Maggie O’Brien –‘Easy for You to Say,’

Because it is ‘easy for you to say,’ are you any more or less justified to speak on specific topics? In her thoughtful and well-written paper, ‘Easy for You to Say,’ Edinburgh’s Maggie O’Brien explores this curious issue. She does so first by looking at the case of Zadie Smith, an apparently beautiful and accomplished […]

Kieran Oberman – Border Rescue

Kieran’s paper raised the pressing concern with the states’ moral responsibility for the deaths of migrants trying to cross borders. In particular, it asked whether the receiving states have a special duty to rescue migrants at borders, a duty that goes beyond the more general reasons to assist people in need. In answering this question, […]

Mihaela Mihai – The ‘Banal’ Resister’s Silence: Impurity, Complicity, Ambivalence

What is the dominant public image of the political hero and why should we challenge this public image? Mihaela Mihai’s paper “The ‘Banal’ Resister’s Silence: Impurity, Complicity, Ambivalence” addresses these questions. In several literatures including history, cultural studies, social psychology and literary studies a political hero is commonly characterized as a solitary figure who voluntarily […]

Humanitarian intervention and intellectual due diligence

War is one of the most harmful activities that humans can undertake. It is widely recognised that the bar for the normative justification of war is correspondingly high. It is less often argued that we have a special epistemological burden to do our due diligence before undertaking war, to do our best to ascertain reliable […]

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 […]