[SydPhil] Explaining Duty Direction: Monday Current Projects

Kristie Miller kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 8 07:57:38 AEDT 2013

Dear all,

Monday Feb 11 Matthew Hammerton will speak to us on:

Explaining duty direction

Various normative systems make use of duties.  For example, there are moral duties, legal duties, epistemic duties, duties of etiquette, and institutional duties. In many of these normative systems the duties posited appear to come in two forms directed and undirected. A directed duty is a duty that is owed to (or directed at) someone or something (e.g. a moral duty to keep a promise is owed by the promisor to the promisee). An undirected duty is a duty that is not owed to (or not directed at) anything (e.g. your epistemic duty to infer ‘q’ from ‘p or q’ and ‘not p’). The distinction between directed and undirected duties appears to make intuitive sense. However, to fully understand the distinction and deal with problem cases where it is difficult to determine whether a duty is directed or not, it seems we need a theory of duty direction. Such a theory would analyse and explain the notion of a directed duty. In this talk I present four novel theories of duty direction. Although each theory appears to have some plausibility, compelling counterexamples can be produced against each of the four theories. This raises serious questions about the prospects for a theory of duty direction.

As usual, papers are in the philosophy common room from 1.00 till 2.30.

Dr. Kristie Miller
University of Sydney 
Senior Research Fellow
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and
The Centre for Time
The University of Sydney
Sydney Australia
Room 407, A 14

kmiller at usyd.edu.au
kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Ph: +612 9036 9663

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