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12th Annual Moravian University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Saturday, April 24, 2021

All session will be held online through Zoom and open to the public

Registration will be required when entering each Zoom Session. It takes less than one minute to register. 

Each presentation will be between 12-15 minutes and there will be 10-15 minutes for general questions at the conclusion of all the presentations.  To attend any of the sessions you simply have to click on the Zoom link.  All sessions are open to the public.

8:45-8:55 Welcoming Remarks and Awards


Opening Remarks: Dr. Cyntia Kosso, Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Presentations of Award: Dr. Bernie Cantens, Ph.D. Chair of Philosophy Department

  • Douglas Anderson Prize in Philosophy, awarded to Jocelyn Donaldson and Alexis LaBar
  • The Fredrick (Jiggs) McConnell Prize in Moral Philosophy, awarded to Steven Towers

SESSION A: 9:00-10:15    Perception and Causation (Moderator Dr. Arash Naraghi)


A1) “A Philosophical Lens: The Implications of Visual Perception and Illusions in AI Systems” Georgia Ray (University of Pennsylvania)

A2) “Dignāga on Percepts and Causal Accounts of Perception” Sagar Rao (Swarthmore College)

A3) “A Critique of the Contrastive Theory of Causation Involving Omissions.” Kaijie (Dominic) Zhang (Lafayette College)

SESSION B:  10:20-11:15 Bio-Ethics (Chair: Dr. Bernie Cantens


B1) “R. M. Hare's Golden Rule Is Not a Suitable Argument Against Abortion” Danielle Hanson (Moravian University)

B2) “Designer Babies – Genetic Engineering for Perfection” Melissa Merlo (Northampton Community College)

B3) “A Defense of Mary Ann Warren’s ‘Do Potential People Have Moral Rights?’” Alexis LaBar (Moravain College)

SESSION C:  11:20-12:30 Ethics and Feminism (Chair: Dr. Carol Moeller


C1) “Ethical Theory and the Environment”  Angela Sutton (St. Joseph’s College-Long Island Campus) 

C2) “Wang Yang-Ming and Rehabilitative Justice” Borb Hankes (Juniata College) 

C3) “The Philosophical Implications of Representation of Women in Literature on our Education and Understanding" Elizabeth Gillespie (Alvernia University)

12:30 - 1:15 Lunch Break  

PLENARY TALK (1:20-2:30) Dr. Carol Moeller


The "Critical" in Critical Philosophy of Race

Abstract: There is a new school of philosophers that propose new methodologies not for only treating race but doing philosophy, full stop. Critical philosophy of race is critical in four ways. It is critical of the basic denial of race as a proper subject of philosophical inquiry. It is critical of the naturalistic conceptions of race that eschew meaning. It is critical of racism in all of its forms. The "critical" in critical philosophy of race aligns with social movements that emphasize racial justice and aspire to social reform. A critical philosophy of race would praise a movement insisting that Black lives matter.

Dr. Kimberly Ann Harris is an assistant professor of philosophy at Marquette University. She specializes in African American Philosophy, Critical Philosophy of Race, and 19th Century Philosophy (especially Hegel). Her research has been supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Institute for Critical Social Inquiry (The New School), and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She completed her Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University in 2018. She teaches courses in African American Philosophy, Critical Philosophy of Race, G. W. F. Hegel, W. E. B. Du Bois. Her research interests are 19th Century Philosophy (especially Hegel), Critical Philosophy of Race, African American Philosophy. Her work has appeared in prestigious journals such as Critical Philosophy of Race, Philosophy Today, and Metaphilosophy. Currently, she is at work on several essays and a monograph titled Du Bois’s Metaphilosophy: The Truth of Race.

SESSION D:  2:35-3:50 Continental Philosophy and Skepticism (Moderator: Dr. Leon Niemoczynski) 


D1) The Choices of Morality: Grunthaler’s Determinism and Sartre’s Existentialism” Ngan Ha (Northampton Community College) 

D2) “The Archaic Aletheia of Parmenides and the Way of Mortals.” Christian Giliberto (Eastern Connecticut State University)

D3) “Man Against Nothingness: Nietzsche vs. Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor.” Spencer Judd (New York University)

D4) “The Superior Method of Doubt.” Kaitlyn Carroll-Devaney (Sacred Heart University)


Moravian Philosophy Faculty: Dr. Bernie Cantens, Chair, Dr. Arash Naraghi, Dr. Carol Moeller,
and  Dr. Leon Niemoczynski.


Participating Institutions 

  • Alvernia University
  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Juniata College
  • Lafayette College
  • Marquette University
  • Moravian University
  • New York University
  • Northampton Community College
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Seton Hall University
  • St. Joseph's College
  • Swarthmore College
  • University of Pennsylvania