2019-2020

American Exceptionalism and the Rule of Law

The Voice of Culture Lecture Series presents the Honorable Justice Clint Bolick on September 17th. Clint Bolick was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2016.

Trumpet fanfares will open and close the event by musicians Paulo Sprovieri, Connor Bagheri, Jacob Lythgoe, and Haolan Liu.

Join us on Tuesday, September 17th at 5pm in the Center for Creative Photography for Justice Clint Bolick's talk.

The Voices of Culture Lecture Series is co-sponsored by The Center for the Philosophy of Freedom and The American Culture and Ideas Initiative.

When

5 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019

Academic year

2019-2020

Normative Ethics

January 16-18, 2020

This annual Arizona Workshop features new work in normative ethical theory broadly construed, to include not only issues about the right and the good, but meta-theoretical questions about the project of developing and defending normative ethical theories. Most papers presented at the Arizona Workshop in Normative Ethics are, after revision, published in a volume of Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics edited by Professor Mark Timmons.
See the workshop website for further details.

www.ethics-arizona.com

When

8 a.m. Jan. 16, 2020 to 5 p.m. Jan. 18, 2020

Academic year

2019-2020

Where

Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort, Tucson, AZ

Thursday, October 17th
12:30-1:45pm

The Freedom Center Fall 2019 colloquium series presents Albertina Antognini, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Arizona.  

Abstract: This Article considers the limits of the right to contract across intimate relationships, with a focus on nonmarital relationships. It begins by setting out the puzzle of why courts are reluctant to uphold agreements to distribute property at the end of a nonmarital relationship at the same time that they eagerly enforce premarital contracts at the time of divorce. The answer seems to rely on how the law addresses homemaking services. The Article’s central argument is that contract doctrine currently does the work that status-based rules used to do in the context of marriage. That is, the way courts interpret agreements is similar to the effect that status once had – both limit the rights to property of an individual requesting them based on services rendered in the course of an intimate relationship. This holds true within marriage, but also, significantly, outside of marriage. In this way, contract works more expansively than status once did – the restrictions on the right to contract are carried beyond marriage to also impact individuals in nonmarital relationships. At a time when individuals are not marrying, and the Uniform Law Commission is considering what rules ought to regulate the economic rights of nonmarital couples, it is imperative to analyze whether contract is a viable legal option. This Article shows that the right to contract leaves most individuals relying on it with little recourse, whether married or not.
 

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community. RSVP to Lucy Schwarz at luciaschwarz@email.arizona.edu.

 

 

When

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Oct. 17, 2019

Academic year

2019-2020

Semester

Fall
Commentators: Nonmarital Contracts

Local Diversity and Polycentric Democracy

Tursday, November 14th
12:30-1:45pm

Abstract:
Especially at the local level, democratic orders have a number of ways of handling the diverse interests and needs of citizens.  There is of course deliberation and majority-rules voting, which allows people to determine some rule for all citizens.  But more interestingly, especially when we consider provisioning local public goods or services, we gain extra options that have serious prima facie appeal: we can either spatially split the electorate (via foot voting between existing jurisdictions or creating a new jurisdiction), or we can use private governance to allow for club goods provision that does not require support of the general electorate.  These latter two options are in a number of ways superior to deliberation and majority vote for accommodating a more diverse citizenry.  After all, we can do a far better job of ensuring that citizens are getting closer to the sort of social compact they are interested in, as they can more easily get more of the costly social goods that they want, and fewer of the ones that they do not.  However, I argue that these mechanisms come with serious costs, especially when we take into account the longer-run dynamics of these approaches.  These approaches have helped fuel stark racial and socio-economic segregation, and large differences in quality of governance.  Most worrisome, these costs are frequently shouldered by those outside of private governance contracts, and those who are being moved away from.  In particular, I am interested not only in material harms, but in the democratic harms that those outside of the extra polycentric arrangements bear, in the form of reduced democratic voice, and a weaker real option of foot voting.  The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which we can recover the benefits of polycentric democracy while taking these externalities into account.

The Freedom Center Fall 2019 colloquium series presents Ryan Muldoon, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Buffalo. Professor Muldoon was a Core Author of the 2015 World Development Report at the World Bank. His research investigates the challenges and potential benefits that diversity poses for political, cultural, and scientific communities.

When

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Nov. 14, 2019

Academic year

2019-2020

Semester

Fall

Where

Kendrick Seminar Room, Social Sciences 128

Enjoy Debating Trolley Problems? You Can't With A Machine.

Thursday, September 19th

ABSTRACT: I will present the essence of "machine learning" using as little math and computer science as possible, but enough to convey that modern machine learning algorithms depend on impenetrably complicated mathematical computations. (Very, very little math, I promise.) Along the way, I will explain what constitutes "learning" to a machine, and how machines exercise what they've learned. Finally, I will discuss the fact that self-driving cars are essentially answering trivial real-world trolley problems constantly, and absolutely nobody knows what they will do when faced with an unforeseen non-trivial problem. The goal of this nontechnical talk is to demystify machine learning for an audience of philosophers, and, I hope, promote a discussion about how to think about what applications based on machine learning are actually doing and not doing.
 

The Freedom Center Fall 2019 colloquium series presents Todd Proebsting, Professor and Department Head of Computer Science (University of Arizona). His research interests are centered on reproducibility in Computer Science and the impact of programming tools on programmer productivity. Before coming to the U of A in 2012, he worked at Microsoft for 15 years, where he founded Microsoft's efforts in using prediction markets to help forecast future events. 

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community. RSVP to Lucy Schwarz at luciaschwarz@email.arizona.edu.

When

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019

Academic year

2019-2020

Semester

Fall

Where

Kendrick Seminar Room, Social Sciences 128

Culpability, Deporability and Hate Crime Legislation

Thursday, November 21st
12:30-1:45pm

The Freedom Center Fall 2019 colloquium series presents Kit Wellman, Dean of Academic Planning, Professor of Philosophy, and Chair of Education (Washington University in St. Louis). Professor Wellman has worked extensively on political legitimacy, political self-determination, duties to obey the law, immigration and the right to exclude, as well as the permissibility of punishment.

Abstract: I will explore whether it is morally permissible to impose stiffer punishments for hate crimes, where a hate criminal is defined as a wrongdoer who selects her victim at least in part because of an animus toward members of the group to which the victim belongs.  Starting from the assumption that the severity of the punishment it is permissible to impose is a function of the wrongdoer’s actus reus (bad act) and mens rea (guilty mind), I critically assess whether hate criminals commit worse acts or have guiltier minds than ordinary criminals.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community. RSVP to Lucy Schwarz at luciaschwarz@email.arizona.edu.

When

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019

Academic year

2019-2020

Semester

Fall

Where

Kendrick Seminar Room, Social Sciences 128

Why Cooperate? Mutualism in the Natural World

Thursday, September 5th
12:30-1:45pm

The Freedom Center Fall 2019 colloquium series presents Judith Bronstein, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (University of Arizona). Judith Bronstein is a University Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. She is an elected fellow of the Ecological Society of America and has received the University of Arizona's Honors College's Pillar of Excellence Award. She was also a program director at the National Science Foundation in 2007-2008. Professor Bronstein's research foucses on conflict and cooperation between different species ("mutualism"). Who cooperates, why do they cooperate, how does cooperation evolve, and what are the consequences of "cheating?"

Abstract: The classic view of nature is one of a deathly struggle for existence both within and among species. Yet, throughout nature, species cooperate with each other. Mutualisms are more than fascinating natural history stories: they turn out to be central to the diversity and the diversification of life on our planet. But mutualisms have only recently attracted focused scientific attention, and many mysteries remain. Charles Darwin mused that if species could be shown to act exclusively for the good of others, “it would annihilate my theory”. How do we now interpret mutualisms through a Darwinian lens? And how can cooperation persist, in the face of a persistent temptation to “cheat” one’s partner? The main points in this talk will be liberally illustrated by examples from nature, both familiar and exotic.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community. RSVP to Lucy Schwarz at luciaschwarz@email.arizona.edu.

When

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Sept. 5, 2019

Academic year

2019-2020

Semester

Fall

Where

Kendrick Seminar Room, Social Sciences 128
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