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POSTPONED - Philosophy Colloquium with Shanna Slank - "On Keeping On and Quitting"

Dr. Shanna Slank, a woman smiling, sitting at a table with food.
Friday, January 27, 2023
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Dr. Shanna Slank
Philosophy Colloquium Series

Come join the Philosophy Department to hear one of our own, Dr. Shanna Slank, as she discusses "On Keeping On and Quitting." She is a research scholar at the Duke Univeristy Kenan Institute for Ethics, and also a Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina. Her areas of special interest are ethics, feminist philosophy, political philosophy, and moral epistemology.

Abstract: A lot of what we humans care most about doing is hard to do. We want to get the degree, the job, the promotion, the award. We want to stay married, raise children, build a community, cultivate a self, make art, pursue justice. Here are two puzzles about difficult action. On the one hand, once we embark on such undertakings, the going will inevitably get tough. We will face obstacles and setbacks, acquiring ever more evidence that points to our failure. How can it be rational to choose to keep going in light of this evidence? On the other hand, there are times when we really should throw in the towel-cases when we've chosen a difficult action, but now should choose to give up. How do we know when to quit? It may be especially difficult to rationally choose to if we've already, in response to the first puzzle, found a way to act against our evidence. In this talk, I'll show why some other philosophers' treatments of difficult action deal inadequately with the puzzles above. I will also sketch a view of my own, in which the value of what you are doing rather than the probability of success or failure determines whether you should persist.

A reception in the Philosophy lounge will follow the talk and discussion.

Learn more about Dr. Slank at her website and here

Contact: Rachel Gilbert