OUPC: Kirk Raikes and Todd May

Kirk Raikes, a recent graduate of Fort Lewis College, discusses his paper “Foucault’s Truth and Power: A Truth Function and the Individual” with Todd May.

This session is part of the 2nd Annual Online Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. To view other sessions, go here.

OUPC: Nick McKinney and Chris Nagel

Nick McKinney, an undergraduate student at Coastal Carolina University, discusses his paper “The Photographer as Bergsonian Philosopher” [link to appear] with Chris Nagel.

This session is part of the 2nd Annual Online Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. To view other sessions, go here.

OUPC: Norah Hannel and Jesse Prinz

Norah Hannel, an undergraduate student at Connecticut College, discusses her paper “A Minimalist Theory of Emotional Valence: A Response to Jesse Prinz” with Jesse Prinz.

This session is part of the 2nd Annual Online Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. To view other sessions, go here.

2nd Annual Online Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The Jackson Family Center for Ethics & Values at Coastal Carolina University, the Philosophy Department at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and Philosophy TV are proud to present an online undergraduate conference on the theme of meaning (broadly construed).

Each session in the conference will be a video-recorded conversation between an undergraduate author and a commentator. (In each case, the commentator is a professional philosopher: either a graduate student or a faculty member.) This week and next, we’ll post a series of sessions, one per day. All of the sessions will be linked from the list below.

Many thanks to all of the students and philosophers who have generously devoted time and energy to this project!

First session: “Minds, Brains, and Contents” by Chris Crogan (UMass-Dartmouth). In conversation with Pete Mandik (William Paterson University).

Second session: “A Minimalist Theory of Emotional Valence: A Response to Jesse Prinz” by Norah Hannel (Connecticut College). In conversation with Jesse Prinz (CUNY).

Third session: “The Photographer as Bergsonian Philosopher” by Nick McKinney (Coastal Carolina University). In conversation with Chris Nagel (University of Minnesota).

Fourth session: “Foucault’s Truth and Power: A Truth Function and the Individual” by Kirk Raikes (Fort Lewis College). In conversation with Todd May (Clemson University).

Fifth session: “Plato and Schiller on Aesthetic Education and Moral Development” by Lilian Gonzalez (Eckerd College). In conversation with Nils Rauhut (Coastal Carolina University).

Sixth session: “Narrative as Coping: Rhetorical Questions” by Kylie Musolf (American University). In conversation with Quitterie Gounot (Cornell University).

Seventh session: “Is There Meaning that Does Not Derive from the Self Alone? A Consideration of Sartre’s Philosophy” by Sarah Horton (Grove City College). In conversation with Clifford Sosis (Coastal Carolina University).

Eighth session: “On the Knowledge of Primary Substances” by Helen Zhao (Johns Hopkins University). In conversation with Rosemary Twomey (CUNY).

Ninth session: “Beliefs and Blameworthiness” by Liz Jackson (Kansas State University). In conversation with David Killoren (Coastal Carolina University).

Tenth session: “On Quine’s Skeptical Philosophy: Its Ancient Roots and Constancy” by Matthew Margulis (University of California-Santa Cruiz). In conversation with Eric Brown (Washington University-Saint Louis).

Eleventh session: “On the Inescapable Meaninglessness of the Being-for-Itself” by Alexander Fred (University of Dayton). In conversation with Carl Sachs (Georgetown University).

Twelfth session: “Humean Linguistics: Hume, Meaning, and Cognitive Science” by Krivo Flores (Portland State University). In conversation with Jonathan Lang (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

Thirteenth session: “A Humean Theory of Vagueness” by Matthew Hernandez (Portland State University). In conversation with Nick Nash (Western University).

OUPC: Chris Crogan and Pete Mandik

Chris Crogan, an undergraduate student at UMass-Dartmouth, discusses his paper “Minds, Brains, and Contents” with Pete Mandik.

This session is part of the 2nd Annual Online Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. To view other sessions, go here.

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Jennifer Nagel and Joshua Alexander

Jennifer Nagel and Joshua Alexander on epistemic intuitions and experimental philosophy.

Note: This is part of a series of PTV discussions involving contributors to Machery and O’Neill (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy (2014)

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After discussing the central role that intuitions have traditionally played in epistemology, Alexander and Nagel turn to problems raised by experimental work on cultural variation in epistemic intuitions. They discuss Weinberg, Nichols, and Stich’s influential 2001 study on Gettier intuitions—and subsequent failures to replicate the results of that study. Then (20:14) they discuss whether and to what extent intuitions are viable as data in epistemology (Alexander has often been more critical of the use of intuitions than Nagel). Along the way, Nagel makes the case for a plurality of methods (32:54). They discuss how we could tell whether a given empirical result undermines the reliability of intuitions (43:10); whether traditional “armchair” philosophy really is introspective in the way that it’s sometimes made out to be (47:00); and the nature of philosophical expertise (54:47).

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Joshua Knobe and Eddy Nahmias

Joshua Knobe and Eddy Nahmias on experimental approaches to free will.

Note: This is part of a series of PTV discussions involving contributors to Machery and O’Neill (eds.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy (2014)

Do you prefer Youtube? Go here.

Knobe and Nahmias begin with an overview of the early history and aims of experimental philosophy. Then they discuss experiments on the contrast between bypassing and throughpassing intuitions about free will (8:57); Nahmias’s “theory lite view,” according to which ordinary people have no strong views about the relation between mind and brain (17:34); whether the folk have a causal or an interventionist view of agency (24:17); the effect of descriptions of determinism on folk intuitions (32:52); and Nahmias’s work on “willusionism,” inspired by his critical view of certain popularized versions of free-will skepticism (41:47). Finally, Knobe and Nahmias consider future results that could resolve some of their disagreements (48:49) and forecast the next big steps in experimental philosophy of free will (57:00).

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Christy Mag Uidhir and Aaron Meskin

Christy Mag Uidhir and Aaron Meskin on the definition of art.

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Mag Uidhir and Meskin begin with an overview of philosophical approaches to the definition of art since the 1950s: Morris Weitz’s anti-essentialism about art (0:44); George Dickie’s institutional theory of art (4:44); and the recent decline of interest among philosophers in the definitional project (7:46). Mag Uidhir attacks the institutional theory (9:18). Meskin talks about the recent surge of attention to particular art forms (16:48). Mag Uidhir describes his work with P.D. Magnus on pluralism about art concepts (21:10). Then Mag Uidhir and Meskin debate Mag Uidhir’s views on the possibility and significance of art failure (30:39). They conclude with a discussion of Meskin’s wide-ranging experimental work on the mere exposure effect, the semantics of aesthetic adjectives, and the nature of aesthetic testimony (49:59).

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Gregg Caruso and Bruce Waller

Gregg Caruso and Bruce Waller on free will and moral responsibility.

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Most people believe that we can and should be held morally responsible for our actions. Caruso and Waller both hold that this belief is not only false, but harmful. They recommend that we abandon the notion of moral responsibility. But they disagree about free will: Waller thinks that we can preserve a scientifically and philosophically respectable notion of free will without moral responsibility; Caruso thinks that free will and moral responsibility should both be rejected. They begin their discussion with an overview of the traditional problem of free will (1:09). Next, they discuss Waller’s view of free will (9:14) and debate whether the notion of free will ought to be given up (23:51). Then they lay out their reasons to be skeptical about moral responsibility (41:04) and consider some of the concerns that have been expressed by defenders of moral responsibility (54:05).

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