(Plus de détails à venir/More details to come)


  • 21 sept. 2018 :

Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA) “Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals”   

10h-12h – Salle : en vidéoconférence, salle P-217, Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, (2900 Édouard-Montpetit, Université de Montréal)

Abstract :

Fifty-five years after its publication, P. F. Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” continues to inspire important work.  Its main legacy has been the notion of “reactive attitudes.”  Surprisingly, Strawson’s central argument—an argument to the conclusion that no general thesis (such as the thesis of determinism) could provide us reason to abandon these attitudes—has received little attention.  In a short manuscript, I am arguing that neither of the standard interpretations are correct.  Strawson’s argument relies on an underlying picture of the nature of moral demands and moral relationships—a picture that has gone largely unnoticed, that is naturalistic without being reductionistic, and that is, I think, worthy of serious consideration.   After very briefly presenting the main outlines of my interpretation, I will, in this presentation, focus on objections to Strawson’s underlying, naturalistic picture.  Though the objections are serious, I believe robust replies can be provided on Strawson’s behalf.


  • 12 oct. 2018 :

Dana Nelkin (University of California, San Diego) 

“Equal Opportunity: A Unifying Framework for Moral, Aesthetic, and Epistemic Responsibility”

13h-15h – Salle :W-5215 – Pavillon Thérèse-Casgrain – UQÀM- en collaboration avec Fillosophie –

Abstract :

We naturally speak about moral obligations (e.g., “you ought to have kept your promise”) and we speak about epistemic ones and even sometimes what look like aesthetic ones, too (e.g., “you ought to have known that the polls were within the margin of error” and “you should have done better with that painting”).  Similarly, we blame and praise people for epistemic and aesthetic transgressions and achievements, as well as moral ones.  For these reasons, it is natural to conclude that our moral, aesthetic and epistemic practices should be treated in highly parallel ways, at least when it comes to the realm of holding responsible, praiseworthy, and blameworthy.  At the same time, there are clear asymmetries between the moral and epistemic case, and also between the moral and the aesthetic, which might seem to doom any hope for a genuinely parallel treatment.  For example, as many have pointed out, unlike actions or omissions, which are central objects of moral obligations, praise and blame, belief does not seem to be the kind of thing one has control over.  When it comes to the aesthetic case, many have doubted that we have obligations in the way that we do in the other cases.  Further, moral blame has seemed to many to be governed by a number of interpersonal norms that don’t seem to have parallels in either the pure epistemic or pure aesthetic case.  Despite these challenges, I argue that the prospects are promising for a unifying framework that applies in all three cases while at the same time leaving room for divergence on some important dimensions.  In particular, in this paper, I pursue the idea that one’s degree of blameworthiness or praiseworthiness depends on the quality of one’s opportunity in a given case.


  • 26 oct. 2018 :

Paul Boghossian (New York University) “The Boundaries of Inference”

15h-17h – Salle : 201, S Annex (2145 Mackay), Sir George Williams Campus, Concordia University, H3N 1M8


I will look at how we should decide the question what inference is and discuss some objections to my ‘intellectualist’ and ‘agential’ conception of inference.


  • 7 déc. 2018 :

Stephanie Leary (McGill) “What is Moorean Non-naturalism?” 

10h-12h – Salle : 223 – Stone Castle – 2910 bvd Édouard-Montpetit (Université de Montréal)


Most metaethicists take the sort of non-naturalist view endorsed by Moore and his followers to amount to either a claim about identity or a claim about grounding. In this paper, however, I argue that specifying non-naturalism just in terms of identity is at best not illuminating, and specifying the view in terms of grounding either makes the naturalism vs. non-naturalism debate settled by general metaphysical considerations or fails to make room for Moore himself to count as a genuine non-naturalist. So, instead, I propose that we understand the view in terms of essence: specifically, as the claim that the essences of at least some normative properties cannot be ultimately specified in entirely non-normative terms and do not specify non-normative sufficient conditions for their instantiation. Characterizing the view in these terms most clearly captures the non-naturalist’s core pre-theoretical claims in a way that makes it a substantive, local view about normative properties and makes room for Moore.


  • 1 février 2019 :

Charles Côté-Bouchard (GRIN, CRÉ, Université de Montréal) “Varieties of epistemic constitutivism

10h-12h – Salle : 223, Stone Castle – 2910 bvd Édouard-Montpetit (Université de Montréal)


Epistemic constitutivism (EC) seeks to ground the epistemic domain in constitutive features relevant to agency. In this presentation, I examine the prospects of EC via two distinctions within the epistemic constitutivist family. The first is between what I call requirement-constitutivism (ERC) and normative-constitutivism (ENC). This distinction is about what epistemic constitutivism should try to ground. While ERC only seeks to ground the requirements (norms, standards, rules) of epistemology, proponents of ENC want to go further and ground the normative authority of those epistemic requirements.The second distinction, which draws from recent work by Kate Nolfi and Amy Flowerree, is between belief-constitutivism (EBC) and action-constitutivism (EAC). This second distinction is about what should do the grounding in epistemic constitutivism. While EBC grounds the epistemic in what is constitutive of belief, EAC invokes the constitution of action or agency more generally. My goal is to formulate and evaluate the four possible versions of EC that we get from these distinctions. I argue that all four versions of EC face serious problems. Constitutivism is therefore not a promising approach to grounding the epistemic domain.


  • 1 mars 2019 :

Barry Maguire (Stanford University)  “Ethical Desiderata for a Satisfactory Socialist Economics”

10h-12h – Salle : en vidéoconférence ; salle P-217, Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, (2900 Édouard-Montpetit, Université de Montréal)

Abstract: It has become rather old-fashioned to contrast the self-directed nature of market motives with the socialist ideal of a productive community in which each contributes according to their ability and is contributed to according to their need. A barrage of arguments from theorists in economics, psychology, political theory, and philosophy have weakened this contrast, arguing that market participation is compatible with a range of attractive kinds of social relations. In a series of papers, Robert Sugden and Luigino Bruni have argued that we can conceptualise market exchange as a joint activity undertaken together with the intention of realizing a mutual benefit. And so we can. The key question is whether this conceptualization is compatible with the relevant socialist ideal. This is the question that drives this talk. I start by strengthening Sugden and Bruni’s case, granting as many assumptions as possible to market theorists along the way. And still, I argue, there is at least one crucial difference between these two forms of economic society. In markets, our individual motivations to serve others in our productive lives are conditional upon self-directed concerns. In the socialist ideal, our motivations to serve others in our productive activities are instead directly explained by a commitment to serve our community in some useful way. We may yet be willing and able to uphold this commitment only if doing so is compatible with living a good life oneself. I explore the nature and significance of this contrast, partly by application to cases of price gouging, salary negotiations, and gentrification.



  • 5 avril 2019 :

Lisa Tessman (Binghamton University)  “Failure without Fault”

10h-12h – Salle : 307, Stone Castle – 2910 bvd Édouard-Montpetit, UdeM


People often suffer from anguish or other distressed emotions in the wake of their own moral failures. Drawing on the literature on “moral distress” (in medical ethics) and “moral injury” (in military ethics), I compare situations in which people suffer in the aftermath of what are moral failures only in their own eyes, and situations in which they suffer in the aftermath of wrongdoings for which other people, too, may hold them accountable. When a wrongdoing is completely unavoidable, people often still take themselves to be responsible for it, but other people cannot hold them responsible. The anguished sense of responsibility experienced in the wake of unavoidable wrongdoing expresses an important form of valuing, that, I suggest, other people should respect by refraining from pushing the sufferer to relinquish it. To better understand this, I examine both the first-person experience of being required and the sense of requirement experienced from what, following Darwall, we can call the second-person standpoint. I take first-person experiences of requirement and second-person address to be two different sources of normativity, associated with opportunities for different kinds of failures.


  • 9 avril 2019 :

Caroline T. Arruda (University of Texas)  Sticking to it and Settling: Commitments, Normativity and the Future”

10h-12h – Salle : C-1017-02, Carrefour des Arts et des Sciences, 1er étage, Pavillon Lionel-Groulx – 3150, rue Jean-Brillant, UdeM


People often think that commitments are designed to secure various aspects of the way we exercise our agency over and through time. These include the following: commitments help us to resist temptation (Holton 2009; Marušić 2015 ); commitments block re-deliberation (Bratman 2004; 2016; 2018 Hinchman 2015; Holton 2009); commitments help us to do what we correctly think that we are unlikely to do (Marušić 2015 ); commitments ensure (or provide one route by which to ensure) the diachronic stability of our intentions or decisions (Morton 2013; Morton & Paul forthcoming). Broadly speaking, we can say that commitments are a source of what we might broadly classify as agential stability. Or, more simply, commitments explain how and why I should “stick to it” or “settle” on a course of action. In this paper, I argue that paradigmatic cases of commitments reveal that commitments themselves cannot nor could not provide any of these kinds of agential stability. Instead, I show that if commitments serve any of these functions, it is in virtue of their relationship to what we care about, what has import for us or what we value. If this is correct, it follows that it isn’t the commitment that does the work in explaining why we should “stick to it”; it is the reasons that we have to form the commitment in the first place.

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