[SydPhil] CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Dominik Duber (Munster), "What's a conception of the (good) life?"

Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics arts.cave at mq.edu.au
Mon Oct 10 09:47:10 AEDT 2016

Hi all,

The Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE) and the Macquarie University Philosophy Department will be hosting a seminar by CAVE Visitor, Dominik Düber (Münster).

What's a conception of the (good) life? by Dominik Düber (Münster)

Date: Tuesday 25 October 2016

Time: 13:00 - 14:00

Venue: W6A 107, Macquarie University (Visitor info here<http://www.mq.edu.au/research/research-centres-groups-and-facilities/resilient-societies/centres/macquarie-university-research-centre-for-agency,-values-and-ethics/contact-us>)

What are the limits of legitimate state action in a liberal state that values autonomy and ensures basic liberal rights? Can we establish principles for drawing the line between legitimate and illegitimate state action or that points out matters that the state should or should not get involved in? These are fundamental questions in contemporary Political Philosophy and even within the broadly liberal tradition we can identify two quite different camps by the way they answer this question. The anti-perfectionist camp defends a principle of restraint, saying that while the state may be justified in taking an active role in matters of justice, it has to refrain from any activity that aims at promoting conceptions of the good life or that is justified by considerations of the good. Perfectionists, on the other hand, say that no such principle of restraint should be established, even defending this thesis up to the point that "it is the goal of all political action to enable individuals to pursue valid conceptions of the good" (Raz).

Since the great majority of philosophers involved in this 'perfectionism-debate' on both sides do not discuss how the line between considerations of the good life and other issues, e.g. matters of justice, can be drawn, they seem to take for granted that the distinction is clear enough to be applicable in political theory and practice. Motivated by the fundamental role the term "conceptions of the good (life)" plays in the debate between perfectionists and anti-perfectionists, I critically discuss this line of demarcation and scrutinize if it can be spelled out clearly enough to identify two different camps in political philosophy and play a role as a guiding principle in political practice.

About Dominik:

Dominik Düber completed his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Münster in Germany in 2014, entitled "Self-determination and the good life in a democratic state: the paternalism argument against perfectionism." Since 2011, he has been a research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics at the University of Münster. He is currently working on a postdoctoral project on the division of labour.

All are welcome, no RSVP required.

Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE)
Department of Philosophy
Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
CAVE website: mq.edu.au/cave<http://cave.mq.edu.au>

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