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Visiting philosopher addresses moral evolution

Nov. 19, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A visiting scholar will address how much morality has evolved when he speaks in early December at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Edouard Machery, associate professor of philosophy in the University of Pittsburgh Department of History and Philosophy of Science, will discuss the "Evolution of Morality" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, in the political science library on the third floor of Friedmann Hall.

In his talk, Machery will examine whether morality really evolved, as many philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists and biologists claim. He asserts there are three possible versions of that claim and will review the evidence and support of each version.

Machery's research is at the interface of philosophy and science, especially cognitive science and psychology. A prominent exponent of the emerging field of experimental philosophy, he conducts experiments designed to illuminate philosophical quandaries. In his latest book, "Doing Without Concepts," Machery argues his discipline should do away with the notion of a "concept" in order to most effectively further psychological research.

Machery's visit is sponsored by the WMU Department of Philosophy and is through the Visiting Scholars and Artist Program. Established in 1960, the Visiting Scholars and Artists Program significantly contributes to the intellectual life of WMU and the community. The program provides funds for academic units to bring distinguished scholars and artists to campus. These visitors meet with faculty and students in their fields and address the community at large.

Since the program began, it has supported more 600 visits by scholars and artists representing more than 60 academic disciplines.

For more information, call Dr. Fritz Allhoff, associate professor of philosophy, at (269) 387-4503.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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