Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Visiting philosopher to lecture on abortion controversy

Tackling a tough topic as part of the Philosophy Today series, visiting philosopher William Lycan will deliver the lecture “Why the Abortion Issue is So Difficult” Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. in 205 Smith Hall.

“The abortion issue seems uniquely intractable. People not only strongly disagree but seem unable to find common ground for discussing the issue,” Lycan, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, said.

By attending the lecture, students will understand why the abortion issue is so hard to debate about, Lycan said.

“It’s important to have informed dialogue because all too often on this issue – on each side of it – there is ill-informed shouting rather than reasoned discourse. On the other hand, a main purpose of my lecture is to explain why that’s so,” Lycan said.

The talk is not advocating a pro-life or pro-choice stance, but rather discussing the complexity of the issue.

“His talk isn’t about abortion as much as it’s about the way we think and talk about abortion, and about how we might improve the ways we think and talk about abortion. That should be of interest to anyone who thinks or talks about abortion, which is just about everyone,” Seth Bordner, assistant philosophy professor, said.

Bordner helped the philosophy department select Lycan to speak.

“We always try to get speakers who are both prominent figures in their fields and dynamic speakers. Dr. Lycan is definitely both. He’s been a prolific publisher for over three decades and his impressive string of invited speaking events is a testament to his engaging speaking style,” Bordner said.

“Philosophers get a bad rap as cloistered, ivory-tower eggheads that only think about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin,” Bordner said.

The Philosophy Today series allows students to get a chance to see leading contemporary philosophers tackle real-world issues, Bordner said.

“In today’s society, we’re bombarded with talking heads who are paid to repeat talking points in 30-second sound bites, so it’s a refreshing change of pace for bona fide experts to have the time to talk through these issues with the care and attention they deserve,” Bordner said.

All Philosophy Today talks are available on The University of Alabama’s iTunesU page.

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