Philosophy

Doing philosophy means reasoning about questions that are of basic importance to the human experience–questions like: What is a good life? What is reality? How can we know anything? What should we believe? How should our societies be organized? Philosophers critically analyze ideas and practices that often are assumed without reflection. Philosophers at Wesleyan approach our subjects with tools from a range of traditions of inquiry and we offer a wide variety of perspectives on the deep and perplexing questions that are central to the study of philosophy.

 

Personal Volatility:  Hardly anyone doubts that it is rational for you to care about how your future.  But should you attach more importance to how you will be doing in the near future than you do to how you will be doing in the distant future?  Some philosophers argue that the answer is yes, on the grounds that you will be less you over long periods of time -- metaphysical facts about what it is to be a self over time should affect your retirement savings, your views about advanced medical directives, and many other practical planning decisions.   Meghan Sullivan will argue that these philosophers are mistaken, in the process discussing some pernicious biases we have when it comes to determining what it is to be a self over time.