The Practical, the Political and the Ethical seminar series

The Practical, the Political and the Ethical seminar series
6 February 2018, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


Roger Crisp (Oxford)

Against Partial Benevolence

Many believe that we have reasons to benefit others. It is natural to think that, other things equal, if we have such reasons, we should benefit others impartially and as much as possible. But when are other things not equal? Many believe also that we have reason to give priority to our kin, to our friends and others with whom we have social or political relationships, or to our benefactors. This paper argues that these relationships have no significance in themselves, though there are almost certainly derivative impartial reasons to take them into account. The argument proceeds on the basis of examples  illustrating the lack of normative significance in each of these different relationships.

The Institute of Philosophy hosts a regular workshop series entitled ‘The Practical, the Political, and the Ethical’. The series was created in 2015 by Véronique Munoz-Dardé (UCL) and Hallvard Lillehammer (Birkbeck) in order to discuss work in progress from visiting speakers. This year the series is convened by Véronique Munoz-Dardé (UCL) and Amanda Greene (UCL). The seminar generally meets on alternate Tuesdays from 5.30 to 7.30pm in the spring and summer terms. Talks are normally 50 minutes (no pre-circulation of the paper), followed by discussion. All are welcome. 


Institute of Philsophy
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