Archive for the ‘Political Philosophy’ Category
Center for Ethics in Society
“Practice Views Revisited”
DATE: Thu 11 February 2016
PLACE: G-160, Bilkent University, Ankara
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.
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.
Istanbul University Arts and Humanities Faculty
Philosophy Department – Political Philosophy Days I
Call for Papers
Political Philosophy and Wittgenstein
15 October 2015
Invitation esp. for junior scholars who have written a PhD thesis, paper, or book on Wittgenstein’s political philosophy, to submit a title and abstract (400-500 words) by 15 Aug. 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
For original information (in Turkish), click
We will start by reading the manuscript of Ken Westphal’s new book – Moral Constructivism: Hume’s and Kant’s Natural Law Constructivism.
Once we have finished this we will decide collectively what to read next. If you would like to join the reading group, be sent a copy of the manuscript, and be added to our mailing list, please email Zubeyde: zkaradag(at)gmail.com.
Alberto Toscano is Reader in Critical Theory at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Fanaticism (2010; Turkish translation: 2013), The Theatre of Production (2006) and the forthcoming Cartographies of the Absolute (co-authored with Jeff Kinkle). He has translated numerous works by Alain Badiou, Antonio Negri and others. He edits The Italian List for Seagull Books and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism.
Bilgi University (Istanbul): The Sources of Pluralism – Metaphysics, Epistemology, Law and Politics. May 15th-20th, 2014.
The topic of the Istanbul Seminars (at Bilgi University in Istanbul) this year will be:
The Sources of Pluralism – Metaphysics, Epistemology, Law and Politics.
The program can be found here. Among the participants are Seyla Benhabib, Richard Bernstein, Alessandro Ferrara, Maurizio Ferraris, Nilüfer Göle, Amr Hamzawy, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Cécile Laborde, Avishai Margalit , David Rasmussen, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
A full list of participants can be found here.
Talk at Bogazici: Étienne Balibar on “Globalization and the Crisis of the Cosmopolitan Idea” (06/05/2014)
Étienne Balibar will be giving a talk at Boğaziçi University on May 6th in the Rector’s Conference Room, at 16:00 on:
“Globaliszation and the Crisis of the Cosmopolitan Idea”