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Agnes Callard, "Savage Commands"

Friday, April 21, 2023 - 3:00pm

Cohen 402

Please join us on Friday, April 21st for a department colloquia featuring Professor Agnes Callard! 
Dr. Callard is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on ancient philosophy and ethics. This event will be held in Cohen 402 with a reception to follow.
Title: Savage Commands
Abstract: Suppose you don't know what you should do, and you don't know how to find out what you should do.  You can only do nothing for so long before that starts to feel like doing something.  In this situation, you are ripe for being commanded.  I discuss the two kinds of commands to which our ignorance makes us susceptible: appetitive commands, which derive from bodily needs, and kinship commands, which issue from the various kinds of groups to which we belong--family, friends, city, identity--and demand we conform our behaviors to theirs.  I offer a Socratic argument as to why it doesn't work to live your life in obedience to these commands.