Department of Philosophy



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WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:00 p.m.

Nicole Hassoun (Binghamton University)

Title:  “Human Rights, Hope and Access to Essential Medicines”


Living with untreated AIDS is devastating. Patients often suffer from terrible lesions, pneumonia, nausea, become emaciated, have seizures and eventually die. I argue that there should be an enforceable legal human right to health that includes a right to access essential medicines to treat diseases like AIDS. This right is important for protecting individuals’ ability to live minimally good lives and is appropriately demanding. Some maintain that people lack a human right to health because this right cannot provide guidance for distributing scarce resources. Even if the skeptics are right on this point, I suggest that is not a reason to reject the right; the role of the human right to health is to provide a kind of hope that can foster what I call the virtue of creative resolve. This resolve is a fundamental commitment to finding creative solutions to what appear to be tragic dilemmas. Rather than helping us decide how to ration scarce resources, the human right to health gives us reason to find ways to fulfill everyone’s claims. The hope this right provides gives us a response to apparent tragedy in motivating us to search for ways of avoiding it – rather than an account of distributive justice.



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Tentative Fall Schedule

The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce the following (tentative) schedule of talks in the Colloquium Series.  Unless otherwise noted, all talks will be held on Thursday afternoons in Room 517, John Watson Hall, Bader Lane, beginning at 4:00pm. Everyone is welcome. Further details about each talk will be sent out weekly. Talks and question period to be followed by drinks at the University Club


FALL 2015

Sept 24:  Cheryl Misak – University of Toronto (Graham Kennedy Lecture)           

Oct 1:      Babette Babich – Fordham University

Oct 8:      Torin Doppelt – Queen's University

Oct 15:    Boris Hennig – Ryerson University

Oct 22:    Nicole Hassoun – Binghamton University

Oct 29:    Rockney Jacobsen – Wilfrid Laurier University

Nov 5:     Lukas Meyer – University of Graz (Dunning Trust)

Nov 12:   Udo Schüklenk – Queen's University                            

Nov 19:    Kate Manne – Cornell University

Nov 26:    Angela Martin – McGill University