[SydPhil] USyd Postgrad Work in Progress Talk 2/9/13

Simon Varey simonvarey at gmail.com
Tue Aug 27 14:54:07 AEST 2013

Here are the details for the next USyd Postgrad Work in Progress talk:

Speaker: Brenton Dart

Title: Truthfulness, Liberalism and Barack Obama

In his inaugural lecture as the Chichele professor of political and social
theory at the University of Oxford, Jeremy Waldron asked where the focus of
our political investigations should be, in ‘institutions’ or in ‘the
characters of those who inhabit them’. In this paper I investigate the
concept of truthfulness in the institutions of a liberal state. For this I
turn to John Rawls and Bernard Williams to establish the terms of this
investigation: what are the rights and obligations that distinguish a
liberal state from other polities? What are the consequences of these
rights and obligations when it comes to truthfulness? Can truth be a
liberal value? And can forms of deception be justified in liberalism? These
questions are framed around current issues of truthfulness and deception in
a liberal society, in particular those regarding the Obama administration.
>From this I posit that forms of secrecy can (potentially) be justified in a
liberal society. To conclude, I respond to Waldron’s question by stating
that the character of political actors are a warranted part of an enquiry
into our political institutions.

Time: 4:30pm, Mon Sep 2
Location: Philosophy Common Room, Main Quad, University of Sydney
Hope to see you all there,
Simon Varey
Postgraduate Colloquium Co-ordinator
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