AU Press Releases

Professor takes philosophical views on the road

Emrys Westacott, Alfred University professor of philosophy and author, is taking a variety of his philosophical messages on the road this spring, beginning in the United Kingdom (U.K.).

First, he will participate in "The Forum," a radio discussion program broadcast regularly by the BBC World Service. A podcast of the program will be available in early April.

Next, Westacott will discuss his book "The Virtues of Our Vices: A Modest Defense of Gossip, Rudeness, and Other Bad Habits" (Princeton University Press, November 2011) with philosopher Julian Baggini at an event that is part of the Bristol Festival of Ideas. A recording of the discussion will be available as part of the microphilosophy podcast series.

Then, on March 31, Westacott will give a public lecture based on his book at the Oxford Literary Festival.

Westacott will give another public lecture in London on April 4 at a meeting of Philosophy For All, an organization that seeks to encourage debate between professional and non-professional philosophers. The lecture, on ethics in sport, is based on an article to be published later this year in Philosophy Now (the world’s biggest-circulation philosophy periodical).

Then back on U.S. soil, on April 11 he will give another talk on ethics in sport at the Namour Symposium, an annual philosophy conference held at California State University, Sacramento. Westacott gave a version of the sports ethics lecture at AU last October at the Bergren. In that presentation he compared two ways of looking at cheating and gamesmanship in sport. The "Odyssian" perspective focuses on winning and does not worry too much about how this is achieved; the "Galahadian" perspective, by contrast, holds fast to a strict honor code. Westacott argued we should actively encourage the latter point of view. That talk can be accessed at: http://coursecast.alfred....

Earlier this year, the Web site "The Browser" published an interview with Westacott in which he discussed five books that have influenced his thinking on the connection between philosophy and everyday living. That discussion can be found at:

In February, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Westacott in which he discusses five books he admires, each concerned in one way or another with bad habits. That article can be found at:

Westacott earned degrees in philosophy from the University of Sheffield, U.K.; McGill University, Quebec; and the University of Texas-Austin). His first book, "Thinking Through Philosophy," which he co-authored with Chris Horner, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2000. He has taught at AU since 1996. Links to some of his writings, interviews, and class Web pages can be found on his Web site at: