The Rock Ethics Institute

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Home > Events > Event Collections > All Previous Events

Events

All Previous Events

by admin Mar 06, 2015

The Richard B. Lippin Lecture Series: Moral Development in the Context of Group Games

When: Apr 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 111 Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, University Park, PA 16802

Group games are a vital aspect of constructivist early education, providing opportunities for academic learning (e.g., number, logical reasoning, spatial reasoning, literacy) as well as social and moral development. Dr. Hildebrandt will discuss the comparative benefits of cooperative and competitive games, and the importance of allowing children to create and regulate their own games within democratic, constructivist classrooms. The Richard B. Lippin Lecture Series: Moral Development in the Context of Group Games - Read More…

An Abolitionism Worthy of the Name: From Death Penalty Reform to Prison Abolition

When: Apr 14, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802

In Derrida’s lectures on the death penalty, the United States figures as “both exemplary and exceptional.” Derrida acknowledges the racist structure of state violence in the United States, and he cites data and specific cases to support this point, but he does not develop a critical analysis of race or racism in the lecture series. Drawing on the work of incarcerated intellectual Mumia Abu-Jamal, critical race theorists Cheryl Harris and Angela Davis, and contemporary prison abolitionists, I argue that racism is an issue, not only in the particular context of the United States, but also for the logic of the death penalty that Derrida proposes to deconstruct. Derrida’s own account of indemnity, interest, and condemnation in the Tenth Session is incomplete without a supplementary analysis of black civil death and the construction of whiteness as property. In conclusion, I argue that an abolitionism worthy of the name would have to move beyond the death penalty, towards the (im)possible project of prison abolition and the abolition of white supremacy. An Abolitionism Worthy of the Name: From Death Penalty Reform to Prison Abolition - Read More…

Sport Ethics Conference

Sport Ethics Conference

When: from Apr 06, 2017 10:00 AM to Apr 07, 2017 5:00 PM
Where: 110 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802

Join us at the Sport Ethics Conference to engage in a discussion on the integration of ethics into sports organizations and practices. Penn State sport practitioners and administrators will raise issues and ethical concerns that they face in their day-to-day engagement in sport. To help navigate the issues and concerns in a more ethically sound manner, world leading sport ethicist will provide a critical analysis of them. The following are some of the topics that will be explored: athletes’ role modeling, the pedagogical potential of sport participation, the environmental impact of sport events organization, and the commercialization of sport. Sport Ethics Conference - Read More…

Queer Green Sex Objects

When: Mar 31, 2017 at 4:00 PM
Where: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802

A Rock Co-sponsored Event. Queer Green Sex Objects - Read More…

The End of All Things: A Phenomenology of Elemental Time

When: Mar 31, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 401 Steidle Building, University Park, PA 16802

Ted Toadvine, Nancy Tuana Director of the Rock Ethics Institute, presents his Inaugural Lecture. The End of All Things: A Phenomenology of Elemental Time - Read More…

Rock Colloquia Series: Developing Robots that Learn How to be Ethical

When: Mar 30, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Where: 133 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802

This talk presents preliminary methods focusing on the goal of creating a robot which learns, adheres, adopts, and enforces social and ethical norms. The developing field of Machine Ethics examines the possibility of creating autonomous robots which act ethically. Two methods have been proposed by the field. Explicitly ethical robots follow predefined ethical rules (such as the laws of war) which govern and delimit their behavior (Arkin, Ulam, Wagner, 2012). Implicitly ethical robots, on the other hand, learn how to act ethically by interacting with the people around them. In addition to providing background related to the RoboEthics and Machine Ethics Fields, the presentation will focus on preliminary ideas related to the creation of implicitly ethical robots, the philosophical ramifications of doing so, and possible practical applications. Rock Colloquia Series: Developing Robots that Learn How to be Ethical - Read More…

Job Talk - Eco Camp: Queer(ing) Environmental Ethics in the Anthropocene

When: Mar 30, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Where: 216 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802

This presentation explores queer environmentalism in the Anthropocene, a word increasingly used to describe the anthropogenic destruction of ecosystems that marks our current geological era. Taking as my subject the contemporary ecosexuality movement, I think the queer and the ecological together to examine how ecosexuality answers the Anthropocene’s call to responsibility and action. I contend that ecosexuality’s concurrent urgency and playfulness embodied in a theatrical environmental sensibility I deem ­eco-camp exemplifies a carnivalesque ecological flourishing. While ecosexual thought and experience do not necessarily move us beyond the human, they do challenge human exceptionalism through a mode of florid performance, spectacle, and ostentatious sex-positivity that champions new forms of relationality between humans and other earthly inhabitants. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnivalesque (1968) and Chris Cuomo’s feminist ethics of flourishing (1998), I argue that ecosexuality’s campy ecological ethics offer an alternative to the didacticism and moralism that characterize much contemporary environmentalism. In the spirit of carnival, the tragi-comic and, at times, parodic tone of this eco-queer performance art generates an affective dissonance that spurs us to feel the full effects of our discordance with nature. I maintain that this irreverent environmentalism is capable of resonating with crisis-weary viewers so accustomed, if not immune, to the alarms of ecological catastrophe. Ultimately, ecosexuality’s campy eco-erotics simultaneously entertain and bewilder, stirring an unsettling array of responses apropos for these unsettling times. Job Talk - Eco Camp: Queer(ing) Environmental Ethics in the Anthropocene - Read More…

Job Talk - Fishy Behavior: A Field Experiment on (Dis)honesty in the Marketplace

When: Mar 29, 2017 at 1:00 PM
Where: 12 Katz Building, University Park, PA 16802

We conduct a natural field experiment in fish markets where sellers frequently cheat on weight and face negligible economic penalty. Exploiting exogenous variations in fish prices, an indicator of marginal economic benefit from cheating, we examine how dishonest behavior varies with rising economic benefit from cheating. We find that most sellers cheat but that cheating almost never exceeds ten percent of purchased quantity, and that the value of cheating is small. The data reveal a non-monotonic relationship wherein cheating initially increases and thereafter decreases in the fish price. Job Talk - Fishy Behavior: A Field Experiment on (Dis)honesty in the Marketplace - Read More…

Caring Across Species: Cripping Animal Ethics

When: Mar 24, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802

Through painting, printmaking, writing and other forms of political and artistic engagement, Taylor's work intervenes with dominant historical narratives of disability and animal oppression. This talk examines points of intersection between disability studies, animal ethics, and environmental studies, asking how art and creative research can open up new avenues of solidarity across species and ability.  Caring Across Species: Cripping Animal Ethics - Read More…

Rock Colloquia Series: Empathy is a choice - The limits of empathy are more apparent than real

When: Mar 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Where: 133 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802

Empathy, or the ability to feel what others feel, is often seen as a powerful moral force. But what are its limits? Many studies find that empathy is less sensitive to large-scale suffering (e.g., natural disasters, genocides) and the suffering of racial and political out-groups. These empathy deficits have led some scholars to argue against empathy, concluding that it is an unreliable basis for moral action. In this talk, he suggest that limits on empathy are more apparent than real: what appear to be built-in “glitches" in empathy may instead be due to motivated choices we make to avoid empathy’s costs. He will present a motivational framework for understanding empathy, and will discuss evidence that seemingly fixed limits on empathy can shift depending on what we want, and choose, to feel. If empathy limits are flexible choices rather than fixed constraints, this challenges strong normative arguments against the usefulness of empathy in everyday life. He will conclude by discussing implications for ethical debates about empathy and future directions in research on empathy as a choice. Rock Colloquia Series: Empathy is a choice - The limits of empathy are more apparent than real - Read More…