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Queen's University
 

Past colloquia

April 2, 2009 Colloquium

March 27th, 2009

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
COLLOQUIUM SERIES

THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2009

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:30 p.m.

Gillian Brock (Auckland)

Title: “Global Justice and Beyond”

Chair: Jon Miller

Abstract

In my recent book, Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account (OUP, 2009), I develop a viable cosmopolitan model of global justice that takes seriously the equal moral worth of persons, yet leaves scope for defensible forms of nationalism and for other legitimate identifications and affiliations people have. I address two prominent skeptics about global justice: those who doubt its feasibility and those who believe that cosmopolitanism interferes illegitimately with the defensible scope of nationalism by undermining goods of national importance, such as authentic democracy or national self-determination. The model addresses concerns about implementation in the world, showing how we can move from theory to public policy that makes progress toward global justice. It also makes clear how legitimate forms of nationalism are compatible with commitments to global justice.

The book is divided into three central parts which I outline in this talk. In the first, I defend a cosmopolitan model of global justice. In the second, which is largely concerned with public policy issues, I argue that there is much we can and should do toward achieving global justice. I address several pressing problems, discussing both theoretical and public policy issues involved with each. These include tackling global poverty, taxation reform, protection of basic liberties, humanitarian intervention, immigration, and problems associated with global economic arrangements. In the third part, I show how the discussion of public policy issues can usefully inform our theorizing; in particular, it assists our thinking about the place of nationalism and equality in an account of global justice.

In this talk I give a sketch of the overall project, but focus on specific arguments which stress how the model assists our thinking about the place of nationalism in an account of global justice and how we can address the two main skeptics about global justice.

EVERYONE WELCOME

March 26, 2009 Colloquium

March 20th, 2009

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
COLLOQUIUM SERIES

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2009

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:30 p.m.

Christine Overall (Queen’s)

Title: “Reproductive Freedom, Ectogenesis, and Inseminators’ Rights”

Chair: Steve Leighton

Abstract

This paper explores the ethical ramifications of a situation in which two individuals in a couple are in conflict about continuing their pregnancy. What is the morally justified path when the two potential parents disagree about whether or not to continue a life that has already been conceived? Answering the question requires an investigation of the scope and limits of the reproductive rights and freedoms of the inseminator and the pregnant woman in such a situation. I also discuss whether, as some philosophers have argued, the development of ectogenesis would resolve at least one part of such disagreements between potential parents.

EVERYONE WELCOME

Special Colloquium for March 19, 2009

March 16th, 2009

Professor G.A.Cohen will be visiting the Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Law as a Principal’s International Visitor from Tuesday, March 17th to Friday, March 20th, 2009. Please see below for a portion of his agenda:

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Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Malcolm Thorburn invites everyone to the following talk in the Law School:

G.A. Cohen
Quain Professor of Jurisprudence, University College London
former Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, All Souls
College, Oxford

Title: “Rescuing Justice from Constructivism and Equality from the Basic
Structure Objection”

Time/Place: 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, 17 March in Macdonald Hall, Room 514

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Thursday, March 19th, 2009 (please note special location)
Colloquium Speaker – Department of Philosophy

G.A. Cohen
Title: “My Philosophical Development, and Impressions of Some Philosophers That I Met on My Way”

Time/Place: 4:30 pm Thursday, 19 March in Policy Studies, Room 202
Reception to follow at the University Club

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Friday, March 20th, 2009

Political Philosophy Reading Group meeting with G.A. Cohen

Time/Place: 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 20th in Watson Hall, room 207.

We will be joined by a special guest of the Philosophy Department, G.A. Cohen, and will discuss his paper, ‘Rescuing Conservatism: A Defence of Existing Value’.

March 12, 2009 Colloquium

March 6th, 2009

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
COLLOQUIUM SERIES

THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2009

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:30 p.m.

Les Green (Oxford)

Title: “On Referendums and Democracy”

Chair: Rhadika Tikku

Abstract

Contrary to common belief, there are (democratic) arguments for not governing by direct democracy, arguments that do not depend on the capacity for initiatives or referendums to conflict with liberal rights. I identify some of these, and try to explain the moral value of referendums in a way that does not depend on their (putative) democratic credentials.

EVERYONE WELCOME

Colloquium Listing 2008-2009

March 4th, 2009

March 6, 2009 Special Colloquium

March 2nd, 2009

SPECIAL COLLOQUIUM

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
COLLOQUIUM SERIES

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2009

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 10:00 a.m.

Sally Haslanger (MIT)

ARE WE CRACKING THE IVORY CEILING?

WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN PHILOSOPHY

Chair: Christine Sypnowich

EVERYONE WELCOME

March 5, 2009 Colloquium

March 2nd, 2009

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
COLLOQUIUM SERIES

THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2009

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:30 p.m.

Sally Haslanger (MIT)

Title: “The Social as Natural and the Natural as Social: The Ordinariness of Social Construction”

Chair: Mark Smith

Abstract

It is often the case that the social realm is contrasted with the natural realm. However, since Aristotle it has been recognized that we are, by nature, social animals. So the question arises what to make of the distinction between the social and the natural. I argue that there is a tempting line of thought in philosophy that treats  the “mind-dependent” as somehow less than fully real, and the association of the social with the mind-dependent taints it with unreality. This affects discussions of social construction, e.g., many suggest that because race is a social construct, it isn’t real. I argue that there is a very ordinary sense of mind- dependence which is what’s important for thinking about the social construction of race, gender, and a host of other categories. On my view, the point of social constructionist arguments is not to claim that the phenomenon in question is unnatural, but to reveal the complexity of social structure that is typically both unnoticed and unjust. Because we are partly responsible for the natural world (as I emphasize, we and our social structures are part of the natural world), my argument also raises questions about the relation between the natural and the normative.

EVERYONE WELCOME

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