Provocateurs wanted.

Do you enjoy thinking about what others say as much as they enjoy arguing their own views?

The Langara College Department of Philosophy invites you to attend the Philosophers' Jam, a forum for the expression of provocative ideas. This dialogue series is intended for people who want to discuss ideas but whose busy lives prevent them from signing up for a credit course. 

Philosophers' Jams are free and open to all Langara faculty, staff, and students, as well as anyone in the Vancouver community. Bring a friend or colleague and see you at the next Jam session!

Philosophers’ Jam Spring 2020 Schedule

February 27, 2020
Speaker: Selman Halabi
Title: Science is Dead, Long Live Science!
Abstract: There is a lot of skepticism towards science these days, whether directed towards particular parts of science - from anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, climate skeptics, etc. - or towards science in general. Science no longer seems to hold the same exalted status it once held not too long ago. Why do so many people have doubts about claims made by scientists? Are these doubts justified? I will argue that we need to be more modest about what science delivers, if we wish to maintain its value in the face of these doubts. I will illustrate this by drawing attention to debates between rationalists and empiricists, from antiquity to the modern era.
Bio: Selman Halabi teaches philosophy at Columbia College. An unabashed Platonist, he believes that ancient wisdom is needed in the modern world.

March 19, 2020
Speaker: Kari Coleman

Title: EcoWarrior Tactics and Just War Theory
Abstract: There is almost universal consensus among climate scientists that global warming is causing significant climate change, and that both of these phenomena are due in significant part to human action.  Efforts to limit these phenomena to allegedly ‘safe’ levels have been slow and inadequate, and we appear to be on track to witness and experience ecocide (the destruction of the natural environment) and / or omnicide (the destruction of the human species as a result of human action).  As calls for effective and timely responses to this climate emergency continue to go unheeded, I believe we can expect a shift from what have been largely non-violent protests and demonstrations to increasingly violent efforts to halt greenhouse gas emissions.  I invite you to join me in considering what the just war tradition might say about the use of such tactics in the era of anthropogenic climate change.  
Bio: Kari Coleman teaches philosophy at Columbia College.  A pacifist at heart, she is inspired by both Martin Luther King’s pursuit of beloved community and Malcolm X’s willingness to use any means necessary to achieve freedom, justice, and equality.