Philosophical Fridays



Upcoming Events



Oct 8:  Mike Raven
TBA:  Jennifer Saul
Nov 5:  Jeremy Fantl
Dec 3:  Anca Gheaus



Past Events



Comics, Pornography, and Comics Pornography


Wesley D. Cray

Texas Christian University


Friday, November 20, 2020

2:30 – 4:00 PM


Christy Mag Uidhir and Henry Pratt have argued that pornographic comics will inevitably, in virtue of certain formal features of the comics medium, be non-standard instances of pornography.  Regardless, some of the most frequent protests against widely lauded comics such as Alison Bechdel's Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis are that they are pornographic.  This talk explores such controversies.  After circumscribing the notions of comics and pornography, I discuss the complicated relationship between the two, both in terms of creation and in terms of consumption. Finally, I argue that there are pro-tanto moral reasons to create, promote, and distribute (through appropriate channels) pornographic comics that eroticize gender equity, and that doing so would be potentially beneficial both to comics and to pornography.


Kant on the Possibility of Actually Infinite Aggregates




Rosalind Chaplin

UC San Diego


Friday, November 6, 2020

2:30 – 4:00 PM


Inspired by Kant’s discussion in the first antinomy of the Critique of Pure Reason, many commentators attribute to Kant the view that actually infinite aggregates are a conceptual impossibility. Against this position (call it the ‘No Infinite Aggregates’ view), I argue that Kant instead held that infinite aggregates are impossible only when they depend for their existence on the successive combination of their parts. Thus, infinite aggregates might exist among things in themselves (for all we know), and they might exist in space if spatial aggregates could result from a simultaneous combination of their parts (a possibility ultimately ruled out by the commitments of transcendental idealism). This view enjoys significantly more textual support than does the No Infinite Aggregates view, and it helps release Kant from the objection that the core arguments of the first antinomy surreptitiously presuppose the doctrine of transcendental idealism.


Why Isn't Supererogation Wrong?


Daniel Munoz
Monash University

Friday, October 9, 2020
5:00 - 6:30 PM

The classic question about supererogatory acts—good deeds beyond the call of duty—is: why aren’t they obligatory? The classic answer: they are costly to the agent, who may give his or her own interests special weight. I argue that this “Cost View” faces counterexamples and mystifies the obvious fact that supererogatory acts aren’t wrong. I then introduce the “Rights View,” which gives better explanations than the Cost View, but which must reckon with hard cases of its own.