Author: Malley, Mary

Tracy Llanera and Nicholas Smith: Egotism in Higher Education

Check out Tracy Llanera and Nicholas Smith's recent essay, "Egotism in Higher Education," in the Cardiff University blog, Open for Debate. This essay is based on the chapter "A Culture of Egotism: Rorty and Higher Education," The Promise of the University: Reclaiming Humanity, Humility, and Hope, ed.  Áine Mahon, forthcoming with Springer.

***Excerpt***

Universities, ideally speaking, can be places that cultivate the process of self-growth. As the pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty has put it, studying in universities allows students to undergo ‘self-enlargement’. Self-enlargement is Rorty’s take on what his fellow pragmatist and educationalist John Dewey called ‘growth’. Growth as self-enlargement occurs in two main ways: through projects of self-creation and widening relations of solidarity. Self-creation involves the making of oneself anew and the adoption for oneself of a ‘final vocabulary’, or a language that expresses one’s commitments, self-projects, and understanding and relationship with others and the world. Widening solidarity involves expanding the group to which one feels some belonging. At the heart of both are encounters with real or imaginary people, and these encounters reveal the limits and narrowness of one’s previous sense of self. In taking knowingness and self-satisfaction as its enemies, a culture of self-enlargement is the opposite of a culture of egotism.

Tracy Llanera: Women, the Alt-right and the Liberal Centre

Why do women join white nationalist and other far-right movements? Misogyny is rampant on the alt-right, along with the notion that women's primary role is to be wives and child-bearers. But the liberal centre can be an ambivalent place for women too. Feminism was founded on the ideal of equality, and on the belief that women should be treated as individuals rather than undifferentiated members of a subordinate class. But have these liberal humanist ideals of of equality and individual autonomy outgrown their usefulness?

Dr. Tracy Llanera [UConn and University of Notre Dame Australia]  and Dr. Louise Richardson-Self [University of Tasmania] are featured in this episode titled "Women, the alt-right and the liberal centre" on The Philosopher's Zone. The radio broadcast in Australia [ABC Radio National] was Sunday August 1 at 5.30 pm on ABC RN, repeated the following Sunday August 8 at 5.30 am.

This interview features philosophical work that will be discussed in this free public panel on Resentment, Guilt, and Shame under Patriarchy on Aug 9, 2021 (Mon).

Tracy Llanera: Resentment, Guilt, and Shame Under Patriarchy Panel

Public Panel: Resentment, Guilt, and Shame Under Patriarchy. An event organised by the University of Tasmania under ARC project DE 190100719 Hate Speech Against Women Online: Concepts and Countermeasures.

Assistant Professor Tracy Llanera will be participating in a public panel on resentment, guilt, and shame under patriarchy live on Zoom on August 9, 2021.

The event will begin with three short talks:

  • Dr Louise Richardson-Self (UTAS) — “Affirmative Action, Gender, and Merit”
  • Dr Tracy Llanera (UNDA/UConn) — “Misogyny, Feminism, and the Alt-Right“
  • Dr Filipa Melo Lopes (Edinburgh) — “What Do Incels Want? Explaining Incel Violence Using Beauvoirian Otherness“

These will be followed by a short response from Dr Noelle Leslie Dela Cruz (DLSU) and then a live Q&A with the Audience.

Then stay for Dr Kate Manne (Cornell)'s keynote talk, “What is Gaslighting?“, with a short response from Dr Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky (NYU) and additional live Q&A.

The event will be held live on Zoom on 9 August 2021 at the following times:

  • 6am–10am (UTC -4)
  • 11am–3pm (UTC +1)
  • 6pm–10pm (UTC +8)
  • 8pm–12pm (UTC +10)

This event has been organized under ARC project DE190100719 Hate Speech Against Women Online: Concepts and Countermeasures and the University of Tasmania, with the support of the Australasian Association of Philosophy and Women Doing Philosophy.

Tracy Llanera: Guest on “The Minefield”

Logo for The Minefield.

Listen to Assistant Professor Tracy Llanera's recent guest appearance on The Minefield with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens on ABC Radio National.

 

In a world marked by wicked social problems, The Minefield helps you negotiate the ethical dilemmas, contradictory claims and unacknowledged complicities of modern life. This episode addresses such questions as whether a nihilistic view of “reality” is corrosive to a robust conception of the moral life? Or are there defensible ways of thinking about moral obligation, as well as moral progress, that don’t rely on transcendental guarantees? Can “meaning” itself give rise to forms of corrosive egotism, which undermine the possibilities of both moral community and moral growth?

 

Want to know more? Check out the accompanying excerpt from Tracy Llanera and James Tartaglia's book, A Defense of Nihilism.

Jessica Tizzard: “Kantian Moral Psychology and Human Weakness”

Assistant Research Professor Jessica Tizzard's article, "Kantian Moral Psychology and Human Weakness," is forthcoming in Philosopher's Imprint.

*Abstract*

Immanuel Kant’s notion of weakness or frailty warrants more attention, for it reveals much about his theory of motivation and general metaphysics of mind. As the first and least severe of the three grades of evil, frailty captures those cases where an agent fails to act on their avowed recognition that the moral law is the only legitimate determining ground of the will. The possibility of such cases raises many important questions that have yet to be settled by interpreters. Most importantly, should we account for the failures of weakness by appealing to the activity of reason or sensibility? I will discuss this question in light of a tendency to adopt an overly dualistic reading of Kant’s moral psychology. Focusing on Kant’s remarks on weakness from the Religion and the Metaphysics of Morals, I argue that we should understand weakness as arising from the unique difficulties of sense-dependent judgment, rather than from self-deception, flagging commitment, or overwhelming desire. The resulting account offers a unified moral psychology capable of accommodating the many features of weakness that are difficult to reconcile on other readings.

Katrina Van Dyke: Wood/Raith Living Trust Summer Graduate Student Fellowship

Congratulations to graduate student Katrina Van Dyke, who has been awarded a Wood/Raith Living Trust Summer Graduate Student Fellowship! She is the first philosopher to receive the award since the graduate student fellowship's inception.

 

Her project is titled Gendered Viewpoints and Objectification: Reconsidering Catharine MacKinnon’s Account of Desire and Power.

 

Lewis Gordon: 2021 International Studies Association Eminent Scholar

Blue world map with the text ISA superimposed over map secitons.

Lewis Gordon is this year's Eminent Scholar, an award given by the Global Development Section of the International Studies Association. In addition to the plaque documenting the award, a panel devoted to the honoree's work, followed by a reception, will take place at the association's international meeting, which will take place next March in Nashville, Tennessee.