Boghossian on Moral Relativism
By S. Matthew Liao

Here is an insightful piece on moral relativism in the New York Times by Paul Boghossian, Silver Professor of Philosophy at New York University. Definitely worth the read.

Fellow philosophers will no doubt be familiar with the curious book, Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. The book defends “libertarian paternalism” and a view of behavioural economics. While I have not been convinced by its arguments, it is a good read and I’ve half expected Nudge to be the subject of at least a small wave of papers in ethics and political philosophy. I’m not the only one who thought its ideas would find traction: the British government has also commissioned research into how it might “nudge” the public into healthier lifestyles, for example.

2012 ISME Call for Papers
By Thom Brooks

2012 ISME Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions: 15 September 2011

The 2012 International Society for Military Ethics Conference will be held 24-27 January 2012 in Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110.
This year’s theme will be “Civil-Military Relations and Social Issues in the Military.” Papers and proposals for panels or other program segments consistent with this theme are welcomed.

In keeping with our usual practice, papers on any aspect of military ethics or just war theory will be considered.


The Bowling Green Workshop in Applied
Ethics and Public Policy

Manipulation — March 16-17, 2012

The Bowling Green Workshop in Applied Ethics and Public Policy will take place in Bowling Green, Ohio on March 16-17, 2012. The keynote speaker will be Marcia Baron (Indiana University). Those interested in presenting a paper are invited to submit a 2-3 page abstract (double-spaced) by September 30, 2011. We welcome submissions in all areas in applied ethics and philosophical issues relevant to public policy. Special consideration will be given to papers relevant to this year’s conference theme: manipulation. The theme is to be construed broadly, however, and we encourage contributions from any area of moral and political philosophy where manipulation is of interest or concern. Only one submission per person is permitted. Abstracts will be evaluated by a program committee and decisions made in October 2011. Please direct all abstracts and queries to:

Poll: The Gang Leader Case
By S. Matthew Liao

Hi everyone,

I’d be quite interested in your intuitions regarding this case. So as not to bias anyone’s judgment unnecessarily, I’ll open the post for comments after I close the poll. Also, please vote only once. Thanks in advance!

A member of a local gang went to the leader and said, ‘We are thinking of trying a new tactic. It will flood the neighborhood with cheaper cocaine, increasing our profits, but it will also harm the cops since more cops will die in drug-related violence.’

The leader answered, ‘I don’t really care at all about harming the cops. I just want to make as much profit as I can. Let’s implement the new tactic.’

They did implement the new tactic, and sure enough, the cops were harmed since more cops died in drug-related violence.

Did the leader of the gang intentionally harm the cops?

  • No (64%)
  • Yes (36%)

Total Votes: 122

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Saturday August 20, 2011
Time: 13.00-17.45
Location: Janskerkhof 13 (Stijlkamer 0.06) within easy reach of Utrecht Central Station
Utrecht, The Netherlands

Organized by Erasmus University Rotterdam & Netherlands School for Research in Practical Philosophy

John Martin Fischer (University of California): ‘Reason responsiveness, some recent developments’

Comments: Nicole Vincent (Macquarie University Sydney)

Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University Sydney): ‘What’s required for reason responsiveness? Psychopathy and other impairing conditions’

Comments: Dorothee Horstkötter (University of Maastricht)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0.