Visiting Speakers

On the occasion of his retirement in 2016, the Dept. of Philosophy established the C. Stephen Layman Speaker Series in Philosophy in honor of Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and long-time chair, Steve Layman. Dr. Layman is author of God: Eight Enduring Questions (University of Notre Dame Press, 2022), Philosophical Approaches to the Atonement, Incarnation, and the Trinity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Letters to Doubting Thomas: A Case for the Existence of God (Oxford University Press, 2006), The Power of Logic, editions 1-3 (McGraw Hill, 2005, 2002, 1999), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Please see Dr. Layman’s faculty profile for a full list of his publications. Past Layman lecturers can be found below.

Donations to the Layman lecture can be made here. Please select “other” and write in: “Layman Speaker Series in Philosophy.”

Layman Lecture, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 4pm, Library Seminar Room

"In, Out, Up, Down, and Around: Five Conversations on Analytic Theology"

Hud Hudson, Professor of Philosophy, Western Washington University

Hud Hudson

Abstract: Analytic theology has been charged with being seriously insensitive to the need to examine its aims and its methods with a view to what goods they promote or obstruct. There are very real dangers of an overemphasis on securing epistemic goods and of careless inattention to other goods that matter as well (sometimes even more). That is, in addition to the goods of understanding and knowledge, there is also a wide range of moral, aesthetic, religious, social, and eudaimonistic goods – goods that are distinct from and sometimes in conflict with those epistemic goods upon which so much of analytic theology is ordinarily focused. This complaint is aimed squarely at analytic theologians just like me, and I’ve been thinking about the critique and finding some elements of it quite persuasive. As my title suggests, my discussion will be centered on five conversations: one I might have with myself (that’s the IN), one I might have with an intellectual peer (that’s the OUT), one I might have with an intellectual superior (that’s the UP), one I might have with an intellectual inferior (that’s the DOWN) – no excessive pride or false modesty, the up and down bits will involve uncontroversial superior/inferior pairs – and one on which I might be fortunate enough to eavesdrop (that’s the AROUND). Reflecting on these conversations can help us to become better practitioners of analytic theology and also to cause fewer harms when participating in that activity.

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

Winter 2023, Alicia Finch (Layman Lecture), “The Terms of the Free Will Debate: Defining 'Free Will'”

Fall 2019, Jill Graper Hernandez (Layman Lecture), “Early Modern Women and the Need to Do More”

Spring 2018, Meghan Sullivan (Layman Lecture), “Time Biases and Valuing Afterlives”

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”