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Virtue Forum Luncheons

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Virtue Forum Luncheons

Overview


Our Virtue Forum Luncheon series began during the planning stages of the Institute, as a way for OU faculty and staff to discuss flourishing and virtue at OU and in higher education generally.

Approximately once a month, OU faculty, staff and graduate students convene over lunch to share virtue-related research and explore new ideas. Participants are united by an interest in approaching education informed by an understanding of human flourishing, character, and virtue.

Lunch is provided for all participants, but registration is required. Please contact us if you are interested in attending.

2019 - 2020 Virtue Forum Luncheons

Abstracts (where available) and other event information can be viewed by clicking the titles below. 


Civility and its Disappointments

August 28th, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

Amy Olberding, Ph.D. 

Presidential Professor of Philosophy
The University of Oklahoma

 

 

Presentation Abstract

Many virtues may be disappointing. After all, we often most need virtues when circumstances are troubling and vexing, when we are challenged by experiences difficult to navigate rather than easy. Civility, however, is a virtue that seems to have a special relationship to disappointment. Practicing civility, I argue, entails cultivating strategies, both behavioral and psychological, for managing disappointment. To be robustly civil in the ways suggested by the early Confucians requires hope and optimism about other people and our relations with them. But other people and our relations will, perhaps inevitably, fail to sustain that hope and optimism. We will be disappointed. Civility, as the Confucians present it, engages us in forms of disappointment management.

About Dr. Amy Olberding

Amy Olberding is Presidential Professor of Philosophy at OU.  Her research focuses on early Confucian ethics.  She is the author of The Wrong of Rudeness (Oxford 2019) and Moral Exemplars in the Analects (Routledge 2011).

 

 


Intellectual virtue: bridging the gap between personal and social epistemology

September 18th, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

Wayne Riggs, Ph.D. 

Professor and Chair of Philosophy
The University of Oklahoma

Assessment Link: https://ousurvey.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6sV5WarubkIl31P  

 

Presentation Abstract -

There is a substantial and ever-growing body of evidence from a wide range of fields that the way humans cognize (think, reason, figure stuff out), at least when we do it well, is as a collective. Social psychology and cognitive science tell us that, as individuals, our reasoning processes are systematically biased and lazy, and hence not very reliable. Luckily, there’s lots of work from philosophy of science and social epistemology that describes how we are able to combine our cognitive efforts in a way that yields an epistemic total greater than the sum of its parts. But feminist epistemologists and others have for years warned that the very social embeddedness of human reason can lead us astray in still new ways. Virtue epistemology has seen rapid development in recent years as a theory of individual epistemic excellence. What is needed now is a version of virtue epistemology that takes account of our social ways and describes how creatures like us, social thinkers, can manage to think well together.

 

About Dr. Wayne Riggs

Wayne Riggs is a Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of Oklahoma. His primary areas of interest are epistemology (especially virtue epistemology, understanding, epistemic luck, and social epistemology), philosophy of education, and philosophy of emotion.


Sacrificial Listening: An Epistemology and Pedagogy for Intellectual Humility in the Humanities

October 9th, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

David Vishanoff, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Religious Studies
The University of Oklahoma

 

Assessment Link: https://ousurvey.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3jRLPdVPdfP6FKJ

Presentation Abstract -

One component of intellectual humility is the discipline of listening to unfamiliar voices, interpreting them in terms of our own categories, and then deconstructing our interpretations and categories by listening again to detect where we are distorting others to serve our own ends and shore up our own identities. This practice is grounded in an epistemology that I will characterize as relational, recursive, eschatological, and sacrificial. It has implications for both methodology and pedagogy in the humanities. It emerged not from research in epistemology or educational theory but from reflection on my own practice as a scholar of Islamic hermeneutics and as a leader of class discussions about Islamic texts.

 

About Dr. David Vishanoff

David Vishanoff is Associate Professor of Islamic studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He received his Ph.D. in West and South Asian Religions from Emory University in 2004. His first two books, The Formation of Islamic Hermeneutics and A Critical Introduction to Islamic Legal Theory, dealt with medieval theories of Qur’anic interpretation; he has been extending that project into the modern period, beginning in Indonesia where he spent the spring of 2013 as a Fulbright scholar. His other long–term projects are an epistemology and pedagogy of “sacrificial listening” and a series of studies on Muslim uses of the Bible, for which he is reconstructing and translating an eighth–century Muslim rewriting of the “Psalms of David.” These projects have led him to dabble in digital methods of data visualization and distant reading.


   Is there value to adversity?

November 20th, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

Eranda Jayawickreme

Professor, Department of Psychology
Wake Forest University

 

 

 

Assessment Link: https://ousurvey.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0wuPdJryTZByW6p

Presentation Abstract

The idea that struggle, trauma and adversity can be a catalyst for positive outcomes has a long intellectual history. Can adversity have an upside? Is there a purpose to suffering? Is it really the case that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Is suffering required for achieving a good life? Are the fruit of suffering greater well-being? New knowledge? Wisdom? What does the research tell us about the ubiquity of such changes, and can we trust the research? Is the idea of growth through suffering rooted in reality, or an attempt to justify the suffering in our world? Is it possible to intentionally promote growth following adversity? I address these key questions in this proposed talk.

About Dr. Eranda Jayawickreme

Eranda Jayawickreme is associate professor of psychology at Wake Forest University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. His research focuses on well-being, moral psychology, growth following adversity, wisdom, and integrative theories of personality, and has worked with populations in Rwanda, Sri Lanka and the USA. His awards include the 2015 Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science, Wake Forest University's Award for Excellence in Research, a Mellon Refugee Initiative Fund Fellowship, and multiple grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, the Asia Foundation/ USAID, and the European Association for Personality Psychology.

 

   Privation of America's Public Institutions

December 4, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Oklahoma Memorial Union, Regents Room

Lawrence Baines

Professor, Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum
University of Oklahoma

 

 

 

Assessment Link: https://ousurvey.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3C0o4owvINbLM21

Presentation Abstract

Many American public institutions are being transformed from serving the common good to generating revenues for a select few. Privatization is redefining the military, prisons, higher education, and k-12 education for the foreseeable future. This session will provide a quick overview with a particular focus on privatization of k-12 schools.

 

About Dr. Lawrence Baines
Lawrence Baines is a professor in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education and author of 12 books and 100+ articles.

 

 

Title TBD

January 15th, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

 

TBD

 

 

 

Presentation Abstract - TBD

About  

 


Virtue, Morality, and Theodicy

February 18th, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

David Shatz

Ronald P. Stanton University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Thought

 

 

 


Presentation Abstract - TBD

About 
David Shatz is the Ronald P. Stanton University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Thought at Yeshiva University. He has edited, co-edited, or authored sixteen books and has published approximately ninety articles and reviews, dealing with both general and Jewish philosophy. His publications in general philosophy focus on the theory of knowledge, free will, ethics, and the philosophy of religion, while his writings in Jewish philosophy focus on Jewish ethics, Maimonides, Judaism and science, Judaism’s view of other religions, and twentieth-century rabbinic figures. In recognition of his achievements as a scholar and teacher, he was awarded the Presidential Medallion at Yeshiva University, the first member of the various university faculties to receive this highest honor. A book concerning Dr. Shatz’s life and thought appears in The Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers, a series that the  publisher, Brill, states “showcases outstanding Jewish thinkers who have made lasting contributions to constructive Jewish philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century.”

 

 


Practicing Humility and Pluralism while Promoting Healthier Societies

March 25th, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

Sean Alejandro Valles

Associate Professor in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Philosophy

 

 

 

Presentation Abstract 

Health policy scholars are increasingly advocating for social reform as a means of improving health for all, and especially for marginalized populations; we need a “culture of health”. This is in part because health science has gradually uncovered that no only is health unequally distributed across populations, but 1) the health gaps are wider than they might seem, and 2) social determinants of health are responsible for many of those health problems and also point to social interventions that would deal with ill health at its root causes: fair wages, neighborhoods where it is safe to walk and play outside, affordable nutritious food, etc. Efforts to promote these sorts of social reforms raise philosophical and practical challenges. I argue that such efforts must navigate their relationships with two particular philosophical concepts: pluralism and humility. How can we advance health in diverse societies when there is such a plurality of views about the very meaning of health, varying within and between communities? Meanwhile, scholars of population health have tacitly argued for epistemic humility among health experts, but which sense(s) of epistemic humility are appropriate, given that there are multiple visions of what constitutes epistemic humility? I offer some recommendations on how to address both questions.

 

About  Dr. Sean Alejandro Valles

Sean Valles is an Associate Professor with an appointment in the Michigan State University Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Philosophy. His research spans a range of topics in the philosophy of population health, from the use of evidence in medical genetics to the roles played by race concepts in epidemiology. He is author of the the 2018 book, Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era. He is also Director of the MSU Science and Society @ State Program, supporting interdisciplinary faculty collaborations that join the humanities, arts, and sciences.

 


Title TBD

April 15th, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Bizzell Memorial Library, Community Room

Roxana Cazan

Assistant Professor of English and Women's Studies

 

 

 

Presentation Abstract - TBD

About  

 

Abstracts (where available) and other event information can be viewed by clicking the titles below.