Skip to Navigation

Academy in Context: 2007-2008

Academic Responsibility: To Whom Are You Accountable?
Monday, April 14, 6:00 p.m., Faculty Club

Bernard Reginster is a professor of Philosophy at Brown. His research focuses on issues in ethics, moral psychology, and philosophy of mind in nineteenth-century German and twentieth-century French thought, as well as in contemporary psychoanalytical theory. He is particularly interested in the ethical implications of a secularized world view and in the relations between subjectivity and intersubjectivity. He has published many articles on these themes and his most recent book, The Affirmation of Life. Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism, was published by Harvard University Press in 2006.

Reginster discussed the notion of academic responsibility: What sorts of responsibilities do academics have? To whom? Is the choice of a research topic, and the manner in which research is conducted, answerable only to one’s own discipline, to other disciplines, to one’s society, or even to humankind? In what ways are such choices answerable to these constituencies? In other words, what are appropriate justifications for the various forms of academic inquiry?

Tea with Randy Cohen: A Conversation with The Ethicist from the NY Times Magazine
Monday, December 3, 3:30 p.m., Faculty Club

Randy Cohen’s first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New YorkerHarpers, the AtlanticYoung Love Comics). His first television work was writing for "Late Night With David Letterman" for which he won three Emmy awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on "TV Nation." (Cohen received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error and kept it.) Currently he writes "The Ethicist" a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine syndicated throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is a regular contributor to Weekend All Things Considered on National Public Radio.

Stem Cell Research: The Diversity of Ethical Issues
Tuesday, September 25, 6 p.m., Hope Club (6 Benevolent St., Providence)

Rebecca Dresser is the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law and Professor of Ethics in Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. Since 1983, she has taught medical and law students about legal and ethical issues in end-of-life care, biomedical research, genetics, assisted reproduction, and related topics. Dresser served on the ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the advisory council of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, a division of the National Institutes of Health. She is a fellow of the Hastings Center and one of the "At Law" columnists for the Hastings Center Report, the oldest and most widely read U.S. bioethics journal. In 2001 Dresser published When Science Offers Salvation: Patient Advocacy and Research Ethics. She is also co-author of The Human Use of Animals: Case Studies in Ethical Choice and "Bioethics and Law: Cases, Materials and Problems. Since 2002, she has been a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.