The Demarcation Problem for Philosophy

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

  Join Steven Yablo, David W. Skinner Professor of Philosophy, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a Howison Lecture on the topic of The Demarcation Problem for Philosophy. Philosophy almost alone among disciplines appears to lack a distinctive subject matter. The world has chemical, biological, and political aspects, but no philosophical aspects. If subject matter does have a role to play here, it’s to do less with the field’s descriptive ambitions than the genealogy of philosophical problems. This lecture will be streamed live on the Berkeley Graduate Lectures website. It is currently also being offered in person, though that is subject to change. Like all Berkeley Graduate Lectures, this event is free and open to the public. Please register to receive updates regarding the event. Register for the event For more information about this lecture and upcoming lecture series events, please visit the Berkeley Graduate Lectures webpage.

UC Berkeley Tanner Lecture: Charles Beitz on For the People? Representative Government in America: Intimations of Failure

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Charles Beitz, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics at Princeton University for an Obert C. Tanner Lecture on the Intimations of Failure.  Political scientists, constitutional lawyers, and democratic theorists consider norms of democratic representation in literature whose paths cross too seldom. They do not agree about the meaning of fair and effective representation. Democratic theory is perhaps the area to which one would look for insight, but for the most part it has been too remote from political practice to illuminate the problems of our recent institutional history. These lectures will try to bring the theory of democratic representation into closer contact with its troubled American practice.  For those interested in the moral basis of representative democracy, the narrative of malfunction raises two questions. First, are the symptoms documented by political scientists really failures? What norms of democratic representation do they infringe? This is a problem of diagnosis. Second, approaching the subject more constructively, what would successful democratic representation look like? If we grant that democratic politics is unavoidably a form of regulated rivalry, what would it mean for its regulation to be fair and effective? The first lecture will address the problem of diagnosis.  Please be advised that this event is currently being offered in person. The in-person event will be held at Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. 

UC Berkeley Tanner Lecture: Charles Beitz on For the People? Representative Government in America: Regulating Rivalry

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Charles Beitz, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics at Princeton University for a Obert C. Tanner Lecture on Regulating Rivalry.  Political scientists, constitutional lawyers, and democratic theorists consider norms of democratic representation in literature whose paths cross too seldom. They do not agree about the meaning of fair and effective representation. Democratic theory is perhaps the area to which one would look for insight, but for the most part it has been too remote from political practice to illuminate the problems of our recent institutional history. These lectures will try to bring the theory of democratic representation into closer contact with its troubled American practice.  This lecture will be for those interested in the moral basis of representative democracy, the narrative of malfunction raises two questions. First, are the symptoms documented by political scientists really failures? What norms of democratic representation do they infringe? This is a problem of diagnosis. Second, approaching the subject more constructively, what would successful democratic representation look like? If we grant that democratic politics is unavoidably a form of regulated rivalry, what would it mean for its regulation to be fair and effective? The first lecture addresses diagnosis. This lecture will discuss prescription.  Please be advised that this event is currently being offered person. The in-person event will be held at Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. 

Seminar & Discussion: Charles Beitz on For the People? Representative Government in America

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Charles Beitz, Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics at Princeton University for an Obert C. Tanner Lecture on the Intimations of Failure. This is the third and final event For the People? Representative Government in America lecture series. Political scientists, constitutional lawyers, and democratic theorists consider norms of democratic representation in literature whose paths cross too seldom. They do not agree about the meaning of fair and effective representation. Democratic theory is perhaps the area to which one would look for insight, but for the most part it has been too remote from political practice to illuminate the problems of our recent institutional history. These lectures will try to bring the theory of democratic representation into closer contact with its troubled American practice. For those interested in the moral basis of representative democracy, the narrative of malfunction raises two questions. First, are the symptoms documented by political scientists really failures? What norms of democratic representation do they infringe? This is a problem of diagnosis. Second, approaching the subject more constructively, what would successful democratic representation look like? If we grant that democratic politics is unavoidably a form of regulated rivalry, what would it mean for its regulation to be fair and effective? The first lecture addresses diagnosis. The second lecture discusses prescription. This seminar and discussion includes commentary on these topics by Martin Gilens, Pamela S. Karlan, and Jane Mansbridge. The in-person event will be held at Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. The event will also be available virtually via live stream on the lecture webpage. Please be advised that this event is not being offered virtually, though a recording of the lecture will be available on the Tanner website following the event. Former messaging mistakenly included references to a live stream, which will not be available. For updates about this lecture and upcoming lecture series events, please visit the Tanner Lectures website.

UC Berkeley Jefferson Memorial Lecture with Judith Heumann on “The Status Quo Loves To Say No”: Disability Rights and the Battle against Structures of Exclusion

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join disability rights activist Judith Heumann for a Jefferson Memorial Lecture on the topic of “The Status Quo Loves To Say No”: Disability Rights and the Battle against Structures of Exclusion.  This lecture, delivered in a conversational format, will focus on aspects of Heumann’s journey that are most salient to the perils and possibilities of the present. Heumann sees in this moment a fragile and imperfect democracy, but one that is nonetheless worth investing in. She also sees deep structures of exclusion, vigorously defended but also vulnerable to political pressure and moral suasion. The discussion will also address why progress, while being meaningful, has still not been as significant as she believes it should be. Please be advised that this event is currently being offered virtually and in person, though that is subject to change. The in-person event will be held at Toll Room, Alumni House — UC Berkeley Campus. The event will also be available virtually via live stream on the lecture webpage. You can find directions to the Toll Room here. For updates about this lecture and upcoming lecture series events, please visit the Berkeley Graduate Lectures website.

UC Berkeley Moses Memorial Lecture: Hilary Hoynes on The Social Safety Net as an Investment in Children

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Hilary Hoynes for a Bernard Moses Memorial Lecture on the topic of "The Social Safety Net as an Investment in Children". A hallmark of every developed nation is the provision of a social safety net – a collection of public programs that deliver aid to the poor.  Because of their higher rates of poverty, children are often a major beneficiary of safety net programs. Compared to other countries, the U.S. spends less on antipoverty programs and, consequently, has higher child poverty rates. In this lecture, Professor Hoynes will discuss the emerging research that examines how the social safety net affects children’s life trajectories. The long run benefits are significant for the families, but also show that many programs prove to be excellent public investments. This has implications for current policy discussions such as the expanded Child Tax Credit. Please be advised that this event is currently being offered virtually and in person, though that is subject to change. The in-person event will be held at Toll Room, Alumni House — UC Berkeley Campus. The event will also be available virtually via live stream on the lecture webpage. You can find directions to the Toll Room here. For updates about this lecture and upcoming lecture series events, please visit the Berkeley Graduate Lectures website.

UC Berkeley Barbara Weinstock Lectures with Kevin Bales on Slavery in the Economy of the Anthropocene

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Kevin Bales, Professor of Contemporary Slavery and Research Director of the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham for a Barbara Weinstock Lecture on Slavery in the Economy of the Anthropocene.   Many of the vast changes in our world brought about by the onset of the Anthropocene rest within the global economy. Slavery is a paradoxical driver of these detrimental changes. The paradox rests on the fact that within the global economy slavery is both economically trivial, almost insignificant, and yet critical and crucial in its impact. Recall that there are conservatively estimated to be some 40 million slaves in the world today. The UN estimates their efforts generate about $150 billion each year into the global economy. If slavery were a country of 40 million inhabitants with a GDP of $150 billion per annum, it would be a small, poor country with the population of Ukraine, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Arkansas. Yet how can the small, poor “country” of slavery have an immense and negative global impact on our environment? How can such a scattered and suppressed population of enslaved people be, as we know now, be a key driver of the environmental changes that in turn create the conditions of the Anthropocene? What is just now coming to light, and is critical to the understanding of both slavery and the Anthropocene, is the very large and negative environmental impact of this very small number of slaves worldwide. Political corruption supports this slave-based environmental destruction and its human damage. We are clearly in a biologically and geologically new situation, hence the push to rename our current epoch the ‘Anthropocene’. So my last points will be conjectures – what are the possible futures for slavery, for our environment, for our economies, and for us? This event will be held in person at Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus.  For updates about this lecture and upcoming lecture series events, please visit the Berkeley Graduate Lectures website.

UC Berkeley Jefferson Memorial Lecture with Michael W. McConnell on “Constructing a Republican Executive”

Bancroft Hotel 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA

Join the Director of the Constitutional Law Center, Michael W. McConnell for a Jefferson Memorial Lecture on the topic of “Constructing a Republican Executive”. This lecture will show how the delegates, and especially the Committee of Detail, went about constructing such an executive, and what it means for separation-of-powers law today. As the delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered in Philadelphia in 1789, there was no experience, anywhere in the world, of a successful republican executive over an extensive nation — one with sufficient authority and independence to make things work on a national scale, but without the risk of becoming a monarch. Please be advised that this event is only being offered in person at The Bancroft Hotel — 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704. A recording of the lecture will be made available after the event. For updates about this lecture and upcoming lecture series events, please visit the Berkeley Graduate Lectures website.

Barbara Weinstock Lecture: Kevin Bales on Slavery in the Economy of the Anthropocene

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Kevin Bales, Professor of Contemporary Slavery and Research Director of the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham for a Barbara Weinstock Lecture on Slavery in the Economy of the Anthropocene. This two-day event features a lecture on Tuesday, March 14 at 4:10 p.m., followed by a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 15 at 4:10 p.m. Please be advised that both events are in person at the Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. A recording of the lecture will be made available after the event.

Barbara Weinstock Lecture Panel Discussion: Kevin Bales on Slavery in the Economy of the Anthropocene

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Kevin Bales, Professor of Contemporary Slavery and Research Director of the Rights Lab, University of Nottingham for a Barbara Weinstock Lecture and Panel Discussion on Slavery in the Economy of the Anthropocene. This two-day event features a lecture on Tuesday, March 14 at 4:10 p.m., followed by a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 15 at 4:10 p.m. Please be advised that both events are in person at the Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. A recording of the lecture will be made available after the event.

UC Berkeley Tanner Lecture: Philippe Descola on Cosmopolities: Before, Behind and Beyond the State

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Philippe Descola, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Collège de France, Paris for an Obert C. Tanner Lecture series on Cosmopolities: Before, Behind and Beyond the State. This three-day lecture series will cover the topics of: Lecture I: Cosmopolities 1 – A Political Anthropology Beyond the Human Wednesday, April 19, 2023 The rooting of the descriptive tools of the social sciences in Enlightenment philosophy has blinded us to the fact that what are loosely called ‘societies’ are in fact, for extra-moderns, assemblages that, unlike ours, contain and associate much more than just humans. We could call these assemblages cosmopolities in that they bring under the same regime of cosmic sociability a vast set of components that the ontology of the Moderns has tended to dissociate. Lecture II: Cosmopolities 2 – Forms Forms of Assemblage Thursday, April 20, 2023 Drawing comparatively on ethnographic and historical materials, this lecture will seek to define certain characteristics of the assemblages that extra-modern cosmopolities produce.  Seminar and Discussion with the Commentators Friday, April 21 2023 Please be advised that these events are only being offered in person at the Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. These events will follow evolving public health guidelines.  All three events will also be recorded and posted on the Tanner Lectures website for later viewing.  For more information about this lecture, please visit the Tanner Lectures website.

UC Berkeley Tanner Lecture: Philippe Descola on Cosmopolities: Before, Behind and Beyond the State

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Philippe Descola, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Collège de France, Paris for an Obert C. Tanner Lecture series on Cosmopolities: Before, Behind and Beyond the State. This three-day lecture series will cover the topics of: Lecture I: Cosmopolities 1 – A Political Anthropology Beyond the Human Wednesday, April 19, 2023 The rooting of the descriptive tools of the social sciences in Enlightenment philosophy has blinded us to the fact that what are loosely called ‘societies’ are in fact, for extra-moderns, assemblages that, unlike ours, contain and associate much more than just humans. We could call these assemblages cosmopolities in that they bring under the same regime of cosmic sociability a vast set of components that the ontology of the Moderns has tended to dissociate. Lecture II: Cosmopolities 2 – Forms Forms of Assemblage Thursday, April 20, 2023 Drawing comparatively on ethnographic and historical materials, this lecture will seek to define certain characteristics of the assemblages that extra-modern cosmopolities produce.  Seminar and Discussion with the Commentators Friday, April 21 2023 Please be advised that these events are only being offered in person at the Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. These events will follow evolving public health guidelines.  All three events will also be recorded and posted on the Tanner Lectures website for later viewing.  For more information about this lecture, please visit the Tanner Lectures website.

UC Berkeley Tanner Lecture: Philippe Descola on Cosmopolities: Before, Behind and Beyond the State

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

Join Philippe Descola, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Collège de France, Paris for an Obert C. Tanner Lecture series on Cosmopolities: Before, Behind and Beyond the State. This three-day lecture series will cover the topics of: Lecture I: Cosmopolities 1 – A Political Anthropology Beyond the Human Wednesday, April 19, 2023 The rooting of the descriptive tools of the social sciences in Enlightenment philosophy has blinded us to the fact that what are loosely called ‘societies’ are in fact, for extra-moderns, assemblages that, unlike ours, contain and associate much more than just humans. We could call these assemblages cosmopolities in that they bring under the same regime of cosmic sociability a vast set of components that the ontology of the Moderns has tended to dissociate. Lecture II: Cosmopolities 2 – Forms Forms of Assemblage Thursday, April 20, 2023 Drawing comparatively on ethnographic and historical materials, this lecture will seek to define certain characteristics of the assemblages that extra-modern cosmopolities produce.  Seminar and Discussion with the Commentators Friday, April 21 2023 Please be advised that these events are only being offered in person at the Toll Room, Alumni House, on the UC Berkeley Campus. These events will follow evolving public health guidelines.  All three events will also be recorded and posted on the Tanner Lectures website for later viewing.  For more information about this lecture, please visit the Tanner Lectures website.

Howison Lecture – Béatrice Longuenesse on Self-Consciousness and ‘I’ – Anscombe and Sartre in Dialogue

Alumni House, Toll Room Berkeley

In this lecture, Béatrice Longuenesse examines Elizabeth Anscombe’s analysis of our use of the first-person pronoun ‘I’ and its relation to self-consciousness. Longuenesse argues that Anscombe’s account receives unexpected support from a philosophical approach which is very different from hers: Jean-Paul Sartre’s phenomenological description of consciousness, self-consciousness, and their expression in our use of ‘I.’ Anscombe’s characterization of self-consciousness as the non-observational, non-inferential, “unmediated conception of actions, happenings and states” is close to Sartre’s characterization of what he calls “non-thetic” or “non-positional” self-consciousness.

Jefferson Lecture with Daniel Ziblatt on American Democracy and the Crisis of Majority Rule

Bancroft Hotel 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA

Daniel Ziblatt is Eaton Professor of Government at Harvard University and director of the Transformations of Democracy group at Berlin’s WZB Social Science Center. He is the author of four books, including How Democracies Die (Crown, 2018), co-authored with Steve Levitsky,  a New York Times best-seller. The lecture will discuss America’s contemporary democratic predicament is rooted in its historically incomplete democratization. Born in a pre-democratic era, the constitution’s balancing of majority rule and minority rights created still unresolved dilemmas. Placing the U.S. in comparative perspective, this lecture offers new perspectives on what should be “beyond the reach of majorities”– and what should not– making the case for a fuller democracy as antidote to the perils of our age.