Department of Philosophy



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The Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series is pleased to present

Jeff Moriarty (State University of New York Oswego and University of Rochester Medical Center),

On the Origin, Content, and Relevance of the Market Failures Approach

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 4:00 pm

Watson Hall, Room 517


The view of business ethics that Christopher McMahon calls the “implicit morality of the market” and Joseph Heath calls the “market failures approach” has received a significant amount of recent attention. The idea of this view is that we can derive an ethics for market participants by thinking about the “point” of market activity, and asking what the world would have to be like for this point to be realized. While this view has been much-discussed, it is still not well-understood. This paper seeks to remedy this problem. I begin by showing, against some recent commentators, that McMahon’s view and Heath’s view are fundamentally the same. Second, I clarify the sense of “efficiency” at work in the market failures approach. Finally, I argue that, in its current form, this view has little relevance to the real world of business. I conclude by sketching two ways of modifying it to fit our world.


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Fall Schedule

September 20   Rachael Wiseman (University of Liverpool, Graham Kennedy Memorial Lecture)

The Golden Age of Female Philosophy?  Anscombe, Foot, Midgley and Murdoch

September 27   Eva Meijer (University of Amsterdam)

The role of language in interspecies politics

October 4       Henry Laycock (Queen’s)

Being without Borders

October 11     Chris Lebron (Johns Hopkins University, Brockington Lecture jointly sponsored by Political Studies and The Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity CSDD)

                      Race, Injustice, and the Burden of Hope

October 18     Janice Porteous (Vancouver Island University)

                       Hard-Boiled Sentimentality and the Making of Grim Reality in Alistair MacLeod's "In the Fall"

October 25     No Talk (Fall Break)

November 1   Lorne MacLaughlin (Queen’s)

In Defence of Empiricism

November 8      Robert Card (SUNY-Oswego)

Justification of Conscientious Objections in Medicine

November 15    Jeff Moriarty (Bentley University) 

On the Origin, Content, and Relevance of the Market Failures Approach

November 22    Clayton Chin (University of Melbourne)

November 29    Tom Parr (Essex)


Winter Schedule

January 10       Philosophy of Race Candidate

January 17       Philosophy of Race Candidate

January 24       Philosophy of Race Candidate

January 31       Philosophy of Race Candidate

February 7       Philosophy of Race Candidate

February 14     Jeremy Butler (Queen’s)    

February 21     No Talk (Reading Week)

February 28     Alison Peterman (University of Rochester)

March 7           Omar Bachour (Queen's)

March 14         Karolina Hübner (University of Toronto)

March 21         Jamie Shaw (Western)

March 28         Jose Medina (Northwestern University, Sutherland Lecture)

April 4              Lev Marder (USC/Queen's)