Bowditch’s lecture will analyze the answer to the question posed by the 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume about whether religion is natural. “Hume was both a great writer and a brilliant philosopher,” said Bowditch. “But he was also an astute observer who had a deep understanding of human nature that makes his approach to answering the question ‘Is religion natural?’ really interesting and revealing. Though things have changed a lot since 1776 when Hume died, human nature hasn’t and, as a result, there is still a lot he can teach us.”
Bowditch’s research focuses on ethics and moral psychology, as well as the history of ethics and philosophy. He has written on Aristotle’s account of moral development, the moral dimensions of early modern accounts of the emotions and the contemporary relevance of historical accounts of emotions. Bowditch is currently working on a study of Hume’s account of the psychology of religious belief and its moral implications.
In 1994, Bowditch received his bachelor’s from the University of California. He has also earned his master’s and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, where he received a David Sachs Fellowship as well as the William Miller Essay Prize in 2001. Bowditch is an active member of the American Philosophical Association and the Hume Society. In 2009, he received AUC’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and was elected to the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on International Cooperation.