Invited Lectures

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sponsored by the Department of Philosophy
and the Charles P. Taft Research Center

Talks 3:30-5:30, in 415AB Tangeman University Center, except as otherwise noted

Philosophy of Biology Sept 27-28
53rd Annual Cincinnati Philosophy Colloquium
Anya Plutynski (WashU), Keynote
Explaining Cancer
Annie Laws Reading Room, 407 Teachers/Dyer and Stratford Banquet Room

Adrian Currie (CSER Cambridge) Oct 23
The Marsupial Bulldog’s Tale
How Creative Speculative Science Makes Sense of a Messy World
Mercantile Library, 6:00pm reception, 6:30-7:30pm lecture

Adrian Currie (CSER Cambridge) Oct 26
Creativity as Strategy

David Kaufman (Transylvania) Nov 9

Simon Penny (UC-Irvine) Nov 29

Julianne Chung (Louisville) Dec 7

For more information contact Prof. Heidi Maibom,


Past Lecutres  

Sept 9, 2016: Elizabeth Schechter (Washington University)  

Oct. 21, 2016: Kristen Andrews (York)

November 17, 2017 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: TUC 415AB

  • Empathy as a Natural Kind of Knowing by Anthony Jack (Case Western)  

Nov. 18, 2016 : Robert Briscoe (Ohio University)  November 2017

December 2017

Dec 1, 2017 |Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: TUC 415AB

  • Psycho-Babble: Label Without a Cause or System Level With a Cause? by Jan-Pieter Konsman (U. Bordeaux)

Dec. 2, 2016: Carl Craver (Washington University)  

Jan. 27, 2017: Chris Smeenk (Western Ontario)  

Feb. 10, 2017: Mazviita Chirimuuta (University of Pittsburgh)  

  • "Why do Birds Migrate, Why do Nerves Fire Action Potentials, and Why do Neuroscientists Talk about Representations?

Feb. 17, 2017: Stuart Glennan (Butler University)  

  • "Pluralism without tears: mechanistic ontology and the pluralistic character of scientific knowledge"

March 31, 2017: Michael Weisberg (Univeristy of Pennsylvania) 

  • "Understanding and Accepting Evolution"

April 7, 2017: Eric Mandelbaum (Baruch, CUNY) 

  • "Troubles with Bayesianism: An Introduction to the Psychological Immune System"

Sept 1, 2017

  • A Phenomenological Ethics of Perceptual Experience by Daniel Dwyer

Sept 15, 2017

  • Diagnostic Kinds as Human Kinds by Natalia Washington (WashU & Cycorp)

Nov 13, 2017

  • Truth, Justice, & the American Way? The Need for the Arts & Sciences in the Post-Truth World

January 2018

Januaury 26, 2018 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: BALDWIN 645

  • Mihaela Pavlicev (Cincinnati Children's Hospital): Can knowledge help overcome the biases in societal perception of female biology

February 2018

February 9, 2018 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: TUC 425

Nancy Nyquist Potter – University of Lousville

  • Epistemic violence and the social imaginary: Service user/patient voices and mechanisms of silencing in clinical relationships


Truth commissions, trauma studies, and critical race theories emphasize the importance of centering the experiences and voices of victims in order to understand the impact of structural injustice and violence. In a somewhat similar vein, service-user movements highlight the centrality of clinicians’ attending to service users/patients’ voices in order to provide good and ethical treatment. But even well-meaning clinicians may inadvertently silence service users/patients. This paper addresses how this problem occurs and what can be done about it. Drawing upon two recently introduced concepts from philosophical theorizing, epistemic violence and the social imaginary, I identify some more subtle ways that service users/patients become silenced while in clinical encounters. I apply these concepts to case studies, looking particularly at transgendered people and voice-hearers. Yet clinicians, too, may sometimes be silenced by their patients. I conclude by considering some multi-dimensional aspects of silencing that can occur in the clinic.

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March 2018

March 19, 2018 | Time: 4:00pm| Location: TUC Cinema

  • Greg A. Dunn: Self Reflected: Deeply fusing art and science to create the world's most complex artistic depiction of the human brain.

March 23, 2018 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm Location: TUC 415

  • Peggy DesAutels – University of Dayton
    •  Morality in Everyday Lives
    • Morality should accommodate human cognitive constraints and respond to the complexities of actual experienced lives. In other words, our moral theories should be psychologically and socially realistic. In this presentation I summarize three areas of my research that address morality in our everyday lives: Moral perception and mindfulness; feminist moral psychology, and life stories and virtuous lives.

April 2018

April 6, 2018 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: Location SWIFT 716

  • Justin D’Arms – Ohio State University
    • A Motivational Theory of Natural Emotions, and some Implications for Moral Philosophy
    • Many philosophers and psychologists think that emotions are a class that is too diverse to be amenable of a useful general theory. Some affective scientists are skeptical even about the categories of various distinct emotions, such as anger, envy, and shame. Moral philosophers who talk about emotions tend to adopt, tacitly or explicitly, a cognitive theory of emotions that defines them by appeal to emotion-independent evaluative thoughts that are (supposedly) necessary conditions of being in one of these emotional states. This cognitive theory is grist for the mill of emotion skeptics, since it seems to produce stipulative distinctions that depend on our classificatory interests, rather than tracking some underlying nature or structure of the states in question. The cognitive theory is also antithetical to sentimentalist theories of value, which try to explain evaluative thought by appeal to the emotions. The cognitive theory demands the opposite direction of explanation. I will argue that a lot of the paradigmatic emotion types are best understood as psychological kinds, and that they resemble one another enough to support treating a class I call “natural emotions” as itself a psychological kind. The central element of this broader kind is a distinctive sort of motivational role involving both discrete goals and action readiness as distinct posits. Thus I am defending a bout-centered, motivational theory of natural emotions. This motivational theory is an attractive alternative to the cognitive theory. It makes much better sense of various familiar emotional phenomena. And it is friendlier to sentimentalist theories of value. Time permitting, we will discuss some other implications for moral philosophy, such as a problem with Bernard Williams’s “agent-regret” that the motivational theory helps to reveal, and how to assess emotions for fittingness if cognitivism is false.

April 7, 2018 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: TBD

  • Ohio Philosophical Association Keynote
    • Quayshawn Spencer (Pennsylvania)

April 10, 2018 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut Street, Downtown Cincinnati, 7:30pm

  • Public Humanities Seminar
    • Mark Michael (Austin Peay State): How Philosophy Can Inform Public Understanding of Environmental Obligation

April 20, 2018 | Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm | Location: TUC 427

  • Nico Orlandi (UC Santa Cruz) 
    • Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Cognition, Action & Perception