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Wednesday, September 28, 6:00-7:30pm via Zoom

Dr. Jennifer Hawkins, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Duke University

“Affect, Value and Decisional Capacity” Our ability to look after ourselves and promote our own interests can be (and often is) undermined by mental disorder in ways not anticipated by current models of decision-making capacity.  Our standard ways of assessing capacity do not detect all the cases of incapacity they should. In this talk I first explain the nature of this problem and argue that it deserves more attention than it has generally received. I then offer a diagnosis of the problem, i.e. I explain why I think the problem arises, and why it can seem so hard to solve. Finally, I offer an original new solution that, I argue, avoids being objectionably paternalistic.

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Wednesday, October 19, 6:00-7:30pm, via Zoom

Dr. Kieran Setiya, Professor and Section Head of Philosophy at M.I.T.

“Absurdity and Meaning” It is a cliché about philosophers that they ponder the meaning of life. Except they don’t. In recent philosophy, the question of life’s meaning is usually dismissed as nonsense; and for most earlier philosophers, the question doesn’t arise. In this talk, I’ll use the surprisingly recent origins of “the meaning of life” to argue that the question of life’s meaning does make sense. I’ll relate this question to the problem of life’s absurdity, explaining how it could have a positive answer—even if there is no God—and how the answer depends on us.

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Wednesday, November 9, 6:00-7:30pm, via Zoom

Dr. Scott Kim, Senior Investigator, Department of Bioethics at the N.I.H. Clinical Center

Title and Abstract: To Be Determined

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3rd Annual UNC Philosophy and Psychiatry Conference: The Science, Ethics and Policy Dimensions of Suicide Prevention

Date To Be Determined


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