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The SFSU Philosophy Club is pleased to host Dr. Dan M. Layman (Brown University).

Date: Friday, October, 3rd 2014

Time: 4:00-6:00pm.

Place: HUM 133 (lecture hall on first floor of the humanities building)

Dr. Layman will present his paper, “Many Masters? Rethinking the Labor Republican Critique of Capitalist Employment."

Abstract:  Alex Gourevitch has recently drawn on 19th century labor republicanism to criticize Philip Pettit's view that workers can escape domination if they enjoy a basic income that allows them to move freely among employers. According to Gourevitch, a basic income does not secure non-domination for workers, as they must still sell their labor, and this arrangement is intentionally maintained by those who benefit from it. I engage this debate by pursuing three aims. First, I argue that structural dependence of the kind that bothers Gourevitch and other labor republicans is not republican domination, because it lacks the controlling agent proper to republican domination. Second, I show how the labor republican case against structural dependence points toward a distinct variety of political unfreedom, which I call structural oppression. Third, I consider whether workplace democracy is necessary in order to avoid structural oppression and tentatively conclude that it is not.   ​

Bio:  I am a postdoctoral research fellow in political science at Brown University. My research in moral and political philosophy is centered on freedom as a political ideal, its history, and its implications for distributive justice. In my dissertation and related papers, I argue that John Locke was committed to an intuitively plausible conception of political liberty as freedom from arbitrary power, and that this notion of liberty is a live option for political theory today. In my most recent work, I have taken up the question of how our economic lives must be structured in order to secure all citizens against arbitrary power.​

Admission, of course, is free.  All are welcome and encouraged to come.

Questions, or to request the paper, email Lily Simmons at lsimmons@mail.sfsu.edu

Sponsored by the SFSU Philosophy Department.


Professor Pamela Hood and alum Saja Parvizian (M.A. '10) will present papers at  the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy with the Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science and other groups, at Fordham Lincoln Center in New York, October 24-26, 2014. Professor Hood's paper is on “Phronesis and Strict Virtue in EN, VI”. Saja's paper is on  “Rethinking Descartes' Lumine Naturali Through al-Ghazali's Nur”. He and his wife Kristen are completing their doctorates at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Thanks to a generous six-figure bequest from a former SFSU M.A. degree holder who went on to earn his doctorate, the SFSU Philosophy Department will begin a new scholarship program for students entering the M.A. program in Fall '15 and subsequent years. Scholarships may be matched with Graduate Teaching Associate Fellowships. Information about scholarship criteria and application forms will be available on the SFSU Philosophy  Department's webpage by January 15, 2015. 

SFSU also has a variety of other scholarships for graduate students, as well as financial aid.  Students seeking the maximum in financial aid for Fall '15 entry should submit a FAFSA by the end of February '15, even if they have not yet applied to the Philosophy M.A. program.


Congratulations to Jonathan Chen (M.A., FA’ 12), Patrick Smith (M.A., SP’ 12) and Genevieve Wallace (M.A., SP’ 09), all of whom now are full-time lecturers at CSU Sacramento.

Congratulations to Delicia Kamins and Sigmund Werndorf for winning Casanova Pre-doctoral Fellowships for 2014/15. Once again Philosophy M.A. students have made a wonderful showing, attaining 25% of all Casanovas awarded to SFSU students. And great thanks go to their faculty sponsors, Professor Azadpur and Professor Landy.

Congratulations to Michelle Covington (M.A. '14), who has completed a year of law school and now is transferring to the University of California Law School (formerly Boalt Hall).


SFSU scholarships are available! Apply here.