Boston University is holding a conference on Ronald Dworkin’s forthcoming book Justice for Hedgehogs from September 25 to 26. We have an excellent lineup that includes Michael Smith, Russ Shafer-Landau, Francis Kamm, David Lyons, Robert Kane, T.M. Scanlon, Armatya Sen, Aaron Garrett, Susanne Sreedhar, Candice Delmas, Samuel Freeman, Jeremy Waldron, and Ronald Dworkin himself. The complete list of speakers is below.


“The fox knows many things
but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

September 25-26, 2009
Boston University

John Broome thinks normative reasons are either explanations or parts of explanations of why you ought to F. Stephen Kearns and I think normative reasons are evidence that you ought to F (and we propose this as a unified analysis that applies across both reasons for action and reasons for belief). Many philosophers working on reasons would reject both of these views, often because they think the concept of a reason is not susceptible to deep analysis. In our most recent paper on this topic, Stephen and I compare our own view with Broome’s, and we do so in a way that should help with more general efforts to assess Broome’s view. This paper, “Reasons: Explanations or Evidence?” can be downloaded here.

Chapter 3, “Intention, Harm and the Possibility of a Unified Theory” is focused on responding to Warren Quinn’s attempt to provide and ground accounts of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing (DDA) and the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE) in two very interesting essays that were published as Chapters 7 and 8 of Morality and Action (CUP, 1993).

This chapter is split into three sections, which I will now summarise in turn, raising issues that invite further discussion as I go along.