[Department of Philosophy, University of Saskatchewan, 100 Years]

Philosophy in the Community: 2008-2009 Schedule

September 10 “Why be a Vegetarian?”

Professor Emer O’Hagan

Do our obligations to animals extend to our not killing and eating them? If so, on what grounds? In this talk I will outline some of the different arguments for vegetarianism, concentrating on the question of what grounds our obligations to animals and how this ground shapes our understanding of their proper (and improper) treatment.

October 8 "What is Liberalism?"

Devin Ens

From the radical ideology motivating the American and French revolutions of the 18th Century to the dominant Western ideology of the 20th Century, variations of liberalism have meant very different things to different people, including its own proponents. This lecture will examine the historical and philosophical roots of liberalism and consider the criticisms against it made by such disparate groups as socialists and feminists on the "left," and by authoritarians and religious conservatives on the "right." In light of the upcoming election, we will also consider to what degree all Canadian political parties are or are not liberal in their conceptions of the appropriate role of government in the lives of individual citizens.

November 12 “Learn to Spot and Avoid Fallacies or Risk Annihilation!:
A Crash Course in Critical Thinking”

Derek Postnikoff

What is critical thinking? Why should we think critically? By considering some answers to these questions, we will take the first steps towards becoming critical thinkers. In particular, the discussion will focus on several examples of fallacies, or ways that reasoning can go wrong.

December 10 "Technology and Democracy: Who Ought to Direct Technological Development?"

Professor William Buschert

January 14 “Politics and the Philosophy of Democracy”

Allan Blakeney

Visiting Scholar, College of Law

February 11 "Have I got an F word for you: Feminism, Foucault, and ... Face-lifts?"

Rachel Loewen Walker

There are two sides to every story: on the one hand, feminists have fought hard for a woman’s right to control her own body, and on the other hand, they have argued that bodies are policed by embedded norms of femininity and masculinity. Does today’s empowered woman freely choose plastic surgery, or have gender regulations tricked her into a false freedom?

March 11 "Who Needs Academic Freedom?"

Professor Howard Woodhouse

The nature of academic freedom is not well understood either within the academy or in society at large. Academic freedom is a necessary condition for the advancement and dissemination of shared knowledge and intimately connected to the public interest. As a form of  individual liberty, it also draws upon a tradition of collective freedom, which is particularly important as universities are currently besieged by the "market model of education."  Some time will be spent during the presentation critically analyzing the market model.


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