The Practical, the Political and the Ethical seminar series

The Practical, the Political and the Ethical seminar series
19 February 2019, 5.30pm - 7.15pm
Room 102 (the Philosophy Seminar Room) in 19 Gordon Square (UCL)


Duties to the Dead: is Posthumous Mitigation of Injustice Possible?


Zofia Stemplowska (Oxford)


** Please note the unusual venue for this seminar. **


Is it ever possible to mitigate any of the past injustice that was done to the living but who are no longer alive? Much valuable ink has now been expended on arguing about what might be owed to the living on account of past injustices. Much less focus has been paid to the question of what might be owed at the bar of justice to the dead. In this paper I advance an argument that does not rely on the possibility of posthumous benefit or harm. I argue that it is possible to mitigate some injustice done to those who are no longer alive. As a result, the living will sometimes have duties to the dead to mitigate some of the injustice they suffered while alive.


- March 5: Hilary Greaves (Oxford), “The Case for Longtermism”

- March 19: Campbell Brown (LSE), “Temporal Approaches to Defining the Valence of a Life”

- April 30: Susanne Burri (LSE). “Morally Permissible Risk Imposition and Duties of Care”
- May 14: Megan Blomfield (Sheffield), “Climate Responsibilities and Background Injustice”

- May 28: Johann Frick (Princeton), “Moral Dilemmas and Moral Outcome Luck”

- June 11: Matthew Adler (Duke), “Prioritarianism: a Response to Critics”

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.  


Institute of Philsophy
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