Daniel Frank Lecture: Wisdom, Piety, and Superhuman Virtue
Season 3, Ep. 5
This episode of The Grindstone features the lecture given by Daniel Frank (Purdue University) at Purdue University on Friday, 26 April 2019. The lecture was given at a conference honoring the career of Dr. Patricia Curd, Professor Emerita of the Department of Philosophy at Purdue.The title of the lecture is: "Wisdom, Piety, and Superhuman Virtue".Dr. Frank's abstract of the talk is below:This paper moves between Aristotle, Maimonides, and the Stoics. Aristotle’s moral taxonomy, outlined in Nicomachean Ethics 7.1, appears problematic, given his view that in the sphere of moral virtue, the intermediate (temperance, courage) is the extreme, and there is no excess of temperance or courage. This is hard to square with the moral agent whom he describes as possessed of “hyperbolic” (hyperbole, excessive) virtue. As Aristotle has very little to say about the latter, I turn to Maimonides and the Stoics for clarification and enlightenment.
Alexander Nehamas Lecture: The Academy at Work: Dialectic in the Parmenides
Season 3, Ep. 4
This episode of The Grindstone features the lecture given by Alexander Nehamas (Princeton University) at Purdue University on Friday, 26 April 2019. The lecture was given at a conference honoring the career of Dr. Patricia Curd, Professor Emerita of the Department of Philosophy at Purdue.The title of the lecture is: "The Academy at Work: Dialectic in the Parmenides".Dr. Nehamas' abstract of the talk is below:Plato’s Parmenides comes in two parts. The first presents several crucial criticisms of Plato’s metaphysics. The second illustrates a dialectical method that Parmenides tells Socrates he must master if he is to answer these criticisms. I try to offer a new account of the metaphysical and linguistic objections of the first part in order to understand better the nature of the dialectic of its second part. I suggest that Parmenides’ demonstration of that method prepares the way for a radical new understanding of Plato’s own theory of Forms and may well be an instance of the actual dialectic practiced during the first, and very obscure, years of Plato’s Academy.
Carl Huffman Lecture: Pythagorean Ethics in the Time of Plato
Season 3, Ep. 3
This episode of The Grindstone features the lecture given by Carl Huffman (DePauw University) at Purdue University on Saturday, 27 April 2019. The lecture was given at a conference honoring the career of Dr. Patricia Curd, Professor Emerita of the Department of Philosophy at Purdue.The title of the lecture is: "Pythagorean Ethics in the Time of Plato".Dr. Huffman's abstract of the talk is below:In this talk I first argue that the Pythagoreans whose way of life Plato notes in Book Ten of the Republic are the Pythagoreans whose ethical system Aristoxenus described in his Pythagorean Precepts. The rest of the talk is devoted to an overview of the ethical system found in the fragments of the Pythagorean Precepts and a brief discussion of that system's place in the history of Greek ethics. The ethical system of the Pythagorean Precepts is based on a peculiarly Pythagorean understanding of human beings as by nature insolent and excessive. In the natural state human beings live shameless and incoherent lives from which they must be saved by supervision, which imposes restraint upon them. I examine the Pythagorean treatment of the following topics in light of these general principles: the proper goals for human action, desire, diet, sex, procreation, friendship and luck. Study of these topics shows that the Precepts are best understood as a parallel development to the ethics of Democritus and Socrates. The Precepts emphasize expertise and appeal to authority figures rather than just to the best argument, which is not surprising in Pythagoreanism, which is ultimately based on the authority of the master, Pythagoras.NOTE TO LISTENER: Due to technical difficulties with the wireless mic during this talk, portions of the audio drop out for a few seconds here and there. In an effort to keep the flow of the talk in tact, we did not edit these portions out. The longest drop lasts for about 15-20 seconds, but in total less than 2 minutes of the 50 minute talk have been lost. We apologize to Dr. Huffman and our listeners for this.
Vanessa de Harven Lecture: Plato, The Last Presocratic
Season 3, Ep. 2
This episode of The Grindstone features the lecture given by Vanessa de Harven (UMass-Amherst) at Purdue University on Saturday, 27 April 2019. The lecture was given at a conference honoring the career of Dr. Patricia Curd, Professor Emerita of the Department of Philosophy at Purdue.The title of the lecture is: "Plato, The Last Presocratic: Remarks on Republic V in honor of Pat Curd".Dr. de Harven's overview of the talk is below:The end of Republic V is a locus classicus for the characterization of Plato as an impossible realist so committed to Forms that he forgoes all knowledge of the sensible world. I argue that one can stand by a so-called objects analysis of the argument directed to the lovers of sights and sounds, which sets knowledge and opinion over different objects, without precluding knowledge of the sensible world. The mistake engrained in the tradition is the idea that sensible particulars themselves (say, Helen or a vase) are the objects of opinion, as opposed to sensible particulars considered only in terms of their sensible properties (e.g. their shapes and colors). Setting knowledge over the Forms and opinion over sensibles is thus not a move to another world or to mere Form-gazing, but a change in perspective on this one world. Indeed, Socrates’ underappreciated analogy with dreaming and waking tells us as much, and I show it is of a piece with the argument that follows.
In Honor of Dr. Patricia Curd, an Ancient Philosopher
Season 3, Ep. 1
Welcome to PatFest...Patapalooza...the PatBash...Call it what you will, this series features lectures in honor of Dr. Patricia Curd - a luminary in the field of ancient philosophy who retired from Purdue last spring (2019). Over two days, 26-27 April 2019, a group of preeminent scholars of ancient philosophy gathered here in West Lafayette, IN, to give talks in honor of Dr. Curd's work and career.The conference, organized and hosted by Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Dept. of Philosophy at Purdue Dr. Michael Augustin, was exceptional. The weather cooperated, the talks were brilliant, and the admiration and camaraderie on display demonstrated what a great influence, interlocutor, and friend Dr. Curd has been to so many over the years.In this episode, Michael and Matthew look back on the conference, preview the talks, and share some loving anecdotes about Dr. Curd. We will begin posting the full lectures next Friday (13 March 2020).Enjoy!
Season 3 Trailer: Lectures in Honor of Dr. Patricia Curd
The Grindstone is back! Starting tomorrow we will be posting lectures given in honor of Dr. Patricia Curd, preeminent scholar of Ancient Philosophy, who retired from Purdue University's Department of Philosophy in Spring 2019. We will be dropping these episodes on Friday, starting with an introduction to the series tomorrow, Friday, 6 March 2020. Enjoy!
Mark Bernstein: 74 Billion
Season 2, Ep. 3
This week we welcome the Joyce & Edward E. Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at Purdue University, Dr. Mark Bernstein. Dr. Bernstein tells us the story of how he went from being an undergrad math major to being a metaphysician as a grad student and early in his professional career to ultimately being an expert in animal ethics. We then discuss the moment in his life in which he became a vegetarian, his intuitive sense that the moral status of animals was a worthy philosophical pursuit, the principle of gratuitous suffering which he has developed, the moral status of meat eaters, vegetarianism vis-à-vis environmental sustainability, the causal impotence argument and our complicity in the meat industry and in harm to animals generally, and the astonishing number of animals consumed annually worldwide. The numbers are staggering.This episode also features a line from Paul Simon, a reference to Bruce Springsteen and several mentions of Steely Dan...and of Queens College!Note: There is some volume discrepancy during the first 2 minutes or so of the interview. After that, the volume for both mics evens out. Sorry!
Daniel Kelly: Things That Make You Go Ewww
Season 2, Ep. 2
This week on The Grindstone we are joined by Dr. Daniel Kelly, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Purdue University. Dr. Kelly shares his journey to a career in philosophy (inspired, in part, by his desire to organize his thoughts more effectively), his interest in the epistemic foundations of modern science and naturalistic approaches to philosophy of mind, the history of naturalism in philosophy, and the interplay between the scientific image and the manifest image. We also take a deep dive into repulsion and morality, which Dr. Kelly expounds in his book Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust. The latter discussion leads to some candid thoughts from Matthew regarding the Green Bay Packer’s color scheme. Also, Dr. Kelly makes the bold claim that When Harry Met Sally is the original rom-com!Dr. Kelly was a 2018-19 fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, where he continued his interdisciplinary research in moral psychology.
Lacey Davidson: Philosophy in Service of Lives Less Free
Season 2, Ep. 1
To kick off the long-awaited second season of The Grindstone, we welcome to the studios Dr. Lacey Davidson, who graduated with her PhD from Purdue just this past summer! Dr. Davidson is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at California Lutheran University.In this episode, we discuss how one of her first philosophy courses challenged her worldview, critical philosophy and philosophy born of struggle, her work with the organization Springfield Promise Neighborhood (Springfield, OH), community organization and effective strategies, the influence community organization and activism has on her philosophical research program, entity type pluralism as a way through the individualist-structuralist debate in philosophies of racism, Dr. Leonard Harris' actuarial account of 'necrobeing', and her research on implicit bias. Many of the ways Lacey talks about community organizing and the power of people comes from the collectively developed epistemic resources of the Younger Womxn's Task Force of Greater Lafayette. You can read Dr. Davidson's recent article, "When Testimony Isn’t Enough: Implicit Bias Research as Epistemic Exclusion," in Overcoming Epistemic Injustice: Social and Psychological Perspectives (eds. Sherman and Goguen, Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).We also launch the Sally Scholz fan club. Enjoy!