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Caldwell 105


October 2014

Law & Liberty Lecture Series: Shari Motro (University of Richmond)

October 27, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

“Yes, No, Maybe: Can Law Heal Our Troubled Sexual Culture?” Shari Motro writes at the intersection of gender and tax law and policy, and teaches courses related to these topics. She is the author of West's The Income Tax Map: A Bird’s-Eye View of Federal Income Taxation for Law Students, and her scholarship has appeared in the Stanford Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, and Iowa Law Review. Professor Motro is also a frequent commenter in the popular press, and has published editorials…

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November 2014

PPE Speaker: Cristina Bicchieri

November 13, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Professor Bicchieri will give a talk titled, "I Am So Angry I Am Going To Help You.”  Bicchieri works at the borders between philosophy, game theory and psychology.  She is the author of The Grammar of Society: the Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms (2006), Rationality and Coordination (1993), and  Ragioni per Credere, Ragioni per Fare (1988) and an editor of The Logic of Strategy, with R. Jeffrey and B. Skyrms (1999), The Dynamics of Norms, with R. Jeffrey and…

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January 2015

PPE Talk: Bas Van der Vossen

January 28, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

"Community in Market Society" Professor Van der Vossen works in political philosophy, focusing on the justification of property rights and of the moral dimensions of international affairs.

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Parr Center Talk: Russ Shafer-Landau

January 29, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Russ Shafer-Landau, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin/Madison, works in metaethics and moral theory. He is the author of The Fundamentals of Ethics (Oxford, 2012) and its companion volume,  The Ethical Life (Oxford, 2012) written to introduce people to moral theory. Other publications include Moral Realism -- A Defense  (Oxford, 2005), and Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? (Oxford, 2004). He is also the editor of the widely used Reason & Responsibility  (Cengage, 2010),  Ethical Theory  (Blackwell, 2007)…

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February 2015

Parr Center Event: David Shoemaker

February 9, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

David Shoemaker is a professor of philosophy at Tulane University.  He works on agency and responsibility, identity and ethics, and moral psychology. His Responsibility from the Margins is forthcoming (Oxford University Press).  His Knowledge, Nature, and Norms: An Introduction to Philosophy, a text and reader written and edited with Mark Timmons (Cengage, 2009). He is also the author of Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction, (Broadview Press, 2009) and the editor of Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, volume…

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CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER — Amy Perko, “Athletics, Academics, and Ethics”

February 25, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Amy Perko has served as executive director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics since 2005.  Having served in various leadership positions in sports for 25 years, Perko is a recognized leader on college sports issues. In 2012, Perko received the NCAA’s prestigious Silver Anniversary Award given to six former college athletes to recognize their civic and professional contributions on the occasion of their 25th college graduation anniversary. In 2010, the commission released its third major report—“Restoring the Balance: Dollars,…

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April 2015

PPE Talk: Peter Jaworski, “Markets without Limits”

April 2, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Peter Jaworski is a Visiting Assistant Professor teaching business ethics. He is a Senior Fellow with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, and a Director of the Institute for Liberal Studies. He has also been a Visiting Research Professor at Brown University. Peter's academic work has been published or is forthcoming in several journals including Ethics, the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, the Journal of Business Ethics, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. He, along with his colleague Jason Brennan, is…

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September 2015

PPE Talk: Harry Brighouse

September 9, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"What's So Great About Bedtime Stories?: Parents, Children, and Equality of Opportunity" Harry Brighouse is a Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To see a complete bio, please visit his website. This event is free and open to all; pizza will be provided.

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October 2015

Parr Center Presents: Amy Perko, “An Ethical Framework for College Sports”

October 7, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Amy Perko - Knight Commission Join us for an evening lecture on the intersection of ethics, athletics and academics with Amy Perko, Executive Director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. This event is co-presented with the UNC Public Policy Carolina Forum. “An Ethical Framework for College Sports” Colleges, students, and the public as a whole have long benefitted from the uniquely American model of sports in the context of higher education. This model, however, is under tremendous strain as…

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November 2015

PPE Talk: Kate Manne (Cornell)

November 3, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Kate Manne is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Cornell University. To see a complete bio, please visit her website. "Acquitting Victims" What is it to be a victim? And what is it to claim victimhood? In this lecture, I’ll argue that the notion of a victim is at heart a moral one, since the core case of victimhood involves being cast in a familiar kind of moral narrative, in which a vulnerable subject is put down or oppressed at…

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PPE Talk: Seth Lazar, “Moral Sunk Costs”

November 9, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Seth Lazar has published on a wide range of topics in political philosophy, practical ethics, and normative ethics. He has written on corrective justice, the nature of rights, associative duties, the ethics of war and self-defence, the ethics of risk, and moral decision-making under uncertainty. He has a monograph with OUP, Sparing Civilians, due out in 2015, as well as articles in Ethics (2009, 2015), Philosophy & Public Affairs (2010, 2012), and other leading moral and political philosophy journals. He edited The Morality of Defensive War, OUP 2014, and is…

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PPE Talk: Erik Angner

November 12, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"Behavioral Economics, Libertarian Paternalism, and the Nudge Agenda" Erik Angner is Associate Professor of Philosophy, Economics, and Public Policy at George Mason University. For a complete bio, please visit his website. This event is free and open to all; pizza will be provided.

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Parr Center Presents: Kit Wellman, “The Ethics of Immigration and Refugee Crises”

November 19, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Kit Wellman (Washington University in St. Louis) will present, "The Ethics of Immigration and Refugee Crises". This event is free and open to all; pizza will be provided.

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December 2015

PPE Talk: Gene Nichol

December 1, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"North Carolina's Greatest Challenge" Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor of law and Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina. From 2005-2008, he was president of the College of William and Mary. Nichol was Burton Craige professor and dean of the law school at UNC (1999-2005); law dean at the University of Colorado (1988-1995); and Cutler professor and director of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Institute (1985-1988). To read a…

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February 2016

PPE Talk: Markus Kneer (Pittsburgh)

February 11, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"Judging Bias: Some Experimental Results" Philosophers have traditionally held that whether or not an action counts as intentional is independent of moral considerations. Research conducted by Joshua Knobe and colleagues has shown that the philosophically uninitiated do not seem to share this view. A knowingly incurred morally bad side-effect of an agent’s main action, it turns out, is standardly viewed as intentional. A knowingly incurred morally good side-effect, however, is not viewed as intentional. There hence seem to be two…

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March 2016

PPE Talk: Jessica Flanigan, “Freedom of Contract: A Defense”

March 31, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Jessica Flanigan is an assistant professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law, at the University of Richmond, where she teaches ethics and critical thinking. For a complete bio, please visit her website. This event is free and open to all; pizza will be provided.                              

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April 2016

PPE talk: Virgil Storr (George Mason University)

April 11, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"Hurricane Katrina: Entrepreneurship after Recovery" Virgil Henry Storr is a Senior Research Fellow and the Senior Director of Academic and Student Programs at the Mercatus Center, a Research Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, George Mason University and the Don C. Lavoie Senior Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Mercatus Center, George Mason University. He holds a Ph. D. in Economics from George Mason University (Fairfax, Va.) and did his undergraduate work at Beloit…

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October 2016

PPE Talk: David Estlund

October 27, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"Utopophobia” David Estlund is the Lombardo Professor of the Humanities at Brown University, where he teaches moral and political philosophy. Pizza will be served.

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November 2016

PPE Talk: Abhi Nemani

November 17, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

“Exit, Voice… or Hack: How PPE Hard Wires You For Fixing Government” by Abhi Nemani Nemani is the cofounder of EthosLabs, "a new company built to connect the dots between governments looking to do things differently, and startups ready to serve." He is also the interim Chief Innovation Officer for the city of Sacramento. Previously, he served as the Chief Data Officer for the city of Los Angeles and the cofounder of Code for America. He received a BA in…

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January 2017

Public Lecture: Luc Bovens

January 12, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

“How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways” Luc Bovens A core challenge in the Philosophy of Love is to account for love’s constancy: True love is not subject to trading up and it persists in the face of change—at least within reason. In the words of Shakespeare, “Love is not Love/ Which alters when it alteration finds.” Over the ages, different models of love have been proffered by philosophers, poets, and religious thinkers. These models can be…

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Public Lecture: Ruth Chang

January 19, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

"Hard Choices" Ruth Chang What are hard choices? I discuss and criticize three common answers and then make a proposal of my own. Hard choices point the way to a different way of thinking about what it is to be rational and thus about how we should live. Ruth Chang, Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, has done ground breaking work on the nature of value and on how to understand, and make, hard choices.  Her TED talk on Making…

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February 2017

Parr Center Forum: The Ethics of Boycotts

February 16, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Many people think that we have a moral duty to boycott harmful practices. But do you make a difference when you boycott a harmful practice? And does your moral duty to boycott this practice depend on whether or not you make a difference? Please join the Parr Center for Ethics for a debate between Shelly Kagan (Philosophy, Yale) and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Philosophy, Duke) on these issues. We will start with opening statements, then take questions from a moderator, then take…

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Parr Center Presents: Emily Baxter, “We Are All Criminals”

February 23, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Emily Baxter is the Director of We Are All Criminals, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to inspire empathy and ignite social change through personal stories of crime, privilege, justice, and injustice, disrupting the barriers that separate us. Participants in We Are All Criminals tell stories of crimes they got away with. The participants are doctors and lawyers, social workers and students, retailers and retirees who consider how very different their lives could have been had they been caught. The…

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Waiting for Superman”

February 24, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The 2010 documentary "Waiting for Superman" examines different aspects of the American public school system. The movie serves as both a scathing critique of what is going wrong in our school system and a message of hope for how we can work to fix those problems. After the screening of the movie, Macy Salzberger will lead a discussion that aims to address the following questions: 1) What does the movie get right about the public school system? 2) What does the movie…

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PPE Talk: Jennifer Morton

February 27, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Jennifer Morton is an assistant professor of philosophy at the City College of New York and a senior fellow at the Center for Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Rags to Riches: Change in Context and Deliberation" Pizza will be served.

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March 2017

For Their Eyes Only: Ag Gag Laws, Body Cam Laws, & the Right to Know

March 23, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

For Their Eyes Only: ag-gag laws, body cam laws, and the right to know Thursday, March 23, 6:00-7:30pm Many states are passing laws that restrict access to important information about public and private affairs. Two recent examples in North Carolina are HB 405, which restricts whistleblowing and undercover investigation in private facilities, and HB 972, which restricts access to police body camera and dashboard recordings. These laws raise many ethical questions. For example, does the public have a right to…

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Talk: Jack Spencer (MIT)

March 24, 2017 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Prof. Jack Spencer, from MIT, will be visiting on March 24th to present his latest work in the formal epistemology reading group. All are encouraged to attend. There will be free lunch! "The Forward Principle" According to David Lewis, an agent should defer to the future chances, so long as the information an agent possesses is admissible with respect to the future chances. I will argue that it is impossible for an agent's information to be inadmissible with respect to…

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Parr Center Presents: Peter Railton

March 27, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Peter Railton, "Well-Being and Global Climate Change" Psychological research on human happiness has developed a vast literature on what is called subjective well-being, which is a measure that combines positive feelings and a sense of how well one’s life is going. This research spans many decades, making it possible to trace the evolution of measures of subjective well-being, and also reaches to countries around the world. The research has yielded both impressive regularities and a number of notable paradoxes. Might…

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April 2017

Parr Center Forum: The Ethics of Gun Control

April 3, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

In the United States, a right to bear arms is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, but there is disagreement about whether and how this right should apply in present social, political, and technological circumstances. This disagreement raises many ethical questions.  For example, does gun ownership decrease violent crime by deterring potential criminals, or does it increase violent crime by allowing more people access to violent weapons? Also, do people have a right to self-defense, and if so, do they have a right to bear…

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August 2017

PPE Interest Meeting

August 28, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This is a general information meeting about the Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) Program. If you think you might be interested in the PPE Minor, or perhaps the wide variety of PPE events we host (reading groups, weekend seminars, speakers…) please come. PIZZA will be served.

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October 2017

Parr Center Presents: Laurie Shrage

October 9, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"Contract Sex: Decriminalization vs. Legalization" Why are sex worker rights groups advocating for decriminalizing sex work, but not for legalizing it? In this paper, I will explain why efforts to decriminalize sex work deserve the same support as efforts to decriminalize abortion, marijuana, or non-procreational sex. Many human rights advocates now recognize that decriminalizing sexual transactions which take place among consenting adults in private, including informally contracting for sexual services, is necessary for protecting our fundamental human and civil rights.…

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Public lecture: “Why Markets Actually Require Morality to Function Efficiently”

October 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

“Why Markets Actually Require Morality to Function Efficiently Paul Hurley Abstract: "There is commonly taken to be a fundamental tension between morality and markets.  The cost-effective, efficient, profit maximizing course of action and the right course of action often diverge, and it is inefficient and costly to do the right thing, placing such actors at a competitive disadvantage.  The suggestion is that markets are spheres that mandate purely self-interested interaction – there is no place for morality within markets.  I…

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November 2017

Public lecture: “What is Wrong with Lying?”

November 6, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

"What is Wrong with Lying?" Sarah Stroud: Abstract: Most of us would confidently say that lying is wrong—or, at least, that there is something wrong with lying. But what exactly is wrong with it? It turns out to be more difficult than one might have thought to answer this question. I survey some of the obvious potential explanations of the wrongness of lying and suggest that they prove unsatisfying on reflection. I then offer my own proposal for what is…

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Philosophy @ the Movies

November 7, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Philosophy @ the Movies presents .... Theory of Justice: The Musical! Join John Rawls through a musical journey back in time as he pursues Fairness and works out his Theory of Justice. Featuring philosophy greats including Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes and Locke (in a rap battle), the Utilitarian Barbershop Quartet, Kant in drag and more! Discussion to follow. Hosted by Alexandra Oprea. This event is free and open to all students - pizza will be provided!

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PPE Talk: Sarah Conly

November 13, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Title: TBA Professor Conly is the author of of Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism (Cambridge University Press 2013) and One Child: Do We Have a Right to More? (Oxford University Press, 2016), and a broad range of articles on related topics. She is currently at work on liberty: when and why it matters (and when and why it does not).  

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March 2018

Speaker Series: Kristie Dotson (Michigan State)

March 23, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Accumulating Epistemic Power Abstract: In her, December 3rd, 2014, Salon piece, “White American’s Scary Delusion: Why Its Sense of Black Humanity is So Skewed,” Brittney Cooper labels the stupefaction many people have in the face of today’s Black rage an “epistemology problem.” It is a problem, she explains, of people utilizing inadequate frameworks for understanding “reasonable” responses to relentless state sanctioned violence against Black people. In this paper, I lend support to Cooper’s claim by outlining the accumulation of epistemic power…

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April 2018

PPE Talk: Sreedhari Desai

April 3, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

“Moral Symbols: A Necklace of Garlic against Unethical Requests” Sreedhari Desai, Assistant Professor in the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina works to understand "how, why, when and where social inequality, organizations and institutions interact." She is especially interested in how organizations and institutions influence ethical decision making.   All are welcome. Pizza will be provided!

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August 2018

Making Bad Decisions in College

August 20, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Is it wrong to sleep through class? Should you sneak into that party? Is it okay to disagree with your professor? Should you rat out your roommate for cheating on their midterm? Do you still need to listen to your parents? Join the Parr Center Undergraduate Fellows as we dive into ethical questions about being a college student!

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Speaker Series: Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (UBC)

August 24, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (University of British Columbia)  "Contextual Injustice" Abstract: Contextualist treatments of clashes of intuitions can render both claims true. But making true utterances is far from the only thing that matters—there can be substantive normative questions about what contextual parameters are appropriate to a given conversational situation. This paper foregrounds the importance of the social power to set contextual standards, and how it relates to injustice and oppression. The central examples I’ll consider involve contextualism about knowledge ascriptions,…

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September 2018

PPE Undergraduate Interest Meeting (postponed)

September 12, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

*** THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO HURRICANE FLORENCE. IT WILL NOW TAKE PLACE ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 AT 5:30 PM! *** This is a meeting for students who would like to find out more about the PPE Program, the PPE minor, and our various extracurricular offerings. It will be a chance to meet some of the Program instructors and enjoy some delicious pizza. Please join us!

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PPE Student Meeting

September 24, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

This is a meeting for current PPE minors as well as any students who would like to find out more about the PPE Program, the PPE minor, and our various extracurricular offerings. It will be a chance to meet some of the Program instructors and other students interested in PPE, and enjoy some delicious pizza. Please join us!

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Philosophy @ the Movies: A Ghost Story

September 27, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Come watch the philosophically dense 2017 film “A Ghost Story”, starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. “A Ghost Story” is not a horror movie, but it does employ some horror tropes. This film explores philosophical issues such as the phenomenology of time and grief. There will be free refreshments and food, and an optional discussion will follow the movie (1h 32m running time). 

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October 2018

Philosophy @ the Movies: Dominion

October 4, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Dominion: What, if anything, do humans owe to other animals? A common and often unquestioned belief in our society is that humans have dominion over other animals. This belief is not unproblematic, as it arguably underlies the widespread mistreatment and exploitation of animals in the meat, dairy, egg, clothing, and entertainment industries, which is exposed in the 2018 documentary “Dominion.” This film encourages viewers to reevaluate our relationships with other animals, and to consider whether we can exercise dominion in…

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Graduate School Interest Meeting

October 12, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

PHI SIGMA TAU INTEREST MEETING FOR ALL PHIL UNDERGRADS - APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL Thinking about going to graduate school in philosophy? Join our lunch meeting in Caldwell 105 on Friday October 12, 1:00 –2:00 pm, to talk about what things to consider in making this decision and to learn about what is involved in the application process. The interest meeting is hosted by Phi Sigma Tau, but open to all Phil Majors and others interested in applying to graduate…

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PPE Movie Night: Office Space

October 30, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Market economies have made us rich, but have they done so at the cost of our souls? Office Space offers a comedic glimpse into the lives of corporate employees who hate their jobs and finally decide to do something about it. Starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston, this cult classic is remembered for making an entire generation fear cubicles, cherish staplers, and dream of stomping on the office printer. Come for free pizza and refreshments, and stick around at the end for…

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November 2018

Philosophy @ the Movies: Death in Venice

November 7, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

According to tradition, the members of the Florentine Platonic Academy used to get together every November 7th to celebrate Plato’s birthday. This year some modern Platonists (aka the students enrolled in PHIL 60) will be gathering on November 7th to celebrate Plato’s birthday by consuming birthday cake and watching Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice. Visconti’s creative adaptation of the novella of the same name by Thomas Mann is set in the Grand Hotel des Bains in Venice with a lush…

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Parr Center Presents: Jennifer Morton (CUNY)

November 13, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Jennifer Morton, The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility In this talk, I argue that there are ethical costs upwardly mobile students must bear if they are to dramatically transform their life circumstances. These costs affect their relationships with family and friends, their sense of cultural identity, and their place in their community and they are ethical in so far as they concern those aspects of life that give it value and meaning. Using social science evidence, I show how these costs…

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Philosophy @ the Movies: Leave No Trace

November 27, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Leave No Trace (Brief description from Rotten Tomatoes) Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland. The film is directed by Debra Granik from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini.…

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December 2018

Speaker Series: R. Jay Wallace (Berkeley)

December 7, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

"Trust, Anger, Resentment, Forgiveness: On Blame and its Reasons" Abstract: A discussion of the scope that exists for the normative assessment of blame. The paper starts from the assumption that blame is to be understood in terms of the reactive attitudes. A particular crux is the question of whether blame can be assessed critically if conditions are in place that render the reactive attitudes apt or warranted. The paper argues that even warranted blame can be managed critically, and that…

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February 2019

Balter Distinguished Lecture: Holly Andersen (Simon Fraser)

February 8, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Nonconservation of causation as a conserved quantity Abstract: This talk lays out a counterintuitive consequence of the causal nexus of Salmon understood in terms of transfer of conserved quantities: even though the causation is comprised of transferred or propagated conserved quantities, causation is not itself conserved. I elaborate and extend Salmon's graphical representation of the nexus for modeling singular causation, and then show how a peculiar (1998) diagram has far-reaching implications for causation. X interactions in the causal nexus…

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March 2019

Ethics Around the Table: Harry Brighouse (UW-Madison)

March 27, 2019 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Join us for an Ethics Around the Table presentation with Harry Brighouse: “Why Instructional Quality is the Most Important Equity Issue on Campus”. This event is free and open to all; lunch will be provided! Registration is required; please click here to register. 

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Speaker Series: Valerie Tiberius (University of Minnesota)

March 29, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

“Well-being and Cybernetics: integrating philosophy and personality psychology to build a better theory”

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September 2019

Philosophy @ the Movies: “Solaris”

September 4, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Solaris (2002) dir. Steven Soderbergh

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Her”

September 11, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Her (2013) dir. Spike Jonze

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Talk to Her”

September 18, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Talk to Her (2002) dir. Pedro Almodovar

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Mad Max: Fury Road”

September 25, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) dir. George Miller

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October 2019

Philosophy @ the Movies: “Moonlight”

October 2, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Moonlight (2016) dir. Barry Jenkins

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Do the Right Thing”

October 9, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Do the Right Thing (1989) dir. Spike Lee

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Get Out”

October 14, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Get Out (2017) dir. Jordan Peele

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”

October 23, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1976) dir. Tobe Hooper

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Parr Center Lecture: Robin Jeshion

October 29, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

"What's Wrong With Slurs?"

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Midsommar”

October 30, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Midsommar (2019) dir. Ari Aster

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November 2019

Philosophy @ the Movies: “The Battle of Algiers”

November 6, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Battle of Algiers (1966) dir. Gillo Pontecorvo

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Fail-Safe”

November 13, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Fail-Safe (1964) dir. Sidney Lumet

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Ikiru”

November 20, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Ikiru (1952) dir. Akira Kurosawa

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “The Truman Show”

November 27, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Truman Show (1998) dir. Peter Weir

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January 2020

Philosophy @ the Movies: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

January 23, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), directed by Michel Gondry

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February 2020

Philosophy @ the Movies: “Mulholland Drive”

February 13, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Mulholland Drive (2001), directed by David Lynch

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August 2021

Parr Heel Interest Meeting!

August 24, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Parr Center for Ethics will host a hybrid (in-person and virtual) interest meeting about our undergraduate programs. Students can join us in Caldwell 105 and on zoom ( for this event. Additionally, we will record the event and post the recording on our website for those who cannot attend. Apply to be an Ethics Recruit! Apply to be an Ethics Fellow! Learn about the Ethics Scholar program! We will strictly follow the latest edition of UNC's Community Standards and require all attendees to…

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November 2021

PPE Speaker Series: “Don’t Block the Exits” with Brandon Warmke

November 16, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

PPE Speaker Series EVENT DESCRIPTION: In contemporary political discussions, it is depressingly common to see people criticized for expressing impure beliefs. Moreover, those who sometimes defect from their tribe are criticized for failing to be firmly enough on the side of the angels. I consider explanations for this behavior, including its relationship to moral grandstanding. I will also argue, on both moral and epistemic grounds, in favor of a norm against “blocking the exits.” We should not use social pressure…

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March 2022

PPE Speaker Series: “The Justice Argument Against Catholic Integralism” with Kevin Vallier

March 31, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Abstract: Liberalism is taking a beating. Many deny, evermore boldly, that freedom and equality are central political values. The fiercest challengers are religious anti-liberals. These groups argue that the state should promote the authentic human good with coercion if necessary. The chief of these goods is communion or friendship with the divine. This paper argues against the religious anti-liberalism known as Catholic integralism. This view was the dominant political philosophy in Latin Christendom between the 11th and 16th centuries and is…

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August 2022

PPE General Information Meeting

August 17, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Want to understand the complex world in which we live? Consider UNC’s five-course minor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics that lets you satisfy Gen. Ed. requirements with an assortment of courses that together add up to more than the sum of their parts. The PPE Program also sponsors a robust range of extracurricular events, open to all, including: semester-long reading groups salons that focus on a singular, contemporary topic intensive topical weekend seminars (e.g. on poverty, the opioid crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic) a suite of early evening…

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Beginning of Year Speaker: Thi Nguyen

August 19, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Title:  Value Capture Abstract:  Value capture occurs when an agent’s values are rich and subtle — or developing in that direction. The agent enters a social environment that presents simplified — typically quantified — versions of those values; and those simplified articulations come to dominate their practical reasoning. Examples include becoming motivated by FitBit’s step counts, Twitter Likes and Retweets, citation rates, ranked lists of best schools, and Grade Point Averages. We are vulnerable to value capture because of the…

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Parr Center Undergraduate Interest Meeting

August 25, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Are you a UNC undergraduate student who is interested in talking about and studying topics in ethics? If so, please join the Parr Center at our annual interest meeting, where you'll learn about our mission, initiatives, and undergraduate-focused programs. Any event updates will be posted on the Parr Center's event listing. Also, visit for our latest news.   Can't wait? Learn more by visiting our web pages and following our social media below!   Webpages Click any page to…

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September 2022

Philosophy @ the Movies: “Princess Mononoke”

September 1, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join the Philosophy Department for a viewing of Princess Mononoke (1997)!  A prince becomes involved in the struggle between a forest princess and the encroachment of mechanization. Rating: PG-13 (Images of Violence and Gore) Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Anime Original Language: Japanese Director: Hayao Miyazaki "With its epic story and breathtaking visuals, Princess Mononoke is a landmark in the world of animation." - Rotten Tomatoes Discussion to follow. This event is free and open to all students – pizza will be provided!

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “A Serious Man”

September 15, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join the Philosophy Department for a viewing of A Serious Man (2009)! Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking. R (Language|Brief Violence|Some Nudity) Genre: Comedy, Drama Original Language: English Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen "Blending dark humor with profoundly personal themes, the Coen brothers deliver what might be their most mature -- if not their best -- film to date." - Rotten…

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Speaker Series: Dilip Ninan, “Assertion and the Passage of Time”

September 23, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Title: “Assertion and the Passage of Time” Abstract: There is an important and overlooked asymmetry between the way we talk about the past and the future. More specifically, there appear to be cases in which one is in position to say, at an initial time T1, that a certain event will happen, but one is not in a position to say, at a later time T2, that the event in question did happen, and this despite no change in one’s…

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October 2022

Philosophy @ the Movies: “Her”

October 13, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join the Philosophy Department for a viewing of Her (2013)! A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after his marriage ends, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He starts the program and meets "Samantha" (Scarlett Johansson), whose bright voice reveals a sensitive, playful personality. Though "friends" initially, the relationship soon deepens into love. R…

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Speaker Series: Michaela McSweeney

October 14, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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PPE Speaker Series: “Taking Hamlet out of the Play: In Defense of a Substantive Conception of the Rule of Law” with Carmen Pavel

October 18, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Speaker: Carmen Pavel King’s College London This talk counts as a Campus Life Experience (CLE) event for UNC undergraduates. Pizza will be provided after the talk, so stick around! Abstract: The rule of law has implications for how we evaluate in practice the acceptability of various legal systems. The philosophical debate about the appropriate content of the rule of law has failed to capture the multidimensional character of the rule of law. The dominant view, one shared by Lon F.…

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Philosophy @ the Movies: “Rashomon”

October 27, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join the Philosophy Department for a viewing of Rashomon (1950)! Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, "Rashomon" is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife. Genre: Drama Original Language: Japanese Directors: Akira Kurosawa   "One of legendary director…

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November 2022

Philosophy @ the Movies: “Arrival”

November 10, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join the Philosophy Department for a viewing of Arrival (2016)! Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind. PG-13…

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Philosophy @ the Movies: I Heart Huckabees

November 17, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Join the Philosophy Department for a viewing of I Heart Huckabees (2004)! Environmentalist Albert (Jason Schwartzman) enlists the services of "existential detectives" Bernard (Dustin Hoffman) and Vivian (Lily Tomlin) to solve the meaning of a succession of strange coincidences. The investigators conclude that the backstabbing Brad (Jude Law) -- a public relations manager at big-box retailer Huckabees -- is at the root of Albert's angst. Brad tries to turn the tables, however, by hiring the philosophic duo for his own nefarious purposes.…

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Speaker Series: Rima Basu

November 18, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Title: Epistemic Ethics: Methods, Motivations, and the Malcontents Abstract: Philippa Foot (1972, 316) once remarked upon “an element of deception in the official line about morality”. An element, she argues, that causes some to turn away from talk about the authority of the moral law “with a sense of distrust.” This paper is about an element in the official line about epistemology that has made some turn away from it with a similar sense of distrust. The official line being that there…

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December 2022

Practice Job Talk: Minji Jang

December 9, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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February 2023

Speaker Series: Gina Schouten (Harvard University)

February 3 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Title: Liberal Feminism, Social Critique, and Moral Methodology: What Can Reflective Equilibrium Accomplish?   Abstract: This paper brings together two strands of opposition to liberalism: First is the substantive strand, concerning liberalism’s feminist, anti-racist, and egalitarian credentials. Second is the methodological strand, concerning liberalism’s method of moral justification, reflective equilibrium. In response to the substantive strand of opposition to liberalism, left-liberal feminists have argued that, properly understood, liberal values entail a deep critique of sexism, racism, and economic inequality, and…

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Speaker Series: Robert Pasnau

February 17 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Title:  Who Killed Agent Causation? A Murder Mystery   Abstract:  It’s a familiar claim in recent philosophy that causation is a relationship between events. But, famously, things didn’t used to be that way. Throughout antiquity, the Middle Ages and the early modern period, causation was understood as a relationship between substances and/or powers.  When did this sort of “agent causation” die? And who killed it? The answer turns out to be surprising.   reception to follow in Caldwell 106

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PPE Speaker Series: “The Costs of Rescue” with Kerah Gordon-Solmon

February 23 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

"The Costs of Rescue" Abstract: A stranger, through no fault of their own, is in dire financial straits.  I could save them with a substantial cash gift.  Alternatively, I could employ them in my warehouse. The work-hours are punishing and the pay is terrible; the job involves being constantly surveilled and micromanaged.  But it would improve their prospects relative to the status quo.  (It would enable them to avoid losing their home, etc.). Presumptively, I don’t have to gift this…

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PPE Job Talk

February 24 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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March 2023

PPE Job Talk

March 3 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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PPE Speaker Series: “Unhoused and Unrecognized: Thinking Through the Wrong of Homelessness” with Paul Schofield

March 23 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Abstract: It is tempting to think homelessness is unjust simply because it involves a grossly inequitable distribution of resources–some have so much while others lack something so basic as a stable dwelling, and this seems unfair. I want to convince you that the wrong of homelessness consists in more than this, however. Those experiencing homelessness aren’t just treated unfairly, but are denied recognition as citizens, as members of civil society, and as persons. As such, the wrong they suffer consists…

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