Upcoming Workshops and Events

October 24, 2014

Paper Abstract

In this paper, I use Adam Smith's account to discuss the normative stakes of economic growth. I distinguish two scenarios of growth in Smith - "trickle down" and "working one's way up" - that look quite different from a normative perspective. I then argue that Smith endorsed growth not only for its distributive results in the sense of higher welfare for the poor, but also because of the way in which it would align individual interests with the public good, and because it would strengthen the independence of individuals in a republican sense.

October 31, 2014

Paper Abstract

This paper meant to set the framework for a book on the theory of basic democracy, i.e. democracy before liberalism. The goal of the book is analytic: to distinguish democracy as such from democratic liberalism. The aim is not to show that liberalism (defined as a commitment to inherent and universal human rights and to distributive justice) is otiose, but rather to determine how much of what liberals value is (and is not) delivered by democracy as such.

November 7, 2014

Bio

Megan Blomfield received her PhD from the University of Bristol, England, in 2014. Her thesis examines the problem of climate change in light of a theory of justice for natural resources; defending a new understanding of egalitarian natural resource rights and discussing the implications for dealing with climate change fairly. Her major area of research remains global justice and environmental ethics, with current work addressing the relationship between scientific uncertainty, national interest and fairness in collective action to address environmental problems.

November 14, 2014

Bio

Ryan Pevnick is an assistant professor in the Politics Department at New York University.  He is the author of Immigration and the Constraints of Justice (Cambridge, 2011), as well as articles that have appeared in The Journal of Political Philosophy, Journal of Politics, Philosophy & Public Affairs, and other venues.  He is currently working on a series of papers on campaign finance, philanthropy, and political equality. 

November 21, 2014

Bio

Adam Sandel is Lecturer on Social Studies. His recent book, The Place of Prejudice: A Case for Reasoning within the World (Harvard University Press, 2014), explores the role of prejudice in moral judgment, historical understanding, and scientific knowledge. Drawing on the history of philosophy from Aristotle to Heidegger and Gadamer, Sandel shows that prejudice, properly understood, is not an unfortunate obstacle to clear thinking but an essential aspect of it.  The attempt to purge our understanding of all cultural and historical preconceptions leads not to truth, Sandel argues, but to shallowness and confusion.

December 5, 2014

Bio

Seana Valentine Shiffrin is Professor of Philosophy and Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice at UCLA, where she has taught since 1992.  She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Oxford University, and the Harvard Law School.  She teaches courses on moral and political philosophy as well as contracts, freedom of speech, constitutional rights and individual autonomy, remedies and legal theory.  She is an associate editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Her research addresses issues in moral, political and legal philosophy, as well as matters of legal doctrine, that concern equality, autonomy and the social conditions for their realization.  Her recent work has focused on freedom of spee