The Columns

Visiting Philosopher to Speak on the Concept of Tolerance

— by on October 15th, 2008

Angela Smith, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, will discuss the concept of tolerance in a talk at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons. She is currently visiting associate professor of philosophy and fellow in the Society and Professions Program in Ethics at W&L.

Smith’s talk is free and open to the public. A reception will be held outside the Stackhouse Theater after her talk. The title of her talk is “The Trouble with Tolerance.”

Smith will be addressing the concept of tolerance, and in particular whether it is morally admirable for us to adopt attitudes of tolerance toward citizens in society with whom we reasonably disagree. In analyzing this question, she will discuss the view of tolerance defended by the philosopher T. M. Scanlon, and explain how and where they disagree.

Smith’s research focuses on the connections between moral agency, responsibility and conceptions of the self. She has published a number of papers on the topic of responsibility for attitudes. She regularly teaches undergraduate courses in normative ethics and metaethics, and she has taught a number of graduate courses on issues in moral psychology.

She has published articles in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Journal of Ethics, Philosophical Topics and Ethics.

Smith received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Willamette University and her doctorate in philosophy from Harvard University.

Smith’s talk is sponsored by Society and the Professions Program in Ethics at Washington and Lee University.