Philosophy at St Andrews

Events

May 2019

Thu 2nd May 2019

Reflectorium

A day of informal work-in-progress talks by St Andrews staff organised by James Harris.

Tue 7th May 2019 to Wed 8th May 2019

Workshop on the History of Arabic Logic

Arché workshop

Wed 8th May 2019 to Fri 10th May 2019

Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X

Organiser: James Harris (jah15@st-and.ac.uk)

Wed 8th May 2019 13:00 to 14:00

Across The Bubble - Kevin Laland

Kevin Laland (Biology) - The Social Construction of Human Nature

Wed 15th May 2019 11:00 to 12:30

CEPPA talk by Julia Nefsky

Julia Nefsky (Toronto)

CEPPA talk event

Tue 21st May 2019 17:15 to 18:45

Knox Lecture by Susan Wolf

Susan Wolf (UNC)

CEPPA talk event

Wed 22nd May 2019 11:00 to 12:30

Knox Seminar by Susan Wolf

Susan Wolf (UNC)

CEPPA talk event

Fri 24th May 2019 11:00 to 12:30

Nikolas Kirby 'The Ethics of Distrust'

Nikolas Kirby (Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford)

The Ethics of Distrust Fulfilling moral obligations often entails becoming or remaining vulnerable to others who might then harm us, in breach of their own obligations not to do so. For example, we are required not to lie, but others may harm us when armed with the truth we impart. I might be required to fulfill my part of a contract, but others may then renege, taking advantage of my first move. A company might be obliged by law to hand over data to government intelligence agencies, but such agencies might then abuse their own powers with that data. A country might be obliged to accept refugees, but members of this group may then become criminals or terrorists within its borders. Such vulnerability as a consequence of fulfilling obligations is a very general phenomenon. One might consider it a defining feature of living in moral community. And, for the most part, we are not concerned by it. We simply assume that the other agent(s) will fulfill their own obligations. We assume that they are either sufficiently motivated by obligation itself, or at least by other instrumental reasons, such as fear of punishment by the state. However, what if these assumptions do not hold? What if, instead, we rationally distrust the other agent? That is, we are disposed on the basis of good rational grounds to not rely upon the other agent to perform their relevant obligations. We have good reason to believe, in fact, that we are at risk of harm from them if we do perform our own obligation. Are we still so obliged? Or does such distrust, at least sometimes, condition our obligations, leading them to be suspended or modified until we are less vulnerable, or have gained greater confidence in the other actor? With one notable exception in Thomas Hobbes, it is hard to find any explicit attention paid to this question within philosophy. It falls through the cracks of modern self-defence theory, since in scenarios of distrust I typically neither have sufficient evidence to believe that the other agent is a ‘culpable attacker,’ nor are they likely to be an ‘innocent attacker.’ Contemporary philosophy of trust ignores how distrust might corrode obligation. And, the ethics of risk literature discusses the wrong and injustice of risk imposition, but not whether we are unilaterally allowed to do anything in response.

Fri 24th May 2019 14:00 to 15:30

CEPPA Talk by Paul Weithman

Paul Weithman (Notre Dame)

CEPPA talk event

Fri 31st May 2019 15:00 to 16:30

CEPPA talk by Johann Frick

Johann Frick (Princeton)

CEPPA talk event


<- list of future events


See also the list of Arché events and CEPPA events

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