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Philosophy & Religion | McDowell Conference 2008

17th Annual McDowell Conference
Fall 2008 Program


Friday, November 7, 2008
Ward 1
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm



1:00 pm - 3:30 pm Session I:

“Remotion: Reflections on the Relation between Reason and Emotion”
Jeffrey Reiman, William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy, American University

“Emotions, Value, and Politics”
Ronald de Sousa, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Toronto,
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

“Care of the Self as a Political/Ethical Practice”
Jane Flax, Professor of Political Science, Howard University

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Refreshments

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Session II:

“Forgiveness: Emotions, the Self, and the Other”
Laurence Thomas, Professor of Philosophy and Political Science, Syracuse University

“Desire and Disposability”
Elizabeth V. Spelman, Professor of Philosophy and Barbara Richmond Professor
in the Humanities, Smith College

“Shame, Disgust, and the Body in Question”
Ellen K. Feder, Associate Professor of Philosophy, American University



Ellen K. Feder teaches philosophy at American University. She is the author of Family Bonds: Genealogies of Race and Gender (2007), and is currently working on a monograph on ethics and the medical management of intersex. Her work in this area will appear this year in GLQ as well as the Hastings Center Report and The Lancet.

Jane Flax is Professor of Political Science at Howard University and a psychotherapist in private practice in Washington, DC. She is author of three books and over 50 articles. Her work is interdisciplinary, drawing on, among others, political theory, philosophy, critical race theory, psychoanalysis and feminist theory. Currently, she is revising a book manuscript, Shadow at the Heart, that analyzes the persistence of race/gender domination in the US and explores practices that might diminish it.

Ronald de Sousa is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was educated in Switzerland, England and the US. He lives in Canada. He is the author of The Rationality of Emotion (MIT 1987) and Why Think? Evolution and the Rational Mind (OUP), as well as over a hundred articles and book chapters on philosophy of mind, emotions, ethics, philosophy of biology, and aesthetics.

Jeffrey Reiman is the William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy at American University. He is the author of In Defense of Political Philosophy (Harper & Row, 1972), Justice and Modern Moral Philosophy (Yale, 1990), Critical Moral Liberalism: Theory and Practice (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), The Death Penalty: For and Against (with Louis Pojman) (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Abortion and the Ways We Value Human Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice, 8th ed. (Allyn & Bacon, 2007), and more than fifty articles in philosophy and criminal justice journals and anthologies.

Elizabeth V. Spelman teaches Philosophy at Smith College. Among her published works are three books—Inessential Woman: Problems of Exclusion in Feminist Thought; Fruits of Sorrow: Framing Our Attention to Suffering; Repair: the Impulse to Restore in a Fragile World. “Desire and Disposability” is part of a larger project tentatively entitled Philosophy and Waste: The Garbagio Seminars.

Laurence Thomas is Professor at Syracuse University and the author of, most recently, The Family and the Political Self (CUP, 2006).