Every semester, our department invites several guest speakers to lecture on various topics. All lectures are free, and are open to all members of the community and to the general public.
Paper Title: Myth and Concept in Ancient Greek Philosophy
Date / Time: September 25th, 3-5pm.
Location: Paris-Vienna Room, in the ILLC.
Speaker: Dr. Eric Sanday (Kentucky)
Abstract: Philosophy is a project of clarifying assumptions for the sake of better understanding a variety of fundamental truths. One of the most powerful aspects of that project is our explicit awareness of the conceptual structures that determine and explain things. However, as conceptual understanding becomes more powerful, images amass an equal and opposite power to arrest our attention, which is why Plato remains acutely aware of the power of images throughout his corpus. In this paper I use Hesiod’s philosophically inflected poetry as a lens through which to view the poetically inflected philosophy of Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Plato. My proposal is that if we can see and appreciate the distinction between imagistic and conceptual thinking in these authors, we can better see the sense in which both imagistic and conceptual thinking are equally but distinctively essential to philosophy.
Paper Title: Marx’s Politics of Freedom
Date / Time: October 2nd, 3-5pm.
Location: ILLC 212
Speaker: Dr. William Clare Roberts (McGill)
Abstract: This paper examines and evaluates Marx’s commitments to three notions of freedom: (1) freedom as non-domination, (2) freedom as open-ended self-development, and (3) freedom as self-determination or autonomy. I argue that the first notion, freedom as non-domination, motivates Marx’s mature critique of capitalism and his embrace of the international workers’ movement. His commitment to the second notion, freedom as self-development or self-realization, is fundamentally a vision of ethical perfection, and plays no significant role in Marx’s political thought. Finally, the notion of freedom as self-determination is, despite a long interpretive tradition, at odds with Marx’s understanding and endorsement of democracy.
Paper Title: tba
Date / Time: November 20th, 3-5pm.
Location: Paris-Vienna Room, ILLC
Speaker: Dr. Rohit Dalvi (Brock)