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Dirty Leviathan

Retreat goers seated around patio fire pit

For many years, the Center has sponsored an annual retreat for Stanford political theorists.

Ph.D. students and postdocs from various departments who share an interest in political theory come together to present — and debate — their work in a friendly and collegial environment. Scholars who have participated in the retreat have expressed appreciation for the "informal social and philosophical interations." In particular, they have praised the quality of talks, breaks between presentations, plus fires on the beach and friendly atmosphere.

Read about previous retreats below.

Philosophizing by the Fire and Through the Forest

by Joan O'Bryan

For two nights and two lovely days, the members of The Dirty Leviathan political theory group met in beautiful Aptos, California, for our annual interdisciplinary retreat. Imagine: a weekend of non-stop philosophizing, from debates on embodiment and consciousness during forest walks to discussing feminism and freedom over tacos. A small slice of political theory heaven! Read more

Political Theorists Wrap Up Another Successful Retreat

by Patrick Taylor Smith

On May 15, 2015, a score of intrepid political theorists, law students, and political philosophers braved traffic along Highway One and arrived at a beachfront villa just outside Watonsville to begin the 6th Annual Dirty Leviathan Retreat. The Dirty Leviathan is a group sponsored by the Center for Ethics in Society that is designed to support interdisciplinary and applied work in ethics and political philosophy. Read more

Political Theory: Even Better by the Beach

by Lily Lamboy

Should healthcare systems protect people’s finances? Do parents have independent reasons, separate from the needs of the child, for claiming right to parent? What is the relationship between autonomous decision-making and distributive outcomes related to luck? This is just a small sample of the questions tackled during presentations at The Dirty Leviathan’s recent workshop retreat in Watsonville, California. Read more