Harming to Help? Pattison on the Ethical Dilemma of Economic Sanctions

By Sophie Baumert How should we respond to injustice abroad? On the international level, it is difficult to hold actors accountable who are responsible for harmful actions. If a state persecutes minorities within its borders, or is on the brink of developing nuclear weapons, how can others motivate it to change its behaviour? Much is […]

Kieran Oberman – Killing and Rescuing: The Case for Revising Necessity

PTRG: 16 May 2018   Killing is justifiable if it is necessary.  If killing is unnecessary, it is unjustifiable and therefore wrong.  Then, a question is: When is killing necessary or unnecessary?  Oberman addresses this question in relation to the act of other-defence: When is killing someone necessary or unnecessary to defend others against death?  […]

Elizabeth Cripps – If having children is bad for the environment, what should parents do about it?

PTRG: 4 April 2018 Summary of the paper: One’s decision to have children, or to become a parent, has negative environmental impact.  The birthing of children results in an increase in the global population, and ultimately in additional ecological burdens.  Admitting this, Liz asks: Do individuals, at least in the affluent class, have a moral […]

Dr Clare Chambers – The Neutralist Dilemma

PTRG – 28th March 2018 This week the Political Theory Research Group welcomed Dr Clare Chambers of the University of Cambridge to discuss her paper, ‘Reasonable disagreement and the neutralist dilemma: Abortion and circumcision in Matthew Kramer’s Liberalism with Excellence.’ By tracing the logical implications of the liberal state’s commitment to neutrality, the paper subtly […]

Prof Daniel Butt – Should carnivores let their children eat meat?

PTRG: 8 Feb 2018 We are delighted to have invited Prof Daniel Butt from Oxford University as the presenter for last week’s Political Theory Research Group seminar.  Dan presented the paper ‘Should carnivores let their children eat meat?’. The argument and the underlying assumptions There is a morally significant reason why a parent, vegetarian or […]