On Campus | Alumni
Friday, February 8, 2013, 3:30 – 5:30pm
Attendthe Philosophy Colloquium "The Value Problems of Knowledge: Moral andEpistemic," by Chienkuo Mi, on Friday, February 8from3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at theMemorial Building, Room 107. Chienkuo Mi, associate professor of philosophy at Soochow University (Taiwan), is currently a visiting scholar at Rutgers University. He is the author of the book Meaning, Truth, and Belief: Essays on the Philosophy of Language (in Chinese, Hsue-Fu Press: Taipei-Taiwan, 2005), and co-editor (with Rueylin Chen) of Naturalized Epistemology and Philosophy of Science(in English, Rodopi: Amsterdam-New York, printed in The Netherlands, 2007). He serves as a committee member on theInternational Cooperation of American Philosophical Associationand asexecutive director of Soochow Philosophy Center. He is also the general editor of the Princeton University Press series of Soochow University Lectures in Philosophy.
Friday, February 15
Philosophy Colloquium "Altruism, Empathy andMoral Education" by Francis Schrag
3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Memorial Building, Room 107
Francis Schrag is professor emeritus in the Departments of Educational Policy Studies and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In addition to two books, Thinking in School and Society (1988) and Back to Basics: Fundamental Educational Questions Reexamined (1995), he has published more than40 articles in philosophy and educational journals on a variety of topics. Among his publications are "The Child in the Moral Order," Philosophy, 1977; "Children and Democracy: Theory and Policy," Politics, Philosophy & Economics,2004; and "Moral Education in the Badlands," Journal of Curriculum Studies, 2010.
The answer to a significant question about what humans can and can't do may rightly be thought to have important implications for moral education. Among such questions, one of the most debated is whether we are motivated exclusively by self-interest or whether we also are capable of altruistic motives. I articulate the egoist challenge to the existence of altruism and summarize Daniel Batson's evidence against it. Next, I examine the educational implications Batson derives from his affirmation of altruism, contending that his egoist adversary would embrace the identical implications. I then introduce a different distinction, one that does make a difference educationally?a distinction whose importance was already recognized by Kant-- that between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Finally, since exponents of both egoism and altruism agree on the importance of cultivating empathy, I address the questions of whether empathy is teachable and whether it is as important as many moral educators claim.