Published July 25, 2013
Plato’s Academy North Tonawanda Campus (PANTC) Reading Group and the UB Department of Philosophy will present the conference “Bioethics and the Philosophy of Medicine” Aug. 2 and 3 on the UB North Campus.
The conference, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in 280 Park Hall, will address four principle areas: death, brain death and the human identity problem; intention, consent and responsibility; health, development and disease; and harm, autonomy and policy.
The program can be found on the PhilEvents website.
PANTC is the real, but somewhat facetious name of a Western New York reading group in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine that has been meeting every month for the past few years in the back room of J.P. Bullfeathers restaurant on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. It is funded by the Hourani Fund in the UB philosophy department; most of the speakers at this conference are regular attendees. They include faculty members and graduate students from UB and faculty members from the philosophy departments of Fredonia State College, Niagara University and Canisius College.
The conference’s keynote address, “Abortion and Thomson’s People vs. Seeds Case,” will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 2 by John Martin Fischer, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside. Fischer teaches ethics, philosophy of law, theories of distributive justice and philosophy of religion, and serves as president of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association.
He is the author of many papers and essays on moral responsibility and free will, including “Abortion and self-determination” (1991) and “Abortion, autonomy, and control over one’s body” (2003).
His talk will address the arguments made in “A Defense of Abortion,” a famous essay first published in 1971 by moral philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson in which she employs thought experiments to argue for the moral permissibility of induced abortion. Her imaginative examples and controversial conclusions have made the paper what philosopher William Parent calls perhaps “the most widely reprinted essay in all of contemporary philosophy.”
Speakers from the UB Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, include:
In addition, Stephen Wear, UB associate professor of medicine, will speak about “Informed Consent: Theory and Practice.” Wear teaches the philosophy of medicine and is co-director of the Center for Clinical Ethics and Humanities in Health Care.
Representatives from the philosophy departments of Niagara University, Fredonia State College and Canisius College also will speak at the conference. They are: