CFP: The Scope of Religious Exemptions (April 17th-18th, 2015)


The Bowling Green Workshop in Applied Ethics and Public Policy

The Scope of Religious Exemptions

April 17th-18th, 2015 

The Bowling Green Workshop in Applied Ethics and Public Policy will take place in Bowling Green, Ohio, April 17th-18th, 2015. The keynote speakers are Robert Audi (University of Notre Dame) and Andrew Koppelman (Northwestern University).

Those interested in presenting a paper are invited to submit a 2-3 page abstract (double-spaced) by November 15th, 2014. We welcome submissions in all areas in applied ethics and philosophical issues relevant to this year’s conference theme: the scope of religious exemptions. We are especially focused on papers that address normative questions about religious exemptions, including the moral-philosophical justifications for religious exemptions and how often and to whom religious exemptions should be granted. We will consider multiple approaches to the topic, not merely in political philosophy and political theory, but normative ethics, metaethics and applied ethics.


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“First Steps Toward a Nonideal Theory of Justice” out now!

I would like to announce the publication of my article, “First Steps Toward a Nonideal Theory of Justice, which just came out in Ethics and Global Politics. Here’s its abstract:

Theorists have long debated whether John Rawls’ conception of justice as fairness can be extended to nonideal (i.e. unjust) social and political conditions, and if so, what the proper way of extending it is. This paper argues that in order to properly extend justice as fairness to nonideal conditions, Rawls’ most famous innovation—the original position—must be reconceived in the form of a ‘nonideal original position’. I begin by providing a new analysis of the ideal/nonideal theory distinction within Rawls’ theoretical framework. I then systematically construct a nonideal original position, showing that although its parties must have Rawls’ principles of ideal justice and priority relations as background aims, the parties should be entirely free to weigh those aims against whatever burdens and benefits they might face under nonideal conditions. Next, I show that the parties ought to aim to secure for themselves a special class of nonideal primary goods: all-purpose goods similar to Rawls’ original primary goods, but which in this case are all-purpose goods individuals might use to (a) promote Rawlsian ideals under nonideal conditions, (b) weigh Rawls’ principles of ideal justice and priority relations against whatever burdens and benefits they might face under nonideal conditions, and (c) effectively pursue their most favored weighting thereof. Finally, I defend a provisional list of nonideal primary goods, and briefly speculate on how the parties to the nonideal original position might deliberate to principles of nonideal justice for distributing them.


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3rd Annual Tennessee Value and Agency Conference

3rd Annual Tennessee Value and Agency Conference                        Reason and Sentiment in the Moral Life                                              November 7 & 8, 2014                                                                                1210 McClung Tower, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Amelie Rorty, Professor, Tufts.
Keynote address: The Ethics of Collaborative Ambivalence.

Tal Brewer, Professor, UVA.
Keynote address: The Miseducation of the Sentiments.

Marta Jimenez, Assistant Professor, Emory.
Colloquium Paper: Aristotle on Pseudo-Courage.


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Call for Papers – Collective Responsibility for the Future


Call for Papers

‘Collective Responsibility for the Future’
A conference to be held at University College Dublin, 15-16 June, 2015

Sponsored by:
School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, Ireland
The Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics, Georgia State University, USA

Keynote speakers:
Simon Caney (Political Theory, University of Oxford, UK) – “The Collective Duty to Resist Injustice and to Create Just Institutions”

Philip Pettit (Political Theory, Fall Semester: University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, USA; Spring (northern) Semester: School of Philosophy, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT Australia) – “Incorporating for Responsibility”


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New Book: Democracy and Disenfranchisement


I would like to announce the publication of my book, Democracy and Disenfranchisement: The Morality of Electoral Exclusions. It is available at Amazon and Oxford UP. Below is the jacket description, advanced praise, and table of contents.

The denial of voting rights to certain types of persons continues to be a moral problem of practical significance. The disenfranchisement of persons with mental impairments, minors, noncitizen residents, nonresident citizens, and criminal offenders is a matter of controversy in many countries. How should we think morally about electoral exclusions? What should we conclude about these particular cases? This book proposes a set of principles, called the Critical Suffrage Doctrine, that defies conventional beliefs on the legitimate denial of the franchise. According to the Critical Suffrage Doctrine, in some realistic circumstances it is morally acceptable to adopt an alternative to universal suffrage that would exclude the vast majority of sane adults for being largely uninformed. Thus, contrary to what most people believe, current controversies on the franchise are not about exploring the limits of a basic moral right. Regarding such controversies, the Critical Suffrage Doctrine establishes that, in polities with universal suffrage, the blanket disenfranchisement of minors and the mentally impaired cannot be justified; that noncitizen residents should be allowed to vote; that excluding nonresident citizens is permissible; and that criminal offenders should not be disenfranchised-although facilitating voting from prison is not required in all contexts. Political theorists have rarely submitted the franchise to serious scrutiny. Hence this study makes a contribution to a largely neglected and important subject.


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Workshop on “The Idea of Social Equality”, York, 17-18 September 2014

Workshop on “The Idea of Social Equality”, King’s Manor, University of York, 17-18 September 2014

The first of four workshops on Social Equality, sponsored by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, in association with the Department of Politics at the University of York
Convened by Martin O’Neill (York), Emily McTernan (UCL), Christian Schemmel (Manchester) and Fabian Schuppert (QUB)

Sara Amighetti (University College London)
Christopher Brooke (University of Cambridge)
Carina Fourie (University of Zürich)
Cillian McBride (Queen’s University Belfast)
Frederick Neuhouser (Barnard College, Columbia University)
Fabian Schuppert (Queen’s University Belfast)


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