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We are delighted to host Taine Duncan and Douglas Lackey as this years UPC keynote speakers. Both scholars come from very diverse backgrounds and fields and will present to us their work over the course of the conference.
Taine Duncan“Remembrances: Cultural Memory as a Form of Resistance.”
Abstract:Integral to Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project is the careful analysis of a bygone age. Rather than analyzing his personal experiences in Paris, the central location of Benjamin’s own exile, Benjamin offers an exposé of the culture and space of 19th century Paris. Why Paris of the 19th Century? Why not use his personal experiences as fodder for his magnum opus of aesthetic theory? Perhaps even more curiously, Benjamin creates a collage of poetry, art, and commentary as though they were his own memories and thoughts on the Parisian experience. In this paper, I provide a possible explanation for Benjamin’s curious treatment of history, culture and memory. Through an analysis of Benjamin’s article “A Berlin Chronicle” alongside his Arcades Project, I argue that Benjamin’s distancing from personal experience in the Arcades Project is not only deliberate, but the only option available to Benjamin in the critical technique of aesthetic remembrance. Then, I will offer evidence for a Benjaminian project in contemporary literature via Mary Gaitskill’s Veronica. Whereas Benjamin must account for a cultural memory that informs a personal response to capitalism, Mary Gaitskill turns this formulation on its head by providing a universal account of contemporary culture through the personal memory of her protagonist. Finally, I will offer a possible synthesis of both approaches using Frantz Fanon’s autobiographical approach to explaining the bodily effects of racism. The act of remembering, whether personal, historical, or both, provides a bridge between the personal and the universal, the individual and socio-cultural. This bridge offers the possibility for understanding philosophical cultural criticism in a new light.
Professor and Chair at Baruch College, NYC
“Mitosis and Abortion”
Abstract: Various thought experiments are proposed leading to the conclusion that it is possible for two separate persons, X and Y, to share a common past, that is, for the same events to make up their shared past history. On the same grounds, it is possible for two separate persons to share a common future, that is, for that the same events to make up their shared future. X and Y might even share a common past and a common future, sharing a past, fissioning into two, and then fusing together at some later moment in time to share a future.
Let us call entities that share pasts and/or futures “superentities,” because they have stretches of shared superimposed histories. If such entities are possible, then the entity that is a first a human zygote, then a blastocyst, and then an embryo, is a superentity, fissioning after the zygote stage and then fusing after the blastocyst stage. Every human being is thus a superentity, the history of which begins at conception.
But there are in fact no such superentities. The postulate of superentities violates the metaphysical postulate that each entity exists wholly at each point in its history. There cannot be entities X and Y that were both Z in the past: either X is wholly Z or Y is wholly Z. The metaphysical argument against superentities is stronger than the arguments given on their behalf.
We are now calling for papers for the SUNY Oneonta 19th annual Philosophy Conference.
Any undergraduate student may submit a paper on any philosophical topic. The papers should be about 10-15 pages in length. If your paper is accepted, you will be invited to the conference to present and discuss your paper and participate in our full conference. The presentations should last about 20 minutes. We honor several topics and papers with awards. You can find the submission guidelines and cover page information in the menus on the left.
Take a right turn off of West Street and onto Ravine Parkway. Once on campus, then take the second right-hand turn across from the circle building, and drive straight through the large parking lot towards the four-columned building – this Morris Conference Center.
In the Morris Conference Center, SUNY Oneonta.
Thursday, April 11
Friday, April 12
9-10:30am: SESSION I
IA: Corporate Markets: Morris 130
Session Chair: Douglas Goldberg
Presenter: Kelsey Smith, College of the Holy Cross; “Corporation’s Fulfillment of Conditions of Personhood”
Discussant: Robert Tracey
Presenter: Kim, Kung Min, Pennsylvania State University; “Problems of Market Values Placed in the U.S. Education”
Discussant: Gregory Talamini
IB: Ayering with Freud: Craven Lounge
Session Chair: Daniel Dillman
Presenter: Shipman, Chad, Hartwick College; “A Critique of Ayer: Verifying Religious Propositions”
Discussant: Matthew McLain
Presenter: Vega, Katrina, Ithaca College; “An Examination of the Conclusiveness of Freud’s Critique of Religion and its Relation to the Psychoanalytic Theory”
Discussant: Michael Lindquist
10:45-12:45pm: SESSION II
IIA: Becoming Free: Morris 130
Session Chair: Lynn Golan
Presenter: Mosa, Alexander, University of Toronto; “On Determined Indeterminacy”
Discussant: Kelsey Smith
Presenter: Annunziata, Anthony, Elmira College; “An Ethics of Becoming”
Discussant: Meaghan Haugaard
IIB: Wonderful Horror: Craven Lounge
Session Chair: Emily Knapp
Presenter: Gleim, Joshua, Penn State University; “I Want to Live Again”
Discussant: Matthew McLain
Presenter: McLain, Matthew, College at Oneonta; “An Analysis of Noel Carroll’s Paradox of Horror: A Neo-Analytic Interpretation”
Discussant: Joshua Gleim
2-3:30pm: SESSION III
IIIA: Skeptech: Morris 130
Session Chair: Matthew McLain
Presenter: Braunscheidel, Zachariah, SUNY Fredonia; “The Skeptics of Science”
Discussant: Devin Williamson
Presenter: Lodato, Michael, College of the Holy Cross; “Attitudes Towards Technology in Heidegger and Dewey”
Discussant: Stephen Allard
IIIB: Miraculous Design: Craven Lounge
Session Chair: Aaron Segal
Presenter: Siden, Rachel, University of Massachusetts Amherst; “Science and Miracles”
Discussant: Michael Lodato
Presenter: McCarthy, Jillian; “Hume’s Critique of the Argument from Design in the Dialogues”
Discussant: Douglas Goldburg
4:00pm-6: SESSION IV
IVA: Post-Traumatic Philosophy: Craven Lounge
Session Chair: Michael Lindquist
Presenter: Johnson, Lindsey, RIT; “A Poem After Aushwitz”
Discussant: Daniel Dillman
Presenter: McGinn, Mark, Webster University; “Instrumentalism and Poetic Thinking”
Presenter: Watson, John, University of Hawai’i at Manoa (David Hall Prize); “Forgiveness in Action is Lovely”
Discussant: Chelsea Cleary
IVB: Serious Phish: Morris 130
Session Chair: Antoinette Astuto
Presenter: Segal, Aaron; “Knowing that One Knows”
Discussant: Dominique Petit-Frere
Presenter: Ziff, Joseph, Haverford College; “Reconfiguring the Realm of Law”
Discussant: Aaron Segal
Presenter: Marrone, Stephan, University of Chicago; “Losing the Forest for the Trees”
Discussant: Christopher Teter
7:30-9pm: Keynote: Carol Adams, Independent Scholar
9-11pm: President’s Reception
Saturday, April 13
9:00-10:30am: SESSION V
VA: NC-17: Craven Lounge
Session Chair: Devin Williamson
Presenter: Ueberroth, Jordan, Michigan State University; “Possible Parthood and Modal-Mereological Composition”
Discussant: Johnson, August
Presenter: Johnson, August, SUNY College, Oneonta; “Epistemic Dimensions and Direct Reference”
VB: Aristotle’s Slavery: Morris 130
Session Chair: Greg Talamini
Presenter: Hardy, Shaun, Belmont University; “Aristotle’s Slavery and Slavery in the Modern World”
Discussant: Tim Clark
Presenter: Jennings, Emily; “The Gentleman is Not a Vassal: Confucius, Aristotle, and the Ruler Exemplar”
Discussant: Andrew Gelb
10:45-12:15pm: SESSION VI
VIA: Confucius, Taoism and Ethics: Morris 130
Session Chair: August Johnson
Presenter: Arias, Laura, SUNY Oneonta; “Taoist Thought, Confucian Ideals”
Discussant: Keegan Nicholas
Presenter: Nichols, Keegan, Lehigh University; “A Bridge Between Two Worlds: The Tao of Immanuel Kant”
Discussant: Chelsea Cleary
VIB: Playing with Graffiti: Craven Lounge
Session Chair: Lynn Golan
Presenter: Hassan, Caitlin, West Virginia University; “Graffiti: Defacement of Property or the Revival of Art?”
Discussant: Lindsey Johnson
Presenter: Sblendorio, Andrew, SUNY Fredonia; “When You Play, You Have To Mean It”
Discussant: Emily Jennings
12:45-2:45pm: SESSION VII
VIIA: Bodies in Space: Craven Lounge
Session Chair: Chelsea Cleary
Presenter: Griffey, Allison, Belmont University; “Al Ghazzali’s Treatment of the Body in The Alchemy of Happiness”
Discussant: Lynn Golan
Presenter: Meimaris, Alkiviades, SUNY Purchase; “Enclosed Spaces”
Discussant: Laura Arias
Presenter: Demopoulos, Monique, SUNY New Paltz; “The Meaning (or Lack Thereof) of Love”
Discussant: Matthew Williams
2:45-4:15pm: Provost’s Banquet
1.Discussing a paper
Your role as discussant is to lead the questioning and commenting after a presentation is over. It is your duty to spark an intriguing and intelligent discussion that not only suffices in answering any unanswered questions but also takes the presentation to a further level of insight and reflection.
Check out the “guidelines” tab for more information about discussants.
2. There will be an informal discussion session with Carol Adams in Thursday at 5pm in the Morris Conference Center. This is open to all so come by to take part in stimulating discussion!
3. Dress code
We hope you will take this opportunity to get a little dressy. Doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but lets give this formal conference the integrity it deserves.
I hope everyone is as excited as we are!
➢ Undergraduate students are invited to submit papers about any philosophical topic or period.
➢ 10-15 pages in length (20 minute presentation)
➢ Submissions due by February 8th, 2013
Dr. Michael Koch: faculty (Michael.Koch@oneonta.edu)
Matthew McLain: student chair (email@example.com)
To submit a paper, please send the file to this email address:
I am happy to announce that Carol J. Adams will be a keynote speaker at this years Philosophy Conference. She is the author of the pro-feminist vegetarian critical theory book The Sexual Politics of Meat and a well known activist for the rights of animals, women and men alike. SUNY Oneonta and the SUCO Philosophy Conference is happy to invite her onto our campus and into our movement for human and animal rights. For more information please visit Carol Adam’s website
Photos from the 2012 Philosophy Conference
Credit for Photos to: Daniel Linek & Fatima Petersen