Ethics and Applied Philosophy Graduate Conference

at UNC Charlotte, hosted by the Philosophical Union of UNC Charlotte

Ethics and Applied Philosophy Graduate Conference at UNC Charlotte

April 28 & 29, 2023

Day 1 (Friday, April 28)

Day 1 Welcome & Tech Check (2:30pm ET, April 28th)

Please join the UNC Charlotte Philosophical Union in starting the 2023 Ethics and Applied Philosophy Graduate Conference at UNC Charlotte. We will also have time to troubleshoot any tech issues.

Session 1 (3:00pm ET) — Conceptualizing Harm in Bioethics Contexts

Moderator: Jahnavi Patel (she/her)

Speaker: Stefano Pinzan (He/Him), The Role of Emotions in a Kantian Ethics of Care

Speaker: O. René Garrett Wright (René/They/Them/Theirs): Sexual Concern: On People Living with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+ Panic, and Non-disclosure (Exemplary Undergraduate Philosopher 2023)

Speaker: Erica Bigelow (she/they): The Metaphorical is Medical is Metaphorical: Racist Discourses in the ‘War’ on COVID

Session 2 (4:30pm ET) — Narrative, Mindfulness, and Empathy

Moderator: Erica Nelson (they/them)

Speaker: Logan Mitchell (they/them): Mindfulness and Moral Emotions

Speaker: Brianna Larson (She/They): Narrative and Well-Being: The Case for Self-Narrative as Fundamental in Michael Bishop’s Network Theory of Well-Being

Speaker: Sean Maroney (He): Empathy's Capriciousness

Session 3 (6:00pm ET) — Popular Culture, Speech, and The Body

Moderator: Will Wright (he/him)

Speaker: Urna Chakrabarty (she/her): How Fat Horrifies: On Anti-Fat Bias as Fatphobia

Speaker: Margaret Murphy (she/they): They Don’t Know About Us: Teenage Girls, Sexuality and Fan-Fiction

Speaker: Linda Priano (She/Her): Moral Exemplars as Counterspeakers

Session 4 (7:30pm ET) — Two Approaches to the Climate Crisis

Moderator: Nicholas Osaka (they/them)

Speaker: Valena M. C. Reich (She/her): Protecting the Environment: A Justification for Civil Disobedience (Exemplary Undergraduate Philosopher 2023)

Speaker: Matthew Wiseman (he/him): The Obligations of Democratic Proxy Representatives for Future People

Day 2 (Saturday, April 29)

Day 2 Coffee & Technology Check (8:30am ET)

Please join the UNC Charlotte Philosophical Union in our second day welcome. We will have time for coffee, conversation, and time to troubleshoot any tech issues.

Session 1 (9:00am ET) — Understandings of the Social Construction of Race

Moderator: Nicholas Osaka (they/them)

Speaker: Larissa Kolias (She/her): Haslanger and the Racialized Subject: Against the Social/Political Theory of Race

Speaker: Ryan Miller (he/him): Race as a Constructed Cause

Speaker: Jenny Baranker (she/her): The Problematic Consequences of Having Gendered and Racialized Consumer Goods When There Is No Functional Difference

Session 2 (10:30am ET) — Medical Paternalism and Suicide, Harm

Note to attendees: This session presents philosophical interventions concerning suicide, suicidal ideation, and medical paternalism relating to harm. We recognize the importance of this work, and simultaneously want to notify attendees who may want to elect to not participate in this session.

Moderator: Erik Bahnson (he/him)

Speaker: Eli Garrett Schantz (He/him/his): The Volitional Account of Harm

Speaker: Moya Mapps (they/them): Suicide and Paternalism

Speaker: Ricky Mouser (he/him): Surviving and Thriving

Lunch — 12:00pm ET

Plenary Session (1:30pm ET) — Keynote by Johnathan Flowers (CSU Northridge)

Title: An Applied Ethics of Inquiry: Beyond ‘Just Asking Questions’

This talk will highlight the need for philosophers to be responsive to the social, political, and cultural contexts from which their inquiries emerge and to which they must ultimately return. Insofar as philosophers hold a view of philosophical inquiry generally, and ethical inquiry specifically, as just asking questions or proceeding from a standpoint beyond culture, this talk will reject this assertion and instead point to culturally and socially responsive inquiry as a necessity for ethical philosophical inquiry. This talk will conclude by drawing on two examples from the Society for Professional Journalists Code of Ethics as a starting point for how to conduct ethical inquiry.

Session 3 (3:00pm ET) — Sex, Gender, and Medicine

Moderator: Steve Muir (he/him)

Speaker: Rebecca Sanaeikia (She/Her): Cissexist Medicalization of Transgender Bodies

Speaker: Kimberly Beasley (she/her): Intersex Injustice: A Bioethical Analysis of Intersex Infant Surgery

Speaker: Scout Etterson (they/them): Articulating the Trans Relationship between Sex and Gender

Session 4 (4:30pm ET) — Approaches to Social Ethics

Moderator: Trey Irby (he/him)

Speaker: Jordan Desmond (he/him): Social Contribution, Basic Needs, and the Scope of Egalitarian Duties

Speaker: Bryson Ng (He/Him): A Rancièrian Analysis of Objectionable Commemorations: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Decolonial Praxis

Speaker: Peter Visscher (He/Him): If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Using Techno-Social Engineering as Foucauldian Ethical Practice

Social Hour — 6:00pm ET

Please join us in ending the conference with a social hour: a time for us to network and discuss in a more casual setting.

Speaker Information

Jenny Baranker (she/her), University of Oklahoma

Kimberly Beasley (she/her), Kent State University

Erica Bigelow (she/they), University of Washington

Twitter: @EricaBigelow

Instagram: @ericapbig

Urna Chakrabarty (she/her), Cornell University

Jordan Desmond (he/him), Queen's University

Scout Etterson (they/them), Arizona State University


Larissa Kolias (She/her), The University of Calgary

PhilPeople: Larissa Kolias

LinkedIn: Larissa Kolias

Brianna Larson (She/They), Independent Scholar

Twitter: @brilarsonn

Moya Mapps (they/them), Yale University


Sean Maroney (He), King's College London

Instagram: @komodobill

Ryan Miller (he/him), University of Geneva


Logan Mitchell (they/them), UNC Chapel Hill

Ricky Mouser (he/him), Indiana University Bloomington

Margaret Murphy (she/they), American University

LinkedIn: Margaret Murphy

Twitter: @margecmurph

Instagram: @ma.gg13

Bryson Ng (He/Him), Nanyang Technological University

LinkedIn: Bryson Ng

Stefano Pinzan (He/Him), Vita-Salute San Raffaele University & University of California, Los Angeles

Linda Priano (She/Her), University of Milan

Valena M. C. Reich (She/her), King's College London

Rebecca Sanaeikia (She/Her), University of Rochester

Twitter: @logavaguy

Eli Garrett Schantz (He/him/his), Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend

Peter Visscher (He/Him), Villanova University

Matthew Wiseman (he/him), University of Southern California

O. René Garrett Wright (René/They/Them/Theirs), Denison University


Notes and Acknowledgements

The Philosophical Union of UNC Charlotte is the graduate student organization of students at UNC Charlotte interested in philosophical interventions and discussion. Annually since 2018, the Philosophical Union has organized the Ethics and Applied Philosophy Graduate Conference, a home for philosophical interventions and discourse from an applied and interdisciplinary perspective. This year, for the first time ever, we have decided to open submissions to undergraduate students and independent scholars (e.g. those between enrollments or considering graduate training). We believe this better promotes the project of philosophical inquiry and intervention for all and by all.

We want to congratulate the two undergraduate students on the program for their exemplary research: Valena M. C. Reich, King’s College London and O. René Garrett Wright, Denison University.

In acknowledgement of the labor required to organize this conference, we thank the following individuals (in no particular order) for their work in various capacities, be it organizing, reviewing abstracts, or moderating panels: Steve Muir, Nicholas Osaka, Erica Nelson, Will Wright, Erik Bahnson, Zach Elias, James Carr, Carson Saffold, and Pennda Arami. We also thank Amanda Pinto (Marquette University) and Ian Hosbach (Marquette University) for their service as external reviewers. We are also in appreciation of the Center for Professional & Applied Ethics at UNC Charlotte and the faculty of the Department of Philosophy for their advice in organizing this conference.

This conference is funded in part by the Graduate & Professional Student Government (GPSG) of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with student activity fees. The GPSG and Student Activity Fees Commision do not necessarily endorse the beliefs or actions of this organization.

Funded in part by the Graduate & Professional Student Government with your student activity fees. GPSG & SAFC do not necessarily endorse the beliefs or actions of this organization.