Our top picks for APA Pacific 2016 – Are You Ready?

This year’s American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting is drawing near. You’re likely combing through the program or app (yes, there’s an app!) squinting at the small font wishing you could split yourself in two in order to attend all the things you’d like AND be able to explore the beautiful city that is San Francisco.

We’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of our top picks – lectures, receptions, and more – to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff.

SF Haight Street

Day 1 // Wednesday

9am – noon

An Invited Symposium on Chinese Philosophy and Language will be chaired by recent Journal of Chinese Philosophy contributor Xinyan Jiang (University of Redlands).

Or, sit in on the APA Committee on Lectures, Publication, and Research, chaired by Louise Antony (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

If those don’t suit your fancy, we recommend attending the Book Symposium on Lori Gruen’s Entangled Empathy, chaired by Shelley Wilcox (San Francisco State University). Gruen (Wesleyan University) and Wilcox have both worked as editors of Hypatia.

noon – 1pm

Grab some lunch, then head over to the Wiley-Blackwell stand in the exhibit hall. We’re offering 20% off books (to take away or ship directly to you!), free copies of our renowned philosophy journals, and more. Say hello to our acquisitions editor and tell us what you think about the future of philosophy to get a $5 Starbucks gift card.

1 – 4pm

An Invited Symposium: Science and Pragmatism will be chaired by David Boersema (Pacific University). Boersema contributed to the recently published The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy: The Search for Socrates.

Also at this time, an APA Committee Session on The Moral Significance of Shame and
Disgust: Chinese and Western Perspectives will take place. Arranged by the APA Committee on the Status of Asian and Asian American Philosophers and Philosophies, this session is chaired by Justin Tiwald (San Francisco State University).

And, you may not want to miss the APA Committee Session on Trends in Brazilian Epistemology, arranged by the APA Committee on International Cooperation. This session is being chaired by Sven Bernecker (University of California, Irvine), author of the book Reading Epistemology: Selected Texts with Interactive Commentary.

4-6 pm

There are several great options to spend your afternoon.

First, a Colloquium on Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism will be chaired for the first hour by Journal of Chinese Philosophy author Nathan Carson (Fresno Pacific University), then chaired by Robin Wang (Loyola Marymount University) for the last hour. Wang has contributed essays to Philosophy Compass (see here and here) and the Journal of Chinese Philosophy (see here and here).

Or, enjoy a lively debate organized by the North American Kant Society. An Author-Meets-Critics session featuring Henry Allison’s Kant’s Transcendental Deduction will be chaired by frequent Wiley philosphy contributor Lucy Allais (University of the Witwatersrand and University of California, San Diego). You can read her past work in the Winter 2008 issue of Philosophy and Public Affairs here and two of her essays featured in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research here and here.

Last but not least, we recommend the APA Committee Session on LGBT Metaphysics. Arranged by the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender People in the Profession, this session is chaired by Ásta Sveinsdóttir (San Francisco State University). Sveinsdóttir recently wrote about the role of feminism in naturalism in The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism.

6 – 9pm

If you’re still up for more, the Experimental Philosophy Society is hosting a session on Experimental Work in Formal Semantics, chaired by Philosophy Compass author Seth Yalcin (University of California, Berkeley).

Or, the International Society for Comparative Studies of Chinese and Western Philosophy is hosting a session on Skepticism, Friendship, Perception, and Home: Views from Zhuangzi, Confucians, Montaigne, and Heidegger. This session is chaired by Eirik Lang Harris (City University of Hong Kong). Harris has contributed works to the Philosophy Compass and the Journal of Chinese Philosophy.

Our last pick in this timeslot is a session hosted by the Society for German Idealism. Chaired by Hypatia author Jeff Gauthier (University of Portland), this session will feature the presentation of papers such as, “Du Bois and Hegel on Social Freedom,” “Liberal Naturalism in the Post-Kantian Tradition,” and more.

Day 2 // Thursday

9am-noonpalmquist cover

Start your morning off right with a Book Symposium centered around Stephen Palmquist’s Comprehensive Commentary on Kant’s Religion Within the Bounds of Bare Reason, chaired by Robert Gressis (California State University, Northridge). See critics and author Palmquist (of Hong Kong Baptist University) discuss this new work, the first definitive, comprehensive commentary on Kant’s Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason.

Alternatively, we recommend the APA Committee Session on Justice in the City, arranged by the APA Committee on Public Philosophy. This session will be chaired by Shelley Wilcox (San Francisco State University).

noon – 1 pm

Don’t forget to stop by the Wiley-Blackwell booth in the exhibit hall! We’d love to chat with you about how you can be published in our journals. In fact, the European Journal of Philosophy is now publishing more pages in each issue – submit your paper ASAP.

1 – 4pm

Next, we recommend seeing the Invited Symposium on Post-Kantian Theories of concepts. Chaired by Mind & Language author Richard Zach (University of Calgary), we’re sure there will be lively discussion around papers such as, “Bolzano on Representations in Logic, Cognition, and Action,” and “The Abstractionist Theory of Concept Formation After Kant.”

Alternatively, observe the Invited Symposium on Women in the History of Philosophy of Religion. This session, chaired by Kristen Irwin (Loyola University Chicago), will debate papers such as, “17th Century Women on God’s Existence and Nature,” and the amusingly titled, “Medieval Women Didn’t Do Philosophy of Religion: So Why Am I Still Talking?” Irwin has contributed work to the Philosophy Compass.

4 – 5pm

Take a break at the Bay Area Feminism and Philosophy Reception taking place in the Italian Room at the Westin St. Francis. A selection of vegetarian canapés will be served, and everyone is welcome. This reception is made possible by the generosity of the Mortimer Fleishhacker Fund for Philosophy at the University of San Francisco.

4 – 6pm

We next recommend the Colloquium on Cognition and the Nature of Acts. Split into two, the first hour will be chaired by Journal of Social Philosophy contributor Jason Kawall (Colgate University), and discuss papers such as, “Knowledge in Action.” The second half of the session will be chaired by David Beglin (University of California, Riverside) and discuss the paper, “‘Philosophy of Action’ Is Not a Philosophy of Acts.”

Or, visit the session hosted by the Society for Philosophy of Creativity. There, you’ll discover a likely fascinating discussion on, “Why Does Art Matter? Reflections on an NEH Enduring Questions Grant,” chaired by Raymond D. Boisvert (Siena College). Boisvert has contributed pieces to The Southern Journal of Philosophy and Journal of Philosophy of Education.

6 – 9pm

The Society for Applied Philosophy is hosting an Author-Meets-Critics session featuring Leif Wenar’s Blood Oil: Tyruants, Violence, and the Rules That Run the World. Gillian Brock (University of Auckland) is chairing. (By the way, their February issue featuring a Singer and Kagan debate of speciesism is available now!)

For those interested in the philosophy of history, the Society for the Philosophy of History is hosting a session on “The Philosophy and Political Thought of Mark Bevir,” chaired by Robert Piercey (University of Regina). Piercey is a contributing author to the new A Companion to Hermeneutics.

We’re also looking forward to the session hosted by the Society

dr emily s lee

Image from the New York Times

 

for Women in Philosophy. There, “Confronting Racism and Violence: Philosophical Research and Teaching” will be chaired by Hypatia contributor Emily S. Lee (California State University, Fullerton). Papers discussed will include, “A New Paradigm of Anti-Racism: Why Discourses of White Privilege, Justice, and Equality Do Not Work,”, “The Revolution Will Not Be Journal(ized): Blogs, Op-eds, and Podcasts as Timely Philosophical Tools,” and more. This session is sure to be fascinating and timely.

8 – 10pm

The Society for the Philosophy of Human Rights is hosting a late evening session with several speakers: Elizabeth Ashford (University of St. Andrews), Adam Etinson (University of Chicago), Robert Simpson (Monash University), and James Nickel (University of Miami). Clearly this is to be a debate of the utmost relevance and is not to be missed!

10pm – midnight

Then, the APA Annual Reception will take place in the Colonial Ballroom (Mezzanine). Grab a glass or three, say hello to all your friends, and talk about what a wonderful time you’re having at the conference.

Day 3 // Friday

9am – noon

Start your morning off with Aristotle. A Colloquium on the Ethics and Politics in Aristotle will feature three parts. The first hour will cover “Aristotle’s Thumos as Dunamis and Pathos” and be chaired by Michael Ferejohn (Duke University), contributor to the Wiley-Blackwell A Companion to Plato. Hour two will be chaired by Bjorn Wastvedt (University of Arizona) and cover, “Aristotle’s Conception of the Political Life as an Imitation of the Divine.” Finally, the session will conclude with an hour discussing, “Aristotelian Sunaisthesis: A Synoptic View of Life” chaired by Emily Perry (University of California, Berkeley).

noon – 1pmbioethics cover

We invite you to stop by the Wiley-Blackwell table in the exhibitor’s hall. Leaf through the newest edition of Bioethics: An Anthology edited by Helga Kuhse, Udo Schuklenk, and Peter Singer.

1 – 4pm

Look no further than the Book Symposium on Duncan Pritchard’s Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing. This session will be chaired by Chienkuo Mi (Soochow University), with noted speakers such as Ram Neta (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Ernest Sosa (Rutgers University). Neta and Sosa are the esteemed editors of Noûs.

4 – 6pm

You won’t want to miss this year’s annual Dewey Lecture, chaired by editor of Virtue and Vice, Moral and Epistemic Heather Battaly (California State University, Fullerton). Linda Zagzebski (University of Oklahoma) will be speaking on “The Joys and Sorrows of Philosophy.” The reception will take place during the last thirty minutes.

 

7 – 10pm

Don’t miss the Society for Applied Philosophy’s second session, “Corruption and Accountability: Theory and Practice” chaired by Gillian Brock (University of Auckland). Subtopics to be discussed are “Corruption of Knowledge and the Pharmaceutical Industry,” “Think Tank Ethics: Theory Meets Practice,” and more.

Day 4 // Saturday

9am – noon

You’ll want to give yourself major kudos for having made it this far; you will surely be exhausted. Sleep in, get some breakfast – you’ll have earned it.

1 – 4pm

We’re excited about the Invited Symposium: Normativity of Meaning and Content. This session will be chaired by Kirk Ludwig (Indiana University Bloomington), editor of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and feature editors of Thought: A Journal of Philosophy Asa Wikforss (Stockholms Universitet) and Ralph Wedgwood (University of Southern) as speaker and commentator, respectively.

4 – 6pm

For your early evening, we recommend the Colloquium on Moral Normativity and Its Relation to Epistemic Normativity. The first half of this session will be chaired by Hypatia author Sharyn Clough (Oregon State University), and discuss, “Knowledge as Ability: A Constructive Critique.”

6 – 9pm

The International Society for Chinese Philosophy is hosting its second session on “Virtues, Roles, and Self-Cultivation in Confucianism”, and will discuss papers such as, “Agent and Deed in Confucian Thought” and more.

chris cuomoOr, see the International Society for Environmental Ethics’s second session chaired by Chris Cuomo (University of Georgia). Cuomo guest edited a special issue of Hypatia in 2014 on climate change. This session will debate environmental ethics, species extinction, and more.

8 – 10pm

Where did the time go? Stop by the Philosophy of Time Society’s session chaired by A Companion to the Philosophy of Time editor Adrian Bardon (Wake Forest University). Ask yourself, “Does It Really Seem to Us That Time Passes?” (A real paper title to be presesnted by Natalja Deng of University of Cambridge.)

Day 5 // Sunday

9am – 6:30pm

Still wanting more philosophy? ArtSense Taste and Community project have organized open workshops that will analyze how cultural artifacts acquire meaning and value as an example of the process by which communities establish shared terms of reference.

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Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism – Special Issue

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

From The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticisma special issue on Song, Songs and Singing.

Edited by Jeanette Bicknell and John Andrew Fisher

From the introduction:

The topic of song, songs, and singing extends across a vast number of art forms and genres back into prehistory. It stands astride the high-low art continuum, ranging from classical music to popular and folk music. Unlike other art forms that include both high and low genres (such as movies and novels), song and songs have always had multiple functions other than being objects of aesthetic appreciation. The uses of vocal music range from the sacred (sung as hymns as well as heard as masses, anthems, and so on), to communal (campfire songs and soccer fans’ chants), to ceremonial (Jerusalem sung at public events, Barber’s Agnus Dei performed at memorials), to music for entertainment and for dancing; unlike other art forms, songs and singing play a role in everyday life.

From the point of view of philosophy of music, instrumental and vocal music have performed an intricate pas de deux over the last three centuries. In the eighteenth century, purely instrumental musical works began to interest music theoreticians. By the nineteenth century, such works by the great composers largely supplanted vocal music as higher art in the minds of philosophically inclined thinkers. Undoubtedly, understanding the nature and metaphysics of autonomous instrumental musical works involves challenging philosophical issues. Yet it would be a mistake to regard this historical progression as charting a journey from attention to something that is not art (songs) toward something that is (sonatas). In reality, these are two broad types of music, each calling for philosophical attention.

Click here to read the special issue !

Art for Love’s Sake

Recent neurobiological research has shown that viewing art stimulates the brain in a way that mirrors the experience of romantic love. The study, conducted by Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroaesthetics at University College London, scanned and mapped the brains of participants who had been asked to look at a variety of paintings from such artists as Botticelli, Turner, Monet and Cezanne. It was found that experiencing art releases into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain a significant quantity of the neurotransmitter dopamine, a biochemical associated with love, happiness and sociability, as well as drug use and certain psychological disorders.

The result comes at an ideal time for the art world in Britain, which has felt itself to be targeted by the extensive cuts in public spending. The correlation between aesthetic experience and happiness gives extra leverage in justifying the arts according to standards of public interest, a justification which normally consists in pointing out the economic benefits of the revenue which art institutions can generate. Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Stephen Deuchar, director of the arts charity Art Fund, said:

I have always believed art matters profoundly so it is exciting to see some scientific evidence to support the view that life is enhanced by instantaneous contact with works of art

Professor Zeki’s work in neuroaesthetics also stands to be of high value to the philosophy of art. This latest link between art and love is just one of many discoveries made by Zeki which coincide almost seamlessly with what artists and theorist about art have said for centuries, perhaps even for thousands of years. Plato, in his dialogue The Symposium, recounts a speech in praise of Love (Eros) made by Socrates which describes a journey of ascent from sexual love, through aesthetic appreciation of the body, to a spiritual love of the soul, arriving finally at the contemplation of the Platonic Form of Beauty itself. Continue reading “Art for Love’s Sake”

New Philosophy Compass Issue, June 2011

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is available on Wiley Online Library

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Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art:

Drawing the Line: Art Versus Pornography (pages 385–397)
Hans Maes

Chinese Comparative Philosophy:

Caring in Confucian Philosophy (pages 374–384)
Ann A. Pang-White

History of Philosophy:

Locke on Personal Identity (pages 398–407)
Shelley Weinberg

Legal & Political:

Constitutional Interpretation: Non-originalism (pages 408–420)
Mitchell N. Berman

Philosophy of Science:

Mechanistic Theories of Causality Part I (pages 421–432)
Jon Williamson

Mechanistic Theories of Causality Part II (pages 433–444)
Jon Williamson

Teaching & Learning Guide:

Teaching & Learning Guide for: Mechanistic Theories of Causality (pages 445–447)
Jon Williamson

Surrealism and Philosophy

With the Tate Galleries showcasing a pair of exhibitions dedicated to two of its most cherished exponents this summer, Surrealism is back. The truth is, it never went anywhere. Ever since it was unleashed by the influential French poet Guillaume Apollinaire – perhaps from somewhere deep in our collective unconscious – the term Surreal has paradoxically become a common part of our everyday language.

The wild geometries and rural Catalonian landscapes of the painter Joan Miró hang currently on the walls at the Tate Modern in London, and Tate Liverpool are expecting an abundance of bowler hats, blue skies and pipes imminently for their René Magritte exhibition in June. Ahead of these events, however, one blogger reminds us that far from originating with figures like Miró and Magritte, or even André Breton, author of the Surrealist Manifesto and self-styled leader of the Surrealist group, the ethos of the surreal had been in the air of the art world from as early as 1860. The French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau is highlighted as a particularly strong precursory example. (In fact, something of the surreal aesthetic occurs as far back as the mid-1500s, in the unique work of the Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo). Continue reading “Surrealism and Philosophy”

The Aesthetics of the Video Game

Space Invaders: the early origins of video games.

Tonight is the night of the 7th British Academy Video Games Awards, a ceremony which since 2003 has rewarded the creators of virtual environments that have had men, women and children alike frantically throwing their thumbs around all year. The host of the event, comedian Dara O’Briain, defended the right of the video game genre to be considered a form of art in an interview this morning for the BBC’s breakfast show, against the initial (and perhaps persisting) incredulity of his hosts.

The problem facing O’Briain is not one that has eluded treatment in the field of contemporary aesthetics and the philosophy of art. As surveyed by Grant Tavinor for Philosophy Compass, some interesting questions begin to emerge when the conceptual analyses of traditional philosophical aesthetics are applied to the increasingly sophisticated worlds of computer games. Continue reading “The Aesthetics of the Video Game”

Dutton on Darwin: The Biology of Art

Image: The Yorck Project 2002

The world of digital media rested its scrutinising eye on philosophy late last year, as the late Denis Dutton, philosopher of art, delivered a talk to TED, the American-based conference organisation dedicated primarily to its eponymous fields of technology, entertainment and design, as well as more broadly business, global issues and science. Dutton, who held the position of professor of philosophy at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand until his death last month after losing his fight with prostate cancer, gave a taster of the evolutionary theory of art appreciation developed in his 2009 book The Art Instinct. Since 1984 the TED audience have been addressed by speakers such as Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Al Gore and Michelle Obama, and even Jamie Oliver. In keeping with the theme of the aesthetically pleasing, the whole lecture has been stylishly illustrated by animator Andrew Park and released for all to admire on YouTube.

Continue reading “Dutton on Darwin: The Biology of Art”