65th Annual Northwest Philosophy Conference
October 4-5, 2013
"Jesus Meets Plato: The Theology of the Gospel of Thomas"
Thursday, October 17, 2013
4:15PM, Eaton 424
Jeff Jordan has recently challenged the idea, widely accepted among theistic philosophers, that "God’s love must be maximally extended and equally intense." By way of a response, I suggest a way to sidestep Jordan’s argument entirely and then try to show that his own argument is multiply flawed. I thus conclude that his challenge is unsuccessful.
"Environmental Politics and the Problem of Subjection"
March 7, 2014
4:15PM, Eaton 307
While green theorists and activists have historically been skeptical of the potential to persuade the democratic public to embrace an ecologically sensitive agenda for social and economic development, in recent years a growing number of writers inspired by Jürgen Habermas and the "deliberative turn" in democratic theory have challenged the assumption that rational discourse cannot produce a conversion of the democratic public to an ecological perspective. The prospect of an effective deliberative environmental politics, as attractive as it might be, however, still faces a serious obstacle insofar as many environmentally destructive practices or relationships are the objects of affective identity attachments for the subjects who participate in them. Drawing insights from a critical feminist theory of subjection, I argue that such identity attachments are often recalcitrant to rational criticism and that they can be manipulated to occlude the presentation of important environmental problems in open forums of public discourse. A case study drawn from anti-development politics, the controversy over the Ralco dam in southern Chile, is given to illustrate the difficulties that residual identity attachments present to deliberative environmental politics and to highlight the need to supplement deliberation with extra-discursive practices of critique.
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