Professor Nishi Shah (Amherst) recent gave a paper, which he co-wrote with Matt Evans (NYU), at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled “Mental Agency and Metaethics.” A copy of Nishi’s talk can be found here. Professor Shah would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

Professor Saul Smilansky (University of Haifa) will be giving a talk on Monday, March 1, at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled “Should We Be Sorry that We Exist?” A copy of Saul’s talk can be found here. Saul would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

Raz on The Guise of the Good
By S. Matthew Liao

Professor Joseph Raz (Columbia and Oxford University) will be giving a talk on Monday, Feb. 8, at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled ‘On the Guise of the Good.’ A copy of Professor Raz’s talk can be found here. Professor Raz would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

Professor Ralph Wedgwood (Oxford University) will be giving a talk today at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled ‘Instrumental Rationality.’ A copy of Ralph’s talk can be found here and a handout for his talk is here. Ralph would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

Professor Torbjörn Tännsjö (Stockholm University) will be giving a talk next Monday at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled ‘In Defence of Moral Realism.’ A copy of Torbjörn’s talk can be found here and he would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

I will present some ideas from a forthcoming book, “From Reasons to Norms: On the Basic Question in Ethics (Springer, forthcoming). I will argue that there is a unique and objective answer to the question what we ought to do, simpliciter. I will rebut Mackie’s arguments from queerness and relativity, and Harman’s empiricist argument in defence of moral nihilism, and following Ewing, Nagel, and Dworkin, I will argue that we are allowed to turn the content of our moral beliefs against the nihilist thesis.

Sobel on Parfit on Subjectivism
By S. Matthew Liao

Professor David Sobel (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) gave a talk recently at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar on ‘Parfit on Subjectivism.’ A copy of the paper can be found here, and he would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

Derek Parfit argues that all subjective accounts of normative reasons make wildly implausible claims. He rightly insists that we have reasons to get sensations that we like and to avoid agony now and in the future. Subjective accounts cannot accommodate this thought, he claims, because likings are importantly different from desires and because subjectivists are forced to give weight only to desires that the agent currently has. One might, even after informed deliberation, fail to desire now that one avoids future agony. So subjectivists cannot vindicate the obvious claim that we now have reason to avoid tomorrow’s agony.

Professor Stephen Finlay (University of Southern California) gave a talk recently at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar on ‘Metaethical Contextualism Defended’, which he co-wrote with Gunnar Björnsson. A copy of the paper can be found here and they would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of the talk:

Professor David Enoch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) gave a talk today at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar on ‘Giving Practical Reasons.’ A copy of David’s talk can be found here and he would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

I am writing a mediocre paper on a topic you are not particularly interested in. You don’t have, it seems safe to assume, a (normative) reason to read my draft. I then ask whether you would be willing to have a look and tell me what you think. Suddenly you do have a (normative) reason to read my draft. By my asking, I managed to give you the reason to read the draft. What does such reason-giving consist in? And how is it that we can do it?

Professor Andrew Reisner from McGill University gave a talk today at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar on ‘Abandoning the Buck Passing Analysis of Final Value.’ A copy of Andrew’s talk can be found here and he would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

In the decade since the buck passing analysis of good (BPA) was (re)introduced by T.M. Scanlon in his book, What We Owe to Each Other, there has been a great deal of optimism about the view. This optimism is not well founded, and so I shall argue that it is time to abandon the BPA. My suggestion is not that the BPA cannot be made to work for one narrow technical reason or another. Rather, I shall argue that the is unable to deliver on its supposed advantages and that in the end it lacks plausibility as an analysis of final value.

Dr. Krister Bykvist from Oxford University gave a talk entitled ‘Objective verus Subjective Moral Oughts’ this past Monday at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar. A copy of Krister’s talk can be found here and he would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of his talk:

It is common in normative ethics to abstract away from any epistemic shortcomings of the agent. In this highly idealized debate, virtue ethics will simply tell you to do what the virtuous person would do (or what would display the most virtuous motive), whereas Kantian ethics will tell you to do what is based on a universalizable maxim, and utilitarianism, what would maximize general happiness. But is it right to ignore the epistemic situation of the agent?

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