On Jan 17, the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom will host Stan Husi, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The title of his talk is "Why We (Almost Certainly) Are Not Moral Equals." (Astract below.)
Tuesday, Jan 17, 12:30-1:45pm, in the Kendrick Room at the Freedom Center, Marshall 280 (right above Paradise Bakery). Feel free to bring lunch.
For further information, please visit the Arizona Freedom Center at http://freedomcenter.arizona.edu/colloquium
Why We (almost certainly) are Not Moral Equals
Faith in the universal moral equality of people enjoys close to unanimous consensus in present moral and political philosophy. Yet its philosophical justification remains precarious. The search for the basis of equality encounters insurmountable difficulties. Nothing short of a miracle seems required to stabilize universal equality in moral status amidst a vast space of distinctions sprawling between people. The difficulties of stabilizing equality against differentiation are not specific to any particular choice regarding the basis of equality. To show this, I will provide a general diagnosis of the difficulty together with its application to the arguably best attempt at a solution, namely to ground moral equality in a form of subjectivity. In his recent book Equality for Nonegalitarians, George Sher advances the view that “we are moral equals because we are equally centers of consciousness. … The fact that we are equals in this respect – that each is a world unto himself – … explains why each person’s interests are of equal moral importance.” Yet the worlds we are unto ourselves can no more withstand the force of differentiation than previous candidates suggested in the literature, and the reasons why run deeper than even some critics have recognized. The prospects for vindicating universal moral equality remain bleak.