Monthly Archives: May 2009

Podcasts of Cohen Conference

Audio recordings of the talks delivered at the January 2009 Oxford conference in honor of Jerry Cohen are posted as podcasts here. Most speakers and commentators are included, as are Jerry Cohen’s moving reflections that closed the conference. (The linked page contains many related links, so search the page for “cohen conference.”)

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“The Fight for Science (and Justice)” (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of my earlier post from December.

Last week President Obama give this excellent speech to the National Academy of Sciences.  He pledged to invest 3% of GDP for science research (basic and applied research).  He also vowed to improve education in math and science.  This represents the largest investment in scientific research and innovation in American history.  With such a monumental investment being made in science one has to wonder:  what do we (i.e. political philosophers) have to say about all this?  Is such an investment just or unjust? And why?

Surely the National Academy of Sciences are part of the “basic structure” of society and thus an investment of this scale must raise some important questions of justice that we can contribute some insights to.  Do we have some developed ideas about such issues?  Do we equip the students we teach with the tools for thinking rationally and critically about such issues? read more...

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Philosophy of Freedom Video

Ram Neta stars in this short video about the Aristotelian conception of freedom and morality, along side a ship captain, a drowning wife and Sleater-Kinney.

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Recommendations for readings on human rights

Hi everyone,

A graduate student of mine is interested in doing some research on the topic of human rights.  I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good review article that presents the main debates in the contemporary literature on human rights, or a book that does the same.  I am not interested in a book that primarily offers its own distinctive take on the issue.  Rather, I would like something to help this student start to navigate the literature.

Thanks a lot for any ideas.


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