Monthly Archives: September 2010

Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do? A Public Lecture and Symposium on Michael J. Sandel’s Recent Book


Boston University School of Law is pleased to announce the Annual Distinguished Lecture

Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do?A Public Lecture and Symposium on Michael J. Sandel’s Recent BookOctober 14, 2010Boston University School of Law

Public Lecture: 12:30 to 2:00

Book Symposium: 2:30 to 6:00

Professor Michael J. Sandel will give the annual Boston University School of Law Distinguished Lecture concerning his recent book, Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do?, followed by a symposium on the book. The symposium will feature commentators in law, philosophy, and political science along with a response by Professor Sandel. Boston University Law Review will publish the lecture, commentaries, and response.


Posted in Conferences | Leave a comment

Reading Group Proposal: Gerald Gaus, The Order of Public Reason

For those of you who do not know, Cambridge is about to publish Jerry Gaus’s new book, The Order of Public Reason. It will be out in hardback by the first of next year. Here’s a general description of the book:

In this innovative and important work, Gerald Gaus advances a revised, and more realistic, account of public reason liberalism, showing how, in the midst of fundamental disagreement about values and moral beliefs, we can achieve a moral and political order that treats all as free and equal moral persons. The first part of this work analyzes social morality as a system of authoritative moral rules. Drawing on an earlier generation of moral philosophers such as Kurt Baier and Peter Strawson as well as current work in the social sciences, Gaus argues that our social morality is an evolved social fact, which is the necessary foundation of a mutually beneficial social order. The second part considers how this system of social moral authority can be justified to all moral persons. Drawing on the tools of game theory, social choice theory, experimental psychology, and evolutionary theory, Gaus shows how a free society can secure a moral equilibrium that is endorsed by all, and how a just state respects, and develops, such an equilibrium.


Posted in Books, Discussion, Posts, Reading Group | 21 Comments

Call for Papers: Genetics and Justice panel(s) – PSA Annual Conference 2011

This is a call for papers for a Panel(s) on ‘Genetics and Justice’ for the forthcoming PSA Conference in London. The conference takes place from the 19-21st April 2011 and the conference theme is ‘Transforming Politics: New Synergies’, including the notion of developing new and revisiting old theory.
Panel Organiser/Chair: Dr. Oliver Feeney, National University of Ireland, Galway

Panel Abstract: This PSA Panel seeks to explore how current and speculative advances in new genetic technologies affect our understanding of social justice. This exploration focuses both on how contemporary theories of social justice can be applied to the ‘post-genetic’ world and also how such attempts to apply these theories may highlight certain strengths and weaknesses within social justice in the first place. Overall, the Panel seeks to answer a narrow question (What access to new genetic technologies would be just?) and a wide question (What does the first answer tell us about justice?). The answer to the wide question will have implications far beyond genetic technology. Papers in any area of the social justice implications of new genetic technologies are very welcome as well as papers that discuss the closely related questions on the treatment versus enhancement distinction, permissible versus morally obligatory interventions, designer disability and respect for parental autonomy versus the rights of the child for an ‘open future’ and so on.


Posted in Calls for Papers | Leave a comment

Query @ public reason

What is the single best thing to read about public reason?  Something by Josh Cohen?  David Estlund?  Rawls himself?  Other?  (Particulars appreciated.)  If context matters, say I want something that will convince an opponent that the later Rawlsian approach to liberalism (particularly liberal toleration) works.

Posted in Discussion, Posts | 3 Comments