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Dirty Leviathan

dirty leviathan photo

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, hot tub, fire on the beach, and friendly atmosphere.

Read about previous retreats below.

Dirty Leviathan Retreat

by Patrick Taylor Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Ethics in Society

On May 15th, 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. Friday evening was spent debating the rise of ISIS, the history of the Assassins, and the appropriate interpretation of the Spike Jonze movie Her. After  Chinese food, we all had cake that was decorated with a classic early depiction of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, commemorating the long-term success of the Dirty Leviathan in bringing people together to discuss applied normative issues.

Read the rest of Patrick's article on The Buzz.

Dirty Leviathan Retreat

by Lily Lamboy, PhD candidate in Political Science

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, CA. The Dirty Leviathan is a group sponsored by the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, and its mission is to support interdisciplinary research on questions related to ethics, justice, and political theory by bringing together graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from all corners of the university. Over the weekend of April 4-6 this year, 25 researchers from law, Ethics in Society, history, classics, political science, and philosophy came together to workshop their ideas and forge relationships across disciplines. Within minutes of arriving on Friday evening, participants were engaged in fascinating informal conversations, ranging in topics from the ethics of college athletic compensation to gender inequality.

Read the rest of Lily's article on The Buzz.