2017-2018

Topic: Representation for Realists

Thursday, 04/12/2018 - 12:30 to 13:45

Location: Maloney Room, Social Sciences 224

Abstract: Most major normative theories of political representation presuppose populist empirical theories of voter behavior. This paper examines how such normative theories are undermined by democratic realism. Democratic realism holds most voters are tribalistic but non-ideological; their voting behavior does not reflect their underlying interests or goals. On the realist account, it is hard to make sense of supposed duties of fidelity, deference, or sincerity, or of supposed virtues of promoting political equality or self-governance.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.

When

12:30 p.m. April 12, 2018

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Spring

Title: Fake News and the Limits of Freedom of Speech

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:30 to 13:45

Location: Old Main, Room 227 (The Julie Modine Woodrow Boardroom)

Abstract: “Fake news” refers to stories made up out of whole cloth and presented so as to look like legitimate journalism. It has a number of harmful effects. It deceives people into believing falsehoods, sometimes systematically distorting people’s world-view. It leaves many skeptical of news sources in general, lessening people’s ability to acquire accurate information or to place sufficient trust in legitimate news sources. It reinforces group polarization, as extremely partisan stories are more likely to garner clicks and shares. And, these harms are not merely individual; everyone suffers when democratic decision-making is undermined by wide-scale deception and distrust. Given the harm that fake news creates, what should we do about it?  The question I consider in this talk is, “Would it be in principle morally unacceptable to censor fake news?” Or to put it more precisely, “Would censoring fake news face the same sort of objections that are typically put forward against censoring speech generally?” I argue that the answer to this question is “no,” because fake news does not have the characteristics of speech—described in arguments by philosophers and legal scholars such as Mill, Scanlon, Raz, Meiklejohn, and Post—that make it worthy of special protection. In this way fake news serves as a case study, allowing us to clarify the unique value of speech amongst our liberties.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.

When

12:30 p.m. March 15, 2018

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Spring
Current Research Workshop: Brian Kogelmann

Manuscript workshop with Brian Kogelmann (University of Maryland).

Title: The General Theory of Public Reason.

Location: Maloney Seminar Room, Soc Sci 224.

The workshop format will presume participants have read the manuscript in advance.  If you'd like to attend and want a copy of the manuscript, please email Adam Gjesdal at agjesdal@email.arizona.edu.

Commentators:

Jonathan Quong, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Law, University of Southern California.
Chad Van Schoelandt, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Tulane University.
Kevin Vallier, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University.

 

When

1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 28, 2018

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Spring
Commentators: Jonathan Quong

Virtuous People and Moral Reasons

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:30 to 1:45

Location: Maloney Room, SS 224

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.

Abstract:

Are the virtuous person's reasons moral reasons? Morality is understood in so many different ways that this question is hard to answer, since it is unclear what reasons of virtue are being compared with. I discuss, and meet, one objection to thinking that the virtuous person's reasons are moral ones, namely that it is not clear how reasons of virtue can have the special force that moral reasons are supposed to have.

When

12:30 p.m. Feb. 15, 2018

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Spring

Public Goods and Education

Thursday, 1/25/2018, from 12:30-1:45pm.

Location: Maloney Room, Social Sciences 224

Abstract: Education can be a private good or a public good. The fact that one person’s education can have spillover effects on other people is often taken to be an argument for government intervention in the market for education. But public financing of education can produce negative externalities by creating perverse incentives, and a public monopoly on the delivery of education can discourage experimentation and turn schools into an outlet for intellectual fads and political propaganda. I review the arguments for thinking about education as a public good, and the associated arguments for giving the state a role in educating citizens. I conclude with a note of skepticism about the desirability of direct government involvement in education, even if it plays a limited role in financing it through vouchers, grants, or loans that can be redeemed at accredited schools.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.

When

12:30 p.m. Jan. 25, 2018

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Spring

Topic: The Calculus of the Moral Community (co-authored with Robert H. Wallace)

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 12:30 to 13:45

Location: Old Main, Room 227 (Julie Modine Woodrow Boardroom)

Abstract: Those working on the theory of moral responsibility often make reference to a moral community of some kind. Roughly, the moral community consists of those persons who (i) we believe we can fittingly hold morally responsible for their actions, and (ii) we believe can fittingly hold us morally responsible for our own actions. Much ink has been spilled concerning the correct extension of the moral community: are psychopaths within circle? Extreme evil doers? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the actual extension of moral communities in the real world deviates from the philosopher’s intuitions concerning the appropriate extension. This paper develops a simple model explaining why actual moral communities take the shape they do. That is, we develop a model that attempts to explain why some persons are included or excluded from the set of persons in an actual moral community. We think that we are able to explain the size and shape of actual moral communities in terms of two parameters. This is normatively significant. For, as we shall argue, changing actual moral communities so they look more like ideal moral communities then reduces to the manipulation of two parameters.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.

When

12:30 p.m. April 26, 2018

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Spring

Fishy Reasoning and the Ethics of Eating

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 12:30 to 13:45

Location: Maloney Room, Social Sciences 224

Abstract:
Ethical vegetarians believe that it is morally wrong to eat meat. And yet, many of these so-called ethical “vegetarians” continue to eat fish. The question my paper addresses is this: Can one coherently maintain that it is morally wrong to eat meat, but morally permissible to eat fish? I argue that it is morally inconsistent for ethical vegetarians to eat fish, not on the obvious yet superficial ground that fish flesh is meat, but on the morally substantive ground that fish are sentient intelligent beings capable of experiencing morally significant pain and thus deserve moral consideration equal to that owed birds and mammals.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.

When

12:30 p.m. March 22, 2018

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Spring

The Ethics of Capitalism

When

12:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2017

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Fall

Reflections on the Hypatia Affair: Social Media, Critique and The Role of Identity in Feminist Theorizing

On Saturday, September 9th, Rebecca Tuvel, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rhodes College, will discuss her article, “In Defense of Transracialism,” and her views on why the piece sparked such a debate within academic philosophy. 

Commentators include Cheshire Calhoun (Arizona State University), Michael Hardimon (UC San Diego), and Rebecca Tsosie (UA Law).

 

 

 

When

9 a.m. Sept. 9, 2017

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Fall

An Analytical Theory of Just Market Exchange

Thursday, 9/17/17 - 12:30 to 13:45

Location: Social Sciences 311

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.

Abstract:

The problem of moral sensibility as a source for political preference is widely discussed.  This paper presents a parametric model for comparing differences in a particularly salient moral conception:  the importance of disparity or inequality in bargaining position as a source of motivations to regulate exchange.  Economists have assumed that "voluntary" exchanges are the norm, but this view is widely disputed.  Our conception of "voluntary" exchange allows for a problematized view of alternatives, and we are able to offer implications of this theory for the actions of moral agents in a commercial setting.  Not least, this approach gives analytical purchase on the question of when "voluntary" exchanges might nonetheless legitimately be regulated by political authorities.

When

12:30 p.m. Sept. 19, 2017

Academic year

2017-2018

Semester

Fall
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