Prof. Zinser Presents at ISH conference
A Summer 2019 update from assistant professor Jason Zinser:
I was fortunate enough to present at the 2019 International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Sciences of Biology conference held in Oslo, Norway. (Since it is, to be sure, an inelegantly named society, most people simply call it ISH.) My presentation, entitled Animals, Pleasures, and Animal Pleasures, was an attempt to focus more attention on the philosophical and ethical dimensions of animal pleasure. There are voluminous writings on animal pain, exploring where on the tree of life it starts, the similarities and dissimilates with human varieties of pain, and on the ethical implications of animal pain, but correspondingly little on animal pleasure.
Arriving a few days early, I rented a car and set about to see a bit of Norway. My (high) expectations of the beauty of the country were well exceeded! Steering away from more popular tourist destinations, I decided to visit something I was alerted to not that long ago, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s remote cabin on a fjord near Skjolden. Wittgenstein was one of the most influential Wester philosophers in the 20th century and one of the architects of the “linguistic turn” in analytic philosophy. He only spent a total of fifteen months at this cabin, which he had built, but he did some of his most significant writing there, including work on his famous book, Philosophical Investigations.