The Practical, the Political and the Ethical seminar series

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


Thomas Pink (KCL)


Scepticism about practical reason


What is Hume’s scepticism about practical reason really about? The paper argues that modern commentators, notably Christine Korsgaard, misunderstand the problem that Hume’s scepticism addresses. That scepticism addresses a complex crisis in the theory of normativity initiated by the essentially destructive work of Hobbes. The crisis involves two issues: the role and nature of the direction provided by ethical standards, and the kinds of power – of capacities to produce outcomes – involved in ethical life. This crisis is still unresolved.

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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