"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)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

International Encyclopedia of Ethics

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics will be a comprehensive, authoritative print and electronic Ethics resource. Its entries will discuss topics, movements, arguments, and figures in Normative Ethics, Metaethics, and Practical Ethics. It will cover major philosophical and religious traditions; entries will be written by highly respected thinkers from around the world. In its electronic form, each entry will be hyperlinked internally to other entries and externally to electronic editions of the renowned Blackwell Companions and Guides, in all, more than 1500 scholarly articles. The electronic version will be regularly updated, making IEE the preferred resource for any professional, layperson, or student wanting to know more about Ethics. The print edition will be 9-12 volumes. Work on the Encyclopedia is shepherded by an Editor-in-Chief and two Associate Editors. Its content is shaped by the distinguished members of the international Editorial Board. All entries will be reviewed by an independent Review Board. We currently settled on more than 400 topics for entries. We will be adding another 400-500 topics before we are done. From the IEE site (www.hughlafollette.com) you can see the current list of topics, as well as 500+ more topics that the Editorial Board is considering. Feel free to suggest additional topics and potential authors. Follow the link from the bottom of the IEE page.
Hugh LaFollette: hughlafollette@tampabay.rr.com, Editor in Chief

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

CFP: Climate Change

Call for Papers

What: Climate Change: A Conference on Politics, Policy, and Justice
Where: Bern University, Bern, Switzerland
When: August 19-21, 2009

Please send abstracts (500-800 words) for paper proposals to climateandjustice@gmail.com no later than May 1st. Applicants will know of their acceptance by May 15th. Quality papers will be invited to contribute to an edited collection of the conference proceedings. Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals, as travel funding has been set aside to aid exemplary graduate student presenters. For more information, please see the conference website: www.climateandjustice.org. The site will be continually updated with travel and lodging information, the conference schedule, and other useful information as it becomes available. If you have further questions, please contact Sarah at sbkenehan@gmail.com.

Keynote speakers:
Simon Caney, Oxford
Lukas Meyer, Graz University
Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington

Conference Abstract: Since the late 1980s climate change has been centre-stage in the international policy arena. However, as of yet, little has been done to incorporate all global players while at the same time catalysing the type of action that must be taken in order to combat this problem. There are likely many reasons for this current inaction, including but surely not limited to: questions surrounding climate science and predictions; questions concerning the most effective way to cope with the problem; and questions relating to the fair distribution of the burden of dealing with climate change. The focus of this conference will be to discuss the latter issue, i.e. the role of justice as it arises in the context of climate change. Justice related issues emerge in the debate over climate change policy on many levels. First, and probably most obviously, it must be determined what role each global actor will play in any coordinated effort to mitigate climate change. The answer to this question is not straightforward, as there are numerous factors that must be considered, including whether rights to emit greenhouse gases (GHG) should be divided equally among all nations, or whether rights to emit should be a function of the geographical placement of a nation, the population of a nation, the level of development of a nation, or even perhaps some combination of these elements. Second, and intimately related to the first issue, it has to be decided to what degree (if any) a nation’s historical emissions ought to be considered. As with the first issue, there is no clear-cut way to work through this problem, since there are seemingly justifiable reasons for engaging in all of the following: severely limiting the largest historical emitters’ claims to present and future emissions, considering only the historical record from the point in time in which a nation could reasonably have known of the harm it was contributing to, or, alternatively, agreeing that historical emissions should have no weight in the discussion, but rather all nations should agree on a fair emissions target from the present forward. Third, it must be determined to what degree (if any) future people ought to be taken into consideration when establishing climate change policy, since it has been predicted that the effects of climate change will stretch far into the future. Addressing this question requires having discussions on how future people can have justice claims on current people, what those justice claims might be, and how far into the future these claims reach. Fourth, it must be determined what types of entities have viable justice claims. Is it only individual persons that can make coherent justice claims? Or can nations, industries, businesses, non-human animals, species, ecosystems, and the like have and make meaningful justice claims? Finally, we must determine the level of responsibility individual actors have in mitigating and adapting to climate change, since it is not evident whether this responsibility falls only on nations, or whether it also rests with individuals, businesses, and industries, as well. Clearly then, the issue of justice and climate change is both complex and requires immediate attention.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Academic Earth

Via Virtual Philosopher, I've come across 'Academic Earth', a site devoted to video lectures from lecturers at some of the world's top universities. Of particular interest to me are Steven B Smith's  (Yale) 'Introduction to Political Philosophy' course, and Paula Goldman's (Berkley) 'Current Issues in International and Area Studies'. An amazing resource. 

Philosophers' Carnival

The 88th Philosophers' Carnival is here (I especially enjoyed the post on non-ideal political theory here).

Monday, 23 March 2009

Research Diaries

As part of the assessment for the political philosophy course that I will be teaching in the Autumn, we will be asking the students to complete a research project instead of an exam. This project will be based around a case study relevant to a particular problem or issue covered during the course. Because this will be a new form of assessment for many of the students, and also because we want them to actively reflect on their learning methods, we are going to ask them to keep research diaries during the module, and then to submit a sample or summary of the diary to be marked along with the project.
We will most likely be using the Blackboard system for our online content, and within this there is the capability to set up a diary for each student. These can be completely private, be only viewable by the student and us as course lecturers, or visible to all members of the module. There are of course advantages and disadvantages to each of these options - privacy encourages honesty, and some students will be less productive on a public forum than they will be when they are not worrying about other people's views. On the other hand, the module is trying to encourage collaborative learning, and allowing students to read and comment on each other's diaries would be one route toward this. I am however sceptical whether many level three students would take the time to do this productively.
In order to puzzle some of these issues out I've set up an online research diary for myself as a trial. I'm using Blogger at first because it is so simple to use and I already have an account. I'm going to keep it private to begin with, but I might change this later on depending on how it goes. I do already keep a research diary of sorts, in that I write dated notes to myself when I'm reading or working, and also through my record of supervision meetings. But this will be a way to keep all of these things in one place, that is accessible from both home and University (and on the move via my mobile). Hopefully it will therefore not only help with some of the teaching issues that I'm looking into but benefit my research as well!
If anyone has any thoughts about the usefullness of research diaries and the best format or location for them I'd be interested to hear them.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Fiona Robinson Interview

Interesting interview with Fiona Robinson about the ethics of care on the Carnegie Council's website here (the link is to the transcript, but there is video and audio also).

Brian Barry

As reported here and here, Brian Barry has died. As regular readers will know, my thesis attempts to defend a version of cosmopolitanism based on Barry's theory of justice. This is sad news for political philosophy.

CFP: Valencia -Ethics and International Development

Call for Papers:
Ethics of Human Development and Global Justice: Responsibilities of
Institutions and Citizens for Action on Poverty
Valencia, Spain,
30 November to 2 December, 2009

Contributions are invited for the *Eighth International Conference on Ethics and International Development*
The conference will focus on how various social actors can and ought to take responsibility for acting on poverty and expanding human development. Thus contributions are especially welcome on:
A. Responsibilities of business, political, and civic organizations
B. Responsibilities of active citizenship
C. Grounds of such responsibilities in the ethics of human development
D. Grounds of such responsibilities in theories of global justice
For elaboration of conference themes, see www.development-ethics.org
Proposals (including an abstract of 500 words, author's name, affiliation, contact information, and a biography of under 100 words) should be sent by June 1 to eticadesarrollo@uv.es.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Emotion, Value and Desire Workshop

Two Day Workshop: Emotion, Value and Desire
*07-08 May 2009*
*Thursday 07 May: Room G.019, Arthur Lewis Building*

10.00 - 11.15: Joel Smith (Manchester),"The Unity of Emotion"
11.15 - 11.30: Break
11.30 - 12.30: Gayle Impey (Manchester), "Motivating Imaginative Engagement"
12.30 - 13.30: Lunch (own arrangements)
13.30 - 14.30: Eva Düringer (York), "Care as the Link Between Emotions and Values"
14.30 - 15.30: Rebecca Reilly Cooper (Manchester), "The Role of Emotions in Democratic Deliberation"
15.30 - 15.45: Break
15.45 - 17.00: Michael Brady (Glasgow), "Attention and Emotional Motivation"

*Friday 08 May: 2nd Floor Boardroom, Arthur Lewis Building*
10.00 - 11.15: Sabine Döring (Tübingen), "Emotional Motivation: Beyond the Humean Theory"
11.15 - 11.30: Break
11.30 - 12.30: Chloë Fitzgerald (Manchester), "Emotion and Intuition"
12.30 - 13.30: Lunch (own arrangements)
13.30 - 14.30: Mar Cabezas (Salamanca), "Emotions Through Another Lens: A Critique of 'The Logic of Domination'"
14.30 - 15.30: Rory Donaldson (Manchester), *tba*
15.30 - 15.45: Break
15.45 - 17.00: Peter Goldie (Manchester), "What is the Source of Emotional Motivation?"

The workshop is free but space is limited, so please register your intention to attend by emailing Joel Smith
Location: *Arthur Lewis Building, University of Manchester* (Getting here)
Manchester Centre for Emotion and Value

Friday, 6 March 2009

Conference: Critique and Crisis

Call for registration: Social and Political Thought Graduate Forum
28 March 2009, Institute of Advanced Study, University College London
-N336, Senate House North, Malet St, WC1

One-day Philosophy and Social Sciences Conference addressing the role of critique with respect to current economic and environmental crises.

Keynote: Raymond Geuss - 'On Bourgeois Philosophy and the Concept of Criticism'.

Interested graduate students are invited to register at:http://cli.gs/NNsqNe
-registration is free of charge

Rodrigo Cordero Vega - Warwick - 'Crisis and Critique in Social Theory'
Matthew Bennett - Warwick - 'On the Validity of a Theory of Crisis'
Lorna Finlayson - Cambridge - 'Constructiveness in Political Criticism'
Nicholas Gray - Sussex - 'Two Aspects of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy'
Sara Wolcott - Sussex - 'Koselleck’s Critique-Politique and Global Governance'
Allen Radtke - Essex - 'Assigning Moral Responsibilities to Collective Entities'
Tom Stern - Cambridge - 'Nietzsche, Adorno, Substitution, Criticism'
Matthew Astill - Essex - 'Seeking the Right to Name'
Christian Hermansen - Warwick/Copenhagen - 'Winch, Wittgenstein, and Critical Social Science'

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Re-engaging Citizens in Democratic Politics

Details of an upcoming event in Sheffield...

ESRC Festival of Social Science Event

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science (6-15 March 2009), the Politics Department will be hosting the following event. Re-engaging Citizens in Democratic Politics - Thursday 12 March, 6-7:30pm.
This event brings together Professor Colin Hay (University of Sheffield, author of Why We Hate Politics) and Professor Gerry Stoker (University of Southampton, author of Why Politics Matters) to discuss the sources of political disaffection and what might be done to re-engage citizens in democratic politics in Britain today.
Venue: Showroom Cinema (Cinema No. 3), Paternoster Row, Sheffield.
The event is ticketed, but tickets are free. Tickets available from: Margaret Holder, Deparment of Politics, University of Sheffield (m.holder@sheffield.ac.uk).
Full details of the University's contribution to the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences can be found at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/icoss/whatson/esrcfest.html

IBL Module

I've recently been working with a fellow PhD student on an exciting proposal for a new third-year inquiry-based learning political philosophy module in the department. The module aims to explore the gap between theory and practice in political philosophy, and to equip students with the skills to engage with real-world political problems. We're hoping to engage with different methods of learning and teaching, and to integrate new uses of IT into the learning experience. To this end, we've been awarded some development money from the university's Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sociences (CILASS). This money allows us to spend a considerable amount of time researching and developing both the content of the module and the methods of learning and teaching that we will be employing. We'll also benefit from the invaluable advice of CILASS staff.

Monday, 2 March 2009

CFP: Pavia Graduate Political Philosophy Conference

7th Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy
24TH and 25TH September 2009

On the24th and 25th of September 2009, the Human Development, Capability and Poverty International Research Centre at the Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia (Italy), under the joint patronage of the Italian Society for Political Philosophy and the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy, will host the seventh edition of the Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy. This two-day conference is meant to offer graduate students an opportunity to present papers, get helpful feedback in a friendly atmosphere, and exchange ideas both with peers and with leading academics in the field of political philosophy. In addition to parallel sessions devoted to students' presentations, there will also be two plenary sessions. Plenary speakers in past editions have been: Hillel Steiner, Anna Elisabetta Galeotti, Peter Jones, Gianfrancesco Zanetti, Jonathan Wolff, Michele Nicoletti, Philippe Van Parijs, Sebastiano Maffettone, Giovanni Giorgini, Andrew Williams, David Miller and Alessandro Ferrara.

This year's keynote speakers will be:
Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University), speaking on 'Unpolitical Democracy'
Michael Otsuka ( niversity College of London), speaking on 'Risking Life and Limb'

Graduate students interested in giving papers should send their contributions (max 2500/3000 words in English) accompaniedby a short abstract (max 300 words in English), by Sunday 24th May 2009. Papers may focus on any area within political philosophy, and presentations should take no longer than twenty minutes to allow at least another twenty minutes of discussion. Please note that the 24th of May is also the deadline for registration for anyone who wishes to attend the conference without presenting a paper. Conference registration is free of charge. Paper givers will be offered accommodation in local university colleges. Accommodation fees and details will be arranged individually. Anyone who wishes to attend the conference without presenting a paper can write to check availability. Details about meal arrangements and conference programme to follow. Please address all correspondence (including paper submissions and additional inquiries) to the conference email address: graduate.conference@iuss.unipv.it
Updated information will shortly be available on the conference website: www.iusspavia.it/hdcp

CFP: York Postgrad Political Philosophy Conference

University of York Political Philosophy
Postgraduate Conference
May 2009
Legal, Political and Moral Rights: What are the Limits?

Plenary Speakers:
Professor Attracta Ingram (UCD)
Professor Simon Caney (Oxford)

In legal, political and moral spheres rights serve as a justification for actions and institutions. In each of these spheres, to claim the existence of a right is to claim the existence of something that we should value and respect. Rights, consequently, shape theway we conceive our relationships with others, the way we build our institutions and also the manner we direct our own lives. However, what are the limits, if any, of what we call rights? This question becomes especially relevant when we notice the emergence of an extraordinary number of right-claims in increasingly diverse forms: rights to silence, rights to disobey, rights not to be punished, rights to be punished, rights to life, rights to die, rights to be left alone, and so on.
The York Political Philosophy Conference 2009 invites research students in Politics, Law and Philosophy to present papers on rights and their limits.
Each paper will have a discussant and will be followed by an open floor discussion.
The deadline for abstract submission (400 words) is the 1st of March (please refer to the guidelines in the website).
The Conference Fee (including lunches and conference dinner is £30)
For further details please visit:
Or e-mail: ad546@york.ac.uk

Sunday, 1 March 2009

CFP: War and Self-Defence (Sheffield)

Details of a future conference at Sheffield, part of Helen Frowe's Levehulme Project on War and Self-Defence...

Conference: War and Self-Defence – First Call for Papers
August 25th – 27th, 2010
University of Sheffield, UK

Keynote Speakers:
Frances Kamm (Harvard)
Jeff McMahan (Rutgers)
David Rodin (Oxford)

Recent years have seen a rapid growth of interest in just war theory. The current political climate has confronted us with important and difficult questions about, amongst other things, the moral status of combatants, the moral status of non-combatants, the possibility of wars waged by non-state actors, and the conditions under which one can be said to have a just cause for war. Many writers take the answers to these questions to be based, at least in part, on considerations about what individuals may do in self-defence, or other-defence. Others have denied the existence of any substantive relationship between the ethics of self-defence and the ethics of national-defence. This conference, hosted by the Sheffield Philosophy department, will bring together leading researchers in the field, and offer an opportunity for scholars to present recent research in this area. Submissions from those working in related fields, such as Law, Politics and International Relations, are also welcome. There will be a number of parallel sessions held during the conference. Those wishing to present should submit a paper of no more than 3000 words, suitable for a 30 minute presentation, along with an abstract of 150 words, to H.Frowe@sheffield.ac.uk by the 1st of December 2009. Please note that papers should be prepared for blind review and that only electronic submissions will be accepted. Suggested paper topics include:- The relationship between war and self-defence- The ethics of self-defence- Wars of humanitarian intervention- The moral status of combatants- Killing non-combatants- Just causes for war- The idea of legitimate authority- The moral status of terrorists- The moral wrongness of terrorism.
There are plans to put together an edited volume of a selection of the conference papers. Those authors who would like to have their paper considered for inclusion in this collection should mention this in their submission email. Authors of the selected papers will be notified shortly after the conference. This conference is generously sponsored by The Leverhulme Trust and the Mind Association.

MacIntyre Lecture

European Journal of Philosophy Annual Lecture
The Mark Sacks Lecture for 2009 will be on Friday 5th June at 5.30pm, in Cruciform Lecture Theatre 1, Gower Street, University College London. The lecture will be given by Alasdair MacIntyre and is entitled 'Danish Ethical Demands and French Common Goods: Two Moral Philosophies'.

Abstract: The claims of two seemingly incompatible moral philosophies, one developed in Denmark in the decades after World War II and one defended in France during the same period, are counterposed. The first is K.E. Logstrup's account of the ethical demand, the second the Thomistic conception of natural law. The questions asked about them are whether they are deeply incompatible and what light is thrown on them by the social histories of their respective national cultures.

All are welcome to attend the lecture, which will be followed by a drinks reception hosted by Wiley-Blackwell. Details of this event can also be found here.

Hillel Steiner Conference

A Conference in Honour of Hillel Steiner
20-21 November, 2009
University of Manchester

The Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT) is delighted to announce a conference celebrating the career of our distinguished colleague, Professor Hillel Steiner. Professor Steiner’s pioneering work on freedom, rights, exploitation, and justice has profoundly influenced moral, political, and legal philosophy over the last forty years. This conference will bring together scholars from around the world to discuss some of the central themes from Professor Steiner’s work.
Participants will include:
Ian Carter (University of Pavia)
G.A. Cohen (University of Oxford & University College London) (provisional)
Eve Garrard (Keele University & University of Manchester)

Alan Hamlin (University of Manchester)
Matthew Kramer (University of Cambridge)
William Lucy (University of Manchester)
Eric Mack (Tulane University)
David Miller (University of Oxford)
Serena Olsaretti (University of Cambridge)
Michael Otsuka (University College London)
Jonathan Quong (University of Manchester)
Zofia Stemplowska (University of Manchester)
Peter Vallentyne (University of Missouri)
Philippe Van Parijs (Université catholique de Louvain)

Further details regarding registration and accommodation will be forthcoming later this spring. For more details regarding MANCEPT please visit us here.