Monthly Archives: August 2013

Welcome, new Loyolans! Let’s eat!

Note: For those who acknowledge a distinction, there will be no actual barbeque; we will be grilling out. I, for the record, am accustomed to using “BBQ” and endorse the above usage.

Original artwork by Molly Clasen.

CFP and Essay Prize: Moral Nonnaturalism

Special Issue of Res Philosophica on Moral Nonnaturalism
Essay Prize: $3,000
Guest Editor: Terence Cuneo (University of Vermont)
Deadline for Submission: April 1, 2014
Call for Papers
Res Philosophica invites papers on the topic of moral nonnaturalism for the 2014 Res Philosophica Essay Prize. The author of the winning paper will receive a prize of $3,000 and publication in the special issue of the journal on the same topic. Submissions for the prize will be automatically considered for publication in the journal’s special issue unless otherwise requested.
The recent history of moral nonnaturalism has been both tumultuous and unpredictable. In the early 20th century, thanks to the work of philosophers such as G. E. Moore and W. D. Ross, nonnaturalism was arguably the dominant metaethical position in Anglo-American philosophy. By mid-century, however, the view had fallen into disfavor, eclipsed by various versions of expressivism and moral naturalism. Indeed, by century’s end, most philosophers had given up nonnaturalism for dead. The view seemed to be of historical interest only.
Few, then, could have predicted that nonnaturalism would receive fresh and vigorous defenses in the early 21st century. Philosophers such as Russ Shafer-Landau, Ralph Wedgwood, David Enoch, and David Parfit each offered book-length defenses of the view, developing the case that moral nonnaturalism is a far more resilient, resourceful, and plausible position than most had assumed.
While nonnaturalism is now, once again, a view that philosophers take very seriously, challenges remain. Some of these challenges concern the view’s ontological commitments: How ought we to understand what a nonnatural property (or fact) is? What are the best reasons for holding that moral features (or facts) are not reducible to natural features (or facts)? Are these reasons persuasive? Moreover, what should nonnaturalists say in response to the charge that their view requires us to believe that ontologically discontinuous entities such as natural and nonnatural facts bear necessary connections to one another?
Other challenges concern the view’s epistemological commitments: Given the fact that our moral views have been heavily influenced by contingent cultural, historical, and evolutionary forces, how could nonnaturalists plausibly hold that we reliably track the moral truths? Moreover, nonnaturalists have tended to defend intuitionist views in moral epistemology, maintaining that some moral propositions are self-evident. To what extent, though, is nonnaturalism committed to a version of ethical intuitionism? And are these views defensible?
Still other challenges are broadly semantic: If nonnatural features (or facts) do not enter into the causal flow of nature, how could we get them in mind or refer to them? Are nonnaturalists committed to broadly descriptivist accounts of reference? Or can they join forces with naturalists in championing nondescriptivist accounts of reference?
These are just a sample of the sorts of issue that submissions might address. Papers that address other topics in the neighborhood are welcome.
All papers will be triple anonymously reviewed. Please format your submission so that it is suitable for anonymous review. (Instructions available here.)
Papers may be up to 12,000 words long (including footnotes).
We accept pdf and Microsoft Word documents. Papers may be submitted in any standard style, but authors of accepted papers will be required to edit their papers according to the journal’s style, which follows The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition). Style instructions are available here.
Please use the online submission form for submitting your essay, available here.

Events, 2013-14: Theology and Ecology

‘Theology and Ecology’ Event Planning for AY 13-14


Fall Semester


1.  Oct. 4   

            Screening of James Balog film “Chasing Ice” and Post-Screening Panel Discussion

            Panel: William French (Theo), Michael Agliardo, S.J. (Soc), Martin Berg (Biol)

            7:00-9:00pm, Damen Theater, LSC


            LUC’s participation in the nationwide Catholic Climate Coalition program “Melting Ice,   Mending Creation: a Catholic Approach to Climate Change.” Organized by the LUC            Office of Sustainability.


2.  Oct. 15 

            Presentation by Pulitzer Prize Winning Environmental Journalist Bob Marshall 

            Screening of Elizabeth Coffman/Ted Hardin film “Veins in the Gulf”

            4th Floor IC   (times being determined)

            Panel Discussion: interested faculty


            The focus of the event is on exploring how the overlapping themes of journalism,

            ecology, and religion impact the narrative ‘reading’ of catastrophic storm events and

            environmental disasters (in this case, those in the Gulf of Mexico).


            Organized by the School of Communication, Institute of Environmental Sustainability,
            and the Department of Theology


3.  Nov. 14-15

            Conference: US Energy and Environment: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy


            Nov. 14  7:00pm   Keynote Lecture: Filmmaker James Balog

            Nov. 15  9:15am   Presentation on Energy and Climate Change (speaker TBA)

                           11:15am Dr. Emmanuel Agius

                                          Presentation on Energy Policy from a European Perspective                  

                           2:00pm   Panel: Science, Ethics, and Energy Policy

                                          Dr. Howard Learner

                                          Dr. Donald Wuebbels

                                          Dr. Jame Schaefer


            Organized by the Department of Theology and the Institute of Environmental

CFP: 7th Annual Northern Graduate Philosophy Conference


7th Annual Northern Graduate Philosophy Conference
November 8-9, 2013
Northern Illinois University

Keynote Speaker: Mark Schroeder, University of Southern California
Friday, November 8, Holmes Student Center, University Suite

Submissions by graduate students of approximately 3,000 words in length on any topic in mainstream analytic philosophy are welcome. Submissions accessible to a general philosophical audience will be favored.


Please send the following as separate attachments in .pdf or WORD (.doc, .docx) format to

1.      A cover page, containing the following information:

a.      Author’s name

b.      Institutional affiliation

c.      Contact information (email, phone number)

d.      Title of paper

e.      Topic area of paper

f.        Word count

2.   The paper itself, free from all identifying information. Please include a title page with an abstract (no more than 150 words).


Responses to submissions will be sent by September 30, 2013.

Please direct all questions concerning the conference to the NIU Graduate Student Advisory Council in Philosophy:

We gratefully acknowledge sponsorship by the Department of Philosophy, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Northern Illinois University.

Third Annual WMU Medical Humanities Conference

September 26-27, 2013
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fetzer Center
Western Michigan University

Continental breakfast and lunch are included with event tickets. Separate registration for dinner required

Registration for the Third Annual WMU Medical Humanities Conference is now available:

And full conference details—including hotel information—is here:


CFP Second Annual Workshop on Food Justice: Bringing Theory and Practice Together at Michigan State University

Michigan State University’s Second Annual Workshop on Food Justice: Bringing Theory and Practice Together
May 23rd – 25th 2014

Food justice is a growing movement that has inspired both on-the-ground community projects and theoretical articulations across multiple disciplines. This workshop aims to help scholars and practitioners identify and address the challenges and opportunities in food justice, including issues surrounding food access, food sovereignty, agricultural and environmental ethics, and agricultural sustainability. The conference will span three days and include scholarly talks and visits to local environmental justice projects. Academic papers should be accessible to a public audience.


Paper proposals are invited in areas such as

  1. Food security and food sovereignty
  2. Local foods as a social movement
  3. Agricultural ecology and sustainability
  4. Issues surrounding non-human animals in agriculture
  5. Food, diet, and cooking as co-constitutive with identity
  6. Agricultural policy and food standards


The workshop is intended as a transdisciplinary space to forge connections between theories and between theory and practice. Papers in disciplines such as philosophy, sociology, anthropology, geography, history, literary criticism, political ecology, religious studies, and the human dimensions of environmental sciences are all encouraged.

Proposals for panels and 300-word abstracts for individual presentations are due by March 1st, 2014. Please send proposals and abstracts, and any questions, to Ian Werkheiser or Zach Piso