"The accident of where one is born is just that, an accident; any human being might have been born in any nation"
Martha Nussbaum, 'Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism' in For Love of Country (Beacon Press, 2002)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Stirling Graduate Conference

Interesting postgraduate conference to be held at Stirling in December...

Conference Announcement

"Global Justice and Political Obligation"
2nd Law and Philosophy Postgraduate Conference
Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling
Stirling, Scotland (UK)
11-12 December 2008

Following the success of last year's Law and Philosophy Postgraduate Conference, this year the Department of Philosophy of University of Stirling is holding the 2nd Law and Philosophy Postgraduate Conference titled Law and Philosophy 2008: Global Justice and Political Obligation. Continuing on with the aim of last year's conference, this year's conference will bring together postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines working within the multiple intersections of Law and Philosophy. The focus of this year is global justice and political obligation.

We are honored to have the following two keynote speakers:
Professor John Horton (Keele University)
Professor Matt Matravers (University of York)


Ambrose Lee and Piero Moraro
Department of Philosophy
University of Stirling
Stirling, FK9 4LA
Tel: +44 (0)1786 467555
Fax: +44 (0)1786 466233
Email: a.y.lee@stir.ac.uk

Friday, 24 October 2008

King's Lecture in Ethics


New Challenges for Donor States

Board Member, Oxford Policy Management.
Principal, The Policy Practice.
Formerly: International Director of Christian Aid (1999-2004), and Research Fellow of the Overseas
Development Institute (1983-1999).

Author: Foreign Aid Reconsidered (1985), Does Foreign Aid Really Work? (2007, paperback 2008)

19 November 5 - 7pm
King’s College London
Safra Lecture Theatre
London WC2R 2LS

(Enter building “A” from the Strand, Safra Lecture Theatre is in building “B”)

There is a significant and growing literature focused on the question of states have a moral obligation to provide aid. Against this backdrop, it is, perhaps, surprising that most rich countries have explicitly stated that they do have a moral obligation to provide aid to poor countries. What remains insufficiently discussed and debated is precisely how that obligation can be, or ought to be fulfilled. This issue has become more urgent in recent years as new thinking by the major donors about the purpose of aid raises new questions and presents new dilemmas for the discussion of the ethical issues raised in rich states providing aid to poor countries.

The event is free, unticketed, and open to all.

Questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Launch of the Globethics.net Library

Another useful digital resource...

Launch of the Globethics.net Library
A Global Digital Library on Ethics

A new global digital library on ethics was launched on 9 October 2008.  This library will provide users free access to full text versions of about 200 journals and more than a million documents in the field of applied ethics.

The digital library on ethics was developed by Globethics.net, a global network organization with the objective of empowering people in all regions of the world to reflect and act on ethical issues. They developed the Globethics.net Library to ensure that persons and institutions - especially in Africa, Asia and
Latin-America - have access to good quality and up to date knowledge resources. There is no cost involved in using the library. Individuals only need to register (free of charge) as participants on the Globethics.net website (www.globethics.net) to get access to all the full text journals, encyclopedias, e-books and other resources in the library.

The library does not only offer free access to knowledge sources, but also offers participants the unique opportunity to submit their own documents on applied ethics (like articles, journals, books, dissertations, newsletters) to the Globethics.net Library. This will ensure that their publications get more global exposure.

More information on how to access the library as well as on how to submit documents to the library is available on the Globethics.net website (www.globethics.net).

CFP: Society for Applied Philosophy Annual Conference

Another CFP for a great annual conference - the line up for next year's SAP gathering looks really good...

Annual Conference 2009
University of Leeds, 26-28 June

The Society for Applied Philosophy (UK) was founded in 1982 with the aim of promoting philosophical study and research that has a direct bearing on areas of practical concern. It arose from an increasing awareness that many topics of public debate are capable of being illuminated by the critical, analytic approach characteristic of philosophy, and by direct consideration of questions of value. These topics come from a number of different areas of social life - law, politics, economics, science, technology, medicine and education are among the most obvious. The purpose of the SAP is foster and promote philosophical work that is intended to make a constructive contribution to problems in these areas. It does so through events, conferences, and lecture programmes. 

The Annual Conference 2009 will be an open applied philosophy conference. Similar to the highly successful SAP 25th Anniversay event held in Oxford in 2005, there will once again be no specific theme and the panel will consider papers submitted for the programme from across the full range of topics in this area.

Please forward paper proposals (abstract) in .doc or .rtf file format, 300 word limit, and with (N.B.) the email subject line SAP AC2009 Abstract to admin@appliedphil.org by Friday 9 January 2009

All applicants will be notified of a decision by early February 2009

A prize will be awarded to the best postgraduate essay submission (awarded in advance of the conference on the basis of the full version of the paper after acceptance of the abstract). The winning student will receive free registration and accommodation at the conference as well as reimbursement for any travel expenses incurred within the United Kingdom. When you submit your abstract, please indicate in the body of your email message if you would like to be considered for this prize.


Prof Julia Annas (Arizona)
Prof Susan Mendus (York)
Prof John Cottingham (Reading)
Dr John Tasioulas (Oxford)
Dr Roger Crisp (Oxford)
Dr Elizabeth Ashford (St. Andrews)
Prof Nigel Biggar (Oxford)
Dr Rachel Cooper (Lancaster)


Society for Applied Philosophy

CFP: ALSP 2009 annual conference

CFP for ALSP annual conference. I presented at this year's conference and would highly recommend it to people who haven't been before...

2009 Annual Conference 'Ethics for the 21st Century'
July 2-4, 2009
University of Edinburgh - Department of Politics and IR, ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum


The last two decades have seen profound social and economic changes in all areas of our lives. To name but a few: borders have become both more open and more closed. We have witnessed unprecedented levels of technological development: from new medical technologies such as genetic engineering and cloning, to communication technologies such as the internet and new modes of warfare. Environmental degradation and climate change are now seen as pressing issues by most. 

On the one hand, we have gained considerable freedoms and opportunities (to shape our children, to access information, to use the internet as a tool for democratic governance, to travel, to exchange information, etc.). On the other hand, we are increasingly vulnerable to breaches of privacy and autonomy (such as identify theft), to denials of our freedoms (through, e.g., anti-terrorist legislation), to growing inequalities and distrust within heterogeneous societies, and to extreme forms of violence. 

ALSP 2009 aims to examine the ethical implications of those changes. It welcomes panels and papers across the disciplines of philosophy, politics, law and social policy, which explicitly discuss the complex relation between philosophical and practical analysis in relation to those concerns.  

It welcomes submissions on the following themes:
- Climate change: justice and climate change, ecological debt, future generations and climate change
- Genetic engineering, genetic testing, cloning, abortion and wrongful life, property rights in genetic material, xenotransplantation
- War: new wars v. old wars, new forms of warfare, wars over natural resources, mercenarism, terrorism, torture, the ethics of peacekeeping
- Electronic technologies: privacy and the internet, surveillance technologies, democracy and the internet, data security
- Migration and citizenship: border controls, refugee quotas, religious toleration in an age of terror
- Concepts and conceptions of rights, freedom and justice in the face of those changes.
- Business ethics in a globalised world

Confirmed keynote speakers

Professor Jeff McMahan, Rutgers University. Professor McMahan is one of the most innovative and thought-provoking philosophers of his generation. His work in the fields of bioethics (particularly abortion and genetics) and war has yielded seminal books and articles (see esp. his Ethics of Killing - Problems at the Margins of Life, Oxford University Press, 2002, and his numerous articles in Ethics, Utilitas, Law and Philosophy.)

Professor Jonathan Wolff, University College London. Member of the Nuffield Council for Bioethics. Professor Wolff's work is located at the crossroad of philosophy and public policy. His recent book Disadvantage (co-authored with A. De-Shalit, OUP 2007) is already an influential contribution to the philosophical literature on social justice.

Submission of Paper/Panel Proposals:

Submission of Papers: Please upload a title and abstract (c.300 words), as well as contact details, by February 1st, 2009, at http://www.lifelong.ed.ac.uk/alsp2009/

Submission of panels: we encourage submission of panels with up to three papers discussing a related topic. Panel conveners should upload a short outline of the panel theme, a list of participants and titles & short abstracts of the papers by February 1st, 2009. 

Paper givers will be expected to talk for no more than 20mns, followed by discussion. Selective contributions will be considered for subsequent publication in the conference proceedings. 

Important Dates:
*         Deadline for proposal submission: 1 February 2009
*         Notification of paper/panel acceptance: 1 March 2009
*         Registration: to open on 1 March 2009 and to close on 1 May 2009 

Conference Organisation:

The academic convenor of the conference is Professor C├ęcile Fabre, Department of Politics and IR, University of Edinburgh. 
For more information on registration, venue, etc. see the conference website at 

Forum for European Philosophy Event 

Forum for European Philosophy Event 

International Distributive Justice, Reciprocity, and the European Union
Andrea Sangiovanni, Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, King's College London
Tuesday 21 October, 6.30-8pm
Room G108, 20 Kingsway, LSE
The Role of Facts
Tuesday 4 November, 6.30-8pm
Room G108, 20 Kingsway, LSE
Equality, Reciprocity, and the State
Tuesday 18 November, 6.30-8pm
Room G108, 20 Kingsway, LSE
Solidarity in the European Union 


All events are free and open to all without registration
For further information contact Juliana Cardinale: 020 7955 7539
J.Cardinale@lse.ac.uk <mailto:

Forum for European Philosophy 
Room J5, European Institute
London School of Economics, WC2A 2AE 

Thursday, 9 October 2008

London Seminars 2


All Seminars held 4pm-6pm H103, Connaught House, LSE

Michaelmas Term

Oct 9th: Professor Chandran Kukathas (LSE) - Expatriatism: a theory of open borders
Oct 23rd: Dr. Andrea Sangiovanni (Kings College London) - Confronting the Facts
Nov 6th: Dr. Kai Spiekermann (Univeristy of Warwick) - TBC
Nov 20th: Dr. Patricia Owens (Queen Mary and Westfield) - Distinctions, Distinctions: "Public" and "Private" Force?
Dec 4th: Dr. Jonathan Quong (Manchester University) - Paternalism and

Lent Term
Jan 15th: Dr. Zophia Stemplowska (Manchester University) - Real World Duties
Jan 29th: Professor David Archard (Lancaster University) - Parental Rights, Children’s Rights, and the Liberal State
Feb 19th: Professor Philip Pettit (Princeton University) - TBC
Feb 26th: Professor Veronique Munoz-Darde (UCL) - TBC
Mar 12th: Professor Pablo Gilabert (Concordia University) - Humanist vs. Associativist Conceptions of Global Justice

Summer Term
April 30th: Dr. Jonathan Parkin (University of York) - Hobbes and Locke
May 14th: Professor Matthew Clayton (University of Warwick) - TBC

Seminar Series organised by Professor Chandran Kukathas and Dr. Philip Cook, Department of Government, LSE. For further information, please contact p.a.cook@lse.ac.uk

London Seminars 1

UCL Legal and Political Theory Seminars:

SEMINARS - 2008/2009
All seminars are from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm and will be held in the Council Room, School of Public Policy, UCL, 29 Tavistock Square, London WC1. Papers can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/seminars/pt

October - 2008
Wednesday 8 Chandran Kukathas - London School of Economics - Speaking on: ‘The Concept of Security’

Wednesday 29 (with Philosophy and Law) Robert Audi - University of Notre Dame - Speaking on: Kantian Intuitionism as a Framework for the Justification of Normative Judgments in Ethics and Politics

November 2008
Wednesday 12 Melissa Lane - King’s College, Cambridge - Speaking on: Motivation and the moral division of labour.

Wednesday 26 Stuart White - Jesus College, Oxford - Speaking on: TBC

December 2008
Wednesday 3 Annabelle Lever - London School of Economics - Speaking on: `Compulsory Voting’

Wednesday 10 Sue Mendus - University of York - Speaking on: TBC


Apologies for the lack of recent posts - my main excuse is that I've been suffering from a persistant chest infection for the last month or so that has slowed me down somewhat, but thankfully I'm now on the mend so hopefully normal service will be resumed. I've also been busy constructing a new website, more details of which to follow soon...

Academic Blogs

Interesting articles in THE about academic blogging here. Seems to me to underestimate the amount of academic blogs...