CORVALLIS - Is it wrong to wreck the Earth?
Stanford University professors Ken Taylor and John Perry, hosts of nationally syndicated public radio show "Philosophy Talk," will discuss our generation's obligation to the future with the help of Oregon State University's environmental philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore, during an hour-long live taping of the show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at LaSells Stewart Center's Construction & Engineering Auditorium, at 26th Street and Western Boulevard.
The show is free and open to the public and will have some chances for audience participation.
Moore, a distinguished professor of philosophy at OSU, is also is the director of OSU's Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word and the author of "Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water," "Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature" and many other works of poetry and prose.
She has always been interested in the interactions of humans and nature. According to Moore, philosophy at its roots asks the questions: What is a human being? What is the relationship of humans to the natural world? And how should I live?
"Those are the questions that I ask in both my writing and teaching," she said.
"I am especially interested in our obligation to the future," Moore said.
The subject is one close to Moore's heart, and her research. Her work in environmental humanities and philosophy has garnered many awards. She won an Oregon Book Award in 2005 for "The Pine Island Paradox." A previous collection, "Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World," won the 2000 Sigurd Olson Natural Writing Award. Next term, she will teach "Classic Texts of American Environmental Thought," an environmental ethics class with field trips to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest.
Moore believes that solutions to environmental problems will not come from science and technology alone, but will require a greater exercise of the moral imagination.
She is currently enmeshed in a very large book project called "For All Time: Our Obligation to the Future." Moore and co-editor Michael P. Nelson, of Michigan State University, have gathered answers from 150 intellectuals, secular and religious leaders, poets, farmers, students and many others to the question: How would you justify the claim that we have an obligation to the future?
The collection of arguments to take action on issues of climate change is slated to be available in the fall of 2010.
William Uzgalis, a professor in the philosophy department, initiated the idea of bringing "Philosophy Talk" to OSU. He said the program is a good model of intelligent public discourse, while also being entertaining and amusing.
"The topic and the guest highlight the role that OSU is playing in addressing environmental issues important to the state, the nation and the world," he said.
"Philosophy Talk" airs on dozens of public radio stations internationally. In the mid-valley, it can be heard on Oregon Public Broadcasting (KOAC 550 AM) at 8 p.m. Thursdays. The show taped at OSU is scheduled to air Nov. 29.
Hosts Taylor and Perry will each give a lecture on campus in advance of the show.
Perry will speak at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Memorial Union room 212. In his talk, "On Knowing Oneself," he will provide an account of what is unique and special about self-knowledge. Perry is a distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California at Riverside, and the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of philosophy emeritus at Stanford University.
Taylor, also the Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Stanford, will speak at noon Thursday, Oct. 22, in Memorial Union room 212. The subject of his talk is "Abstract for Reason, Relativism, and the Human Normative Predicament."