[SydPhil] MQ Philosophy Seminar on Tuesday the 5th of September: Steve Clarke (CSU)

Adam Hochman adam.hochman at mq.edu.au
Sun Sep 3 20:25:02 AEST 2017

Huckleberry Finn's Conscience Strikes Back

Steve Clarke (CSU)

Date: Tuesday, 5th of September
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: Seminar Room on the 5th floor of the Hearing Hub, Macquarie University*

All welcome

Note the change from the usual venue

Abstract: Mark Twain's famous novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (AHF) (1884), has been much discussed by philosophers. Its two most influential philosophical interpreters are Jonathan Bennett and Nomy Arpaly. Bennett holds that the core moral message of AHF concerns the importance of sympathy for morality. I'll argue, contra Bennett, that when we consider AHF carefully it becomes clear that the book is best interpreted as pointing to distinct limits to the role that sympathy can play in informing moral perception. Arpaly interprets AHF as depicting its central character, Huck, as coming to perceive Jim, the runaway slave, as a person and rejecting racism in the process. I'll show why it is misleading to interpret AHF this way. On my interpretation of AHF, Huck is well positioned to realise that Jim is a person, and that racism is wrong, but he fails to do this; and so, he remains a proponent of racism and slavery throughout the book. The central moral lesson of AHF, I'll argue, concerns the importance of moral deliberation. Huck renounces moral deliberation early in the book and, as a consequence, deprives himself of an opportunity to see what is wrong with racism and slavery, later on.

Contact: Adam Hochman (adam.hochman at mq.edu.au<mailto:adam.hochman at mq.edu.au>) or Mike Olson (michael.olson at mq.edu.au<mailto:michael.olson at mq.edu.au>)

A google calendar with details of other events in this series is available for viewing and subscription by following this link: goo.gl/3Iu7hk<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/Rv1VB2femVQmU4?domain=goo.gl>


Adam Hochman
Lecturer in Philosophy & Macquarie University Research Fellow

Department of Philosophy | W6A, Room 733
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

Staff Profile | http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/faculties_and_departments/faculty_of_arts/department_of_philosophy/staff/adam_hochman/

Academia.edu Page | https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/vxwbB0T3r8Nrf0?domain=mq.academia.edu

Philpapers Page | https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/nbpeB1UznbenTe?domain=philpapers.org

Personal Website | adamhochman.com
[Macquarie University]<http://mq.edu.au/>

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