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09:00-12:30 Session S50: Faculty Prize Winners and Canadian Journal of Philosophy Distinguished Lecture
Location: BUCH A104
Causal Powers as Accidents: Thomas Aquinas’s view

ABSTRACT. Despite their ubiquity in medieval discussions and their central role in explaining causality, causal powers are often said to be accidental to their bearers. More precisely, medieval authors often claim that the causal powers of created beings are accidental to their bearers, while God’s power is essential to him. In this paper, I inquire into what Thomas Aquinas means by (created) powers being accidental to their bearers. I argue that Aquinas maintains this view not because powers pertain to bearers with limited essences, but because powers pertain to bearers with a limited act of existence.

Peer idealization, internal examples, and the meta-philosophy of genius in the epistemology of disagreement
DISCUSSANT: Alex Worsnip

ABSTRACT. The epistemology of disagreement (EoD) has developed around a highly idealized notion of epistemic peers. The analysis of examples in the literature has not been very effective at mitigating this idealization, due to a tendency to focus on cases of extant philosophical disputes. This makes it difficult to spotlight the respects in which discussants are non-ideal, because the discussants are disciplinary colleagues. At the same time, widespread attitudes in academic philosophy about the importance of raw intelligence in doing philosophy can mislead us about the fragility and unpredictability of expertise. The use of such examples is not strong methodology.

Moral Protagonists: Blame, Prolepsis, and Respect

ABSTRACT. It can seem, superficially, as if communicated blame operates in two categorically distinct ways: either as a mere passive reminder of values/reasons that are already shared; or, alternatively, as an active piece of interpersonal social construction by way of a ‘proleptic mechanism’ (Bernard Williams) which aims to construct a new value/reason in the blamed party. I will explain Williams’ idea of proleptic blame, but argue that once we understand its mechanism we come to see that all blame is proleptic in some degree.

If that is right, then a certain generic concern about the respectfulness of blame’s aim to ‘regulate’ others becomes intensified and takes on a particular form that is most clearly and acutely expressed in the idiom of ‘internal reasons’. I, however, defend the idea that even the most purely proleptic forms of blame need not be disrespectful. I do so partly by exploring and complicating Williams’ idea of ‘internal’ reasons to undermine his apparently binary conception of the moral subject as a figure of whom it may generally be declared that she either does or does not ‘have a reason’; and partly by showing that proleptic modes of moral engagement are not only a normal feature of a shared moral life, but also an essential feature.

10:30-12:00 Session S51: Matter and Teleology in Aristotle's Natural Philosophy (joint with CSHPS)

In his book "Aristotle’s Science of Matter and Motion" (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018), Christopher Byrne, (Department of Philosophy, St. Francis Xavier University) argues that Aristotle’s natural philosophy is grounded in three main claims: 1) All perceptible objects are physical objects; 2) All physical objects are made out of a physical material cause; 3) The basic properties of the material elements cannot be understood teleologically. On the basis of these principles, he offers an account of Aristotle’s mechanics, laws of motion, and the role of physical matter in the composition and behaviour of perceptible objects generally. The purpose of this symposium is to examine these claims critically in light of Byrne’s unique contribution and to provide an opportunity for him to respond to critics.

Location: BUCH D218
14:00-17:30 Session S19: Philosophy of Art 2
Location: BUCH D204
The Temporality of Paintings
DISCUSSANT: Elena Holmgren

ABSTRACT. Philosophers of art have traditionally made a distinction between the arts of time (music, poetry, drama, dance) and the arts of space (painting, sculpture, architecture). This distinction, however, ignores the many ways in which painting, sculpture, and architecture can have temporal aspects. In this paper I focus on paintings. I argue that our understanding and appreciation of paintings require a certain competence at seeing the depicted scene as part of a temporally extended event. I then consider how this characterization of one temporal aspect of paintings, although it is in a sense correct, risks conflating painted images with a certain way of seeing photographs, and it is thereby in danger of missing what is special about paintings.

Fictions are Fabrications
DISCUSSANT: Michel Xhignesse

ABSTRACT. I ask the question, “What are fictions?” The most natural answer is that a fiction is a made-up story. Call this the fabrication view of fictions. The fabrication view is supported by the way the term ‘fiction’ is commonly used. However, the literature on the nature of fiction has largely ignored the fabrication view and instead argued either that fictions are tools for producing imagination, or that fiction is a genre and fictions are works within that genre. I argue for the fabrication view. First I argue against the competing views, showing how they fail to capture natural features of our concept of fiction. Then I articulate a particular version of the fabrication view by giving an account of what stories are and what it is to make one up. Finally, I anticipate and reply to objections. The result is a compelling case for the fabrication view.

Musical Continuants and Musical Repeatability
DISCUSSANT: Carl Matheson

ABSTRACT. Musical works are multiple in the sense that they have a plurality of performances, none of which can individually be identified with the works themselves. Two prominent approaches to musical ontology designed to explain musical multiplicity are the type-token model and the continuant-stage model. Dodd argues that musical works are repeatable in the sense that each performance is an occurrence of the work, and that while the type-token model has an explanation of this fact, the continuant-stage model does not. The central aim of this paper is to establish that Dodd is wrong on this point.

14:00-17:30 Session S43: Ancient Philosophy 2
Location: BUCH D307
Rereading Alypius’ Curiositas in the Confessiones (VI, 8, 13)

ABSTRACT. St. Augustine’s Confessiones (VI, 8, 13) recounts the story of Alypius’ curiositas at the gladiatorial show. St. Augustine’s use of curiositas in VI, 8, 13, however, is more nuanced than the literature has suggested. I argue that by abiding close to the Latin text of the Confessiones, it is plausible to argue that for St. Augustine, Alypius’ curiositas was a function of Alypius’ preceding, morally deficient character. I show this as follows. First, St. Augustine uses the articulation of animus forti temperantia (VI, 7, 12), the character describing Alypius when he had overcome his love of the gladiatorial games. Second, St. Augustine distinguishes between “supreme” and “a surface level” virtue, the existence of which is best explained by its application in St. Augustine’s remark that Alypius had been audax rather than fortis. Finally, in context St. Augustine’s use of adhuc implies that there is a type of character Alypius had been, the remedy of which was to acquire an animus fortis temperantia. This character, I then articulate, becomes a specific kind of prophylactic, virtuous character which relies on, and trusts in, God in the occasion of curiositas. I make two concluding notes. First, making sense of how fortis functions in animus fortis temperantia (the formulation original to St. Augustine) can be elucidated by reference to Josef Pieper’s writings on acedia. Second, my thesis has significant implications regarding curiositas in St. Augustine’s Confessiones immediate and peripheral to the Alypius narrative.

Aristotle’s Uses of ‘ἕνεκά του’ and ‘οὗ ἕνεκα’

ABSTRACT. 1. It is well known that teleological notions play important roles in Aristotle’s physics as well as in his ethics. In this paper, I consider how Aristotle employs ‘ἕνεκά του’ and ‘οὗ ἕνεκα’ in passages on chance from the Physics, and in passages on ignorance in action from the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian Ethics. In doing so, I seek to clarify that Aristotle’s uses of the two terms in the Physics and in the Ethics are in harmony with each other, but not in the way previously thought.

2. I argue that scholars often fail to see precisely that, in the ‘ignorance’ passages from the two Ethics, the ‘οὗ ἕνεκα’ corresponds to ‘saving/rejuvenating’ rather than to ‘killing’ (E.N. III.1 (1111a5), E.E. II.9 (1225b3-4)), and to ‘grazing’ rather than to ‘wounding’ (E.N. V.8 (1135b15-16)). Ross (1936) is wrong in thinking (i) that the ‘οὗ ἕνεκα’ in the texts corresponds to ‘killing’ and to ‘wounding’, and (ii) that ‘the οὗ ἕνεκα’ in the texts should be taken to mean a ‘result’ rather than a ‘goal’. Criticizing Ross, Lorenz (2015) properly argues that (ii) is implausible. But Lorenz (wrongly, I think) accepts (i) when he claims that the agents are considered to be ignorant that their actions are for ‘killing’ (or ‘wounding’). While showing that (i) is based on misinterpreting the Eudemian passage (1225b3-4) and/or Aristotle’s formulation of ‘for the sake of something’ (196b21-22), I provide a more precise understanding of his conceptions of ‘for the sake of something’ and ‘that for the sake of which’ on the basis of ‘choiceworthy for an agent’.

3. I explain that, in Aristotle’s arguments in Physics II.5 and in the three ‘ignorance’ passages from the two Ethics, ‘for the sake of something’ is sometimes used to explain the wish or thought of an agent, but is sometimes used to explain the type or nature of an action. Aristotle thinks that the thought or intention of an agent does not always accord with the type or nature of what he actually does. There are two cases in which the former does not accord with the latter: (A) While an agent does something not in order to achieve X, the type or nature of what he actually does is for the sake of X. (B) While an agent does something in order to achieve X, the type or nature of what he actually does is not for the sake of X. I argue that Aristotle discusses a case of (A) in the lucky creditor’s story in Physics II.5 and cases of (B) in the three ‘ignorance’ passages from the two Ethics, contrary to some scholars (Freeland 1985; Lorenz 2015) who think that in both Aristotle considers cases of (A). I seek to show that, in the three ‘ignorance’ passages, Aristotle thinks that what the agents actually do is ‘not for the sake of saving/grazing/rejuvenating’ someone rather than that it is ‘for the sake of killing/wounding’ someone.

Aristotle on the Role of Memory in Phantasia
DISCUSSANT: Byron Stoyles

ABSTRACT. In De Anima III.11, Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of perceptual phantasia: indefinite and definite. I argue that we can understand this subdivision by considering the role that memory plays in Aristotle’s account of phantasia. First, I show that in III.3 phantasia is characterized as a capacity for producing images. I then show how this leads to the puzzle in III.11, and argue that we should interpret indefinite phantasia as concurrent with perception, which does not require the capacity for memory. Finally, I suggest that the account in III.3 is not an account of phantasia generally but of definite phantasia.

14:00-17:00 Session S52: God, Axiology and Belief
Location: ALLARD 113
The Axiology of Schellenberg’s Ultimism

ABSTRACT. Abstract: In his important book *Evolutionary Religion* (OUP, 2013), John L. Schellenberg offers a new perspective on religion by deploying the concept of deep time, and specifically the deep future. He argues that the human species is incredibly young from an evolutionary perspective, and therefore, probably, intellectually immature. This leads Schellenberg to reject all current forms of religion as unreasonable, since they are products of our intellectual immaturity. Schellenberg, however, defends ultimism: the view that there is a divine reality that is ultimate in factual terms, value terms, and in its importance for us. I seek to expand the comparison class in the axiology of theism beyond theism and atheism by directing the axiological question toward Schellenberg’s ultimism: What value impact, if any, would (or does) the truth of ultimism have on our world? I argue that ultimism appears to avoid many of the putative downsides of both atheism and theism, while also delivering many of the upsides associated with both of them. Moreover, there are also advantages which are unique to ultimism. Thus, we should prefer ultimism to theism or atheism simpliciter.

God and Cantorian Absolute Infinite Value

ABSTRACT. Abstract: In contemporary analytic philosophy of religion, these three claims are widely taken for granted:

(1) every possible world has an overall axiological status;
(2) every possible world is overall comparable to and commensurable with every other possible world; and
(3) either there is one unique best of all possible worlds, or else there is an infinite hierarchy of increasingly better possible worlds.

In this paper, I assume (1) and (2), but explore the denial of (3). In particular, I consider a view suggested – surprisingly – by the transfinite mathematics of Georg Cantor (1845-1918): namely, that if God exists, every single possible world is equally and supremely valuable. In section 1, I set out this view and motivate it. In section 2, I raise and discuss three objections, and find none decisive. In section 3, I consider how this view bears on an important debate in contemporary philosophy of religion: the debate about what difference God’s existence would (or does) make to the value of worlds and the lives of persons. I show something surprising: while one might expect that this view uniquely and decisively supports pro-theism, in fact it is compatible with (one form of) each of the other main views in the axiology of theism literature as well: anti-theism, neutralism, agnosticism, and quietism.

The Moral Consequences of Belief in God

ABSTRACT. Abstract: This paper explores the axiological consequences of belief in God. Much of the literature in the axiology of theism addresses the question of whether the existence of God would, on balance, make things better or worse. The research that has arisen in response to this general question has resulted in fruitful and novel contributions to the philosophy of religion, as questions pertaining to the axiological consequences of theism can be addressed apart from perennial questions concerning the existence of God, or the rationality of religious belief. One related, yet underexplored area connected to the axiology of theism is the axiological implications of believing that God exists. Modifying the now standard concepts of pro-theism (the view that God’s existence would make things better) and anti-theism (the view that God’s existence would make things worse), we can define doxastic pro-theism as the view that believing in God makes things better; moreover, we can define doxastic anti-theism as the view that believing in God makes things worse. The goal for this paper is modest: I develop and evaluate the best arguments for doxastic pro-theism and doxastic anti-theism. This is a modest goal because I will restrict the scope of the doxastic pro and anti-theisms in question to particular episodes of belief. Getting clear on the best arguments for doxastic pro-theism and doxastic anti-theism for particular episodes of belief will illuminate the prospects and problems for generating more general arguments that extend beyond particular episodes relative to some agent.

14:00-17:00 Session S53: History of Philosophy 3
Location: BUCH D221
Dualism and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation: Louis de la Forge

ABSTRACT. It is well known that Descartes’ dualism generates puzzles with respect to sensory representation (Ott 2017). Given the ontological gap between the mind and body, there seems to be no way for information pertaining to an external body to be causally transmitted to the mind (the Causal Gap problem). Furthermore, it is unclear how an unextended mental mode can resemble an extended mode (the Resemblance problem). These problems threaten to make sensory representation inexplicable within a Cartesian dualist framework: if sensory representation cannot be explained with reference to causal interaction and resemblance, sensory representation appears impossible.

In this paper, I show how the early French Cartesian Louis de la Forge directly addresses the two aforementioned problems. La Forge’s answer to the Causal Gap problem consists in replacing the interactionist’s idea that forms are transferred from the material object perceived to the perceiving mind with the idea that a divinely instituted isomorphism between the modes of body and mind suffices to explain the causal relation involved in sensory representation. For this divinely instituted isomorphism consists in a one to one correspondence between particular mental and extended modes established by God on the basis of a structural isomorphism. In the paper, I will defend the philosophical adequacy of this move for a Cartesian dualist.

La Forge’s answer to the Resemblance problem also appeals to this divinely instituted structural isomorphism. For this isomorphism involves ideas exemplifying motions similar to those that individuate bodies. It should be noted that ideas do not exemplify these motions by themselves containing the physical motions of bodies, but by exhibiting motions analogous to those of bodies. For the mind has motions of its own which, though not of the same kind or nature as those of bodies, are nevertheless analogous to bodily motion. This is due to the isomorphic structures of the motions of the mind and those of the body. In the paper, I will discuss the difficulty of explaining how unextended things could have ‘motions’ which are structurally isomorphic with those of extended things. This will be addressed by suggesting that we should understand ‘motion’ through the concept of modal change.

The historical significance of La Forge’s view is that it provides a plausible account of sensory representation which avoids the traditional problems faced by other views in the Cartesian tradition, namely, the interactionism and the doctrine of seeing all things in God.

Is The Well-Trained Memory Morally Virtuous?: Thomas Aquinas and the Art of Memory
DISCUSSANT: Boaz Schuman

ABSTRACT. In "The Book of Memory," Mary Carruthers claims that the well-trained memory fits Thomas Aquinas’ definition of a moral virtue “perfectly.” She gives two arguments to support her claim: that for Aquinas memory a) has an affective element, and; b) is subject to habituation. I will demonstrate that the second argument does not hold, and that Aquinas explicitly denies that memory can be virtuous. However, I will also show that Carruthers’ first argument exposes one way in which for Aquinas memory can profoundly shape the agent’s moral deliberations and choices by habituating pre-deliberative antecedent passions.

Avicenna on Passive Potency as a Principle of Change  

ABSTRACT. Aristotle’s cosmos is a tightly constrained one: Oak trees can only come to be from acorns; kittens can only grow up to be cats. The principle that explains these well-ordered changes is potency or capacity (dunamis). Only acorns can grow into oak trees, because only they have the capacity to do so. Kittens cannot because they lack this capacity.   The Mutakallimūn (Medieval Islamic rational theologians), however, viewed such a tightly constrained cosmos as an affront to God’s omnipotence.  Some early Mutakallimūn were content to save God’s omnipotent by allowing that God could cause an acorn to become a cat. They, however, also held that God usually just sits back and allows acorns to become oak trees and kittens cat.  For later Mutakallimūn, specifically the followers of Al-Ashari, this was simply not good enough.  For them, the only way to preserve God’s omnipotence was to take Him as the sole agent of change, who is also radically free in the exercise of his causal agency. On this view, an acorn grows into an oak tree because God creates an oak tree in the patch of earth where the acorn was planted. Moreover, God could have created a cat there instead, since the acorn’s prior potency does not contributes to the coming to be of the oak tree and does not constrains the range of what can come to be.  In short, while the Asharite world view contains active potency (aka God’s power), it does not include any passive potencies. In this paper, I examine Avicenna’s views on whether passive potency (quwa) is a necessary principle for change.  Specifically, I look at Avicenna’s modal version of Aristotle’s argument against the Megarians in Metaphysics Theta.  There, Aristotle argues for the necessity of potency by claiming that without specific prior potencies (both active and passive), all change is impossible.  Avicenna’s modal version of the argument supports this claim by asserting that potency that explains why something is a possible existent. Thus, without prior potency the change, say, from sitting to standing is impossible because standing is impossible.  In this paper, I look at specifically how the passive potency for standing makes standing possible. I argue that, for Avicenna, it makes standing possible because, without prior passive and active potencies for standing, it is impossible for standing to have a sufficient cause.  That is, without these potencies, standing is impossible because it is impossible for anything to be caused to stand up.  Moreover, I argue that Avicenna’s insistence that passive potency must preceded actuality is a consequence of his more general commitment that everything that is possible per se must be necessary through its cause. The acceptance of this principle is what ultimately what commits Avicenna to accepting the Aristotelian world view and rejecting the Asharite one. 

14:00-17:00 Session S57: Philosophy Outside of Philosophy Departments/La philosophie hors des départements de philosophie

Graduates in philosophy sometimes have surprising career paths. Their expertise opens unexpected doors for them in government, the civil service, industry, and beyond. It also makes them attractive to a wide range of faculties and departments within universities. Yet the training of our graduate students often focusses on access to traditional academic positions within philosophy departments. Without questioning the importance of such positions, how might we better prepare students for the multiplicity of positions potentially open to them, and how do we alert non-traditional employers to the pool of candidates produced by our graduate programmes? The participants in this round-table, who have pursued careers in an impressive range of professional contexts, will reflect on these questions and others, based on their own personal experiences, but proposing paths that might be of general interest. While we will be focussing on philosophy, it is not much of a stretch to imagine the relevance of their reflections for other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Les diplômés en philosophie ont parfois des trajectoires professionnelles étonnantes. Leur expertise leur ouvre des portes inattendues, au gouvernement, dans la fonction publique, dans l'industrie, et au-delà. Elle les rend également attrayants dans d'autres facultés et départements académiques. La formation de nos étudiants de cycles supérieurs est cependant souvent orientée exclusivement vers des postes académiques traditionnels au sein de Départements de philosophie. Sans nier l'importance de tels postes, on peut se poser la question: comment pourrions-nous mieux préparer les étudiants pour la multitude de postes qui s'ouvrent potentiellement à eux? Et comment alerter les employeurs non-traditionnels au bassin de candidats que produisent nos programmes de cycles supérieurs? Les participants dans cette table-ronde ont emprunté des trajectoires de carrière dans une gamme impressionnante de contextes professionnels. Ils réfléchiront à ces questions en partant de leurs propres expériences personnelles, mais en proposant également des pistes susceptibles d'être d'intérêt plus général. Et même si l'accent sera porté sur la philosophie, la pertinence de leurs réflexions pour d'autres disciplines des sciences humaines et sociales ne fait pas de doute.

Location: BUCH D314
14:00-17:00 Session S58: Logic
Location: BUCH D205
Ideal Rationality + Ignorance = Omniscience
DISCUSSANT: Somayeh Tohidi

ABSTRACT. Christensen (2007) argues that there is a tension between three properties of Ideally Rational Agents (IRAs), one of which is logical omniscience. Smithies (2015) offers an understanding of IRAs that he claims circumvents this tension. I will argue that we can work within a system that satisfies Smithies' requirements, but still supports Christensen's claim. I will also diagnose the tension in a way different from the other authors.

Inheritance Inference from an Ecological Perspective

ABSTRACT. Please see uploaded pdf.

A pragmatic-semiotic defence of bivalent logic
DISCUSSANT: Travis LaCroix

ABSTRACT. C. S. Peirce defined the first operators for three-valued logic. Can we proceed from this historical fact to the conclusion that, in his considered philosophy, Peirce rejected bivalence? Although this seems to be the received view, recent scholarly developments allow us to form a more nuanced picture of the situation. Specifically, Peirce’s semiotic account of inference led him to argue that some logical principles are vindicated by their ability to repeatedly produce signs that confirm them. Drawing on this strategy, I argue that the exclusive disjunction between truth and falsity is something that gets confirmed whenever it is questioned.

14:00-17:00 Session S59: Ableism and Mental Health Stigma in Philosophy
Location: BUCH D201
Like Not Forgetting the Coffee: Accessibility as Habit in Philosophy

ABSTRACT. This paper will argue for the development of a habit of cultivating accessibility in professional philosophy. Much professional attention has been paid to developing accessibility checklists for event organizers, but a habit of considering accessibility allows not only for shared standards but also for responsiveness when conflicts or unanticipated circumstances arise. I argue this shared habit of accessibility should be professional norm, such that access is considered a community endeavour, rather than the sole responsibility of either disabled academics or event organizers. Educating oneself about accessibility and ableism should thus also be a professional expectation for philosophers regardless of personal relationship to or research interest in disability.

Mental Health Stigma in Philosophy: Towards Ameliorative Strategies
PRESENTER: Jenna Woodrow
14:00-17:00 Session S62: De Beauvoir and Existentialism
Location: BUCH D216
Virtue, Ambiguity, and Freedom: Beauvoir's Existentialist Ethics and Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics

ABSTRACT. Existentialist thought is seldom, if ever, brought into contact with contemporary moral philosophy, likely because most analytic philosophers working in mainstream ethics typically pride themselves on their adherence to a particular model of reason, while as Christine Daigle notes, existentialist thinkers “strive to offer an alternative to the overtly rational and [supposedly] ‘inhumane’ philosophical approach” of much modern philosophy (Daigle 2006a: 3). However, we contend that this divide is not as intractable as it might appear, and that there are commonalities worth exploring between Simone de Beauvoir’s ethical thought and neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics.

We begin by outlining Beauvoir’s ethical position in EA, according to which ethics is limited in its capacity to prescribe the ‘right’ action in a given situation; rather, being ethical is a matter of being oriented towards willing what Beauvoir calls one’s moral freedom, and the moral freedom of others. Because of the fundamental ‘ambiguity’ of our existence in a world with no a priori source of meaning or values, we are never guaranteed to choose or do what in fact furthers moral freedom on any given occasion. (It would be ‘bad faith’ to suppose we could be!). Instead, willing moral freedom involves an ongoing commitment to continued action to try to further our moral freedom and that of others in each new future situation we find ourselves ‘thrown’ into.

After explaining the central claims of EA, we discuss four main points of compatibility between this view and neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics: (1) their agent-centeredness and focus on flourishing, including an emphasis on the development and character—in Beauvoir’s case, ‘authenticity’—of the individual, without seeing the individual as fully separable from her society, or from humanity; (2) the non-codifiability of ethics, i.e., the lack of determinate criteria for right action and the ineliminability of judgment, with the implication that any choice will be a free, creative act; (3) the necessity of what Beauvoir calls ontological and moral freedom for what Aristotle calls prohairesis, where both are necessary for the development and exercise of virtue; and (4) the necessity of willing the moral freedom of oneself and others with each action, and the importance of others’ moral freedom for one’s own flourishing qua human.

The compatibility of Beauvoirian and neo-Aristotelian ethics on these points usefully informs both approaches and further clarifies how they translate to our concrete practical lives. On one hand, it can give more prominence to Beauvoir’s ethics and what she can offer current moral philosophy, while countering stereotypes of existentialism as nihilistic by showing that Beauvoir’s (and Sartre’s) insistence on the absence of rules determining in advance what we ‘should’ do is more in line with Anscombe’s (1958) rejection of ‘moral’ obligations and duties than it is with full moral nihilism. Moreover, putting these two approaches in dialogue shows how virtue ethics can retain a notion of ‘human form’ that is not susceptible to critiques of ‘essentialism’, as some readings of Aristotle’s account of human form are often held to be.

Dominant/Subtext in Beauvoir's "The Second Sex": An endorsement of Mistress/pet sexual play

ABSTRACT. In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir unmasks the social construction of both white woman (“w.woman”) and white man (“”) (although centrally of w.woman). w.Woman, Beauvoir writes, is socially constructed as passive sexual object and as active sexual subject. But, Beauvoir writes, equality is necessary for genuine, moral, erotic relationships. Thus, a tension emerges – how can w.woman and, socially constructed as unequal erotic beings, meet one another as erotic equals? In this paper, I argue that the The Second Sex offers an implicit answer: that w.woman dominant/ submissive (“Mistress/pet”) sexual play creates space for meeting as sexual equals.

Hannah Arendt, Existentialism, and the Narrative Structure of Action

ABSTRACT. Abstract (496 words) Narrative is a well-acknowledged theme in Hannah Arendt’s work and has been studied by prominent thinkers like Julia Kristeva and Seyla Benhabib. That Arendt views narrative and action to be essentially linked is not debated. However, I believe there is more to be said of Arendt’s insistence that narrative is a central feature in human life. What, exactly about human life makes narrative so important? My paper looks to answer this question first by situating Arendt’s account of action within her critique of existentialism, and second by drawing on narrative theorists like Roland Barthes and Paul Ricoeur to demonstrate why her insistence on narrative can be seen as a solution to two of the most pressing issues in her view of politics: the preservation of human freedom and the forestalling of homelessness. Many view Arendt’s commitment to human freedom and uniqueness as the aspect of her work that most clearly allies her with existentialism. Following from this, her appeal to the essentially public and narrative nature of human freedom is commonly seen as that which best marks her break from the tradition. Over-privileging this aspect of Arendt’s theory, I argue, misses that she also identifies the concern for belonging as a central motif in existentialism and that this goes on to influence her work to the same degree as human freedom. To establish these points, I will provide a reading of her essays “What is Existenz Philosophy” and “French Existentialism” in conjunction with Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and scholars already mentioned. Recognizing the existential roots of both her commitment to human freedom and the threat of homelessness, I will argue, brings a fuller account of action into view, but also highlights a tension inherent to it. Benhabib argues that there are two interrelated dimensions to action: the agonal dimension and (what she calls) the narrative dimension. The agonal dimension is that through which action reveals us in our uniqueness via the public manifestation of our freedom, while the narrative dimension denotes the necessary underlying embeddedness our lives have in ongoing familial, communal, and political stories. The tension I see is that, via action, we are meant to be both isolated in our individuality and united via these webs of relationships. Finally, I will argue that taking seriously the narrative quality of action allows us to better capture this tension as a single dynamic process. I contend that the dual structure of action reflects what narrative theorists like Roland Barthes, Jerome Bruner, and Paul Ricoeur have noted about narrative itself: that its chief operation is to create intelligible unities out of heterogeneous elements, and in so doing, generate meaning by integrating elements into larger, interconnected contexts. In both its agonal and communal dimensions, action gains its structure via narrative, and understanding this, along with how deeply rooted in human life this structure seems to be, for Arendt, allows us to better understand why both action and narrative play so central a role in her work.

14:00-17:00 Session S77: East Asian Philosophy
Location: BUCH D313
Archery and Liezi’s Conception of Virtues

ABSTRACT. Virtue plays an important role in both Eastern and Western traditions of thought. When thinkers discuss virtue in both traditions, they often use one or another example of archery to derive essential characteristics of virtues in general. Interestingly, most of the thinkers draw a similar lesson from their favored examples of archery, although the examples of archery significantly differ in settings and background; some thinkers talk about military archery and other thinkers about ritualistic archery. The lesson drawn from the examples of archery is that just as a good archer deliberates when to draw and where to aim at the target and then shoots an arrow accordingly, a virtuous person deliberates what to do or contemplates what is correct and then act accordingly. In a nutshell, having a virtue requires being self-reflective on one’s beliefs and actions. Interestingly, Daoist thinkers, most prominently Liezi and Zhuangzi, also uses examples of archery but the lesson they draw from them is completely different from the lesson other thinkers do. In particular, the text of the Liezi contains many stories or parables of archery, and they suggest that Liezi has a distinctive conception of practical and intellectual virtues. Liezi’s conception of virtues is distinctive in that it denies the importance of self-reflection for virtues. For example, Liezi (who is a good archer) tells a story about himself (2.5; this story also appears in the Zhuangzi) that a senior Daoist takes him to the mountains and asks him to shoot at a perilous cliff overlooking a deep abyss. He cannot shoot properly due to fear, and the senior Daoist warns that Liezi’s shooting is still agential. With this story, Liezi tries to convey the Daoist idea of wu-wei (無爲), i.e., non-agential action. Liezi’s conception of virtues is centered on the idea of non-agential action, and it emphasizes the disvalue of self-reflection or rational agency. This talk is an attempt to elucidate Liezi’s conception of virtues with an eye on his use of examples of archery. On my reading, the Liezi contains many parts in which Liezi offers reasons to disvalue self-reflection and objects to the classical conceptions of virtues: (1) One may acquire insights without knowing what cognitive process leads to them (4.2); (2) Making a judgement or a self-judgement implies making a distinction, hence valuing certain properties and disvaluing the opposite (4.5, 5.1); (3) One is subject to cognitive biases (8.33); (4) One may be in a worse position to know about oneself than others are (8.2); (5) Wisdom or self-consciousness does not make a difference to whether one succeeds (ch. 6). On a more positive side, Liezi suggests a radically external conception of virtues: having a virtue simply requires believing and acting in accordance with the natural course of events. This talk, firstly, compares Liezi’s with other thinkers’ conceptions of virtues, and secondly, argues that Liezi’s objections to the classical conceptions of virtues are still worth taking seriously.

In Defense of The Linguistic Approach to Chinese-Western Comparative Philosophy

ABSTRACT. It is not uncommon to find a fundamental difference between Chinese philosophical thinking and Western philosophical thinking. Many scholars have argued that Chinese philosophers, particularly those of the pre-modern or classical period, tend to engage in more metaphorical or correlative thinking, while Western philosophers of the same period tend to rely on logical, analytical, or causal thinking. But why is there the difference? Some mainly, if not merely, ascribe the distinctiveness of Chinese philosophical thinking to culture, convention, or intellectual reasons. However, another plausible view is that language plays an important role in shaping what questions Chinese thinkers ask and how they philosophize. This view, which I will refer to as the "linguistic approach" to Chinese-Western comparative philosophy, is often neglected but not unwarranted. Some sinologists and philosophers have adopted this approach and argued that the distinctive features of the Chinese language can shape Chinese thinking, though they may not have convincingly explained how this shaping generally works. In this paper, I defend and clarify the linguistic approach, and then provide an argument for a possible linguistic impact. In short, the linguistic approach adopts a particular version of linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and explains how distinctive features of the Chinese language have influenced Chinese thinking. Specifically, I defend the idea that although not all kinds of Chinese thinking are limited and influenced by language, written classical Chinese (wenyan) has shaped and set the limits on Chinese “thinking for writing” and “thinking for reading.” “Thinking for writing” is understood as a set of psychological processes involved in understanding and organizing words in semantic and grammatical structures (and/or in other similar cognitive processes accompanied or induced by language production or reception). If this version of linguistic relativity is true, Chinese-Western comparative philosophers can carry out useful analyses of issues of language and thought. Finally, based on the linguistic approach, I provide a tentative argument that the structure of classical Chinese, compared to those of most European languages, causes Chinese thinking to be more “aesthetic.”

Chinese Philosophy And Human Rights
DISCUSSANT: Katherine Cheng

ABSTRACT. We will use objective idealism as a stanchion or support to analyze Confucianism and Daoism which ground the Chinese philosophical tradition. This paper is interested in exploring the relationship between the Chinese philosophical tradition and the contractarian and contractualist approaches to human rights of Hobbes and Kant respectively. The thesis of the paper shall be that contractarianism about human rights is compatible with the Confucian and Hegelian socialized individual whereas the contractualist approach of Kant characterized by the autonomous or sovereign individual seems more compatible with the philosophical Daoism of the Dao De Jing and the Zhuangzi.

14:00-17:30 Session S86: Droits des minorités et nationalisme/Minority rights and nationalism
Location: BUCH D213
Les droits culturels comme droits individuels *(Gagnant du prix de rédaction pour étudiants diplômés)
DISCUSSANT: Xavier Garneau

ABSTRACT. Dans cet article, je développe l’idée selon laquelle la manière la plus efficace et la plus juste de protéger les groupes et cultures minoritaires, tout en garantissant un maximum de libertés et de capacité à s’auto déterminer à chacun, est de comprendre les droits culturels comme droits individuels. Plus précisément, dans cet article mon but est de défendre une approche individualiste des droits culturels, qui consisteraient donc principalement en : (1) un droit d’association limité et individuel, et (2) un droit de sortie effectif et individuel.

Le principe de justice d'Allen Buchanan et les minorités nationales

ABSTRACT. La présentation que je propose porte principalement sur un aspect de la théorie qu’Allen Buchanan présente dans son livre « Justice, Legitimacy and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law ». Dans ce livre, Buchanan suggère que le principe selon lequel le droit international devrait opérer n’est pas celui de l’intégrité territoriale ou de la non-interférence, mais plutôt un principe de justice défini comme étant la protection des droits fondamentaux de tous les individus par des institutions appropriées. Il justifie le choix de ce principe notamment par une évaluation de la viabilité d’un tel principe de justice selon quatre critères, soit le réalisme minimal, la cohérence avec les principes moraux avant-gardistes du droit international, l’absence de motivations négatives et l’accessibilité morale. Cependant, les limitations de ce principe de justice deviennent beaucoup plus apparentes quand Buchanan aborde le sujet d’un droit à l’autodétermination interne pour les minorités nationales. En effet, dans sa théorie, les seules circonstances justifiant la reconnaissance d’un droit à l’autodétermination interne sont les cas de violation des droits fondamentaux des membres, la violation continuelle d’un arrangement d’autonomie interne par un gouvernement étatique, et si le groupe minoritaire en question est un peuple autochtone. Ceci fait en sorte que la théorie de Buchanan ne peut pas s’appliquer aux États démocratiques et libéraux afin de tenter de régler les conflits internes en ce qui concerne l’aménagement des nationalismes minoritaires et majoritaires.

Le but de ma présentation sera principalement d’argumenter en faveur d’un élargissement de ce principe de justice pour y inclure un droit à l’autodétermination interne des minorités nationales. Ce dernier devrait inclure un droit à la reconnaissance institutionnelle et à l’autonomie gouvernementale. Premièrement, je ferai une courte présentation de la proposition de Buchanan ainsi que des raisons justifiant ce concept minimaliste de la justice. Deuxièmement, j’argumenterai que cette définition de la justice est insatisfaisante dans la mesure où elle ne permet pas de protéger de manière efficace les intérêts des membres des nations minoritaires dans les États multinationaux libéraux et démocratiques. Troisièmement, je démontrerai que l’ajout d’une norme dont le but est de protéger le droit à l’autodétermination des minorités nationales dans le principe de justice de Buchanan est non seulement possible, mais qu’il permettrait aussi de protéger les intérêts des membres de ces nations. Finalement, je vais montrer que l’ajout d’un droit à l’autodétermination des nations à la protection des droits fondamentaux des individus ne contrevient pas aux quatre critères que Buchanan propose pour évaluer un principe devant s’appliquer au droit international.

18:00-19:00 Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting / Assemblée générale annuelle

Location: BUCH A104
19:00-20:30 Session S63: Sovereignty and Hypocrisy Impeding Reconciliation on Campuses in Canada

This panel aims to shine the light of truth on reconciliation in universities.  Reconciliation requires truth; but, historical truth is not enough.  Reconciliation requires honesty in the present.  Talk about reconciliation, when you are still making decisions for Indigenous people, is hypocritical.  To reconcile with Indigenous peoples, universities must decolonize;- to stop constraining Indigenous people’s sovereignty.  Guests on Indigenous lands have to respect and adhere to laws of the land.

Location: NEST 2309