Philosophy Colloquium to be Held at Ashland University

Philosophy Colloquium to be Held at Ashland University

3/24/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University Department of Philosophy is sponsoring a Philosophy Colloquium that will feature Dr. Michael Seifried, adjunct assistant professor of philosophy at the College of Wooster. The event is set for Tuesday, April 7, at 4 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall of the Dwight Schar College of Education.

Seifried will deliver a talk titled “Accountability Awry? A Philosophical Diagnosis.” The event is free and open to the public.

Can we be accountable to shared standards without becoming miserable? Attention to accountability has recently exploded not only in popular culture (e.g., the “common core”), but also in moral and political philosophy. As a result, the philosophical connection between our mutual accountability and the quality of our lives has never been more important.

In this talk, Seifried addresses this question and its animating concerns. For good reason, he argues, a focus on accountability seems stifling and ultimately counterproductive. Critics of the focus on accountability in moral and political philosophy, like critics in popular culture, are indeed onto something profoundly awry about our practices of accountability and how we talk about them.

Drawing on contemporary philosophy of science, classic works of German philosophy and recent research in cognitive science, Seifried argues that the way we conceive of the shared “standards” that ground practices of accountability is the ultimate problem. After presenting this diagnosis, Seifried explores an alternative theory of accountability and its prospects.

Seifried received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University in New York City for his research on democratic decision-making. At Columbia, he co-founded the Columbia Philosophy Outreach Program, through which he taught philosophy to pre-college students in Mississippi, New York, Cleveland and Detroit. He received his B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in German from Miami University, Ohio, where he was a Benjamin Harrison Scholar and member of the Selwyn College-Cambridge program; and recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award, Parents Association Certificate of Merit and a Fulbright Fellowship. Upon graduation from Miami, he won the 2005 Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Prize, which supported a year of independent inquiry at the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna, Austria, on the philosophy of music. Most recently, he has been teaching moral and political philosophy at the College of Wooster.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###