Philosophy Colloquium: John Schwenkler, "Steering Clear of Trouble"

Please join the Philosophy Department as we welcome Professor John Schwenkler. John Schweler is a Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University.

"Steering Clear of Trouble": In working out how to act as we should, we sometimes engage in strategic planning that's aimed at avoiding situations where we judge ourselves likely to act badly -- for example, to stay home for the evening instead of going bar-hopping with friends, not because there is anything wrong with social drinking, but because I don't want to risk drinking to excess or staying out far too late. This kind of planning is puzzling in at least two ways. First, having a plan to avoid tempting circumstances shouldn't preclude having further plans for what we'll do if we happen to find ourselves in them -- yet when the further plans are in place, and judged to be good, it can be hard to see what rationale remains for avoiding the temptation in the first place. Second, even when strategic planning is effective we often judge it a less good form of self-governance than if we were able simply to act well without having to strategize around it. But what accounts for this intuition, if the focus of our moral concern should be only on the rightness of our actions? I'll begin by sketching an answer to the first puzzle, then show how it can help us to resolve the second.

This talk is generously sponsored by the Marion Hoeflich Endowment and Balmuth Fund. Masks are required. 




Friday, September 17 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Lathrop 207, Lathrop 207


Academics, Arts and Humanities

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