2022-2023 Speaker Series
Speaker Series Event
April 14, 2023, 3-5pm
"In the Pursuit of a Definition of 'Social Science'"
Speaker Series Event
December 2, 2022, 3-5pm
"Clarity and Cartesian Freedom"
Speaker Series Event
September 23, 2022, 3-5 pm
"The Last Word On Emergence"
Online Speaker Series Event
March 5, 2021, 3-5 pm
"The Moral Psychology of White Supremacy and the Theory of Democratic Despotism"
Robert Gooding-Williams is the M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of Philosophy and of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. His research and teaching interests include Social and Political Philosophy (especially the philosophy of race), the History of African-American Political Thought, 19th Century European Philosophy (especially Nietzsche), Existentialism, and Aesthetics.
Gooding-Williams is the author of Zarathustra's Dionysian Modernism (Stanford, 2001), Look, A Negro!: Philosophical Essays on Race, Culture, and Politics (Routledge, 2005), and In The Shadow of Du Bois: Afro-Modern Political Thought in America (Harvard 2009).
Speaking at the September 23 Speaker Series Event
"Nominalism and Material Plenitude"
Speaking at the Online Speaker Series Event
October 02, 2020, 3-5 pm Central Time
" 'Memory' in Augustine's Philosophy of Mind"
This talk is a fully online event that is open to the public.
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2019-2020 Speaker Series
Speaking at the October 18, 2019 Speaker Series Event
"How Does Observation Contribute to Moral Knowledge?"
Speaking at the September 20, 2019 Speaker Series Event
"Two Models of Agent-Centered Value"
There are two ways to represent agent-centered value in a consequentialist model: by assigning a separate better-than ordering of neutral objects (sets of possible worlds) to each agent, and by having a single better-than ordering of centered-objects. Although for certain purposes, the two model systems are equivalent, for other important uses they are not; furthermore, the centered-objects model makes it much clearer why the objections to agent-centered value are misguided.
2018-2019 Speaker Series
Speaking at the March 1, 2019 Speaker Series Event
"What’s the Value of Metaphysics? Naturalistic Versus A Priori Approaches Without the Fiction of Fundamentality"
In this talk, I will dispute the idea that the epistemic progress that science enjoys can be expected to percolate down onto metaphysics. At the root of this contention are some deep disanalogies between the languages and purposes of scientific theories as compared with those in metaphysics. Defending naturalism thus enjoins us to reflect on what it is we ultimately want our metaphysics to do for us beyond insipid hopes that it ‘describes the world’. These reflections take us back to the writings of the positivists and the pragmatists, and as such the opening salvos of the attack on metaphysics that marked the dawn of modern philosophy of science.
"Aiming for Moral Mediocrity"
2017 Speaker Series
"What Can Phenomenology Bring to Ontology?"
"Frankenvaluers, Sticky Attitudes and Stone-Swallowing: Three Objections to the Hybrid Theory of Valuing"
"The Therapeutic Reconstruction of Affordances"
2016 Speaker Series
"Racial Ideology and Racist Practices: Moving Beyond Critique"
Her research interests include metaphysics, epistemology, and ancient philosophy, social and political philosophy, feminist theory and critical race theory. Her book Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique was awarded the 2014 Joseph B. Gittler Prize for "outstanding scholarly contribution in the field of the philosophy of one or more of the social sciences."
"Black Radical Kantianism"
He works in the general area of social and political philosophy, particularly in oppositional political theory as centered on class, gender, and race. His first book, The Racial Contract (Cornell University, 1997), won a Myers Outstanding Book Award for the study of bigotry and human rights in North America.
2015 Speaker Series
"How Archaeological Evidence Bites Back: Scaffolding, Critical Distance, Triangulation"
Her areas of research include philosophy of science; philosophy of social science and history (archaeology); feminist philosophy of science; research ethics; and archaeological history and theory. Her most recent book, Material Evidence: Learning from Archaeological Practice, is co-edited with Robert Chapman and is forthcoming with Routledge.
"Gossip and Social Punishment"
Her areas of research include ethical theory, metaethics, applied ethics, and social and political philosophy. She has worked, in particular, on moral issues that arise in the aftermath of wrongdoing, and her book on that topic is Making Amends: Atonement in Morality, Law, and Politics (Oxford University Press, 2009).
2014 Speaker Series
"Trust and Autonomous Agency"
Her research in normative moral philosophy involves three broadly connected areas in ethics and moral psychology: the nature of personal autonomy and the conditions for autonomous agency, the meaning of moral responsibility and the conditions for responsible agency, and the nature of the self and of self-identity.
She has been the recipient of several grants from the National Science Foundation, including most recently a Scholars Award to support her new book project on the role of idealized models in the Earth Sciences.
Professor Bokulich’s teaching at Boston University includes courses in the philosophy of science, philosophy of physics, gender, race and science, and science, technology, and values.