Anniversary Celebration

2024 Anniversary Celebration

Celebrating the Wisconsin Alpha Chapter’s 125th birthday with a discussion led by Professors Steve Nadler and Larry Shapiro: When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People: How Philosophy Can Save Us from Ourselves. Friday, February 2, 2:30-3:45pm at Pyle Conference Center, Room 226. All members welcome! Free to student members; If so inclined, provide a GIFT that supports undergraduate students who are unable to pay required fees. RSVP here.


UW-Madison philoso­phers Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro con­sid­er how large mass­es of peo­ple can embrace crazy, even dan­ger­ous ideas and how this bad think­ing dri­ves bad act­ing, inspir­ing excep­tion­al­ly bad behav­ior. Nadler and Shapiro offer a way for­ward: the best anti­dote for bad think­ing and act­ing is the wis­dom, insights, and prac­ti­cal skills of philosophy.

Join us for an engag­ing talk through the basic prin­ci­ples of log­ic, argu­ment, evi­dence, and prob­a­bil­i­ty; demon­strat­ing how we can more read­i­ly spot and avoid flawed argu­ments and unre­li­able infor­ma­tion; deter­mine whether evi­dence sup­ports or con­tra­dicts an idea; dis­tin­guish between mere­ly believ­ing some­thing and know­ing it; and much more.

Their recently published book, When Bad Think­ing Hap­pens to Good Peo­ple, explores why phi­los­o­phy’s mil­len­nia-old advice about how to lead a good, ratio­nal, and exam­ined life is essen­tial for escap­ing our cur­rent predicament.

Nadler is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is the director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities. His books include “Think Least of Death: Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die” and (with Ben Nadler) “Heretics!: The Wondrous and Dangerous Beginnings of Modern Philosophy” (both Princeton University Press).

Shapiro is the Berent Enç Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His books include “Zen and the Art of Running: The Path to Making Peace with Your Pace” and “The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural Is Unjustified.”