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Philosophy & Religion | McDowell Conference

16th Annual McDowell Conference
Fall 2006 Program


Friday, November 3, 2006
McDowell Formal Lounge
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm



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

“Our Culture, Our Children, Their Freedom ”
Jeffrey Reiman, William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy, American University

“Between Parents and Children, A Second Look”
Tibor Machan, R. C. Hoiles Professor of Business Ethics and Free Enterprise, Argyros
School of Business and Economics, Chapman University

“Why Children and Other Dependents Belong in Political Theory”
Eva Kittay, Professor of Philosophy, Stony Brook University

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Refreshments

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

“What Adoption Can Teach Us About Children’s Rights”
Charlotte Witt, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, University of New Hampshire

“Our Duties and Debts to Children”
Richard Miller, Director, Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American
Institutions; Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University

“The Pedagogy of Social Justice”
Sarah Irvine Belson, Dean, School of Education, Teaching and Health, American
Gail Humphries Mardirosian, Chair, Department of Performing Arts, American University


Sarah Belson, Dean of the School of Education and an associate professor at American University in Washington DC, received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Her ongoing research activities focus on infusing effective components of instructional design with emerging technology in the field of special education. Dr. Irvine directs several school-based projects examining urban education and policy in the classroom. Through field-based research, she has successfully worked in educational programs for rural and at-risk K-12 students.

Gail Humphries Mardirosian is the Chair of the Department of Performing Arts at the American University, where she is now in her 23th year as a professor of theatre. She has directed a total of 106 productions, including musicals, serious dramas, the classics, and children’s theatre, in varied venues throughout the United States. Gail is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary instruction K-16. To that end, she founded Imagination Quest (IQ) nearly 10 years ago as an arts-integration curriculum, teacher training, and research project. Gail’s publications include: “The Theatre of Psychology, the Psychology of Theatre” in the Journal of Teaching Psychology; “An American Voicing of the Silenced Theatre of Josef Topol” for the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Science; “Parallel Power: Periklean Athens and Antigone from Page to Stage at American University” for the European Cultural Council; and articles for the International Journal of Learning, Teaching Artist Journal, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, and Theatre and Education, focusing on literacy learning for at-risk students through arts-based instruction and case studies of the Imagination Quest project. She is currently working on a book entitled Teaching to Reach Potential: Using the Arts as a Pathway to Success in Learning K-16.

Eva Kittay is a professor of philosophy at SUNY, Stony Brook. Among her most recent major publications are “On the Margins of Moral Personhood” (Ethics, October 2005) and Blackwell Studies in Feminist Philosophy (with Linda Alcoff, forthcoming). Her books include Theoretical Perspectives on Dependency and Women (with Ellen Feder, 2002); Love’s Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency (1999); Women and Moral Theory (1987, 1989); Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure (1987, 1989); and Frames, Fields and Contrasts (edited with A. Lehrer, 1992). She has several special issues of philosophy journals on the subject of disability. She is at work on a book, tentatively entitled, A Humbler Philosophy: Disabled Minds and the Things that Matter, which engages philosophical views with the challenges posed by cognitive disabilities. She is the mother of two children, one of whom has significant cognitive impairments.

Tibor Machan, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Philosophy, Auburn University, AL, holds the R. C. Hoiles Professorship of Free Enterprise and Business Ethics at the Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University, CA. He is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Machan is a syndicated and free lance columnist, author of more than 30 books—most recently, Objectivity--Recovering Determinate Reality in Philosophy, Science, and Everyday Life (Ashgate, 2004)—editor of 20 others, and has written over a hundred scholarly papers. Machan was visiting professor at the US Military Academy, West Point, 1992-1993. He edited Reason magazine for two years and had been editor of Reason Papers, an annual journal of interdisciplinary normative studies, for 25 years. He lectures in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, and Latin America on business ethics and political philosophy.

Richard Miller is the Director of the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions and Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, where he teaches courses in religious thought and ethics. He is the author of Interpretations of Conflict: Ethics, Pacifism, and the Just-War Tradition; Casuistry and Modern Ethics: A Poetics of Practical Reasoning; and Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine. He has edited War in the Twentieth Century: Sources in Theological Ethics (1992) and has written articles and book chapters on the ethics of humanitarian intervention, civic virtue, multiculturalism, children and medical ethics, religion, and public intellectuals. He is currently at work on a project, 9/11, War, and Moral Memory.

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.

Charlotte Witt is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of New Hampshire. She is interested in ancient philosophy, feminist theory, and metaphysics, and has published articles and books in all three areas. She is the co-editor of Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays (2004). A recent recipient of a research fellowship from the American Council of Learned Studies, she received the Excellence in Research Award from the University of New Hampshire in 2005.