Hale Ethics Series, 2018-19

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics


Thursday, September 6th, 4-5:30, CLA A-205

Kenneth William Stikkers (Philosophy, Southern Illinois University)

"'To Preserve Their Freedom,' or Remembrance of Things Beautiful"

The main title comes from a painting of the Haitian Revolution by Jacob Lawrence, and the talk takes its cue from Angela Davis's first lecture as an Assistant Professor at UCLA in 1969.  In that lecture she argued that those, such as Frederick Douglass, who had been denied access to and had to fight their ways into the world of real freedom have more to teach us about what it means to be free than do privileged professional philosophers who largely take freedom for granted.  The talk offers and analyzes two very different instances in African American history that illustrate Davis's point, one that is epic and grand and the other, quiet and subtle:  the Haitian Revolution and Douglass's own personal struggle for emancipation,

Tuesday, September 18th, 12:30-1:45, CLA A-205

Laura D'Olimpio (Philosophy, The University of Notre Dame Australia)

"Critical Perspectivism: ethical engagement online"

In an age of mass art and social media, the ability to identify reliable sources of information and disregard unreliable ones has become a vital skill. Yet, the educational environment has not kept pace with rapid advances in technology, despite the fact that educating students to engage critically and compassionately with others via online media is of the utmost importance. I claim that philosophical thinking skills support the adoption of an attitude I call critical perspectivism. Critical perspectivism gives citizens the ability to engage with multiple perspectives in a critical and compassionate manner. In this paper I will detail and defend critical perspectivism, with reference to examples from social media. Finally, I argue that the Community of Inquiry (CoI) pedagogy as practised by Philosophy for Children (P4C) practitioners may be used in order to create a space in which participants can practise being critically perspectival.

Monday, October 15th, 4-5:30, CLA A-201

Peter Dorward (Physician and author)

The Stories We Tell: Narratives from the heart of medicine

Doctors tell stories about themselves to help others understand their world.
Doctors share stories, to understand those cases which most trouble them.
Doctors re-interpret back the stories their patients give them, to try to make better sense of the senseless or chaotic.
Doctors can be so powerfully affected by their own stories, that they become powerless protagonists in them.
And sometimes people tell stories about their doctors, which would shock them to hear.

Scottish physician and author, Dr Peter Dorward uses his own stories to show how medical narratives can both describe that world, and shape it too.

Wednesday, October 17th, 4-5:30, Gosnell A-300

Robert Audi (O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame)

The Problem of Evil as a Challenge to Theology and Philosophy: Can Theistic Faith Be Rational Given the Evils of History?

Can the amount and kind of evil in the world be reconciled with the possible existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfectly loving God?  If this is a world under God so conceived, how could there be the apparently unending killing and suffering that history has revealed?  This perennial “problem of evil” has occupied philosophers and theologians since at least the medieval period.  It cannot be resolved without adequate conceptions of God, of love, of human freedom, and of the nature of evil and its place in human life.  Does solving the problem of evil require revising the classical perfect being conception of God?  Can evil be regarded (or “blunted”) by reconception? Might evil as we know it have an essential place in a larger good?  If so, would that by itself solve the problem or would a good life be “owed” to each human being if this is a world under a perfect God? Drawing on extensive work on all of these topics, this presentation will outline an approach intended to lay the groundwork for dealing with the problem.



Tuesday, March 26th, 12:30-1:45, Booth 1480

Josephine Wolff (Public Policy & Computing Security, RIT)

“A Brief History of Ethical Hacking"

For decades, laws in the United States and elsewhere have narrowly circumscribed the types of computer-based activities considered legal, drawing sharp and sometimes surprising distinctions between legitimate computer use and cybercrime. In this talk, I will briefly discuss two of the most significant pieces of legislation in the U.S. that have defined these distinctions between legal and illegal hacking--the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act--how these distinctions were drawn, and how they have continued to be applied as our devices and networks have changed, often in controversial cases that stray far from their initial intent. The second part of the talk will focus on how our understanding of what might constitute "ethical" (or legal) hacking has shifted over the past five years and the different mechanisms by which companies, courts, and Congress have explored in recent years for trying to create viable avenues for individuals and researchers to engage in hacking activities that have previously been viewed as criminal. The talk will conclude with some discussion of why distinguishing between legal, or ethical, hacking activities and illegal cyber crimes continues to be a challenge and possible paths forward.






These presentations are free
and open to all.

If you need interpreting services, contact Cassandra Shellman as early as you can at 585.475.2057 or via e-mail.

Presentations for previous years