Lecture Series

With support from Dean Robert Olin and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department established the Philosophy Today Speaker Series in 2007. This series of public talks reflects a commitment by the Department of Philosophy to make contemporary philosophical work accessible to those outside the discipline and to provide public forums for addressing controversial or provocative problems.

Every Philosophy Today speaker presents a public talk and also conducts a professional colloquium for UA’s philosophy faculty and majors. Most of these distinguished scholars also teach a class while on campus, giving advanced seminar students the opportunity to address questions and objections to a prominent philosopher whose work they have studied.

UA alumnus Louis W. Perry inspired the recording and podcasting of the Philosophy Today public lectures. Mr. Perry’s generous and ongoing support of the series has made possible the recording of most public lectures, beginning with Ernest Sosa’s address in April 2008. To watch podcasts of the Philosophy Today lectures, open the iTunes application on your device and search for “Philosophy Today,” or visit itunes.ua.edu and select the link to open UA on iTunes U. Either way, you’ll need to have iTunes installed on your device to view or listen to these lectures.

For further information about the Philosophy Today Speaker Series, contact the department by phone at (205) 348-5942 or visit the Facebook page.

bridge at Marr's Spring2018-2019 Speaker Series:

Ian Phillips (Princeton University): Can Sight be Blind? Untangling the Tale of Blindsight  and Unconscious Vision.

Thursday, October 18 @ 7:30pm
205 Smith Hall

Margaret Atherton ( University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee):Where are the Women in (The History of)  Philosophy?

Thursday, November 29 @ 7:30pm
205 Smith Hall

David Shoemaker (Tulane University): Learning from Psychopaths
Thursday, March 28 @ 7:30pm
205 Smith Hall

Catherine Elgin (Harvard University): Modeling Reality: How Science Advances Understanding of the World.
Thursday, April 18 @ 7:30pm
205 Smith Hall


Past Philosophy Today Lectures


Peter Achinstein: Simplicity: The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel
Christopher Mole: Complexity and the Explanation of Intelligence
Susanna Siegel: The Rationality of Perception
Robert J. Howell: Hell is Social Networks: Five Moral Dangers of Life Online



Marya Schechtman: My Whole Life Long: The Ethical Significance of a Unified Self
Elizabeth Anderson: Outlaws
Andrei Marmor: Two Rights of Free Speech
Wayne Wu: Mysteries of Consciousness: Connecting Mind and Brain


Sahotra Sarkar: Nature, Nurture, and The Human Genome
Alyssa NeyWhat is Physicalism?
William FitzPatrick: Morality and Evolutionary Biology: Why the Science Doesn’t Settle the Philosophical Questions


Barbara Gail Montero: Does Thinking Interfere with Doing??
Jesse Prinz: The Moral Self
Brie Gertler: Does the Mind Extend Beyond the Body?
Dorit Bar-On: The Origins of Meaning


Ned Markosian: Is Time Travel Possible?
Ned Block: Do We See Less Than We Think We See?
John Searle: Consciousness, the Brain, and the Soul
Pamela Hieronymi: The Problem of Free Will and Moral Responsibility


Simon Keller: Understanding Skepticism about Climate Change
Frank Jackson: The Problem of Consciousness Revisited
Steve Gimbel: Einstein’s Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion
William G. Lycan: Why the Abortion Issue is So Difficult


Jeff McMahan: What Rights May We Defend by Means of War?
Hud Hudson: The Rabbit in the Garden: A Skeptical Theist’s Tale
Rebecca Copenhaver: Anti-Intellectualism and the Academy in American Life
Alvin Goldman: Knowledge & Democracy: How Social Epistemology Bears on the Success of Our Democracy


Michael Huemer: Is There a Right to Immigrate?
Derk Pereboom: Meaning in Life and the Illusion of Free Will
Alison M. Jaggar: The Philosophical Challenges of Global Gender Justice
Paul Thompson: In Defense of Genetically Modified Food


Terry Horgan: Mind and Brain: Philosophy of Mind in the 21st Century
Amie Thomasson: Do Tables and Chairs Really Exist?
Keith Parsons: Charles Darwin, Hammer of the Creationists
Thomas Hurka: Weighing Lives in War: When is Collateral Damage Excessive?


Douglas N. Husak: Four Points about Drug Criminalization
Stephen Yablo: Imagining Evil
Michael P. Lynch: Faith in Reason
Alastair Norcross: The Clone Wars: What’s Wrong With Human Cloning?


Loren Lomasky: The State of Political Philosophy
Tyler Burge: The State of Philosophy of Mind
Geoffrey Sayre-McCord: The State of Ethics
Ted Sider: The State of Metaphysics
Jonathan Kvanvig: The State of Philosophy of Religion
Ernest Sosa: The State of Epistemology