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Speaker series to focus on ethics of food, agriculture

By Ann Friou
University News Service
August 20, 2010

Ethical approaches to food and agriculture will be the topic of several public discussions on the Texas State University-San Marcos campus this fall. The discussions are offered as part of a three-year program on Technology and Values, organized Craig Hanks, the NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities 2009-2012.

Necessities and the Meaning of Life
Monday, Sept. 27, 11 a.m., LBJ Teaching Theater
Jean Kazez, professor of Philosophy at Southern Methodist University, will argue that the essentials for a good life include autonomy, happiness, self-expression, morality, and a sense of progress in one’s own life.

Brave New Animal: Advancing Ethics through Technology
Monday, Sept. 27, 2 p.m., Psychology Building 132
Jean Kazez will lead a group discussion, exploring new and developing technologies that may or may not succeed in making meat-eating morally acceptable. Such technologies make it possible to manufacture meat in a lab, to engineer animals genetically to feel no pain and to emit less methane, and to produce only female cows on dairy farms in order to eliminate the killing of unwanted males.

Food, Ethics, and Society: A Panel Discussion
Monday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m., LBJ Teaching Theater
Chef Matthew Buchanan of The Leaning Pear restaurant in Wimberley; Editor Marla Camp of Edible Austin, and Philosophy Professor David Kaplan of the University of North Texas will comprise the panel.

2011 Discussion: Architecture and Design
In Spring 2011, the discussion will shift to Architecture and Design, with a screening of the movie “Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio,” at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7. Rural Studio was founded at Auburn University by the artist/architect/educator Samuel Mockbee to inspire students to use their design and building skills to better their communities. A panel discussion will follow.

For more information, contact Craig Hanks at