UB Public Lecture Will Feature Feminist Philosopher and Religious Skeptic Louise Antony

Release Date: October 6, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Feminist philosopher, philosopher of mind and critic of religious faith Louise Antony, PhD, will present the University at Buffalo's 2011 Paul Kurtz Lecture on Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. in 120 Clemens Hall, UB North Campus.

Her talk, "Materialism, Naturalism and Nihilism," is presented as part of the UB Department of Philosophy's 2011-12 Colloquia Series, but is intended for a broader university and community audience.

UB Department of Philosophy Professor and Chair David Hershenov says, "Antony has had a huge impact across the philosophical landscape, in part because she brings research in one field to bear on others. She has repeatedly reinvigorated epistemology and philosophy of mind with insights drawing upon feminist philosophy." He points out that one of her better-known papers, "Quine as a Feminist -- The Radical Import of Naturalist Epistemology" has been cited in academic literature by her peers nearly 100 times, a remarkable accomplishment.

In fact, Anthony's articles and lectures are known not only for their philosophical insights and the commitment to social justice they represent, but for their style and wit, evident in such titles as "Back to Androgyny: What Bathrooms Can Tell Us About Equality."

A professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she the co-editor of the provocative -- and controversial -- 2007 book, "Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life" (Oxford University Press).

In this celebrated and highly readable collection, she and 19 other leading secular philosophers from the U.S. and Great Britain argue in sophisticated and compelling terms that God is not necessary for a moral life; and that atheism, a naturalistic understanding of the human condition, requires adherents to pursue goals without illusion, and act morally without hope of reward. Even Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews lauded the book as "an excellent source of how comprehensive philosophical writing can be at its best."

Antony's other critically acclaimed and influential works include "What Are You Thinking? Character and Content in the Language of Thought," "Chomsky and His Critics," "The Openness of Illusions," "Realization Theory and the Philosophy of Mind" and the controversial anthology "A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity" and "Meta-Linguistics." Her current research is in perception and intentionality, autonomy of psychology, issues in feminist epistemology and human nature.

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