The Freedom Center welcomes Kit Wellman, Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, who earned his PhD from UArizona, for a fascinating discussion on morality.

Morality would be cleaner and more straightforward if moral rights were the product of perfectly general and absolute moral rules, but most ethicists now affirm rights infringements–despite the manner in which they complicate moral theory–because doing so allows for the greatest fidelity to our moral convictions.  I believe that we should similarly embrace agent-relative prerogatives for their unique ability to vindicate three widely-held convictions that (1) a victim may permissibly use defensive force against a non-responsible threat, (2) third parties are not permitted to use defensive force against non-responsible threats, and (3) non-responsible threats are equally permitted to use defensive force against their potential victims,  I discuss a number of prominent scholars who write on this topic, but I frame this essay in terms of Judith Jarvis Thomson’s pioneering work, in part because she was a leading advocate of rights infringements who subsequently denied the existence of agent-relative prerogatives, but also because affirming agent-centered permissions would have benefited other prongs of her research agenda.

This event is open to the public, in person and via Zoom. To attend via zoom, please contact Kaveh Pourvand.

Event Contacts
Kaveh Pourvand