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Welcome to another installment of our NDPR Forums, in which we invite both the author of a book reviewed in NDPR, as well as the reviewer, to talk about the review, the book, and anything else related to the topic. We also welcome anyone else to jump in to comment on any of those topics as well. Today we are opening a thread on Fritz Allhoff’s book Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture: A Philosophical Analysis (University of Chicago Press), which was reviewed last week in NDPR by Chris Morris. Blurbs below the fold.
Re-posting after a technical glitch this morning (eds.)
Current events are reminding us that patriotism, at least of the sort that gets publicly acknowledged, is a confusing virtue. I don’t mean that the patriot might get drawn into doing bad things on behalf of his country. Patriotism is a form of loyalty, and loyalty, whether to friends, family, one’s university, or whatever, can draw us into doing bad things on their behalf. I mean instead that those who say they care about patriotism seem surprisingly okay with others doing bad things without regard for the interests of their country.
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.
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)
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.
In February of this year, scholars released an analysis of a massive data set of 30 million college students born between 1980 and 1991, that included their economic backgrounds, college attended, and post-college earnings. The findings provide us with an opportunity to revisit a long-standing concern with justice and equal opportunity in higher education.
There has been much attention in recent years to whether lower income students are adequately represented at selective colleges, especially elite colleges. Some of those colleges have made serious efforts to admit a higher proportion of lower income students. The public discourse around these efforts generally operates with a tacit theory of equality of opportunity—that equality of opportunity entails that access to higher rungs on the existing hierarchy of colleges and universities be less dependent on a student’s financial resource background, and closer to being based on “merit,” however conceived. This is a milder version of the philosophic position taken by Rawls and other political philosophers, that such access be entirely independent of resource background and dependent only on talent and effort.
Suppose you have an interest in ethical issues that attend commercial activities and/or productive organizations. Where might you go to learn more, or to present to your work? To a conference in business ethics, of course! But where are those?
Both philosophers (and other normative folks) and social scientists “do” business ethics, though in different ways. Very roughly: philosophers think about what is right in business, while social scientists think about what the causes and effects of right behavior in business are. So it is worth deciding what sort of people you want to talk with before deciding where to go. Here are some options, with the more “philosophical” options at the top, and the more “social science-y” options at the bottom.