RSU to Hold Oct. 27 Presentation on Importance of Virtue

Rogers State University will be hosting a lecture and discussion on the importance of character traits, such as virtue, featuring a public talk by noted University of Oklahoma faculty member Dr. Nancy Snow.

Dr. Snow will discuss her text, “Virtue as Social Intelligence: An Empirically Grounded Theory,” during a public lecture from 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27 in Baird Hall, Room 131. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The following day, Snow will help lead a more in-depth discussion of the topic among a group of RSU faculty, students and invited guests. The events are part of RSU’s Charles Koch Colloquia Series, sponsored through a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation and organized by Dr. Frank Grabowski, Associate Professor in the RSU Department of English and Humanities.

Dr. Snow currently serves as Professor and Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at OU. She is co-Director of The Self, Motivation & Virtue Project, a $2.6 million research initiative on the moral self. She is the author of more than 30 papers on virtue and ethics more broadly and has edited or co-edited five additional works.

Dr. Snow serves as the Associate Editor for Ethics and Philosophy of The Journal of Moral Education and participated as a faculty member for the 2016 National Endowment for Humanities’ summer institute “Moral Psychology and Education: Putting the Humanities to Work.”

Her 2009 book “Virtue as Social Intelligence” takes on the claims of philosophical situationism, the ethical theory that says human personality is too fluid and fragmented to support a stable set of virtues. Drawing on the work of psychologists, she argues that the social psychological experiments that philosophical situationists rely on look at the wrong kinds of situations to test for behavioral consistency. Rather than looking at situations that are objectively similar, researchers need to compare situations that have similar meanings for the subject. When this is done, subjects exhibit behavioral consistencies that warrant the attribution of enduring traits, and virtues are a subset of these traits.

In addition to Dr. Snow’s lecture and discussion, Dr. Grabowski organized an extended discussion of Josef Pieper’s “Happiness and Contemplation,” and in November RSU will hold a discussion on Jacques Maritain’s “Natural Law: Reflections on Theory and Practice.” During each event, a group of 10 to 15 participants discuss a particular work and provide insights into historical and contemporary impacts arising from the work. The events are also being funded, in part, by RSU through an internal grant.

For more information or to participate in the smaller group discussions, contact Dr. Grabowski at [email protected].