Philosophy Now

Philosophy Now Speaker Series

The Philosophy Now speaker series is annual program sponsored by the Carroll College Philosophy Department. The series addresses issues raised by the contemporary American, socio-political scene from a philosophical perspective, highlighting the metaphysical, epistemological, and/or ethical ramifications. The series is generously underwritten by an anonymous donor.

2022 Philosophy Now speaker

Angelo Corlett"Offensiphobia: Fearing What Offends"
Lecture by J. Angelo Corlett, PhD, Professor of Philosophy & Ethics at San Diego State University. Dr. Corlett's presentation will focus on the ethics and legality of politically correct speech, especially on college campuses, and the relationship of this speech to freedom of expression. He will be asking if freedom of expression can go too far, and if there are legal and moral limits to what we ought to say, or how or when we ought to say it. This lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, at 7:00pm., in the Carroll College student center.  It is free and open to the public!

On the following evening, Dr. Corlett will be conducting a free-wheeling discussion about contemporary humor, focusing largely on the work of Dave Chappelle.  Titled "The Rougher Side of Humor: How Far is Too Far?", this community discussion will be hosted by Merlin CCC, and take place  at 7pm to 9pm  in the Interpretive & Convention Center at Reeder's Alley in downtown Helena.  The gathering is free and open to the public (18 years+/Adults Only). 


Dr. Thomas Cavanagh"The Hippocratic Oath and Professional Conscience"

Lecture by Dr. Thomas Cavanaugh, Professor of Philosophy, University of San Francisco. Professor Cavanaugh's lecture looked at the uniqueness of the Hippocratic Oath in the medical traditions of ancient Greece, and its primary promise to do no harm. Professor Cavanaugh connected this to Ascepius' Snake, and the delphic Oracle that the "wounder heals." Finally, he drew out some implications of the Hippocratic Oath for medical practice. This lecture was given on Thursday, April 4, 2019. 

"Sexual orientation and gender identity as scientific concepts in medical research."
Lecture by Amanda Hicks, Assistant Professor, Health Outcomes & Policy, University of Florida College of Medicine.  In this lecture, Dr. Hicks addressed how epistemology, ontology, and the sensibility of particular communities help us answer the question about how scientific communities determine what counts as an object of research.  She looked specifically at the shift in medical communities from documenting information about sexual orientation and gender identity only as pathologies to recording such information as routine demographic data. This talk took place in Trinity Hall on Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Ingolf DalferthLecture by Professor Ingolf Dalferth, the Danforth Chair of Philosophy of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. The topic of this lecture was issue of technological "upgrades" to the human person,  In this talk, Professor Dalferth argued that instead of allowing us "more control" over our lives, these technologies miss the interplay of passivity and activity at the very core of our existence and, in the process, cast ourselves into a state of self-alienation. Ironically, our strivings for self-possession and self-control make things even worse for ourselves, and will inevitably end in disaster. This lecture was presented on April 6, 2017.

 “Debating Doping in Sports: The Ethics of Performance Enhancement in Elite Sport” and “Red, White, and Gold: Exploring Meaning and the Olympic Games in Contemporary American Culture.”
Image of John GleavesTwo lectures given by Dr. John Gleaves (’06), Ph.D., Dept. of Kinesiology, California State University Fullerton.  In his lecture on performance enhancement in sport, Dr. Gleaves illustrated the flaws in many of the oft-cited arguments for banning athletes from using performance-enhancing drugs, and argued that we have been having the wrong conversation when it comes to doping. Instead, the right conversation involves not only the essence of sport but the larger philosophical question about what it means to be human. In his second lecture, on the Olympic Games in american culture, Dr. Gleaves argued that the Olympic Games are a “story we tell ourselves about ourselves.” Not only is this story meaningful, but investigating its cultural meaning in American society provides a useful avenue for examining larger social issues that extend beyond the most significant global sporting event. These lectures were presented on March 16 and 17, 2016.