The Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University hosts speakers, conferences, and other events.

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Upcoming Events


February 16—Gaile Pohlhaus, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Miami University, "Gaslighting, Echoing, and Gathering" 3:30 p.m., 3014 Moore Hall

April 13—James Conant,  Professor of Humanities, University of Chicago, 3:30 p.m. 3014 Moore Hall

Past events


March 16—Kristopher Phillips, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Southern Utah University, “Do We Have a Moral Obligation to Study the Liberal Arts?” Co-sponsors: Department of Philosophy and Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies, WMU.

March 17–Colloquium talk with Dr. Anya Plutynski, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Washington University in St. Louis.

March 31–Colloquium talk with Dr. Kate Manne, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Cornell University.

April 6—Alexander Guerrero, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University, “Again Toward Perpetual Peace: Elections, World Government, and Lottocracy,”  Winnie Veenstra Peace Lecture. Co-Sponsors: Department of Philosophy, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Department of Political Science, Kalamazoo Peace Center, Pax Christi Kalamazoo, St. Thomas More Social Justice, St. Joseph Social Justice, and Kalamazoo Non-Violent Opponents of War (KNOW).

April 21–Colloquium talk with Dr. James Conant, Professor of Humanities, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago.

December 7 to 911th Annual Graduate Conferencelink for scheduled events.


November 4 to 5—10th Annual WMU Graduate Philosophy Conference.

April—A big congratulations goes to graduate students Adam Zweber and Zachary Milstead who were awarded All-University Scholars for 2015–16, Department Scholars for 2015–16 and Department Graduate Teachers for 2015-16.

April 15–Alex Guerrero, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, "Again Toward Perpetual Peace: World Government by Lottocracy."

April 7—Dr. Avner Baz, Tuft, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University, "Ordinary Language Philosophy," "Aristotle on Nature, Human Nature and Human Contemplation".

March 25—Dr. Helga Varden, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "Giving Him a Second Chance; Talking with Kant on Sex."

March 18—Dr. Mor Segev, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Department at University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

March—Dr. Fritz Allhoff and WMU accounting students provide tax help to Alaskan villages


December 4 to 5–9th Annual WMU Graduate Philosophy Conference.

April 16—"The Wooden Doctrine", a public lecture given by Dr. Janelle DeWitt. Janelle earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from UCLA, the same school at which Wooden won 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships in 12 years. Her research focuses on the nature of emotion and the complex role it plays in the development of moral character and its expression in moral action. She is also an avid basketball player and former collegiate athlete.

April 7–“Inside the Tobacco Industry”, a public lecture given by Jeffey Wigand, Smoke-Free Kids. A principled scientist, Dr. Wigand joined Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation in 1988 to develop a “safer cigarette.” This is the story of his ethical journey from high-ranking tobacco executive to high-profile whistle blower.

March 17–"Vulnerability, Preventability and Responsibility", a public lecture given by Dr. Daniel E. Wueste, Director, Rutland Institute for Ethics, and Professor of Philosophy, Clemson University. Dr. Wueste shared a few stories in which the ideas of vulnerability, preventability and responsibility loom large, made a suggestion about the links between and among these ideas, and articulated an ethical principle that seems to emerge from them. According to this principle, responsibility is a function of two key features of a situation, namely, vulnerability and preventability. He focused on responsibility in the sense of what one ought ethically to do, which, he suggested, nearly, if not completely, tracks with the question of what one can be reasonably expected to do. To conclude, he explored the implications for individual and organizational responsibility.