OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU to host live taping of national radio show Philosophy Talk

09/23/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The nationally syndicated public radio show Philosophy Talk will be taped before a live participatory audience at Oregon State University on Thursday, Oct. 22. 

The event, which begins at 7 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center’s Construction & Engineering Auditorium, is free and open to the public. The center is located at 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis.

Philosophy Talk hosts Ken Taylor and John Perry, both of Stanford University, will discuss the topic, “Obligations to Future Generations.” Their guest for the hour-long program is OSU Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Kathleen Dean Moore, who also is the director of OSU’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.

Moore will discuss ethical responsibilities in the face of climate change and other environmental emergencies, asking whether we have a moral obligation to the future to leave a world as rich in possibilities as our own.  Solutions to environmental problems will not come from science and technology alone, she believes, but will require a greater exercise of the moral imagination. Moore will outline a variety of religious, secular, and pragmatic arguments, all providing reasons in support of decisive action on climate change.

The subject is one close to Moore’s heart, and her research. Her work in environmental humanities and philosophy has garnered many awards. She won an Oregon Book Award in 2005 for "The Pine Island Paradox” (Milkweed Editions, 2004). A previous collection, “Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World” (Lyons Press, 1999, 2004) won the 2000 Sigurd Olson Natural Writing Award.

William Uzgalis, a professor in the Department of Philosophy, initiated the idea of bringing “Philosophy Talk” to OSU. He said the program is a good model of intelligent public discourse, while also being entertaining and amusing.

“The topic and the guest highlight the role that OSU is playing in addressing environmental issues important to the state, the nation and the world,” he said.

Philosophy Talk airs on dozens of public radio stations internationally, including on the radio network of Oregon Public Broadcasting. It airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays in Oregon.

In addition to the radio show featuring Moore, “Philosophy Talk” hosts Taylor and Perry also will give talks at OSU in the days leading up the event.

Perry will speak at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the Memorial Union 212. In his talk, “On Knowing Oneself,” he will provide an account of what is unique and special about self-knowledge. Perry is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Riverside, and the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford University.

Taylor, also the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, will speak at noon, Thursday, Oct. 22, in Memorial Union room 212. The subject of his talk is “Abstract for Reason, Relativism, and the Human Normative Predicament.” Philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche coined the phrase “that hallowed place of peace,” to describe a sphere where those in conflict could come together through a shared, universal morality.

Taylor believes there is no such place, and because there is no neutral, normative standpoint, moral arguments will likely have to continue.

In addition to the OSU event, “Philosophy Talk” will host another live taping at Pacific University in Forest Grove on Friday, Oct. 23, in conjunction with the annual Northwest Philosophy Conference.