Visiting Speakers

Meghan Sullivan

Layman Lecture: April 26, 2018, 4:00 pm, Demaray 150 
"Time Biases and Valuing Afterlives"
Meghan Sullivan, Professor of Philosophy and the Rev. John A. O'Brien Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame.

Abstract: In this talk I will consider what I take to be an intuitive puzzle for belief in an afterlife. Most visions of the afterlife entail a substantial change on the part of the person who would experience it. They also entail that the afterlife will only properly start at (presumably) a very far time in the future. Given these assumptions, what would it take to rationally prefer this state to either earthly life or an end to existence? It might seem like a speculative metaphysical question, but in fact current work on the psychology and normative ideals for rational planning can help us better understand this challenge to rational religious belief -- and better answer it.

The Layman Lecture is an annual lecture hosted by the Department of Philosophy in honor of Professor Emeritus, Steve Layman. Professor Layman was member, and chief architect, of the department in its current formulation from 1986 to 1996, and chair from 1996 to 2016. 

The lecture is sponsored by the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development and the generous donations of alumni. Contributions can be made here (kindly designate “Layman Lecture”).

In addition, the Department hosts occasional talks by visiting philosophers. Recent speakers include:

Fall 2017, Billy Dunaway, “Theological Predication: Duns Scotus, Univocity, and Knowledge”

Spring 2017, Robert Audi (Layman Lecture), “Faith, Belief, and the Problem of Evil” 

Fall 2016, Trent Dougherty, “Faith, Reason, and Religious Disagreement: Surprising Results”

Spring 2016, Steve Layman, Book Symposium: Philosophical Approaches to the Atonement, Incarnation, and the Trinity. With comments by Daniel Howard-Snyder and Terence Cuneo

 Fall 2014, Alfred Mele, “Free Will and Neuroscience,” and “On the Situationist Challenge to Free Will” 

Spring 2012, SPU Philosophy Alumni Panel: Jennifer Corns, Jonathan Jacobs, Nathan King, John Mouracade           

Fall 2009, Jaegwon Kim, “Metaphysical Considerations on Consciousness and the Science of Consciousness”

Fall 2009, Kevin Corcoran, “Persons, Bodies, and Relationality”

Fall 2008, Nicholas Wolterstorff , “Beauty, Love, Justice, and Worship”

Spring 2008, Daniel Dombrowski, “The Concept of God: A Process Point of View”

Fall 2007, James Van Cleve, “Direct Realism and Double Vision”






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