The Practical, the Political and the Ethical seminar series

The Practical, the Political and the Ethical seminar series
5 February 2019, 5.30pm - 7.15pm
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Is there a Right to Retire?

Dan Halliday (Melbourne/Oxford)

The idea of retirement, as traditionally understood and implemented, involves the accrual of an entitlement to exit the labour market upon reaching a certain age. While there is disagreement about how this entitlement should be designed and funded, my concern here will be with the moral foundations of the right to retire. I will examine what I take to be the most obvious candidates for these foundations and try to make some sense of them. I’ll then argue that they do not straightforwardly support the right to retire, and that the traditional conception of retirement faces some independent difficulties. More positively, I’ll argue that the relationship between aging and labour market entitlements is better captured by ideas about phased retirement. While this idea is not new, I will aim to make progress by better tying it to the moral foundations that might be thought to support the traditional view, as well as indicating how the phased approach may raise new questions and be subject to certain interesting commitments.  

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 Robert Simpson (UCL) and Joe Horton (UCL). The seminar generally meets on alternate Tuesdays from 5.30 to 7.15pm in the spring and summer terms. Talks are normally 50 minutes (no pre-circulation of the paper), followed by discussion. All are welcome.  


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