Colloquium Series: 2020-2021

Talks will be on Zoom on Fridays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Events are updated throughout the semester. Please check back often.

Fall 2020

November 6, 2020

Professor Amijee, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, will be speaking on:

Why Inquiry Commits Us To The Principle of Sufficient Reason

According to the Principle of Sufficient Reason (‘PSR’), every fact has an explanation for why it obtains. I argue that we ought to be committed to this principle because it is indispensable to what I call ‘structural inquiry’, a species of inquiry whose participants seek explanations for facts. I first show that participating in structural inquiry commits one to the PSR. I then show that we ought to participate in structural inquiry, and so ought to be committed to the PSR. My argument parallels explanatory indispensability arguments in the philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science: just as these other arguments support an ontological commitment to mathematical or scientific entities, I show that a practical indispensability argument applied to inquiry supports a commitment to the PSR.  

November 20, 2020

Professor Gartner, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wellesley College, works on ancient Greek philosophy, with an emphasis on ancient ethics and moral psychology. 


Spring 2021

January 29, 2021

Professor Ritchie is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. Her current research lies at the intersection of inquiry on language and the social world. She is particularly interested in the nature of social groups (teams, committees, races, genders), the semantics of terms that pick out social groups (plurals, collective nouns, slurs, generics), and the interface between semantics and ontology. One central thread in her research is to show how metaphysics and insights about our mental and linguistic representational devices can help inform viable social-political projects. 

March 5, 2021

Professor Morton is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a senior fellow at the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her areas of research are philosophy of action, moral philosophy, philosophy of education, and political philosophy.

April 23, 2021

Professor Dreier is the Judy C. Lewent and Mark L. Shapiro Professor of Philosophy at Brown University. His research lies in the areas of metaethics, moral theories, and decision theory.  Some of his recent graduate seminars have been about moral realism, expressivism, and measuring value.