Philosophy Program

Program Events

Yearly Events

  • Faculty and Students
    There are a number of occasions during the year where Philosophy faculty meet with students, sometimes just to socialize, other times for such specific purposes as the following:
    • meeting with prospective majors to talk about Moderation;
    • meeting with Junior majors to discuss the senior project process;
    • meeting with majors to discuss the vicissitudes of applying to graduate school.
  • Senior Project Conference
    Each spring semester, the program holds a Senior Project conference at which seniors present their work in panels of three or four students, moderated byi Junior majors and followed by questions from the audience.
  • Philosophy Speaker Series
    The program hosts a Philosophy Speaker Series, with three or four philosophers each seminar invited to talk about their work.

Current and Upcoming Events

Flesh, Fur, Forgetting: Creaturely Remains in Coetzee and de Bruyckere

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Kari Weil
University Professor of Letters, Wesleyan University
The terms “creature” and “creaturely” have newly received  attention in the field of animal studies, bringing awareness to the shared status of human and non-human animals as vulnerable beings whose lives may be shed of historical agency and abandoned, in Eric Santner’s words, to the “mute thingness” of matter.  But is the creaturely necessarily mute? In this paper I turn to recent collaborations between the taxidermy artist, Berlinde de Bruyckere and the writer, J.M. Coetzee, to consider how and whether  creaturely memory and history might speak otherwise and what it might mean, in the words of Walter Benjamin, “to pick up the forgotten” from animals.
Time: 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
Contact: Jay Elliott
E-mail: jelliott@bard.edu
Phone: 845-758-7280

Kant's Critique of Sympathy

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Wiebke Deimling
Clark University
How does Kant evaluate sympathy? Does he take it to be supportive of morality or does he view it as an obstacle for moral action? Sympathetic feelings generally have a good reputation. We praise those who show them and we call for them as a solution to moral problems. The recent debate about moral emotions both in philosophy and psychology has introduced some push-back against a positive evaluation of sympathy. This paper shows that Kant, like the contemporary critics of sympathetic feelings and like many of his colleagues in the 18th century, shares the view that sympathy is a problematic emotion. We have gained a much better understanding of Kant’s moral philosophy through recent scholarship showing that moral emotions, and sympathy in particular, can and do play a role in his deontological framework. But disregarding Kant’s criticisms of moral emotions also leaves us with a lacking interpretation. Kant’s moral psychology of sympathy is more complex than has been appreciated. And it makes more interesting and more plausible recommendations about how we should respond to sympathetic feeling.
Time: 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102
Contact: Jay Elliott
E-mail: jelliott@bard.edu
Phone: 845-758-7280