Friday, October 22, 2010

Stuck with Virtue Conference

Thursday, November 4 and Friday, November 5 Berry will host the first of a three-part conference series entitled “Stuck with Virtue.” This initial conference will include 7 distinct presentations, featuring over two dozen of the country’s leading experts in the fields of philosophy, political science, biology, genetics, sociology, and theology.


Working from the premise that human beings are by nature stuck with virtue, the conference series broadly seeks to identify the scholarly, educational, and civic framework in which an intellectually serious and humanly satisfying new science of virtue could reasonably hope to unfold and develop. To a great degree, our contemporary ideas about the grounds and substance of human virtue can be traced back to the thought of three modern thinkers: Rene Descartes, John Locke, and Charles Darwin. The conference series thus incorporates each of their contributions in light of the contemporary body of knowledge we have gained from recent work in the sciences, philosophy, and theology, with presentations from the experts leading the work and discussions today. Accordingly, the Stuck with Virtue Conference Series, integrating the best thought of the past and the present, directly responds to one of the enduring challenges of the virtuous life itself, namely, the need to understand the relation between who we are, what we have been given, and the concrete circumstances in which we presently find ourselves.

Visit for more information.

Conference Schedule:

Thursday, November 4, 2010
11:00 Lecture (Evans Auditorium): On Descartes
(Dr. Papazian will be a respondent!)
2:00 Panel (Evans Auditorium): Walker Percy on Science and the Soul
4:00 Lecture (Evans Auditorium): On Darwin
**7:00 Lecture (Ford Dining Hall): On Locke (with dinner)

Friday, November 5, 2010
9:00 Panel (Evans Auditorium): Being More Cartesian than Descartes
10:30 Panel (Evans Auditorium): Tom Wolfe, Technology, and Greatness
**12:30 Lecture (Krannert Ballroom): On Science, Virtue, and the Birth of Modernity (with lunch)

**Please contact me directly for information about obtaining an invitation to either or both of these lectures! It would be great if you all can come to all of these events, but if you haven't signed up with Dr. Lawler for the two lectures with food yet, let me know so that I can tell him to add you!!


sensible knave said...

The Stuck with Virtue conference was particularly boring. My feelings are that the last thing students would like to hear is a bunch of pious middle aged men talk of virtue and society's lack of it. I would much rather go to church, at least then I could sing a hymn or two. I also feel that there may be an inaccurate polarization effect of claiming we are 'stuck with virtue' because we are alternatively 'stuck with vice'. This leads the discussion away from the banal nature of evil which is the cause of much cruelty, suffering, and unvirtuous acts in the world. Also there is something very unvirtuous about a virtue conference that pays its speakers to dispense valuable knowledge and boost their own academic resumes in the process. One has to wonder if the virtuous ego stroking session held at berry college was actually intellectually serious as evident by the paper given by Darwin Larry who took on the impressive task of justifying Aristotelian virtue with Darwinian science. Like people who find the image of Jesus in their french toast, Darwin Larry performed a miracle of the academic kind by confirming the philosophy of a Greek guy with an English scientist.