Internal Events


Internal Colloquia

Keren Wilson
“Aristotle: Subject vs. Substance”

February 1, 2019: 3:30 pm
347 University Hall

Joshua Smart
"Structural Epistemic Rationality: Vindication and Best System Standards"
March 8, 2019, 3:30 pm
347 University Hall

Aaron Spink
"The Physics of Descartes’ Ethics"
April 22, 2019, 3:30 pm
347 University Hall

Abstract: There are two main problems that immediately arise when discussing Descartes’ ethics. The first, which I call “the content problem,” is that there is no agreement on exactly what we should take  to represent his considered ethical positions. The second, which I call “the continuity problem,” is that Descartes claimed in the French preface to his Principles of Philosophy that his ethics was connected in some way to knowledge of medicine, mechanics, and more broadly, his physics. However, this connection was never made explicit and many commentators either gloss over or completely ignore it. This paper aims to address both of these problems. To address the content problem, I will argue that Descartes’ provisional code of ethics, first presented in his Discourse on Method, and later significantly altered in his correspondence with Princess Elisabeth, should be held as part of his considered ethical theory. With this established, my emphasis shifts to using this code as a litmus test to see how it could possibly depend on mechanics, medicine, and physics. To do this, I look at Descartes in a medical context, where ethics and medicine were often intermixed. From this vantage point, I am able to demonstrate how the traditional ethical language is subverted in his last work, Passions of the Soul, and oriented to maintaining the health of the mind-body union as the end of ethical enquiry. This highlights that Descartes’ ethics is fundamentally an embodied one, where virtue, happiness, and the like are only to be considered goods as long as they promote health. This in turn allows me to clearly establish the appropriate link between physics and ethics, thus solving the continuity problem, as well as avoiding many of the common pitfalls that beset commentators of Descartes’ ethics.

Graduate Student Workshop

The Graduate Student Workshop is a forum in which graduates students come together to present their work among their peers. GSW is open to all graduate students, as well as others' to the discretion of the speaker.

Alternating Mondays, 6:00pm
353 University Hall

Minorities and Philosophy (MAP)

MAP is an inclusive group that considers issues pertaining to the status of minorities in philosophy. Philosophy faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate majors are welcome to attend.

Time: 3:30 Room: 347 University Hall
One Monday a Month

Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer

Miscellaneous Metaphysics

Miscellaneous Metaphysics is a reading group that covers a wide range of metaphysical topics. Readings vary from meeting to meeting as selected by the members of the group.  
Every other Wednesday, 5:30p
Boston Stoker

Society for the History of Modern Philosophy (SHMP)

The Society for the History of Modern Philosophy organizes a number of events that facilitate learning about philosophy during the modern period. Currently there are three different groups associated with the society: 

1) Reading group: currently reading women philosophers from the early modern period
2) Workshop: venue for graduate students and faculty to present work on the history of modern philosophy
3) Latin reading group: focusing on philosophical latin from the 16th and 17th centuries

Scott Harkema

Society for Mathematical Logic and Foundational Studies (SMLFS)

The Society for Mathematical Logic and Foundational Studies seeks to create a forum for dialogue on the subject of Mathematical Logic and Foundations, and to collaborate with people from all disciplines interested in such matters. SMLFS is primarily a reading group, but also invites speakers annually. The group is open to all interested participants.

Every Other Thursday, 6:00p
353 University Hall

Matt Souba

Consilience: The CCBS Student Organization Reading Group

The CCBS Student Organization is an interdisciplinary reading group for undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in scientific approaches to mental and physical phonomena.  Anyone interested in scientific cognition, mind, psychology, agency, etc. should feel encouraged to come! For more information, please visit CCBS Facebook page.