Academic Philosophy: What Is It? What Do We Want It to Be?

ERI 149
Wednesday 15 May 2019 (15:15-17:00)

Professor Alison Jaggar (University of Colorado (Boulder) & University of Birmingham) 

Alison is Arts and Sciences Professor of Distinction at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Distinguished Research Professor of Global Ethics at the University of Birmingham.

She was a pioneer in feminist philosophy and a founder of the discipline of critical gender studies. Jaggar’s recent work on global justice disrupts gendered and racialized assumptions about transnational divisions of labor and migration. She has been a primary investigator in developing a metric of global poverty which incorporates the perspectives of poor people and is capable of revealing the gendered dimensions of poverty.

​Alison’s current work in moral epistemology aims to develop a method for epistemically justifying cross-border moral claims in real-world circumstances of cultural diversity and social inequality.


Alison Jaggar first presented this talk in February, 2019, at the Central Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association. It was one in a series of invited Dewey Lectures given in memory of John Dewey. The Dewey Lectures are presented annually by prominent and senior philosophers associated with each Division of the APA. Lecturers are invited to reflect broadly and in an autobiographical spirit on philosophy in America as seen from the perspective of a personal intellectual journey. In this Lecture, Jaggar describes the philosophical route she took from her undergraduate years at London University to her present positions at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Birmingham. Jaggar went to the US seeking adventure and she describes some of philosophical adventures she found. Jaggar concludes her lecture by acknowledging Dewey’s pioneering efforts to develop safeguards for academic freedom. She suggests that this work is currently threatened by changes in the organizational structure of academic philosophy over the last half century.

This seminar is part of the 2018-19 Global Ethics Tea Seminar Series hosted by the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics.

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