ever coexistent and 3) the idea of time and the copy principle requires the memory to compare a past impression with a present idea—a task which in principle cannot be performed. Through an analysis of Hume’s understanding of memory and time (both required by the copy principle), I will unleash a kind of cannibalism in Hume’s system and destroy its fundamental principles, which should be a warning shot to empiricists everywhere.
After the meeting we’ll hang out at Mr. Dunderbak’s (14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd).
After tomorrow’s meeting we’ll have an informal gathering at the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s on the first floor of the Marshall Student Center. Even if you can’t make the meeting, feel free to stop by if you’re available later in the evening. Later in the semester we’ll try arranging to hang out after meetings at some places off campus.