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By In Action Theory, Announcements, Moral Responsibility Comments Off on NOWAR 4 Program

NOWAR 4 Program

The program for the 4th biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR 4) has been set. It is pasted below the fold. The workshop takes place in New Orleans on November 2-4, 2017, and this year it kicks off with an open discussion on the foundations of moral responsibility, with Michael McKenna, Dana Nelkin, Chandra Sripada, and David Shoemaker. The three keynote speakers this year are Jeanette Kennett, Michael S. Moore, and Angela Smith. Registration is free, and just requires an email to David Shoemaker (dshoemak AT tulane DOT edu). Information about lodging (with a reserved hotel block) to be found soon on the Murphy Institute website.

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By In Applied Ethics, News and Events Comments Off on Call for Participation: Climate Ethics and Climate Economics

Call for Participation: Climate Ethics and Climate Economics

Call for Participation

Climate Ethics And Climate Economics: Risk, Uncertainty and Catastrophe Scenarios

Workshop at the University of Cambridge

Convened by Simon Beard (with Kai Spiekermann), supported by the ESRC, in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

8-10 May 2017

Accompanied by public lectures given by Professor Doyne Farmer and Professor Hilary Greaves on the evenings of the 8th and 10th of May.

The fifth of six ESRC-funded workshops on Climate Ethics and Climate Economics.

 

We are now looking for participants.

Confirmed Speakers

Matthew Rendall (University of Nottingham)

John Halstead (University of Oxford)

Elizabeth Baldwin (University of Oxford)

Doyne Farmer (Oxford Martin School)

Tina Sikka (University of Newcastle)

Iñaki San Pedro (University of the Basque Country)

Eike Düvel (University of Graz)

Hilary Greaves (Future of Humanity Institute)

Mariam Thalos (University of Utah)

Kieran Marray (University of Oxford)

Workshop Description

Some scholars, most notably Martin Weitzman (2009; 2011) have warned that there is an uncertain chance of runaway climate change that could devastate the planet. At least since Hans Jonas’s The Imperative of Responsibility (1981), some have argued that even low-probability existential risks should be treated in a fundamentally different way. How should we act when we believe that there is some chance of a catastrophe, but cannot make reliable probability estimates (Elster 1979; Haller 2002; Gardiner 2005)? How much should we worry about worst-case scenarios? What should we do when experts disagree about whether catastrophe is possible?

Papers will be pre-circulated, with short presentations and comments from discussants.

Please pre-register here.

 

 

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By In Applied Ethics, Philosophy of Law Comments Off on Journal of Applied Philosophy Prizewinning Essay

Journal of Applied Philosophy Prizewinning Essay

Federico Picinali’s essay, “Base-Rates of Negative Traits: Instructions for Use in Criminal Trials,” has won the Journal of Applied Philosophy’s annual prize (of a thousand pounds) for best essay of the year (in JAP), and it is available to read open access here.

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By In NDPR Discussion Forum, Political Philosophy Comments (2)

NDPR Discussion: Ryan Muldoon’s Social Contract Theory for a Diverse World: Beyond Tolerance

NDPR just posted a review by Michael Frazer of Ryan Muldoon’s recent book. We have invited both Ryan and Michael to discuss the review as they see fit, and we also invite interested readers to contribute any questions or comments they may have on either the book or the review here as well.

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By In Ideas, Moral Psychology, Normative Ethics, Reasons and rationality Comments (15)

Can psychopaths make judgments of worth?

There’s a longstanding dispute about whether psychopaths are morally responsible. For our purposes, just stipulate that psychopaths are blind to moral reasons, that is, they lack moral, or normative, competence. There’s not much disagreement on this point (for psychopaths who score very highly on the Hare Checklist). The disagreement, instead, is over whether normative competence is necessary for moral responsibility. Suppose a psychopath sees that hitting you with a baseball bat will cause you pain, but he does it anyway because it’s fun. So, it’s thought, he judges hitting you to be worth doing, and he also judges that your interests don’t matter. Isn’t that sufficient to ground apt moral blame, and so sufficient for his being morally responsible?

Or so a school of thought goes (represented by Tim Scanlon, Angela Smith, Matt Talbert, and Pamela Hieronymi). What matters is that the psychopath at least has the rational capacity to form judgments of worth, i.e., make evaluative judgments of reasons. If he does, then it doesn’t matter if he’s blind to one subset of reasons; he’s still blameworthy for judging that the bad thing is worth doing and judging that other considerations don’t matter.

I want to try out an argument against this stance and see what you think.

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By In Announcements, Call For Papers, News and Events Comments Off on NOWAR 4: Call for Abstracts (Due March 15, 2017)

NOWAR 4: Call for Abstracts (Due March 15, 2017)

This is a call for abstracts for the fourth biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR), to be held in New Orleans, LA, November 2-4, 2017. Abstracts are welcome on any topic having to do with agency and/or responsibility. Perspectives beyond just those from moral philosophy (e.g., psychology, legal theory, neuroscience, economics, metaphysics, and more) are welcome. To see more about the workshop’s general aims and other details, follow this link.

 

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By In Featured Authors, Ideas, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy of Law Comments (10)

Featured Authors: Victor Tadros’s Wrongs and Crimes (Post by Victor Tadros)

[Editor’s Note: As part of our series featuring authors of new and forthcoming books, today we are featuring Victor Tadros’s new book Wrongs and Crimes (OUP). Below, Victor discusses one argument from the book, on whether punishment can be justified in light of worries about free will. All are welcome and encouraged to join in on the discussion.]

 

Wrongs and Crimes is about the relationship between wrongs and crimes! It is about the nature and sources of wrongdoing, why wrongdoing can make a person liable to punishment. In the light of that it is about the scope of the criminal law. The book covers far too many issues – everything from the nature of wrongdoing, to debates about free will, to the nature of harm and the harm principle, to consent, inchoate wrongdoing, and firearms possession. As taster, I focus only on one issue that I address in chapter 5: can punishment be justified in the face of challenges from free-will sceptics?

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