Date: Tuesday 25 April 2017
Speaker: Dr Daniel Demetriou (Philosophy, University of Minnesota-Morris, USA)
Topic: Honor as a Masculine Ethic: Philosophical implications of an evolutionary theory of agonistic norms
Dr Demetriou has provided the following information about his talk:
Agonistic honor concerns the rules of fair and respectful competition for prestige. This talk begins with stories about agonism in sport and warfare. We then turn to research suggesting that agonism is innate in humans, that its behaviors are evident in other species, and that its principles are especially plausible to men. One hypothesis for agonistic psychology is that it encouraged and guided male intrasexual competition in contests females used to reveal genetic quality in potential mates. If something like this account is correct, a number of interesting philosophical questions arise, including: Are agonistic norms strictly-speaking “moral” norms? If men and women really do weigh agonistic considerations differently, does this speak against objective morality? Suppose agonism’s roots really do lie in male intrasexual competition: does this fact “debunk” its norms, since we don’t see anything particularly noble about competing for mates?
Time and venue: 8pm in Lecture Theatre 1A, Neville Alexander Building.