Dear All,

I’m not affiliated with this conference, but I’ve heard good things about it. Here’s the announcement:

3rd Annual Conference of the Society for Ethical Theory and Political Philosophy, Northwestern University
April 23–25, 2009

Keynote speakers: Samuel Scheffler and Seana Shiffrin

Conference website (with Call for papers): http://www.philosophy.northwestern.edu/conferences/moralpolitical/

We invite submissions from both faculty and graduate students. Essays in all areas of ethical theory and political philosophy will be considered, although some priority will be given to essays that take up themes from the works of Samuel Scheffler and Seana Shiffrin. The submission deadline is February 15, 2009.

Hare on Obligation and Regret
By S. Matthew Liao

Professor Caspar Hare from MIT will be giving a talk this Monday at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar on “Obligation and Regret When There is No Fact of the Matter About What Would have Happened If You Had Not Done What You Did.” Here is an abstract of his talk:

This paper is about conditional under-specification and the objective ought. Moral: sometimes there is a difference between what there is most reason for you to do and what a fully informed, benevolent observer would want you to do.

A copy of Caspar’s talk can be found here, and he would welcome any comments/suggestions.

The Department of Philosophy of the University of Sheffield supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council will be hosting a series of events in 2009 devoted to the theme of Constructivism in Practical Philosophy.

7th February 2009
Workshop: Constructivism in Political Philosophy Speakers Kirsten Budde (University of Sheffield) Aaron James (University of California at Irvine) Miriam Ronzoni (European University Institute, Florence), Andrew Williams (University of Warwick)

28th March 2009
Workshop: Constructivism and Normative Epistemology Speakers Simon Blackburn (University of Cambridge) Matthew Chrisman (University of Edinburgh) James Lenman (University of Sheffield) Valerie Tiberius (University of Minnesota)

Reductio Ad Hermaphroditum
By Dominic Wilkinson

At the James Martin Seminar in Oxford this week, Melbourne philosopher Rob Sparrow presented an argument against enhancement and procreative beneficence. His work had raised some interest in the popular media when he presented it a few months ago, and I posted a short potential response to his argument at Practical Ethics News.

In this post, and (if I can find time) subsequent posts I would like to explore the implications and possible responses to Rob’s intriguing reductio argument. First, an outline of the argument. Rob’s presentation was based upon a series of cases. I will reproduce them as faithfully as I can (from memory).

Professor Steven P. Lee, Donald R. Harter ‘39 Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, gave a talk recently at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar on “Is the Principle of Discrimination a Mere Convention?” Here is an abstract of his talk:

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