Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference Organized by Students, Open to the Public

January 23, 2019

Students and scholars of philosophy will gather in Tacoma on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 for the fifth Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. Hosted by the university’s Department of Philosophy and the Philosophy Club, the conference will feature presentations from students from all over the country and a keynote address by Manuel Vargas (pictured right), professor of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. 

Vargas is renowned in philosophy for his work on agency and freedom and his work in Latin American and Latinx philosophy. He received the American Philosophical Association Book Prize in 2015 for his book Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. In 2004, he was a recipient of the first American Philosophical Association Prize in Latin American Thought. 

 “We are so excited Dr. Vargas is coming to our campus to give a talk,” said Puget Sound philosophy professor Ariela Tubert. “His keynote will be focused on accidentality, which he defines as the experience produced when we become aware of how culture and social norms can structure our agency.”

A unique quality of Puget Sound’s philosophy conference is that the program is curated by philosophy students and that all presentations, with the exception of the keynote, will be given by undergraduate students.

“Our philosophy students are in charge of reviewing submissions from students all over the country and settling on the program,” said Tubert. “The students reading and selecting the papers took into account the quality of the papers and the topics to put together a program that will be of interest to a wide range of attendees.”

Paper topics include the philosophy of music, the ethics of universal basic income, the role of hope in epistemology, and issues in artificial intelligence. “The program is well thought-out,” said Tubert, “and the students and Puget Sound get all the credit for the careful selection.”

The Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (program and schedule) is free and open to the public. The keynote address will be held Jan. 31, at 5 p.m., in Trimble Hall. All other presentations will be in Murray Boardroom, Wheelock Student Center.