Ninth Annual Conference of the Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Felician College Rutherford Campus
223 Montross Ave.
Rutherford, NJ 07070

(Please park in Lot D on Montross Ave. directly across from Martin Hall, also the parking lot for the “Little Theater.”)

Registration begins 8:45 am in the lobby of Martin Hall (pictured at the bottom of this page, but pictured there facing the building from the quad rather than the street). Continental breakfast served 9 am in 105 Martin Hall.

Note: There is a $20 registration fee payable at the door (check or cash, please), $10 for graduate students. There is no registration fee for members of the Felician College community. 

FIRST MORNING SESSION: 9:30-11 am, Martin Hall 

1. Meta-Ethics I (201 Martin)
Chair: Irfan Khawaja, Felician College

Moti Mizrahi (St. John’s University), “Ought, Can, and Presupposition: An Experimental Study”

Robert Hartman (St. Louis University), “Against Luck-Free Morality

2. Bioethics and Distributive Justice (205 Martin)
Chairs: Donald Casey and George Abaunza, Felician College

Eric Vogelstein (Duquesne University), “Why Is Medical Paternalism Wrong?”

Tammy Harel Ben Shahar (Columbia University Law School), “Equality in Education: Why We Must Go All the Way”


Justin Holt (New York University), “Does Distributive Justice Require the Participation of the Advantaged? Redistribution Versus Asset Creation”

Samuel Director (Whitworth University), “When Philosophers Disagree About Abortion: Why the Insights of the Philosophy of Disagreement Create a Strong Moral Caution Argument Against Abortion” 

SECOND MORNING SESSION: 11:15 am-12:45 pm, Martin Hall

1. Meta-Ethics II (201 Martin)
Chair: Richard Burnor, Felician College

David Kaspar (St. John’s University), “Intuitionism and the Queerness Problem”

Gary Santillanes (SUNY Binghamton), “A Worry for Pluralistic Relativism”

2. Evil and Harm (205 Martin)
Chair: Irfan Khawaja, Felician College

Mollie Gerver (London School of Economics), “Positive Discrimination with Negative Intent

Paul Boswell (University of Michigan), “Evil Demons, Holy Fools

3. Living Well and the Meaning of Life (207 Martin)
Chair: George Abaunza, Felician College

Christine Vitrano (Brooklyn College/CUNY Graduate Center), “Living Well”

Kirsten Egerstrom (Syracuse), “Immortality and Meaninglessness


LUNCH 1-2 pm in “The Falcon’s Nest” (walk straight out the main door of Martin Hall for about 50 yards, then make a hard left and go approximately 50 yards to the Falcon’s Nest, to the right of “The Castle”)


PLENARY 2:15-3:45 pm, Main Lecture Hall, Sammartino Hall

Introduction: Irfan Khawaja, Director, Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs


James Stacey Taylor (The College of New Jersey)

“Markets in Political Votes: A Moral Defense”


AFTERNOON SESSION: 4-5:30 pm, Martin Hall

1. Virtue Ethics (205 Martin)
Chair: Irfan Khawaja, Felician College

Travis Timmerman (Syracuse University) and Yishai Cohen (Syracuse University), “Virtue Ethics as a Substantive Normative Ethical Theory”

Philip Reed (Canisius College), “Virtue Ethics and Empirical Adequacy”

2. Moral Psychology: Historical Perspectives (206 Martin)
Chair: Joseph Biehl, Gotham Philosophical Society

Michael Dale (Brandeis University), “On Seneca’s Consequentialist Case Against Anger”

Ryan Ross (Ohio University), “The Source of Sidgwick’s Pessimism

3. Ethics and Literature (207 Martin)
Chair: Ryan Nardi, Felician College

Robbie Kubala (Columbia University), “Could It Be Worth Thinking about Proust on Love?”

Robert McParland (Felician College), “Baptism of the Will: Kierkegaard’s Either/Or and Living Our Choices”

4. Money Matters: Rawlsian Liberalism and Bleeding Heart Libertarianism (Martin 201)
Chair: James Stacey Taylor, The College of New Jersey

Jeppe von Platz (Suffolk University), “A Rawlsian Theory of Economic Rights”

Jacob Sparks (Bowling Green State University), “Can’t Buy Me Love – Corruption and Semiotics: A Response to Jaworski and Brennan”

Reception 5:30-6 pm, The Castle, first floor reception room

Post-Conference Dinner (not officially part of the conference):
Confirmed: Paul Boswell, Tammy Harel Ben Shahar, Irfan Khawaja, Moti Mizrahi, Jacob Sparks, Eric Vogelstein, Michael Young
Location: Mambo’s Tea House, reservation for 7 people @ 6:45 pm; we’ll leave campus at around 6:30.

Please direct any questions about the Felician Ethics Conference to Irfan Khawaja, felicianethicsconference@gmail.com.

Last revised: April 24, 2015 (NB: Living Well and Virtue Ethics sessions switched; 9:30 Bioethics and Distributive Justice sessions consolidated; some room numbers changed)

Check back here for updates, or better yet, sign up for them over to the right.

If you’re interested in doing a Felician Current Research Workshop during the 2015-2016 academic year, please contact Irfan Khawaja at khawajai@felician.edu.

Martin Hall on Felician’s Rutherford campus, site of the concurrent sessions at the Felician Ethics Conference

Page modified: April 24, 2015