Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, New York


July 28, Thursday

Registration; Book Display: 12:00-5:00 p.m. (Darin Communication Center – Great Hall)

Session 1: 1:00-2:30 p.m.

1A.  Democratic Theory (DCC 232)

Chair: Rory Kraft, Michigan State University

Jean-Marie Makang, Frostburg State University, “A Different Vanguard: Popular Consent and Political Competence in Democracy Reconsidered”

Richard Buck, Mount St. Mary’s University, “Deliberative Democracy and Democratic Equality”

1B. The Ethics of Unequal Relationships (DCC 235)

Chair: Ovadia Ezra, Tel Aviv University

Jordy Rocheleau, “Values, Advocacy and Neutrality in College Teaching”

Lisa Rivera, University of Massachusetts, Boston, “Best Practices for Beneficence”

1C. Technology and Economics (DCC 236)

Chair: Lauren Fleming, Georgetown University

Tait Szabo, University of Colorado, Boulder “Commodification and the Legal Prohibition of Organ Sales”

Victor Wallis, Berklee College of Music, “Socialism and Technology: A Sectoral Overview”

1D. Chinese Philosophy (DCC 239)

Chair: Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, American University of Sharjah

Wenyu Xie, International Theological Seminary, “Human Duty or Human Rights: In Search for the Foundation of Society”

Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, SUNY Cortland, “The Tao of Love: A Convergent Ethic of Nonviolent Compassion”

Session 2: 2:45-4:15 p.m.

2A. Group Rights (DCC 232)

Chair:        Jacob Affolter, University of California, Riverside

Jose Enrique Idler, University of Maryland, College Park, “Multiculturalism, Group Rights and the Value of Membership”

Lazar Popov, Purdue University, “Towards a Genuine Racial/Group Contractarianism”

2B. Defining Concepts of Life and Technology (DCC 235)

Chair: Richard Buck, Mount St. Mary’s University

Noel Boulting, “Conceptions of Technology: Developing a Peircian Suggestion”

Peter Higgins, University of Colorado, Boulder, “When Is a Definition of ‘Life’ Adequate?”

2C.  Ethics and Violence (DCC 239)

Chair: Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, SUNY Cortland

Joe Betz, Villanova University, “The Definition of 'Torture'”

Edmund F. Byrne, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. at Indianapolis, “Individual Homicidal Self-Defense: Neither Natural nor Culturally Desirable”


Session 3: 4:30-6:00 p.m.

3A. Welfare and Well-Being (DCC 232)

Chair: Lisa Cassidy, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Jim Molos, Queen’s University, "Subjects with Attitudes: Dealing with Our Intuitions about Welfare"

Jenny Szende, Queen’s University, “A Problem for Well-Being”

3B. Legal Theory (DCC 235)

Chair: John Wright, Miami University

Matt James, Washington University, “Does Legal Morality Need to be Fuller?”

Shane Ralston, Western State College, “The Politics of Reconstruction: Posner and Dewey on Democracy and a Diverse Judiciary”

3C.  Participation and Democracy (DCC 236)

Chair: Gaile Pohlhaus, Miami University

Angela Yesh, Miami University, “Gay Marriage”

Lauren Fleming, Georgetown University, “Public Input and Science Funding”

3D.  Individual and Group Action (DCC 239)

Chair: Brian Thomas, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 Jean Harvey, University of Guelph, “Securing Social Justice: The Role of Individuals”

Cindy Holder, University of Victoria, “Rethinking Collective Action”

Dinner (on your own)

First Plenary Session: 8:00 - 9:30 p.m.  Darin Communication Center  Room 337

Carol Gould, Stevens Institute of Technology, "Global Democratic Transformation and the Internet"

Reception: 9:30 - 10:30 p.m.  Russell Sage Dinning Hall

July 29, Friday

8:30-5:00 Registration  - Darin Communication Center – Great Hall

Session 4: 9:00-10:30 a.m.

4A. Eugenics (DCC 232)

Chair: Nancy Campbell, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Lisa Bellantoni, Albright College, “Disabling the Future: Eugenics for the Biotech Century”

Wade Roberts, Duquesne University, “Biopower and Liberal Eugenics: Foucault and Habermas on the Future of the Species”

4B. Oppression of Women (DCC 235)

Chair: Lisa Rivera, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Lisa Schwartzman, Michigan State University, “Choice, Circumstance, and Equality:  A Feminist Critique”

Margaret Crouch, Eastern Michigan University, “Cross-Cultural Conceptions of Sexual Harassment: The Middle East”

4C. Comparing People and Cultures (DCC 236)

Chair: Shelly Wilcox, Temple University

Mathieu Doucet, Queen's University, “Donald Davidson and the Problem of Interpersonal Comparison”

Lisa Cassidy, Ramapo College of New Jersey, “North is to South as Husband is to Wife? Exploring an Analogy”

4D. Libertarianism (DCC 239)

Chair: Shane Ralston, Western State College

Elin Palm, Royal Institute of Technology, “Is There Anything Wrong with Voluntary Slavery?”

David Traven, Ohio State University, “Libertarianism and Rights: A Justification of the More than Minimal State”

Session 5: 10:45-12:15 p.m.

5A. Virtue Theory (DCC 232)

Chair: Kevin Graham, Creighton University

Nancy Snow, Marquette University, “The Structure of the Self and the Possibility of Virtue”

John Wright, Miami University, “Virtue Theory and Moral Status”

5B. Biotechnology  (DCC 235)

Chair: Barry DeCoster, Michigan State University

Keith Bustos, University of Tennessee, “Exploring Monsanto’s Use of Terminator Technology.”

Johann Klaassen, First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC, “Contemporary Biotechnology and the New ‘Green Revolution’: Feeding the World with ‘Frankenfoods’?”

5C. Habermas and Technology (DCC 236)

Chair: Wade Roberts, Duquesne University

Drew Pierce, Michigan State University, “Habermas and Media Technology”

Roger Foster, “Rethinking the Critique of Instrumental Reason”

5D. Immigration Issues (DCC 239)

Chair: Colleen Stameshkin, Millersville University

Shelly Wilcox, Temple University, “Immigrant Admissions and Globalized Relations of Harm”

Lisa Campo Engelstein, Michigan State University,  “The Privatization of Immigrant Culture: A Burden for Women”

Lunch 12:15-1:45 p.m. (on your own)

Session 6: 1:45-3:15 p.m.

6A. Cyber Communities (DCC 232)

Chair: Patricia Marino, University of Waterloo

Sally Scholz, Villanova University, “Cyber Solidarity and Grassroots Webbing.”

Ovadia Ezra, Tel Aviv University, “The Moral Status of a Virtual Community.”

6B. The Limits of Punishment (DCC 235)

Chair: Jason Hanna, University of Colorado, Boulder

Lynne Arnault, Le Moyne College, “Technology Matters: Supermax Prisons and ‘Disappeared’ Human Suffering”

Jason L. Mallory, Binghamton University (SUNY), “Democracy and Prison Abolition”

6C. Moral Theory (DCC 236)

Chair:    Peter Higgins, University of Colorado, Boulder

Alistair McLeod, Queens University, “Acts of Consent, Commitment and Promise as Sources of Moral Duties and Rights”

Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, American University of Sharjah, “Separation and Conscience”

6D. Technology and Morality (DCC 239)

Chair: Aaron Lercher, St. Andrews Presbyterian College

Martin Gunderson, Macalester College, “Human Rights, Dignity and Germ-Line Engineering”

Daniel Levine, Georgetown University, “Could Robot Weapons Bring about the Moral Disappearance of the Soldier?”

Book Award 3:30 - 5:00 p.m., Darin Communication Center Room 337

Seyla Benhabib, The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents, and Citizens


Johann Klaassen, First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC

Jeremy Bendyk-Keymer, American University of Sharjah

Marilyn Fischer, University of Dayton

Banquet 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.  Russell Sage Dining Hall

Presidential Address:

William McBride, Purdue University, “The End of Liberal Democracy as We Have Known It?”

Business Meeting 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., DCC 337

OPEN HOUSE 9:00-Midnight Conference participants are invited to the home of local host Sharon Anderson-Gold at 130 2nd Street in the historic district of downtown Troy. Wine and cheese.

Saturday, July 30

Session 7: 9:00-10:30 a.m.

7A. War and Race (DCC 232)

Chair: Edmund F. Byrne, Indiana University, Purdue University at Indianapolis

Robert Van Wyk, “Reflections on Jean Bethke Elshtain, George Weigel, Lee Harris and Just War Theory”

Kevin Graham, Creighton University, “Color, Race, and White Privilege”

7B. The Impact of Technology on Ethics (DCC 235)

Chair: Daniel Levine, Georgetown University

Colleen Stameshkin, Millersville University, “Technologically and the End of Abortion as We Know It”

Ronald Sandler, Northeastern University, “Designing the Very Small: Is There a Need for a New, a Nano Ethic?”

 7C. Autonomy and Justice (DCC 236)

Chair: Cindy Holder, Victoria University

Anne Donchin, Indiana University, “Recasting Autonomy/ Rethinking Justice: Perspectives from Bioethics”

Brian Thomas, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, “What Personal Autonomy Can Teach Us about Group Autonomy”

7D. Examining History (DCC 239)

Chair: Mark Jensen, University of Notre Dame

Adam Rosen, New School University, “Sovereignty or Social Justice?”

Rory Kraft, Michigan State University, “After the End of History? 9/11 and Its Aftermath”

Session 8: 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

8A. The Significance of the Sociological (DCC 232)

Chair: Roger Foster

Mark Jensen, University of Notre Dame, “How Should Sociological Facts Constrain Social and Political Theory? Civil Society as a Test Case”

Jonathan Roberge, University of Montreal, “Man and Culture from the Standpoint of French Hermeneutics”

8B. Islam Considered (DCC 235)

Chair: Margaret Crouch, Eastern Michigan University

Irfan Khawaja, The College of New Jersey, “Realism, Nominalism, and Orientalism: Edward Said on the Essence of Islam”

Ramazan Bicer, University of Sakarya, “Do Religion and Science Conflict?”

8C.  Conceptualizing Science and Technology (DCC 236)

Chair: Sharon Anderson-Gold, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Noel Boulting, “Four Accounts of the Relationship between Science and Technology with Respect to the Problem of Rationality”

Matt Silliman, North Adams State, “Two Cheers for Reductionism”

8D. Sex and Lust (DCC 239)

Chair: Sally Scholz, Villanova University

Patricia Marino, University of Waterloo, “Seeking Desire: Reflections on Blackburn's Lust”

Helga Varden, University of Toronto, "A Kantian Conception of Rightful Sexual Relations"

Lunch 12:15-1:45 p.m.

Second Plenary Session 1:45-3:15 p.m. Darin Communication Center Room 337


Sandra Harding, University of California, Los Angeles, "Women, Science, Modernity"


Session 9: 3:30-5:45 p.m.

9A. Environmental Justice (DCC 232)

Chair: Johaan Klaasen, First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC

Sharon, Anderson-Gold, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “Global Warming and Social Justice”

Aaron Lercher, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, “Mercury Emissions Trading and Environmental Rights”

Sarah Kenehan, University of Tennessee, “Moving Towards Environmental Sustainability: The Relationship Between Fossil Fuel Consumption and the Preservation of Background Justice in A Well-Ordered Society”

9B.  Rawls Revisited (DCC 235)

Chair: Lisa Schwartzman, Michigan State University

Walter Riker, University of Tennessee, “Rawls’s Liberal Principle of Legitimacy Revisited”

Chris Lowry, Queens University, “The Difference Principle, Resource Scarcity and Wellbeing”

Jacob Affolter, University of California, Riverside, “Boundaries of Justice: A Reply to Kok-Chor Tan.”

9C.   Considering Punishment (DCC 236)

Chair: Jason Mallory, Binghamton University (SUNY)

Christopher Ciocchetti, Centenary College of Louisiana, “Trust and Punishment”

Jason Hanna, University of Colorado, “Getting Lucky, Getting Even, or Getting Away with (Attempted) Murder: The Punishment of Failed Attempts”

Jeffrey Paris, University of San Francisco, “Notes Toward a Philosophy of Mass Incarceration”


9D. Epistemology and Justice (DCC 239)

Chair: Nancy Snow, Marquette University

Gaile Pohlhaus, Miami University, “Knowing Others Well”

Nancy Campbell, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “Situated Expertise: Feminist Epistemology as a Route to Social Justice”

Barry DeCoster, Michigan State University, “Who Explains Disease?: Epistemological Communities and Medical Explanations of Disease”