Justice, Culture and Tradition

Institute for Advanced Study: 2-4 June 2008

Via Jacob T. Levy, a conference on Walzer at the IAS in Princeton:

To recognize Michael Walzer’s contributions to the ethical and political philosophy of the twentieth century, a conference titled Justice, Culture and Tradition will take place June 2-4, 2008 at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton, New Jersey.

The Conference will consider the following questions:
How should liberalism treat cultures, cultural diversity and cultural identities?
How should the just society distribute resources and the goods social life produces?
When is waging war justified? What is the meaning of national self-defense and how is it related to self-defense in the domestic realm?
Is an international system constituted from fully sovereign states justified, or should the international society be federalized?

The political philosophy of the 20th century intensely explored the themes raised by these questions; however, a conception of the inter-relations among the issues they raise is still under-developed. A penetrating discussion of Walzer’s philosophy will allow us to fill this gap.

Michael Walzer will attend and comment on the papers presented. The conference is organized by Professor Yitzhak Benbaji of Bar-Ilan University and Shalom Hartman Institute.

All sessions are free and open to the public, and seating is on a first come, first served basis. Please RSVP for each session by contacting Danielle Candy (212-838-4120, ext. 259).


All sessions take place at Wolfensohn Hall, IAS, Princeton New Jersey. Conference abstracts are available here.

Monday, 2 June

9:45am – 10:00am: Greeting Session
IAS Director Peter Goddard and Conference Organizer Yitzhak Benbaji (Bar-Ilan University)

10:00am – 12:15pm “Distributive Justice”
Thomas Scanlon (Harvard University)
Michael J. Sandel (Harvard University)
Commentator: Amy Gutmann (University of Pennsylvania)
Chair: Joan W.Scott (IAS)

2:00pm – 3:00pm: “The Interpretive View of Ethics”
Georgia Warnke (University of California)
Commentator: Susan Neiman (Einstein Forum)
Chair: Harry Frankfurt (Princeton University)

3:30pm – 6:00pm: Round Table: “The Practice of Social Criticism”
Mitchell Cohen (CUNY Baruch College)
Martin Peretz (The New Republic)
Menachem Lorberbaum (Tel Aviv University)
Axel Honneth (Institut fur Sozialforschung)
Chair: Ian Shapiro (Yale University)

Tuesday, 3 June

10:00am – 12:15pm: “Multiculturalism, Civil Society, and the Politics of Recognition”
Jacob T. Levy (McGill University)
Will Kymlicka (Queen’s University)
Commentator: Charles Taylor (McGill University)

2:00pm – 5:00pm: Round Table: “The Just War Theory – Moral and Legal Perspectives”
Yitzhak Benbaji (Bar-Ilan University)
Jeff McMahan (Rutgers University)
Brian Orend (University of Waterloo)
Commentator: Noam J. Zohar (Bar-Ilan University)
Michael Doyle (Columbia University)
Haim Shapira (Bar-Ilan University)
Chair: Joel Rosenthal (Carnegie Council)

Wednesday, 4 June

10:00am – 12:15pm: “Tradition, Radicalism and Solidarity”
Avishai Margalit (Institute for Advanced Study)
George Kateb (Princeton University)
Commentator: Moshe Halbertal (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Chair: Yaffa Zilbershats (Bar-Il University)

2:00pm – 4:00pm: “The Moral Standing of States”
Ruth Gavison (The Hebrew University)
Charles R. Beitz (Princeton University)
Commentator: Nancy L. Rosenblum (Harvard University)
Chair: Jacob T. Levy (McGill University)

4:30pm – 6:30pm: Round Table: “The Jewish Political Tradition”
Leon Wieseltier (The New Republic)
David Novak (University of Toronto)
Pierre Birnbaum (Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies)
Chair: Noam J. Zohar (Bar-Ilan University)

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About Simon Cabulea May

Simon Cabulea May is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He received his PhD from Stanford University. His present research project generally concerns conflicts of moral convictions in public deliberation.
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