[SydPhil] MQ lunchtime philosophy seminar

Rachael Brown rachael.brown at mq.edu.au
Fri May 29 16:16:12 AEST 2015

Please note the following upcoming event as part of the Macquarie
University Philosophy Work in Progress Seminar Series

*Can institutions raise conscientious objections?*
Carlos Bernal (Macquarie University)

Tuesday 2nd June, 1-2pm

*Abstract:* A conscientious objection is refusal by a person to perform an
action commanded by the law or to omit an action prohibited by the law
because the relevant action or omission is incompatible with the religious
or ethical beliefs of the agent. What does ‘a person’ stand for in this

This presentation aims to answer the question whether institutions can hold
a right to raise conscientious objections. This question is at the heart of
important recent cases, such as Christian Youth Camps Ltd v Cobaw Community
Health Services Ltd, decided by the Victorian Court of Appeal, and Burwell
v Hobby Lobby Stores Inc, decided by the United States Supreme Court  I
will reply to the arguments supporting the individualistic view, according
to which, only individuals can raise conscientious objections. I will also
reply to two arguments supporting the view that institutions can also hold
the right to raise conscientious objections. Those are the arguments
deeming ethical codes as institutional conscience and institutions as
super-agents. Finally, I will endorse a collective intentional account of
the possibility of institutional conscientious objections.

Feel free to bring your lunch.

Contact: Rachael Brown (rachael.brown at mq.edu.au), Paul Formosa (
paul.formosa at mq.edu.au), Mike Olson (michael.olson at mq.edu.au)

A google calendar with details of other events in this series is available
for viewing and subscription by following this link:
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