Climate Change Discussion Opens Philosophy Lecture Series at UA

Simon Keller
Simon Keller

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — On Sept. 25 The University of Alabama will host Dr. Simon Keller, associate professor of philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington, who will lecture on “Understanding Skepticism about Climate Change” at 7:30 p.m. in 205 Smith Hall on the UA campus.

The talk, which opens the sixth annual Philosophy Today Lecture Series, will discuss disagreements about climate change and ways to move forward from polarizing viewpoints about the issue. The series brings well-known philosophers to campus each academic year.

Keller will also give a talk to students and faculty in the philosophy department titled, “Is Love a Mistake?” Monday, Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m. in room 347 of ten Hoor Hall. This talk draws connections between the nature of love and the nature of morality in the context of metaethics.

Keller is the author of “The Limits of Loyalty,” which was awarded the 2009 American Philosophical Associated Book Prize. His next book, “Partiality,” will be published in 2013.

He is a faculty fellow at the Rice University Humanities Research Center. He has been featured in numerous public forums including the popular video blog “Philosophy TV,” where he discussed the ethics of special relationships, and “Radio New Zealand,” where he discussed vegetarianism in the context of philosophy.

A native of Australia, he completed his bachelor’s degree at Monash University in Melbourne and went on to receive his master’s and doctoral degrees at Princeton University. While at Princeton, Keller worked with David Lewis and Peter Singer, who are considered two of the most influential philosophers in contemporary times.

Keller has served on the faculty of Boston University, the Center for Ethics at Harvard University, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at The University of Melbourne.

Lectures in the Philosophy Today series are geared toward a general audience and are of interest to those in any profession or academic discipline. Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ philosophy department, a grant from Louis W. Perry and other alumni and friends of the department, the presentations are free and open to the public.

The second speaker in the series is Dr. Frank Jackson of Australian National University and Princeton University, who will speak on “The Problem of Consciousness Revisited” Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in room 205 of Smith Hall.

UA’s department of philosophy is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.


Kelli Wright, communications specialist, College of Arts & Sciences, 205/348-8539,


Dr. Rekha Nath, assistant professor of philosophy, 205/348-0407,