Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Altruism and Self-Interest: An Example

Here's an example I used with my students to show how altruism could be included in self-interest. Feel free to borrow:
Let's say you're watching South Park. It's funny. But you enjoy it more if you're watching it with a friend. Of course, if your friend is incredibly bored and thinks the show is stupid, then you enjoy it less: even if you don't have to deal with your friend's complaining, you still feel stupid rolling on the floor laughing all by yourself in front of someone else. But of course you don't want your friend to be faking enjoyment; you want him to actually enjoy it, as much as possible, so that you can both enjoy watching the show. So your enjoyment is maximized only when your friend's enjoyment is maximized.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Inside/Outside CFP

Martin Shuster of Johns Hopkins asked me to post this conference CFP. Notice Terry Pinkard's name on there:


an interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
hosted by the Humanities Center at the Johns Hopkins University

April 2nd and 3rd, 2009

Keynote Speakers: Espen Hammer (University of Oslo/Essex) and Terry Pinkard (Georgetown University)

Foregrounding the relationship inside/outside, this conference seeks to consider the effects of this pervasive structuring relation across philosophy, literature, the human sciences, politics, and the arts. What work does this distinction do? How do we understand its ubiquity? Furthermore, what is our contemporary relation to this (perceived?) opposition: do we overcome, dissolve, ignore, work through, maintain, or dialectically negotiate this relationship? Papers exploring these and related questions are welcome.

Some suggestions: scheme and content, content and form, mind and world, interiority and exteriority, self and other, inclusion and exclusion, human and inhuman, literary, aesthetic, and political strategies and figures, historical investigations and genealogies, theological figurations and disfigurations, contemporary philosophical approaches ("continental" and "analytic") to this question, etc.

Please send full papers (for a 45 minute presentation), abstract (300 words max.), and contact information (including institutional affiliation) to insideoutsideconference@gmail. com

Deadline for all submissions is January 15th, 2009.

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