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Past Events

Alston Lecture

Sep 29, 2017, 11:30 AM-7:00 PM

500 Hall of Languages

This istallment of the lecture series will feature the following:

John MacFarlane (University of California, Berkeley) "Constraint Semantics".

Kirsten Egerstrom (Southern Methodist University) "Meaning in Life and Happiness: Two Dimensions of Selfhood".

Thomas Senor (University of Arkansas) "Evidentialism and the Diachronic Nature of Normativity".

For a full schedule of events, please refer to this flyer.

Colloquia - Julia Markovits

Sep 15, 2017, 4:00 PM-6:00 PM

Hall of Languages 107

Colloquia are typically held on Friday afternoons, and are followed by a reception in HL 538.

The speaker for this colloquia will be Julia Markovits, Associate Professor, Cornell University, "Moral Worth and the (Partial) Relativism of Praise and Blame".

Start of the Fall 2017 Semester

Aug 28, 2017, 8:00 AM-8:00 AM

Campus Wide

The first day of classes for the Fall 2017 Semester is Monday, August 28th!

SPAWN 2017 First-order Metaphysics

a photo related to the event
Jun 26, 2017, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Syracuse University

Following the distinctive SPAWN format, the papers for the main workshop sessions will all be by junior philosophers, who have earned their Ph.Ds since 2006. The commentators will be more senior philosophers.

The SPAWN workshops are all “read-ahead”, and the nine papers for the main sessions will be posted on the password-protected Papers section of this website by mid to late June.
In order to maintain the small workshop format, participation in SPAWN is by invitation only and not open to the public. If you are not an invited participant but would like to attend, please contact the 2017 SPAWN director, Kris McDaniel ( Only a small number of outside participants can be added.

Academic Organizer: Kris McDaniel ( Logistics Coordinator: Arturo Javier Castellanos (; Webmaster: Teresa Bruno (

This year’s conference is sponsored by the Alice Hooker ’34 Endowed Fund for Philosophy and The Central New York Humanities Corridor supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information, visit the SPAWN Website.

Graduate Student Conference

a photo related to the event
Mar 24, 2017, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM


Graduate students in philosophy are invited to submit papers in any area of philosophy by January 4, 2017.
Please send submissions to  Papers should be suitable for approximately 40 minute presentations (no more than 4000 words).  After presentation, an SU grad student will comment followed by open Q&A.
Include in submission abstract; paper prepared for blind review, and title page that includes name, title of paper, email, and affiliated institution.
Keynote Speakers are Agustín Rayo (MIT) and Fred Beiser (Syracuse).

Anbar Lecture by Adina Roskies

Jan 20, 2017, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

500 Hall of Languages

Free Will in the Age of Neuroscience
Friday, January 20, 2017, 4:00 pm, 500 Hall of Languages
Abstract: Philosophers have long struggled with the problem of free will; more recently neuroscientists have claimed to be able to speak to this longstanding problem. I review some of the recent work in neuroscience that purports to bear on the problem of free will, and argue that although neuroscience can contribute to our understanding, it cannot resolve the problem of free will without recourse to philosophy.

Alston Lecture

Oct 22, 2016, 11:30 AM-7:00 PM

132 Lyman Hall

This istallment of the lecture series will feature the following:

Gideon Rosen (Princeton University) "Rage Against the Machine: Anger as a Political Emotion".

Sean McAleer (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) "What Kind of Fool Am I? Foolishness, Character, and the Unity of Virtue".

Pierre LeMorvan (The College of New Jersey) "Knowledge and Security".

For a full schedule of events, please refer to this flyer.

Alston Lecture

Sep 5, 2015, 10:30 AM-5:00 PM

500 Hall of Languages

This is installment of the lecture series will feature the following:

Keith DeRose (Yale University) "Acceptance in Philosophy and in Religion".

Seth Shabo (University of Delaware) "Sourcehood and Self-determination: Revisiting an Argument for Incompatibilism".

Frances Howard Snyder (Western Washington University) "Trusting Fiction".

For a full list of events, please refer to this flyer.

Anbar Lecture by Thomas Hurka

Oct 27, 2014, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

304 Tolley Humanities Building

'More Seriously Wrong'
Monday, October 27, 2014, 1:00 pm, 304 Tolley Building, Syracuse University (reception to follow)
Common-sense morality thinks that among acts that are wrong some are more seriously wrong than others; thus murder is more seriously wrong than breaking a trivial promise. This paper examines what makes an act more seriously wrong and argues that the answer is different for different types of wrong act. It also asks whether there's a parallel concept of more important rightness.

Anbar Lecture by Thomas Hurka

Oct 26, 2014, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM

Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Road, Dewitt, NY

The Best Things in Life
Sunday, October 26, 2014, 7:00 pm, Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Road, Dewitt, New York
This presentation asks what aspects of our lives are good in themselves, or by themselves make life worth living. Against those philosophers who've argued that there's just one ultimate good, often pleasure or knowledge, it argues that there are many, including pleasure, knowledge, achievement, virtue, and love. It also discusses what each good involves and what makes it valuable.

Anbar Lecture by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Sep 30, 2013, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

500 Hall of Languages

Are Psychopaths Morally Responsible?
Monday September 30, 2013, 4:00 pm, 500 Hall of Languages, Syracuse University
Psychopaths are less than 1% of the general population but commit over 30% of violent crime in the United States. In addition to these practical problems, psychopaths also raise fascinating theoretical issues about the limits of human nature and morality. In particular, we need to determine whether psychopaths are morally responsible, which depends in part on whether they appreciate the moral wrongfulness of what they do. Recent scientific research has revealed surprising facts about psychopaths and their moral judgments, and these discoveries point to new ways to handle and treat psychopaths.

Anbar Lecture by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Sep 29, 2013, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM

Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Road, Dewitt, NY

Does Neuroscience Undermine Moral Responsibility?
Sunday September 29, 2013, 7:00 pm, Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Road, Dewitt, New York
Many religions claim that humans at least sometimes have free will and are morally responsible. Neuroscience is often seen as challenging these assumptions. However, when free will and responsbility are properly understood, neuroscience does not really undermine free will or responsibility in general. Instead, what neuroscience challenges is only responsibility in particular cases, which are fascinating and important but do not generalize to all human action.