Felician University Event: “Police Stops: What Are Your Rights? What Should You Do?”

I’m pleased to announce the second event in Felician University’s ongoing series on Race and Criminal Justice in America, “Police Stops: What Are Your Rights? What Should You Do?”

The event features two speakers, Maria Lopez-Delgado and John E. Link. Maria is a 2013 graduate of Felician University (a philosophy major, by the way) and 2016 graduate of UNC School of Law; she currently works for the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. John is an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Felician, where he teaches Criminology and Criminal Law; he was until recently Chief of Police in Clifton, New Jersey. I’ll be serving as moderator.  Continue reading

Some Questions for Professor Denbeaux

As readers of this blog have probably figured out by now, I’m organizing an event this Tuesday at Felician University regarding racial profiling by the Police Department and Municipal Court in Bloomfield, New Jersey.* The claim alleging racial profiling has been made by Professor Mark Denbeaux of Seton Hall University Law School, who’s the featured speaker at the event. (I invited the mayor of Bloomfield, Michael Venezia, to send a representative from municipal government, but he declined the invitation himself and declined to send a representative. I also asked the Police Director through the Community Policing Unit, but never heard back; asked one member of the Town Council, who eventually declined; and asked one member of the Bloomfield Civic and Human Rights Commission, who also declined.)

As I’ve said several times before, I’ve taken no public stand on the findings of the report. Neither has Felician University and neither have any of the sponsors of the event.** In fact, I don’t have a stand to take, publicly or privately. Mostly I have a bunch of questions. As the discussant/moderator of the event, I have the prerogative of setting the agenda for the discussion period following the talk, but there’s no reason to think that the discussion will revolve around my questions in particular. So I thought I’d throw them out there on the blog, as food for thought, and as some rough indication of what we might discuss at the event itself. I may add a few questions if I think of any later. Feel free to come up with some of your own in the combox.  Continue reading

John Holt at Res Publica

My friend, colleague, and former high school English teacher, John Holt, has just started a blog called Res Publica. As you may have figured out, John sometimes comments here at PoT under the handle “jrholt1236.”

John was until recently an Associate Professor of English at Centenary College in Hackettstown, New JerseyNow, from what I gather, he mostly spends his time reading, sailing–and blogging. He resides with his wife in a small rural hamlet in New Jersey and on a small nameless island off the coast of Maine (no, I’m not making any of this up: there are rural hamlets in New Jersey, and I’ve been to Holt’s Isle).  

So bookmark/follow his blog. Meanwhile, I’m still on (substantive) blogcation.

“Exploring Liberty” at The College of New Jersey

Yet another conference announcement, care of TCNJ’s James Stacey Taylor:

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)  will be hosting a wonderful conference on “Exploring Liberty” on Feb. 19th (in the evening) and 20th. This seminar will be thoroughly interactive, with students and professors discussing the ideas as peers…. Not just in the formal events, but over refreshments and meals, too, all of which will be provided.

This event is not limited to TCNJ students; all are welcome, and in the past students from PA, NY, MD, and MA have attended. We expect a similarly diverse group this year. It is possible that accommodation could be provided for students attending from out of town–please email me directly (my address is below) for details.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Classics, and Religious Studies, and the classical liberal educational non-profit The Institute for Humane Studies.

Please send any questions to me, James Taylor, at jtaylor AT tcnj DOT edu

I strongly encourage all to attend-including faculty!

Here’s a link to the conference announcement and registration page at the IHS site.

CFP: The Ethics of Bodily Commodification

James Stacey Taylor of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at The College of New Jersey has asked me to post this CFP on what turns out to be a  rather timely topic.

CALL FOR PAPERS
“The Ethics of Bodily Commodification”
Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Keynote Speakers:
Mark J. Cherry, St Edwards University
Samuel J. Kerstein, University of Maryland

To be held at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

The College of New Jersey’s attractive Georgian campus is located just a few miles from Princeton, and is easily accessible by public transport (just over an hour’s travel time) from both central Philadelphia and central New York.

Continue reading

Revised CFP: Tenth Annual Conference of the Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs

I’ve revised the CFP for the Felician ethics conference to reflect the title of J.L.A. Garcia’s plenary talk, “Grounding the Metatheory of Morals.” So is this going to be an excursion into Aristotle, Aquinas via Maritain, Kant, all three, or something else? I have no idea, so save the date (April 23), show up in delightful Rutherford, New Jersey, and you can hear the answer for yourself.

Better yet, submit a paper–but hurry up, because there’s only five weeks before the deadline. (That means you, Gordon, Carrie-Ann, and Michael.)

Please circulate the CFP to interested parties in your networks, and especially to adjuncts with opinions on the controversy over adjunct employment conditions, since there’s a dedicated session on that topic.

2nd Call: CFP, Tenth Annual Conference of the Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Tenth Annual Conference of the Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs will be held in the Educations Commons Building of Felician University’s Rutherford campus, 227 Montross Ave., Rutherford, NJ 07070, on Saturday, April 23, 2016, from 9 am – 6 pm.

Plenary Speaker:
J.L.A. Garcia (Boston College)
“Grounding the Metatheory of Morals”

Submissions on any topic in moral or political philosophy (broadly construed) are welcome, not exceeding 25 minutes’ presentation time (approximately 3,000 words). Please send submissions via email in format suitable for blind review by March 1, 2016 to felicianethicsconference@gmail.com.

Completed papers are preferred to abstracts, but abstracts will be considered. Authors should ensure that they are available to appear at the conference on the conference date before submitting.

Presentations are invited for a special panel discussion on the ethics, politics, and economics of adjuncting. The invitation is open to all, adjuncts and non-adjuncts alike, from within philosophy and outside of the field.

Please direct questions to Irfan Khawaja at felicianethicsconference@gmail.com.

CFP: Tenth Annual Conference of the Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Tenth Annual Conference of the Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs will be held in the Educations Commons Building of Felician University’s Rutherford campus, 227 Montross Ave., Rutherford, NJ 07070, on Saturday, April 23, 2016, from 9 am – 6 pm.

Plenary Speaker:
Jorge Garcia (Boston College)
Topic TBA

Submissions on any topic in moral or political philosophy (broadly construed) are welcome, not exceeding 25 minutes’ presentation time (approximately 3,000 words). Please send submissions via email in format suitable for blind review by March 1, 2016 to felicianethicsconference@gmail.com.

Completed papers are preferred to abstracts, but abstracts will be considered. Authors should ensure that they are available to appear at the conference on the conference date before submitting.

Presentations are invited for a special panel discussion on the ethics, politics, and economics of adjuncting. The invitation is open to all, adjuncts and non-adjuncts alike, from within philosophy and outside of the field.

Please direct questions to Irfan Khawaja at felicianethicsconference@gmail.com.

New Blogger: Stephen Boydstun

I’m happy to announce that Policy of Truth is getting yet another blogger, Stephen Boydstun. I don’t exactly remember where Stephen and I met, but I think it was either at Marsha Enright’s justifiably famous New Intellectual Forum “salon” in Chicago in the early 1990s, or at one of the Institute for Objectivist Studies summer seminars around the same time. Anyway, we met a long time ago, and we’ve been talking philosophy ever since. The last time we did that (in person, anyway) was 2013, at the epistemology seminar that Carrie-Ann and I did in Glen Ridge.

Here’s a bio of Stephen I found online:

My academic backgrounds are in physics, philosophy, and engineering. My engineering work was building locomotives, then I switched to nuclear power electrical generation. Engineering rounded out the understanding of the physical world I had from physics. Now all those backgrounds, and long study of philosophy, too, are put into my project of writing my own philosophy.

I created, financed, and edited Objectivity, a hardcopy “journal of metaphysics, epistemology, and theory of value informed by modern science” (1990-98). All issues of Objectivity are now freely available online for readers and researchers.

On the romantic side, my partner’s name is Walter. We have been together nineteen years. He has two sons and one grandson, now age fourteen. It is wonderful to have a family.

The last sentence of the first paragraph refers to a book that Stephen is currently working on, parts of which I believe he’ll be trying out on us. (Here’s another bio of Stephen I found, by the way.)

And here’s a bit about the book in question (written in December 2014):

I have been writing a book of philosophy since last January [2014]. It is my first. Throughout the preceding thirty years, I had written essays. Writing essays had to be stopped while I write this book. Into my book, as into all my previous essays, there goes a lot of study. My writings in philosophy are informed by the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy and informed by mathematics and by modern physical science, engineering, biology, neuroscience, and psychology. …

I cannot share the title of my book at this time. It deals with metaphysics, epistemology, and theory of moral value. I shall not be treating esthetics. Theory of individual rights will be entered, but beyond that, I shall not undertake political philosophy.

So it looks like some of us are actually going to have to learn some science if we’re to understand what Stephen is talking about–something I haven’t bothered to do since the introductory Geology/Biology course I took in my sophomore year of college (roughly: “Rocks and Cells for Idiots 101”).

Like all PoT bloggers Stephen will be blogging whenever he wants. I have no idea when that will be, but until then, a warm welcome from the rest of the PoT crew….

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming of bad jokes and overheated polemics from yours truly.

Postscript, November 5, 2015: Stephen will be blogging under the online moniker “guyau.”

#OpenGaza: Trauma and Hope, First Hand

Just a shout-out to anyone in the north Jersey area interested in attending this event, #OpenGaza: Trauma and Hope, First Hand, taking place this Tuesday, October 27, 8-10 pm at the Palestinian American Community Center of Clifton, New Jersey, 388 Lakeview Ave., Clifton, New Jersey 07011. Speakers include Dr. Yasser Abu-Jamei, Executive Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, and Ran Goldstein, Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights, Israel. The event is free. I’ll be there, and easy enough to pick out of the crowd–the fiftyish woman with stylish glasses, suave, oddly masculine looks, and black nail polish. (ht: Mondoweiss)

By coincidence, last month I spent a weekend “conferencing” with Izzeldine Abouelaish, founder of Daughters for Life and author of I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey. Izzeldine, whose daughters and niece were killed in 2009 by Israeli rocket fire in Gaza, is one of those supposedly mythical Palestinians committed to peace despite having endured trauma at Israeli hands. More on Izzeldine’s book once I finish it; for now, I just couldn’t resist mentioning the coincidence of “two-doctors-from-Gaza-with-messages-of-hope-amidst-trauma.”

Mention Gaza to the average American news junkie, and the immediate association is “Hamas” and “Islamist fanaticism.” Not that those things don’t exist, but there are more things in Palestine than are dreamt up by such stereotypes, and I’d like to think that events like the PACC talk and like Izzeldine’s book and foundation will eventually break the reflexive associations of “Palestinian” with “wild-eyed religious psychopath” and replace them with something more respectful of reality. The audacity of hope, to borrow a phrase.