[SydPhil] Notification: Matthew Hammerton @ Thu 14 May 2015 15:00 - 16:30 (Current Projects)

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Title: Matthew Hammerton
A defence of agent-relative value

Suppose the Mafia makes a credible threat that they will murder three  
innocent people unless you murder one innocent person. Consequentialism  
appears to require you to kill the innocent person whereas commonsense  
morality appears to forbid it. Many take this to be a serious mark against  
consequentialist moral theories. In response some consequentialists posit  
that value can be agent-relative, which allows them to side with  
commonsense morality and forbid killing the one from within a  
consequentialist framework. One influential line of criticism against this  
move rejects the notion of agent-relative value because we have no  
pre-theoretical grasp of it and cannot justify it as a theoretical posit. I  
respond to this criticism by demonstrating that commonsense morality is  
already committed to agent-relative value. In particular, special duties  
and obligations to undo moral wrongs cannot be made sense of without  
postulating goods that are agent-relative. Hence, contrary to the critics,  
agent-relative value is part of pre-theoretical folk morality, and thus we  
have no reason to be suspicious of it as some kind of unmotivated  
theoretical construction.
When: Thu 14 May 2015 15:00 - 16:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Calendar: Current Projects
     * Kristie Miller- creator

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