People have duties: moral reasons for action that are relatively stringent. At least some of these duties appear to be enforceable. We can forcibly prevent those who would otherwise violate their duties not to kill or inflict harm on innocent, non-threatening people if the force employed is proportionate. It is debatable whether all duties are enforceable. Many would reject the idea that a spouse could be forcibly prevented from violating a duty not to be unfaithful, even if they have committed to a monogamous relationship and therefore have stringent reasons to refrain from infidelity.
Abstract: The natural properties, according to Peter Gardenfors and Graham Oddie, are the convex subsets of a metric space in which the distances are degrees of dissimilarity. In this paper, I argue that this definition is incompatible with definitions of degree of dissimilarity as number or proportion of properties not in common, since in combination with them it entails that every property is a natural property, which is absurd.
The rapid development of internet, interactive multimedia and educational technologies has revolutionized the educational delivery system to widely reach off-campus populations beyond geographical barriers and time constraints. However, most courses are not born digital. This talk is contextualised in the current transition towards achieving high quality-oriented online education.
The Trial of Ta’isi O. F. Nelson: New Zealand’s Colonial Justice and Indigenous Resistance in 1930s Sāmoa
This is a seminar about the extraordinary 1933–1934 trial of Ta’isi O. F. Nelson in Apia. The trial was the culmination of a harsh campaign of exile and public disgrace waged against the Sāmoan nationalist leader by conservative New Zealand governments since 1926. The government assumed Ta’isi’s trial would be quick and surgical.
Certain puzzling behavior of modal expressions in discourse has convinced a growing number of theorists that language of modality does not factor in truth-conditions, and that the story of how thought, communication and action interact must be modified to allow for the non-truth-conditional aspects of meaning. I argue that the lesson to draw from the puzzling behavior of modals is not that we need to abandon truth-conditional accounts of meaning, but that we need a more sophisticated account of how the meaning of modal utterances interacts with discourse context.
Many people think that, faced with a choice between saving a life and averting a headache, one must save the life no matter how many people one could otherwise spare from suffering a headache. One can justify this intuition in different ways. In this paper, I consider the idea that the underlying problem is with a certain kind of aggregation, and ask how to apply that kind of anti-aggregationism to decision-making under risk.
The topic of this paper is the debate between defenders and critics of a public reason account of the justification of political authority. According to defenders of the Public Reason View, the practical justification of political authority is agreement-dependent. On the opposing view, the Objective Reason View, practical justification in this – or any – context is agreement-independent. I will grant that there are objective reasons and allow that they can affect practical justification.