Gary Varner: 'Pets, Companion Animals and Domesticated Partners: Ethics and Animal Companions'

2017-05-02 by

Pets, Companion Animals, and Domesticated Partners: Ethics and Animal Companions

Gary Varner is the author of Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition: Situating Animals in Hare’s Two-Level Utilitarianism (Oxford University Press, 2012). In this presentation, he introduced stipulative definitions of terms “companion animal,” “domesticated partners” and “mere pet.” He will argue that the institution of pet-keeping is justifiable, but that the justification is stronger for companion animals than for mere pets, and that it is stronger for domesticated partners.

Gary Varner is a professor at Texas A&M University. His research interests include environmental ethics, philosophical questions related to animal rights and animal welfare, and R. M. Hare’s two-level utilitarianism.

Hosted by the UAA Department of Philosophy. For more information about this event, please contact professor Raymond Anthony at

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'Author Meets Critics' with Professor Paul B. Thompson, Michigan State University

2017-04-18 by News, Sports, and Art

UAA Environmental Ethics student panelists Samuel Rice, Ben Mock, Molly Fenton, Nathan Burns and Angelina Klapperich host an evening with Professor Paul B. Thompson, author of From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone (Oxford University Press, 2015; North American Society for Social Philosophy 2015 Book Award Winner). Professor Thompson has been writing and researching food issues for more than 30 years, advising the food industry internationally and studying food from an ethical perspective. His text is the first comprehensive study to explore interconnections hidden deep within the wide range of ethical issues related to the production and consumption of food.

For more information, please contact Professor Raymond Anthony at

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UAA's Cyber-Ethics Conference February 2016: Takanori Shibata and the harp seal robot Paro

2016-03-04 by

Takanori Shibata is the creator of Paro, a therapeutic robot in the form of a warm and fuzzy harp seal, well known for comforting Fukushima survivors. It has been used in palliative care for cancer patients and training of social skill of children with developmental disorders. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ertified Paro as a “neurological therapeutic medical devic.”

Shibata is the chief senior research scientist at the Human Informatics Research Institute with AIST, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science of Technology.

Shibata was introduced by Hiroko Harada, a professor of Japanese and coordinator, advisor and director of the Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture.

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Cyber-Ethics Conference 2016
UAA Website
Alaska Dispatch News
Story on Cyber-Ethics conference and Dr. Shibata's Paro
Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture
UAA website

UAA's Cyber-Ethics Conference, February 2016: Jennifer Robertson and robots in Japan

2016-03-03 by News, Sports, and Art

Jennifer Robertson is Professor of Anthropology and History of Art at the University of Michigan and author of the forthcoming book Robo Sapiens Japanicus: robotics, eugenics, and posthuman aesthetics.

Her keynote was a part of the 11th Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference Feb. 26-27, 2016.

This podcast was recorded Feb. 27, 2016 in UAA Library 307.

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Robo Sapiens Japanicus
Link to Jennifer Robertson's paper
Cyber-Ethics Conference 2016

Philosopher Roger Ames on 'Confucian Role Ethics'

2014-03-31 by

Roger Ames, professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, was the keynote speaker at the Ninth Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference held at UAA March 27-29, 2014. The conference was called “Living Ethically in the Global World.” The conference also marked the UAA Ethics Center’s Inaugural Convocation.

Professor Ames argues that relationships are universal and therefore provide an accessible, cross-cultural basis for making ethical determinations. Professor Ames is introduced here by Kristin Helweg-Hanson, professor of philosophy at UAA..

This keynote address was held in conjunction with the Undergraduate Research and Discovery Symposium. The podcast was recorded Friday, March 28, 2014.

Download MP3 (109:57min, 50MB)

For More Information:

UAA Department of Philosophy
UAA 9th Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference
UAA Undergraduate Research Symposium 2014
University of Hawaii, Manoa Department of Philosophy
UAA Confucius Institute

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