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 Ideas, Moral Psychology, The Profession Comments (7)

The Happy Coincidence Defense and The-Most-I-Can-Do Sweet Spot (by Eric Schwitzgebel)

Eric Schwitzgebel writes:

Here are four things I care intensely about: being a good father, being a good philosopher, being a good teacher, and being a morally good person. It would be lovely if there were never any tradeoffs among these four aims.

Explicitly acknowledging such tradeoffs is unpleasant — sufficiently unpleasant that it’s tempting to try to rationalize them away. It’s distinctly uncomfortable to me, for example, to acknowledge that I would probably be better as a father if I traveled less for work. (I am writing this post from a hotel room in England.) Similarly uncomfortable is the thought that the money I’ll be spending on a family trip to Iceland this summer could probably save a few people from death due to poverty-related causes, if given to the right charity.

Today I’ll share two of my favorite techniques for rationalizing the unpleasantness away. Maybe you’ll find these techniques useful too!

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By In Discussions, Ethics Discussions at PEA Soup, Metaethics Comments (10)

Ethics Discussion at PEA Soup: Paulina Sliwa’s “Moral Understanding as Knowing Right from Wrong,” with a critical précis by Kieran Setiya

Welcome to what we expect will be a very interesting and productive discussion of Paulina Sliwa‘s “Moral Understanding as Knowing Right from Wrong.” The paper is published in the most recent edition of Ethics and is available through open access here. Kieran Setiya has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis, and it appears immediately below. Please join in the discussion!

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By In Uncategorized Comments (19)

Journal of Moral Philosophy Discussion at PEA Soup: Preston Greene’s “Value in Very Long Lives,” with a critical précis by Michael Cholbi

Welcome to the second Journal of Moral Philosophy discussion here at PEA Soup. This is sure to be another insightful and productive discussion, this time on Preston Greene‘s absolutely fantastic paper “Value in Very Long Lives.” This paper is currently available in the “Advance Articles” section online at the Journal of Moral Philosophy. They have kindly provided free access to the paper, which can be viewed or downloaded here. Michael Cholbi has written a critical précis and commentary, which is included below. Please join the fun!

Michael Cholbi’s critical précis:

Longevity researcher Steven Austad has estimated that the average lifespan of “medically immortal” human beings —individuals invulnerable to aging, infectious disease, or endogenous diseases such as cancer but still vulnerable to death due to accidents, violence, etc. — would be just shy of 6,000 years. Should we welcome the prospect of medical immortality? Many actual human lives are no doubt made worse by death. For death often deprives us of goods that, had we lived longer, would have resulted in our lives being better overall. But some philosophers argue that it does not follow from the fact that many would benefit from living a bit longer that greatly extended lifespans would be better for us.

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By In Announcements, Ethics Discussions at PEA Soup Comments Off on Upcoming Ethics Discussion, April 25-27: Paulina Sliwa’s “Moral Understanding as Knowing Right from Wrong,” with a critical précis by Kieran Setiya

Upcoming Ethics Discussion, April 25-27: Paulina Sliwa’s “Moral Understanding as Knowing Right from Wrong,” with a critical précis by Kieran Setiya

We are excited to announce our next Ethics discussion, which will focus on Paulina Sliwa‘s paper, “Moral Understanding as Knowing Right from Wrong”. The paper is available through open access here. A critical précis will be provided by Kieran Setiya. Join us April 25-27!

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By In Uncategorized Comments Off on Upcoming Journal of Moral Philosophy Discussion, April 21st: Preston Greene’s “Value in Very Long Lives,” with a critical précis by Michael Cholbi

Upcoming Journal of Moral Philosophy Discussion, April 21st: Preston Greene’s “Value in Very Long Lives,” with a critical précis by Michael Cholbi

We are excited to announce our second Journal of Moral Philosophy discussion, which will take place on Friday April 21st. We will be discussing Preston Greene’s paper “Value in Very Long Lives.” The Journal of Moral Philosophy made the paper available for free here until the end of the month. Michael Cholbi will provide a critical précis. Please join the discussion!

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By In Applied Ethics Comments (1)

Justice and equal opportunity in higher education

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.[1]

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.

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