Faculty

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.

Lewis Gordon: 2021 International Studies Association Eminent Scholar

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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.

Lewis Gordon: Pan-African Forums, Africa Day

Professor Lewis Gordon served as a panelist on the Pan-African Forums: Africa Day event hosted by The Elephant.

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To commemorate Africa Day, we think about how Pan-Africanism has reproduced itself, evolved theoretically and practically in different spaces through reflection and critique, and catalysed a range of important initiatives all over Global Africa, focusing on the question of education. What does it mean to educate with the vision of Pan Africanism in mind? Panellists are Wandia Njoya, Jennifer Tosch and Lewis Gordon. Moderated by Mshai Mwangola.

Tracy Llanera: Interview on Ideas (CBC Radio Canada)

Assistant Professor Tracy Llanera and her co-author James Tartaglia (Keele University) were recently interviewed on the radio show Ideas (CBC Radio Canada). It will also air on Australia's Radio National: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/good-news-for-nihilists-life-is-meaningless-after-all-say-philosophers-1.6036427. The focus was their book A Defence of Nihilism (Routledge, 2021). 

Lewis Gordon: 47th Connecticut People’s World African-American History Month Celebration

Read about the 47th Connecticut People's World African-American History Month Celebration, "Georgia On My Mind, The Third Reconstruction," in People's World. Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon served as the keynote speaker for the event.

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Stewart Shapiro: American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Stewart Shapiro

Distinguished Visiting Professor Stewart Shapiro has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges. Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

Lewis Gordon: “How the Court of Law Needs to Change for Racial Justice in America”

Listen to Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon's recent interview on Let's Go There with Shira & Ryan, "Racial Justice in America: Police Officers Need to be Subject to the Law and Not Above the Law."

**Episode Description**

"Minnesota is in a state of crisis. During the high profile trial of Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd, another black man, Daunte Wright, was shot over the weekend in Brooklyn. We talk to Dr. Lewis R. Gordon, Professor and Head of Philosophy at UCONN-Storrs, about what America needs to ask about seeking racial justice in a court of law."