Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Jack Woods at Bilkent

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The Authority of Formality

Date: Wednesday 28 December, 2016

Time: 1100-1230

Place: G160

Abstract:

Etiquette gets a bad rap. Theorists often claim that etiquette is only formally normative whereas morality is substantively normative. Requirements of morality and belief formation are supposed to be important in some abstruse way that eludes the requirements of mere manners. These claims are often flavored with examples of the etiquette norms of our grandparents and moral norms of pressing contemporary interest. It’s hard, in the face of such a barrage, to do much but nod along. Who could seriously think that not wearing white shoes before Easter was on a par with the requirement to treat others with fairness and compassion?
Me. I think exactly this.  In particular, I think that the commonly accepted distinction between substantive and merely formal obligation is an illusion. There is no particular domain of obligation where the fact that we have a domain-specific obligation to do something entails that we have normative reason to do it. Any time the fact that I’m morally obliged to do something justifies that I have reason to do it, this is because there is a lurking reason to do as morality obliges. As with morality, so with etiquette. My aim in what follows is display how attractive this view truly is.
I do not deny the importance of morality, epistemology, and other “substantive” normative domains; rather, I think that their importance is due to our reasons to be morally and doxastically sound. We have reason to be morally upstanding, doxastically reasonable, and fair. No amount of despair at how these properties fail to manifest in people’s ends should dissuade us from thinking that we take these properties seriously. Moral failure, irresponsibility in belief formation, and blatant disregard for fairness are taken to be, and thereby are, serious criticisms. This suffices to make them important and to render unto us reason to be fair, rational, and moral. However, we likewise have reason to be polite, play chess correctly, and (had reason) to wear a backpack on one shoulder (at least in the early 90s).
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Written by Sandrine Berges

December 21, 2016 at 3:07 pm

BETİM Workshop Christiane Fischer: Corruption in Healthcare and Medicine

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Corruption in Healthcare and Medicine – A Different Medicine is Possible

Workshop led by Christian Fischer (German Ethics Council)

Friday 11 March 2016, 5-7pm

Language of the event: English (no simultaneous translation)

 

Dr. med. Christiane Fischer, MPH

Click on poster to enlarge

All welcome, registration not required.

for directions see

http://www.betim.org.tr/index.php/iletisim.html

Betimsade

Written by rainerbroemer

March 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Talk at Bilkent by Katherina Nieswandt (Stanford): “Practice Views Revisited”

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Katherina Nieswandt
Center for Ethics in Society
Stanford University

“Practice Views Revisited”

DATE: Thu 11 February 2016
TIME: 15:40-17:30
PLACE: G-160, Bilkent University, Ankara

Short abstract:

Thomas Scanlon and others have argued that ‘practice views’ give
the wrong kind of reasons for moral duties, which shows up in the fact
that they identify the wrong addressees of these duties. The reason
why I must not break my promise to you, for instance, should lie in
the harm that this does to you—rather than in the harm that it does to
the practice of promising or to our community. I demonstrate that the
wrong reason objection indeed applies to some practice views, notably
rule-conquentialism and (Hobbes’) contractarianism.  Drawing on ideas
by Elizabeth Anscombe, however, I offer an alternative understanding of
the role of the practice in ethical justifications.

Long abstract:

According to “conventionalist” or “practice views,” at least some moral
duties exist within social practices, and these practices play an important
role in justifying the respective duties. Among others, the theories of Hobbes,
Gauthier, Hooker and Rawls are commonly classified as practice views.

Thomas Scanlon has levelled a formidable and widely used objection against
practice views: They give the wrong reasons for our duties, which shows up
in the fact that they identify the wrong addressees. The reason why I must
not break my promise to you, for instance, should lie in the harm that this
does to you—rather than in the harm it does to the practice of promising or
to all the participants in that practice.

I grant that Scanlon’s objection applies to the mentioned theories. But I offer
a surprising diagnosis: (i) I argue that the conventionalism of these theories
is superficial. (ii) I show that the objection applies to them precisely because
they are not genuinely conventionalist and that (iii) any genuinely conventionalist
theory gives the correct reasons and identifies the correct addressees of our duties.
As a last step, (iv) I outline one such theory, using the understanding of the practice
in moral justifications that I find in Elizabeth Anscombe’s work. (v) My particular
proposal has an interesting application to rights: It enables us to be conventionalists
about rights without being cultural relativists about rights.

Written by István Aranyosi

February 4, 2016 at 8:28 am

Talk at Bilkent by Ulf Hlobil (Pittsburgh): “Do It! But Don’t Listen to Me!: Moral Testimony and Practical Inference”

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Ulf Hlobil
Department of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh

“Do It! But Don’t Listen to Me!: Moral Testimony and Practical Inference”

DATE: Wed 10 February 2016
TIME: 15:40-17:30
PLACE: G-160, Bilkent University, Ankara

Abstract:

What, if anything, is wrong with acting on moral beliefs that we accept
merely on the say-so of others? Why could it be problematic to act on a
moral belief that we take to be true without understanding why it is true?
I defend a qualified and novel version of what is called “pessimism” in
the controversy over pure moral testimony. I argue that we can rationally
come to hold the premises of moral reasoning through testimony, but that
moral testimony is problematic in cases where the agent lacks the ability
to make the correct practical inference. The problem is that inferential
abilities cannot be shared via testimony. The role that moral testimony
can play in our moral lives is therefore limited. My account gives the
correct verdicts for common examples in the literature on moral testimony.
It, moreover, incorporates many of the optimists’ insights and is more
general and informative than rival accounts.

Written by István Aranyosi

February 4, 2016 at 8:12 am

BETİM seminar Stephen Snyder: Changing Human Nature – A Case for Intergenerational Justice 4 Nov. 2015

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Changing Human Nature – A Case for Intergenerational Justice

Seminar by Stephen Snyder

St. Louis (MO)/İstanbul

Visiting Professor, Bosphorus University

Wed. 4 November 2015, 5.15-6.30 pm

Language of the event: English, no simultaneous translation

Snyder

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All welcome, registration not required.

for directions see

http://www.betim.org.tr/index.php/iletisim.html

Betimsade

Written by rainerbroemer

October 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy of Biology

Tagged with , ,

BETİM conference: Ethical Problems in Medical Decisions at the End of Life, 17 Sept. 2015

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Ethical problems in medical decisions at the end of life

Seminar by Dr. Mirjam de Vos (Amsterdam)

Thu. 17 Sept. 2015, 5-6.30pm

Language of the event: English, no simultaneous translation

deVos2015

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All welcome, registration not required.

for directions see

http://www.betim.org.tr/index.php/iletisim.html

Betimsade

Written by rainerbroemer

September 16, 2015 at 10:25 am

Posted in Ethics, Events in Turkey

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Talk at BETİM: Kant’s Anthropology – by Marc Rölli (Zürich), Thu. 28 May 2015

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Kant’s Anthropology: Between Universalism and Inegalitarianism

Prof. Dr. Marc Rölli, Zürich (Switzerland)

Thu. 28 May 2015, 5.15 – 7.15 pm

(Talk in English)

Dr. Rölli Tr-En Çal  tay Afi i

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All welcome, registration not required.

for directions see

http://www.betim.org.tr/index.php/iletisim.html

Betimsade

Written by rainerbroemer

May 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Ethics, Kant

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