WMU News

Philosopher to examine dogmas of empiricist ethics

March 16, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The reasoning that comes into play when a person chooses to act ethically will be explored by a philosopher visiting Western Michigan University Monday, March 26.

Dr. Stephan Darwall, the John Dewey Collegiate Professor and chairperson of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, will discuss "Two Dogmas of Empiricism in Ethics" at 7:30 p.m. in the Brown and Gold Room of the Bernhard Center. His presentation is sponsored by the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society and is free and open to the public.

In his presentation, Darwall will argue that while the empiricist approach to ethics assumes that all reasons for an individual's ethical behavior are driven by the person's self interest, the reverse of this is actually true.

Darwall, whose writings focus on the topics of practical reason, respect, sympathy and the nature of moral obligation, has been at University of Michigan since 1984. Prior to that he taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of the several books including "Impartial Reason," "The British Moralists and the Internal 'Ought'," and "Philosophical Ethics."

For more information, contact the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at (616) 387-4397.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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