The Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University hosts speakers, conferences and other events.

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February 8—Dr. Samer Ali, University of Michigan, Before the Naked Ape
6 to 7:30 p.m., Fetzer Center
“Before the Naked Ape: al-Tawhidi (c. 900 CE) Performs the Animal Self in a Sphere of Political Participation,”
This event is free and open to the public. Complementary parking for the event available in lot 72-F. For overflow, please use lot 61

April 15– Alex Guerrero, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania
"Again Toward Perpetual Peace: World Government by Lottocracy"
6 p.m., Brown and Gold Room, Bernard Center
Winnie Veenstra Peace Lecture
Co-Sponsors: Department of Philosophy, Political Science, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Pax Christi, USA Teacher of Peace
Contact: Ashley Atkins

Past events


December 4-59th Annual WMU Graduate Philosophy Conference
Bernard Center room 157/15

April 16—"The Wooden Doctrine" A public lecture given by Dr. Janelle DeWitt, Janelle earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from UCLA, the same school at which Wooden won 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships in 12 years. Her research focuses on the nature of emotion and the complex role it plays in the development of moral character and its expression in moral action. She is also an avid basketball player and former collegiate athlete .

April 7–“Inside the Tobacco Industry” A public lecture given by Jeffey Wigand, Smoke-Free Kids, A principled scientist, Dr. Wigand joined Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation in 1988 to develop a “safer cigarette.” This is the story of his ethical journey from high-ranking tobacco executive to high-profile whistle blower. 

March 17–"Vulnerability, Preventability and Responsibility" A public lecture given by Dr. Daniel E. Wueste, Director, Rutland Institute for Ethics, and Professor of Philosophy, Clemson University. Dr. Wueste  shared a few stories in which the ideas of vulnerability, preventability and responsibility loom large; make a suggestion about the links between and among these ideas; and articulate an ethical principle that seems to emerge from them. According to this principle, responsibility is a function of two key features of a situation, namely, vulnerability and preventability. He will focus on responsibility in the sense of what one ought ethically to do, which, he suggests, nearly, if not completely, tracks with the query what one can be reasonably expected to do. To conclude, he will explore the implications for individual and organizational responsibility.