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Podcast Profile: Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

podcast imageTwitter: @ethicsinthenews
132 episodes
2009 to 2023
Average episode: 49 minutes
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Categories: Ethics • Talk/Seminar Series

Podcaster's summary: A selection of seminars and special lectures on wide-ranging topics relating to practical ethics. The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics was established in 2002 with the support of the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education of Japan. It is an integral part of the philosophy faculty of Oxford University, one of the great centres of academic excellence in philosophical ethics.

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:08 UTC. Episodes: 132. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2023-Nov-09 • 46 minutes
Morality and Personality
Professor Predrag uses a comparison of money and morality to explore the mutual relationship between morality and personality. To clarify the tension that exists between morality and personality, Cicovacki opens his talk by comparing the development of the money economy and morality. Money and morality play a similar function with respect to social interactions: they make most diverse things commensurable and impose the rules that should have universal validity, regardless of to whom they apply. Personality...
2023-Mar-13 • 31 minutes
Is AI bad for democracy? Analyzing AI’s impact on epistemic agency
Professor Mark Coeckelbergh considers whether AI poses a risk for democracy n this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar Cases such as Cambridge Analytica or the use of AI by the Chinese government suggest that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) creates some risks for democracy. This paper analyzes these risks by using the concept of epistemic agency and argues that the use of AI risks to influence the formation and the revision of beliefs in at least three ways: the direct, intended manipulation of beliefs,...
2023-Feb-02 • 45 minutes
Shallow Cognizing for Self-Control over Emotion & Desire
In the first St Cross Special Ethics Seminar of 2023, Dr Larry Lengbeyer explores 'shallow cognizing' as a form of self-control Shallow cognizing is a familiar but overlooked practice of self-control, typically initiated without conscious intention, that enables us to short-circuit potential upwellings of emotion and desire in ourselves. We will consider the range of contexts in which the practice is manifest, speculate about its roots in the compartmentalized structure of our cognitive systems, ponder its...
2022-Nov-09 • 49 minutes
The Moral Machine Experiment
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Dr Edmond Awad discusses his project, the Moral Machine, an internet-based game exploring the ethical dilemmas faced by driverless cars. I describe the Moral Machine, an internet-based serious game exploring the many-dimensional ethical dilemmas faced by autonomous vehicles. The game enabled us to gather 40 million decisions from 3 million people in 200 countries/territories. I report the various preferences estimated from this data, and document interpersonal differ...
2022-Jun-20 • 49 minutes
Hope in Healthcare
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Professor Stephen Clarke the role of hope in patients undergoing major healthcare procedures, and how it relates to decision-making in situations of risk and uncertainty. It is widely supposed that it is important to imbue patients undergoing medical procedures with a sense of hope. But why is hope so important in healthcare, if indeed it is? We examine the answers that are currently on offer and show that none do enough to properly explain the importance that is oft...
2022-May-16 • 68 minutes
Against Legalizing Female 'Circumcision' of Minors
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Dr Brian Earp argues that all medically unnecessary genital cutting of non-consenting persons should be opposed on moral and legal grounds. Defenders of male circumcision increasingly argue that female ‘circumcision’ (ritual cutting of the clitoral hood or labia) should be legally allowed in Western liberal democracies even when non-consensual. In a recent article, Richard Shweder (2021) gives perhaps the most persuasive articulation of this argument to have so far a...
2021-Nov-24 • 53 minutes
Vaccine policies and challenge trials: the ethics of relative risk in public health
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Dr Sarah Chan outlines some risks arising from the deliberate infection of human participants to infectious agents for research purposes In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Dr Sarah Chan explores three key areas of risk in ‘challenge trials’ – the deliberate infection of human participants to infectious agents as a tool for vaccine development and improving our knowledge of disease biology. Dr Chan explores a) whether some forms of challenge trials cannot be et...
2021-Nov-22 • 36 minutes
Do We Need Mental Privacy? The Ethics of Mind Reading Reloaded
Marcello Ienca discusses moral and legal issues surrounding the decoding – ‘mind reading’ - of brain activity In the 1990s, following rapid advances in the use of technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), an ethical debate arose around the concept of 'mind reading': the possibility of decoding a person's mental states (including their conscious experience) based on quantitative measurements of their brain activity. This debate concerned the moral and legal status of information abou...
2021-Jun-08 • 44 minutes
Waiver or understanding? A dilemma for autonomists about informed consent
Professor Gopal Sreenivasan delivers a New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar on the topic of Informed Consent. This talk develops a novel argument to show that prospective research subjects can validly consent to participate in a study without understanding (most of) the content of the required disclosure. Its point of departure is the right subjects standardly have to waive (most of) the investigator’s duty to disclose. Things get worse for autonomy based defences of informed consent because this right to wa...
2021-May-24 • 53 minutes
Fighting diseases of poverty through research: Deadly dilemmas, moral distress and misplaced responsibilities
A New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, with Professor Maureen Kelley. Much of global health research occurs against the backdrop of severe, intersectional and structural vulnerabilities, where susceptibility to disease and early death are driven by poverty, and related factors such as political conflict and climate change. Global health research priorities over the last two decades have been shaped by a small number of high income country institutions, with political commitments informed largely by the ‘glo...
2021-Mar-01 • 39 minutes
Towards a plasticity of the mind – New-ish ethical conundrums in dementia care, treatment, and research
A New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar with Dr David M Lyreskog. It is no exaggeration that the philosophical and ethical dimensions of age-related cognitive decline and dementia have been discussed for millennia, nor is it without reason. To this day, we struggle with understanding and dealing with the conceptual and ethical complexities which these conditions give rise to. And yet, we keep encountering new problems, challenging us to again rethink our relationship with neurodegenerative disease, cognitive...
2021-Jan-27 • 45 minutes
The Neuroscience of a Life Well-Lived
Professor Morten L. Kringlebach explains how recent advances in neuroimaging offer an insight into hedonia and eudaimonia, and draws out implications for neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent advances in whole-brain modelling have helped stratify the heterogeneity of anhedonia across neuropsychiatric disorders, and the key underlying components of the pleasure network. I will show how modelling of neuroimaging data from diverse hedonic routes such as psychedelics, meditation and music could potentially offer n...
2020-Nov-23 • 48 minutes
Affect, Value and Problems Assessing Decision-Making Capacity
MT20 New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar with Assoc. Professor Jennifer Hawkins Valid informed consent to treatment requires that the person giving consent have decision-making capacity or (what amounts to the same thing) must be mentally competent. To date the most influential model for both conceptualizing what capacity is, and for assessing it clinically, is the “four abilities model” developed by Thomas Grisso and Paul Appelbaum. Despite its popularity, however, this framework is flawed. It not infreque...
2020-Oct-14 • 89 minutes
Conscience Rights or Conscience Wrongs?: Debating conscientious objection in healthcare
Alberto Giubilini and David Jones trade views and argue each other's position on conscientious objection in healthcare In this unusual online debate, Alberto Guibilini (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics) and David Jones (The Anscombe Bioethics Centre) adopt each other's position on conscientious objection, arguing for the opposing view in an attempt to explore not only the subject, but the very nature of disagreement and discussion.
2020-Jun-19 • 56 minutes
Choosing Now for Later: Precedent Autonomy and Problem of Surrogate Decision-Making After Severe Brain Injury
Recording of the New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar on surrogate decision-making after severe brain injury. Patients with ‘covert awareness’ may continue to have values and an authentic sense of self, which may differ from their past values and wishes, despite lacking decision-making capacity in the present. Accordingly, surrogate decision-makers should make decisions based on how the patient is likely to experience their condition in the present, rather than their past wishes and values.
2020-May-11 • 83 minutes
Medically Assisted Dying in Canada: from where we’ve come; to where we’re heading
In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Professor Arthur Schafer outlines the current contours of the Canadian euthanasia debate. In June of 2016 the Canadian Parliament passed legislation (Bill-14) legalizing MAiD: medical assistance in dying. Subject to various restrictions, both mercy killing and medically assisted suicide are now legal in Canada. The contours of the Canadian euthanasia debate will be described, with special focus on the ethical issues that remain most controversial. Two salient Can...
2020-Feb-17 • 40 minutes
Why is mental healthcare so ethically confusing? Clinicians and institutions from an anthropological perspective
In this talk, Neil Armstrong uses ethnographic material of NHS mental healthcare to raise some questions about autonomy, risk and personal and institutional responsibility. Neil Armstrong's research investigates mental health. He is particularly interested in how the institutional setting shapes so much of mental healthcare. His research aims to find ways that we might improve healthcare institutions rather than just focussing on developing new healthcare interventions. He is also concerned with methodologi...
2019-Dec-02 • 32 minutes
Hornless Cattle - is Gene Editing the Best Solution?
In this talk, Prof. Peter Sandøe argues that, from an ethical viewpoint, gene editing is the best solution to produce hornless cattle. There are, however, regulatory hurdles. Presented at the workshop 'Gene Editing and Animal Welfare, 19 Nov. 2019, Oxford - organised by the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, funded by the Society for Applied Philosophy. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;
2019-Nov-13 • 31 minutes
Blockchain, consent and prosent for medical research
Respecting patients' autonomy is increasingly important in the digital age, yet researchers have raised concerns over the barriers of access to medical data useful for data-driven medical research. Respecting patients and their autonomy, a primary obligation of medical professionals, is increasingly important in the digital age. Yet biomedical and bioethical researchers have raised concerns over the barriers of access to previously stored medical data useful for epidemiological and other data-driven medica...
2019-Nov-04 • 56 minutes
Genetic Selection and Enhancement
Professor Julian Savulescu and Dr Katrien Devolder discuss the use of genetic testing to select which children to bring into the world. Should we use genetic testing to choose which children to bring into the world, and if so, how should we choose? Is it acceptable to choose a deaf child? Should we choose our children on the basis of non-disease traits such as intelligence or fitness, if we can? Does genetic selection put too much pressure on prospective parents? In this interview with Katrien Devolder (Oxf...
2019-Oct-07 • 47 minutes
From Eugenics to Human Gene Editing: Engineering Life in China in a Global Context
In November 2018, a Chinese scientist announced the birth of the world’s first gene-edited babies and sparked outrage across the world. Professor Nie considers how China's complex socio-ethical approach paved the way for this controversial experiment. Among numerous ethical issues, editing heritable germline genomes of otherwise healthy embryos for natural resistance to HIV constitutes an effort of positive eugenics, i.e. not treating disease but enhancing genetic features. This paradigm case of scientific ...
2019-Jun-20 • 53 minutes
Freedom of Political Communication, Propaganda and the Role of Epistemic Institutions in Cyberspace
Professor Seumas Miller defines fake news, hate speech and propaganda, discusses the relationship between social media and political propaganda. In this article I provide definitions of fake news, hate speech and propaganda, respectively. These phenomenon are corruptive of the epistemic (i.e. knowledge-aiming) norms, e.g. to tell the truth. I also elaborate the right to freedom of communication and its relation both to censoring propaganda and to the role of epistemic institutions, such as a free and indepe...
2019-Jun-19 • 43 minutes
One Minute in Haditha: Neuroscience, Emotion and Military Ethics
In this special lecture, Professor Mitt Regan discusses the latest research in moral perception and judgment, and the potential implications of this research for ethics education in general and military ethics training in particular. In November 2005, an improvised explosive device destroyed a vehicle in a US Marine Corps convoy, killing one man and seriously injuring another. Less than a minute later, Sergeant Frank Wuterich saw five unarmed Iraqi men standing by a car about fifteen meters away. The men w...
2019-May-01 • 44 minutes
Religion, War and Terrorism
In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Professor Tony Coady argues that religion does not have an inherent tendency towards violence, including particularly war and terrorism. There is a widespread belief amounting almost to a cultural assumption in many influential circles that assigns to religion and religious difference an inherent tendency to violence. In this talk, Professor Coady highlights misleading implications and confusion between religious war and terrorism, particularly the ways in whic...
2019-Mar-26 • 56 minutes
The Ethics of Stress, Resilience, and Moral Injury Among Police and Military Personnel
Professor Seumas Miller sets out how the use of lethal and coercive forces may erode moral character and cause moral injury. According to leading psychiatrist Jonathan Shay whose patients are US war veterans, “Moral injury is an essential part of any combat trauma that leads to lifelong psychological injury. Veterans can usually recover from horror, fear and grief so long as ”what’s right” has also not been violated”. The focus of this paper is on moral injury in both military combatants and police officers...
2019-Mar-04 • 41 minutes
Is there a Moral Problem with the Gig Economy?
Is 'gig work' exploitative and injust? In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Daniel Halliday examines the common concerns from an ethical perspective. Recent advances in communication economy have created new ways for consumers to access service labour. Those who own the platforms associated with these services typically do not employ their workers, but treat them as freelance or 'gig' workers. This has led to a popular complaint that gig work is exploitative or otherwise unjust, and that the platfo...
2019-Feb-12 • 51 minutes
The Salvation Agenda: The Politics of Medical Humanitarianism During Zimbabwe's Cholera Outbreak 2008/09
In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Simukai Chigudu examines the humanitarian politics of responding to the most catastrophic cholera outbreak in African history. The paper demonstrates how humanitarian relief operations are riven by competing claims to leadership, authority and legitimacy but often converge on the ineluctable logic of saving lives - 'the salvation agenda'. Nevertheless, the paper contends that the exigency of saving lives in this case did not, and could not, address the background...
2018-Nov-06 • 52 minutes
Political Bioethics
How should members of a liberal democratic political community, open to value pluralism, decide bioethical issues that generate deep disagreement? Reasoned debate will not often generate an answer equally accepted to all participants and affected persons. One political means of reaching binding because authoritative decisions are majoritarian democratic institutions. Its core feature is proceduralism, the notion both that no rule is acceptable apart from a formal method, and that the acceptable method yield...
2018-Oct-23 • 81 minutes
Global Legal Epidemiology: Developing a Science Around Whether, When and How International Law Can Address Global Challenges
Professor Steven Hoffman discusses legal mechanisms available for coordinating international responses to transnational problems, their prospects, and their challenges. Global legal epidemiology is the scientific study of international law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and promotion of outcomes around the world. It involves evaluating the effectiveness of international legal mechanisms on the basis of their quantifiable effects and drawing implications for the development of future treaties. Prof...
2018-Oct-08 • 55 minutes
Fake News and the Politics of Truth
Fake news spread online is a clear danger to democratic politics. One aspect of that danger is obvious: it spreads misinformation. But other aspects, less often discussed, is that it also spreads confusion and undermines trust. In this talk, I will argue that it is this last aspect that captures the most pernicious effect of fake news and related propaganda. In particular, I’ll argue that its effectiveness is due in part to a curious blindness on the part of many users of social media: a kind of semantic bl...
2018-Jun-19 • 46 minutes
Minds Without Spines: Toward a More Comprehensive Animal Ethics
In this OUC-WEH Joint Seminar, Irina Mikhalevich argues that the moral status of invertebrate animals is often overlooked, and sets out why animal ethics should be more inclusive and comprehensive. Invertebrate animals account for approximately 95% of all extant species and an astounding 99.9% of all animals on Earth, ranging from the sessile and brainless sea sponge to social-learners such as bumblebees and flexible problem-solvers like the common octopus. Despite this diversity, these animals are commonly...
2018-Jun-19 • 41 minutes
Rethinking 'Disease': A Fresh Diagnosis and a New Philosophical Treatment
In this OUC-WEH Joint Seminar, Russell Powell explores the concept of 'disease' Despite several decades of debate, the concept of disease remains hotly contested. The debate is typically cast as one between naturalism and normativism, with a hybrid view that combines elements of each staked out in between. In light of a number of widely discussed problems with existing accounts, some theorists argue that the concept of disease is beyond repair and thus recommend eliminating it in a wide range of practical m...
2018-Jun-11 • 70 minutes
Cost-benefit analysis
In this special lecture, Professor Matt Adler argues that social welfare function is a better methodology than cost-benefit analysis. Cost-benefit analysis has become the dominant methodology for assessing governmental policy. It has given rise to a vast academic literature, and is now officially required as part of the policymaking process in a number of governments. But cost-benefit analysis is flawed. It lacks firm normative foundations and is biased toward the rich. In this talk, I describe and defe...
2018-Jun-08 • 37 minutes
Sleep softly: Ethics, Schubert and the value of dying well
An inter-disciplinary collaboration on music, mortality and ethics. In 1824, ill and conscious of his own mortality, Franz Schubert incorporated a theme from one his earlier lieder “Der Tod und das Mädchen” (Death and the Maiden) into a new string quartet. Schubert’s emotive musical treatment of Claudius’ poem evokes the intense conflict between struggle and acceptance in the face of death. Medical professionals, especially those who work in palliative care, often have considerable experience of dying and d...
2018-May-21 • 55 minutes
The Future of Mobility: How and why will we transport ourselves in the next decades
Digitisation has entered the mobility arena. The car has evolved from a mechanical device into a “data producing embedded software platform”, and the internet is quickly linking the supply and demand to effectively fulfil our transport needs. Just like every industry that is confronted with digitisation, changes in mobility come faster than most traditional players can prepare for. Yet, with all unpredictability that comes along with disruption there are some fixed rules that one can prepare for. This makes...
2018-Feb-19 • 47 minutes
Brain-machine interfaces and the translation of thought into action
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Dr Tom Buller reflects on the causal relationship between movement goals and bodily awareness and challenges the idea that BMI-enabled movement and intentional bodily movement are equal actions. Individuals who have suffered a significant loss of motor function as a result, for example, of spinal cord injury are now able to regain a degree of sensorimotor control through the use of a brain-machine interface (BMI). A BMI decodes intact neural signals to extract volunt...
2018-Feb-06 • 39 minutes
Collective inaction and group-based ignorance
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Anne Schwenkebecher discusses morally wrongful collective inaction and the problem of group-based ignorance. Some of the many things that we could do together with others but fail to do are morally wrongful inactions. While the list of our – individual and collective – non-actions is infinite, not everything that I (or we) fail to do is some form of inaction that is plausibly attributable to me (or us). ‘Collective inaction’ is the unintended failure of two or more ...
2017-Nov-13 • 40 minutes
Sacred Values and the Sanctity of Life
OUC-Ethox Seminar. Steve Clarke discusses Ronald Dworkin's account of sacred values in his work 'Life's Dominion' and furthers the argument that the assertion 'life is sacred' is tenable by both liberals and conservatives. In his Life’s Dominion (1993) Ronald Dworkin developed an original approach to understanding public debates between liberals and conservatives about the morality of abortion and euthanasia. Conservative opponents of abortion and euthanasia usually invoke the ‘sanctity of life doctrine’ an...
2017-Nov-13 • 41 minutes
On Moral Experts
A St Cross Special Ethics Seminar. Professor John-Stewart Gordon focusses on the question of whether moral experts must follow their own expert advice in order to remain experts. The lively topic of whether moral expertise and moral experts exist has been vividly discussed in recent contributions in ethics and, particularly, in bioethics. I hold the view that moral expertise exists and that some moral philosophers can be considered as moral experts in the full sense, who have moral expertise, while some a...
2017-Jul-05 • 50 minutes
Double Seminar on Biomedical Technology and Moral Bioenhancement
In this double seminar, Erasmus visitors Laurentiu Staicu and Emanuel-Mihail Socaciua discuss the rise of biomedical technology and some of the legal issues of moral bioenhancement 'The rise of postmedicine: some ethical concerns regarding biomedical technology'. Traditional medicine is bound by a moral duty to treat patients with compassion and to combine all medical interventions and treatments with caring as a fundamental attitude toward the patient. That's because the patient is seen as a person who nee...
2017-Jun-29 • 44 minutes
Aiming for Moral Mediocrity
In this talk, Eric Schwitzgebel considers whether it's acceptable to aim for peer-relative mediocrity. Most of us aim to be morally mediocre. That is, we aim to be about as morally good as our peers, not especially better, not especially worse. This mediocrity has two aspects. It is peer-relative rather than absolute, and it is middling rather than extreme. We look around us, notice how others are acting, then calibrate toward so-so. This is a somewhat bad way to be, but it's not a terribly bad way to be. ...
2017-Jun-27 • 38 minutes
Solving the Replication Crisis in Psychology: Insights from History and Philosophy of Science
In this episode, Brian Earp discusses the 'Reproducibility Project' and questions whether psychology is in crisis or not. In a much-discussed New York Times article, psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett claimed, “Psychology is not in crisis.” She was responding to the results of a large-scale initiative called the Reproducibility Project, published in Science magazine, which appeared to show that the results from over 60% of a sample of 100 psychology studies did not hold up when independent labs attempted to ...
2017-Jun-06 • 83 minutes
Murder or a Legitimate Medical Procedure: the Withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition & Fluids from a Patient in a Persistent Vegetative Condition
In this talk, Professor John Paris asks "What is the historical meaning of "ordinary means" to sustain human life? And what has been the understanding for over 500 years of Catholic moral analysis of the obligation to sustain life?" Is it, as Pope John Paul II insisted in an allocution to a meeting of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life in March, 2000 that food and water must always be provided for patients in a persistent vegetative condition (PVS). Artificial nutrition and fluids, he writes, are n...
2017-Mar-08 • 41 minutes
Autism and Moral Responsibility: Executive Function and the Reactive Attitudes
Professor Richman's talk combines differing theories of models of autism and moral responsibility, and explores the practical implications arising from these ideas. Although criteria for identifying autism have been established based on behavioral factors, researchers are still exploring and developing models to describe the cognitive and affective differences that lead to the known behaviors. Some of these models offer competing ways of understanding autism; some simply describe characteristics of autism. ...
2017-Feb-23 • 56 minutes
The Neuroscience of Moral Agency (Or: How I Learned to Love Determinism and Still Respect Myself in the Morning)
In this public lecture, Dr William Casebeer discusses neuroscience, human agency and free will. The findings of neuroscience are often used to undermine traditional assumptions about the nature of human agency. In this talk, I sketch out a compatibilist position which leverages a neo-Aristotelian concept of “critical control distinctions”—rather than talking about whether agents freely will actions, a more consilient vocabulary asks whether agents were in control or out of control when the action was taken...
2016-Nov-23 • 20 minutes
Implicit Bias and Racism
Paper presented by Neil Levy at the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 22 minutes
The Contribution of Neuroethics for Responsible Management Education
Paper presented by José Félix Lozano Aguilar at the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 25 minutes
Neurointerventions to Prevent Crime and the Problem of Unjustified Incarceration
Paper presented by Katrien Devolder at the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 23 minutes
The New Problem of Personal Force in Morality
Paper presented by Emilian Mihailov at the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 18 minutes
Can we Dissociate Reason from Feelings? Ten Critical Philosophical Questions to Greene's Dual Process Theory
Paper presented by Javier Gracia and Andrés Richard at the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 18 minutes
Moral Reasoning is Not Like a Dog's Tail: A Critical Analysis of Social Intuitionism's Two Illusions of Moral Deliberation
Paper presented Pedro Jesús Pérez Zafrilla the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 21 minutes
Homo reciprocans from Neuroscience: a limited reciprocity. A criticism from neuroethics
Paper presented by Elsa González Esteban at the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 18 minutes
No pain, no praise: motivational enhancement and the meaning of life
Paper presented by Julian Savulescu at the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop. Exploring various themes in neuroethics, the MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics showcased the wealth of philosophical research at Valencia and Oxford.
2016-Nov-23 • 50 minutes
Uehiro-Carnegie-Oxford Lecture in Practical Ethics 2016
Human Rights, Global Ethics and the Ordinary Virtues Professor Michael Ignatieff of the Central European University, delivers the 2016 Uehiro/Carnegie/Oxford lecture, titled: Human Rights, Global Ethics and the Ordinary Virtues
2016-Nov-22 • 15 minutes
What if Kant were a designer?
Constantin Vică presents work in the MT16 Oxford-Bucharest Work in Progress Workshop Speakers from Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and Bucharest University’s Research Centre in Applied Ethics (CCEA) will present work in progress on a range of themes in applied ethics. In this episode, Constantin Vică of Bucharest University asks 'What if Kant were a designer?'.
2016-Nov-22 • 24 minutes
Designing for conviviality
Cristina Voinea presents work at the MT16 Oxford-Bucharest Work in Progress Workshop. Speakers from Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and Bucharest University’s Research Centre in Applied Ethics (CCEA) will present work in progress on a range of themes in applied ethics. In this episode, Cristina Voinea of Bucharest University discusses 'Designing for conviviality'.
2016-Nov-22 • 21 minutes
Parfitian Survival and Punishing Crimes from the Distant Past
Tom Douglas' presentation at the MT16 Oxford- Bucharest Work in Progress Workshop Speakers from Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and Bucharest University’s Research Centre in Applied Ethics (CCEA) present work in progress on a range of themes in applied ethics. In this episode, Tom Douglas presents 'Parfitian Survival and Punishing Crimes from the Distant Past'.
2016-May-16 • 49 minutes
St Cross Seminar: The role of therapeutic optimism in recruitment to a clinical trial: an empirical study
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Dr Nina Hallowell discusses the importance of therapeutic optimism in clinical research. Hope, or therapeutic optimism, is an important aspect of the provision and experience of medical care. The role of therapeutic optimism in clinical research has been briefly discussed within the empirical and bioethics literature, but the concept, and whether it can be transferred from care to research and from patients to clinicians, has not been fully investigated. Interviews...
2016-Mar-17 • 47 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Cognitive Enhancement: Defending the Parity Principle
In this episode, Professor Neil Levy assesses objections to cognitive enhancement and argues that the means don't matter from a moral perspective: what matters is how the intervention affects cognition. According to the parity principle, the means whereby an agent intervenes in his or her mind, or the minds of others, is irrelevant when it comes to assessing the moral status of the intervention: what matters is how the intervention affects the agent. In this paper, I set out the case for the parity principl...
2016-Feb-23 • 60 minutes
Leverhulme Lecture 2: Moral Responsibility and Implicit Bias
The second of the two 2016 Leverhulme Lectures by Professor Neil Levy on the topic of implicit bias Should people be blamed for wrongful actions caused by implicit bias? That depends on how exactly these states cause behaviour, how appropriate it is to identify the agent with these states and their opportunities for controlling their influence over their behaviour. I argue that under many circumstances, the states do not belong to the agent in kind of way that makes it appropriate to identify the agent with...
2016-Feb-23 • 55 minutes
Leverhulme Lecture 1: The Nature and the Significance of Implicit Bias
The first of the two 2016 Leverhulme Lectures by Professor Neil Levy on the topic of implicit bias People who sincerely express a commitment to equality sometimes act in ways that seem to belie that commitment. There is good evidence that these actions are sometimes caused by implicit mental states, of which people may not be aware. In this lecture, I introduce these states, explore how significant a role they play in explaining behaviour, and how they can be changed. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commer...
2016-Feb-01 • 24 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Governing life: is it wrong to intervene in biological processes?
In this seminar we explore why human interventions such as euthanasia or use of biotechnologies are controversial. Is it wrong to intervene in biological processes? Human intervention in the living world gives rise to controversies where scientists are criticised for working on biotechnologies and physicians for ending life when a terminally ill patient is experiencing unmanageable suffering. This lecture will explain the perpetuation of political controversies by showing that scientific and moral assessme...
2015-Nov-18 • 46 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Justifications for Non-Consensual Medical Intervention: From Infectious Disease Control to Criminal Rehabilitation
Dr Jonathan Pugh discusses the morally permissibility of non-consensual medical interventions. Although a central tenet of medical ethics holds that it is permissible to perform a medical intervention on a competent individual only if that individual has given informed consent to that intervention, there are some circumstances in which it seems that this moral requirement may be trumped. For instance, in some circumstances, it might be claimed that it is morally permissible to carry out certain sorts of no...
2015-Jul-14 • 50 minutes
Moral Conformity
Sinnott-Armstrong is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Ethics at Duke University. In this inaugural workshop, professors from Duke University presented papers in Oxford in June 2015. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;
2015-Jun-10 • 34 minutes
St Cross Seminar: The 'New' Guestworker? Rethinking the Ethics of Temporary Labour Migration Programme
This talk probes into the ethical landscape of contemporary TLMPs in liberal democratic states, and examines issues such as migrants' rights. At the beginning of the 21st century, temporary labour migration programmes (TLMP) have (re)emerged and expanded in a number of advanced industrialised countries. TLMPs are not a new phenomenon, with the use of large-scale guestworker schemes in Western Europe and the United States during the 1950s-1960s. Advocates of contemporary TLMPs argue that ‘carefully designed’...
2015-Jun-10 • 39 minutes
St Cross Seminar: The moral insignificance of self-consciousness
In this talk, Dr Josh Shepherd examines the claim that self-consciousness is highly morally significant. Many share an intuition that self-consciousness is highly morally significant. Some hold that self-consciousness significantly enhances an entity’s moral status. Others hold that self-consciousness underwrites the attribution of so-called personhood (or full moral status) to self-conscious entities. I examine the claim that self-consciousness is highly morally significant, such that the fact that an enti...
2015-Apr-17 • 47 minutes
Brain Science and the Military
In this talk I explain the nature of national security interest in the burgeoning field of neuroscience and its implications for military and counter-intelligence operations. Professor Jonathan Moreno (University of Pennsylvania). Jonathan D. Moreno is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where he is one of fifteen Penn Integrates Knowledge professors. At Penn he is also Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, of History and Sociology of Science, and of Phil...
2015-Mar-10 • 51 minutes
2015 Leverhulme Lecture (3): Marshmallows and Moderation
Is self-control a character trait or should we look to external props for self-control? There is evidence that self-control is a character trait. This evidence seems inconsistent with the management approach I advocate, since that approach urges that we look to external props for self-control, not to states of the agent. In this lecture I argue, that contrary to appearances, we should hesitate to think that people high in what is known as trait self-control have any such character trait. In fact, properly u...
2015-Mar-09 • 56 minutes
2015 Leverhulme Lecture (2): The Science of Self-Control
This lecture outlines some of the main perspectives on self-control and its loss stemming from recent work in psychology. I focus in particular on the puzzle arising from the role of glucose in successful self-control. Glucose ingestion seems to boost self-control but there is good evidence that it doesn't do this by providing fuel for the relevant mechanisms. I suggest that glucose functions as a cue of resource availability rather than fuel. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: ...
2015-Mar-04 • 39 minutes
2015 Leverhulme Lecture (1): Self-Control: A problem of self-management
Self-control problems typically arise from conflicts between smaller sooner and larger later rewards. In this lecture I suggest that we often fail successfully to navigate these problems because of our commitment to a conception of ourselves as rational agents who answer questions about ourselves by looking to the world. Despite the attractions of this conception, I argue that it undermines efforts at self-control and thereby our capacity to pursue the ends we value. I suggest we think of self-control as a ...
2015-Feb-23 • 32 minutes
St Cross Seminar: On Swearing
What, if anything, is wrong with swearing? And, what exactly are we doing when we try to swear inoffensively? I begin by reflecting on why we swear, why it is widely deemed offensive, and some of the benefits of swearing. I then turn to the widespread practice of substituting asterisks for letters (and analogous spoken strategies) in an effort to swear without causing offence, and consider what could possibly explain how such a practice succeeds (if it does) in making swear words less offensive. I argue th...
2015-Feb-04 • 67 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Mere Practicality? Infants, interests and the value of life
Dr Richard Hain, Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine, explores the difficulties in rationally explaining the value of an infant’s life. Anyone who has been present at the memorial service for an infant knows that, in practice, people accord the life of a child a special value. Those caring for infants, like those caring for children who are cognitively impaired, intuitively respond to their patients as though they were particularly precious, and feel an obligation to care for infants - that is, to...
2014-Dec-03 • 59 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Natural Human Rights: A Theory
This talk explores the central argument in Boylan's recent book, 'Natural Human Rights: A Theory' Arguing against the grain of most contemporary writers on the subject, I contend that an examination of the structure and function of human action allows one to bridge the fact/value chasm to create binding positive duties that recognize fundamental human rights claims. This theoretical argument is then suggestively applied to contemporary social and political problems in the world.
2014-Nov-14 • 47 minutes
Bioethics and the Burden of Proof
In this paper we critique a kind of argument very common in bioethical debates, in which a proponent provides a prima facie case for a particular conclusion, then claims that the burden of proof is on those that object to that conclusion.
2014-Nov-14 • 46 minutes
Implicit Moral Attitudes
Research shows that implicit moral attitudes affect our thinking and behavior. This talk reports new psychological and neuroscientific research and explores potential implications for scientific moral psychology as well as for some philosophical theories.
2014-Jun-16 • 44 minutes
Special Seminar: The enhancement debate: trusting emotion or trusting reason - a false dichotomy?
In this talk, Professor Tony Coady examines the contrast between reason and emotion and argues that much of the separation of reason and emotion that underpins the debate is misguided. In the debate about the pros and cons of human enhancement, proponents of enhancement often accuse their opponents (so-called “conservatives”) of substituting emotion for reason. In this, they are relying upon an age-old dichotomy between reason and emotion that has a long popular and philosophical history. Plato’s picture of...
2014-Jun-16 • 35 minutes
St Cross Seminar: What counts as a placebo is relative to a target disorder and therapeutic theory: defending a modified version of Grünbaum’s scheme
In this St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Jeremy Howick defends Grünbaum’s work on placebos. He outlines a need to re-examine policies on ethics of placebos, and revise our estimations of their effects in both clinical practice and trials. There is currently no widely accepted definition of ‘placebos’. Yet debates about the ethics of placebo use (in routine practice or clinical trials) and the magnitude (if any!) of ‘placebo’ effects continue to rage. Even if not formally required, a definition of the ‘plac...
2014-May-19 • 45 minutes
St Cross Seminar: "I wouldn’t have consented if I’d known that could happen": Consenting without Understanding
Tom Walker discusses autonomy and informed consent to medical treatment There are two features of consenting to medical treatment that have been little explored in the extensive literature on this topic. The first is that the requirement to obtain consent is conditional in the following sense – we only need to obtain consent for those things that are both wrong if done without consent, and that we want or have reason to do. The second is that whilst many patients in their interactions with doctors are initi...
2013-Dec-05 • 46 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: Is Networking Immoral?
If networking is considered to be either cultivating non-merit-based favouritism or demonstrating one’s merit in advance of formal selection processes, then I argue that it is an attempt to gain illegitimate advantage over competitors and is thus immoral. Networking is taken to be a perfectly innocuous part of business and career-advancement. I argue that, where the aim is to increase one’s prospects of prevailing in a formal competitive process for a job or university placement, networking is an attempt to...
2013-Dec-04 • 50 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Genetic parenthood, assisted reproduction, and the values of parental love
I argue that the value of love in friendship illuminates issues about parental love and examine whether allowing same-sex couples access to adoption has any bearing on the moral status of prohibitions on same-sex couples using assisted reproduction. An emotional liberty rationale for broad access to IVF and other forms of assisted reproduction focuses on how narrow restrictions on such access prevent prospective parents from developing forms of parental love which are distinctively valuable (apart from pros...
2013-Dec-04 • 33 minutes
2013 Wellcome Lecture in Neuroethics: The Irresponsible Self: Self bias changes the way we see the world
Humans show a bias to favour information related to themselves over information related to other people. How does this effect arise? Are self biases a stable trait of the individual? Do these biases change fundamental perceptual processes? I will review recent work from my laboratory showing that self-biases modulate basic perceptual processes; they are stable for an individual and are difficult to control; they reflect rapid tuning of brain circuits to enhance the saliency of self-related items. I discuss...
2013-Dec-04 • 49 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: Do antidepressants work and if so how?
Antidepressants are commonplace yet there is much debate about their clinical efficacy. Are they merely placebos or do they have a clinical effect on the way our brains work? In this presentation, Professor Cowen investigates the evidence. Antidepressant drugs are commonly prescribed for clinical depression but have a rather dubious public reception. Professor Ian Reid has commented that, 'antidepressants are regularly caricatured in the media as an addictive emotional anaesthetic, peddled by thoughtles...
2013-Nov-19 • 59 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: Cyborg justice: human enhancement and punishment
We explore some possible interactions between enhancement technology and punishment, reflect on ethical issues that arise as a result, and consider what our justice system must do in order to ensure that it keeps pace with developments in technology. Criminal justice systems currently employ a limited range of penal sanctions to punish offenders. The type and nature of the sanctions employed are, in large part, determined by the penal aims a particular system is designed to pursue. However, they are also sh...
2013-Nov-13 • 39 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: The struggle between liberties and authorities in the information age
The talk discusses the balance between cyber security measures and individual rights - any fair and reasonable society should implement the former successfully while respecting and furthering the latter. Defeating online insecurity is like defeating a Hydra with many heads: from e-commerce and online banking scams to malware, from hacking to cyberwar, it requires Herculean efforts to slay the Hydra. However, fighting and preventing attacks on security may easily cause serious ethical problems, since securit...
2013-Oct-23 • 48 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Neither God nor Nature. Could the doping sinner be an exemplar of human(ist) dignity?
If doping were done in a healthy and fair way, would it be OK? If so, all wrongs would lie in doping abuses involving health risks, deceit and unfairness. I argue that perhaps the doping sinner best exemplifies human dignity and existential authenticity. If doping would be done in a sufficiently healthy, candid, autonomous, wise and fair way, would doping be OK? If so, all wrongs would lie in doping abuses, namely when done with too much health risks, deceit, coercion, fecklessness and unfairness. I will br...
2013-Oct-21 • 48 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: Ethics and Expectations: Part II
The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics. Outside traditional philosophical discussion, the trolley problem has been a significant feature in the fields of cognitive science and neuroethics. You have been set the following trolley problem by a villain. There is a central track, called CONTINUE. If you do nothing, the trolley will continue down this track, and kill whomever is at the end of it, then stop. Part way along the line, there is a junction, with a lever. If you pull that lever, then t...
2013-Jul-03 • 77 minutes
Virtuous Climate Making? Towards a Virtue-Theoretic Approach to Geoengineering
Geoengineering, as a response to climate change, raises serious ethical and socio-political issues. Drawing on the latest developments in philosophy and ethics of technology and science, I consider a post-humanist way of analysing such issues. Along with mitigation and adaptation, geoengineering, i.e. "the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract anthropogenic climate change" has become increasingly visible as a third option in response to anthropogenic climate change. ...
2013-Jun-27 • 53 minutes
The Ethics of Infant Male Circumcision
In this talk, I argue that non-therapeutic circumcision of infants is unethical, whether performed for reasons of obtaining possible future health benefits, for reasons of cultural transmission, or for reasons of perceived religious obligation. In this talk, I argue that the non-therapeutic circumcision of infant males is unethical, whether it is performed for reasons of obtaining possible future health benefits, for reasons of cultural transmission, or for reasons of perceived religious obligation. I begi...
2013-Jun-18 • 86 minutes
TT13 Uehiro Seminar: Attention, Action, and Responsibility
The speaker proposes a four-step account of action, within which only two of the four steps benefit from the subject's attention, revealing a potential disconnect between the subject of experience and the morally responsible agent. There is a tendency to think of action as a relatively high-level concept, minimally requiring the input of the experiencing subject through the subject's attention. To account for the known effects of practice and skill, I propose instead a four-step account of action, within wh...
2013-Jun-18 • 36 minutes
Using Religion to Justify Violence
Exploring different ways in which the metaphysics of religious world views can be used in justifications of violence, this talk concentrates on appeals to the importance of the afterlife to justify violence. Much has been written about the relationship between religion and violence, and much of what has been written is aimed at trying to determine whether, how and why religion causes violence. In my forthcoming book The Justification of Religious Violence (Wiley-Blackwell), I pursue a different goal, whic...
2013-Jun-06 • 52 minutes
2nd St Cross Seminar TT13: Ethics In Finance: A New Financial Theory For A Post-Financialized World
The lecture describes why financial theory and teaching has ignored ethics, viewing moral values as irrelevant. We trace the reason for the neglect of ethics back to assumptions made by Modern Finance Theory, the en courant theory in finance. The neo-classical assumption that economic agents are rational profit maximizers has, over decades, become uncritically accepted as the norm and the truth about people's economic behavior in western-style capitalist economies. The lecture demonstrates how economic agen...
2013-May-30 • 52 minutes
Folk Psychology, the Reactive Attitudes and Responsibility
In this talk we first argue that the reactive attitudes originate in very fast non-voluntary processes involving constant facial feedback. In the second part we examine the supposed constitutive relation between the reactive attitudes and responsibility. This talk explores the connections between the folk psychological project of interpretation, the reactive attitudes and responsibility. The first section argues that the reactive attitudes originate in very fast and to a significant extent, non-voluntary p...
2013-May-27 • 74 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: The current laws on drugs and alcohol - ineffective, dishonest and unethical?
Nutt argues that there are serious ethical implications for a simplistic prohibitionist approach to drugs and suggests alternative strategies that might be used. The use of the law to control drug use is long established though still unproven in efficacy. Although seemingly obvious that legal interdictions should work there is little evidence to support this assertion. So for example cannabis though illegal is at some time used by nearly half of the population. Similarly drugs like ecstasy and amfetamine ar...
2013-May-22 • 116 minutes
Uehiro Special Double Seminar: Enhancement
Associate Professor Rob Sparrow (Monash) and PhD student Chris Gyngell (ANU) present talks on the topic of human enhancement. Rob Sparrow on 'Enhancement and Obsolescence: Avoiding An "Enhanced Rat Race"': A claim about continuing technological progress plays an essential, if unacknowledged, role in the philosophical literature on "human enhancement". Advocates for enhancement typically point to the rapid progress being made in the development of biotechnologies, information technology, and nanotechnology ...
2013-May-15 • 40 minutes
1st St Cross Seminar TT13: Precarious (bio)ethics: research on poisoning patients in Sri Lanka
Self-harm using poison is a serious public health problem in Sri Lanka. As part of an effort to tackle the problem, clinical trials are used to identify effective antidotes. This talk describes the conduct of trials in this unusual and difficult context. Based on ethnographic material collected in rural hospitals in Sri Lanka between 2008 and 2009, this talk outlines three subject positions crucial to understanding the complexity of such clinical trials. At one level, research participants who have taken po...
2013-May-02 • 42 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: Rescuing Responsibility from the Retributivists - Neuroscience, Free Will and Criminal Punishment
Legal punishment as the routine infliction of suffering poses a serious challenge of justification. The challenge becomes more urgent as a number of thinkers argue that the dominant, retributivist answer fails in the light of the findings of neuroscience. In this talk I sketch a general account of retributivist justification of punishment and the basic neuroscientific argument against it. I then explore ways of challenging the argument by modifying the retributivist account of responsibility and desert. I a...
2013-Apr-11 • 56 minutes
Astor Keynote Lecture: What Rights May be Defended by Means of War?
Many aims that motivate unjust wars could be achieved without violence if not met with military resistance. So is self-defense against aggression always permissible? Are the values of state sovereignty important enough to justify war in their defense? Wrongful aggressors often claim to love peace, and there is a sense in which that is true, for they would prefer to get what they want without having to fight a war. Many of the aims that motivate unjust wars could be achieved without violence: for example, ...
2013-Mar-06 • 49 minutes
Effective Philanthropy: How much good can we achieve?
How do we know when our donations are helping, and how much they are helping? Are charities roughly equally good, or are some much more effective than others? Toby Ord and Harry Shannon discuss effective philanthropy from different angles. When we make donations to good causes we are trying to help make the world a better place. But what is the best way to do this? How do we know when our donations are helping, and how much they are helping? Are charities roughly equally good, or are some much more effectiv...
2013-Mar-05 • 31 minutes
Opening the Black Box: Examining the Deliberation of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the UK and US; Second St Cross Special Ethics Seminar HT13
How best to govern the field of assisted reproductive technologies? As UK and US authorities utilise different approaches, will the disparate structures and missions of these two bodies result in significantly different answers? In the past few decades, technologically advanced, democratic societies have struggled with the question of how best to govern the field of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the American Society for Reproductiv...
2013-Mar-05 • 49 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: The Value of Uncertainty
Uncertainty and quality should be integrated into the quantitative sciences of complex systems; this talk offers some practical techniques that illustrate how this could be accomplished. The faith that truth lies in numbers goes back to the Pythagorean attempt to unify both practical and theoretical sciences. Its current manifestation is the idolisation of pre-Einsteinian physics in the quantification of social, economic, and behavioural sciences. The talk will explain how this "crisp number" mode of thin...
2013-Feb-26 • 52 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: Psychopaths and responsibility
Neil Levy explores some of the previous debates about whether psychopaths are fully responsible for their wrongdoing, especially work on the moral/conventional distinction. Psychopaths commit a disproportionate amount of crime, and seem cognitively unimpaired. They are often thought to be bad, not mad. I advance a deflationary explanation of the moral/conventional task, and argue that this explanation entails that psychopaths fail to act with the quality of will that would underwrite holding them to be full...
2013-Feb-15 • 61 minutes
Debate: The Value of Life
John Broome, the White's Professor of Moral Philosophy, debates the value of life with Jeff McMahan, focussing on McMahan's time-relative account of the value of life, which Broome has criticised. This public event was held as part of Professor McMahan's Astor Visiting Lectureship 2013. The debate was well attended, and provided a rare opportunity to bring together McMahan and Broome in to discuss a topic of enormous and wide ranging practical significance. Jeff McMahan is Professor of Philosophy at Rutg...
2013-Feb-05 • 80 minutes
1st St Cross Seminar HT13: Two Conceptions of Children's Welfare
Anthony Skelton examines possible reasons why philosophers have neglected to discuss children's welfare. After outlining and evaluating differing views, a rival account is presented. What makes a child's life go well? This paper examines two answers to this question, one put forward by Wayne Sumner in Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics and another by Richard Kraut in What is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-being. The argument of this paper is that neither view is entirely satisfactory. A better account of the...
2013-Feb-05 • 42 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: Sleep and Opportunity for Well-being
Discussing a paper co-authored with David Birks, Alexandre Erler suggests sleeping less can provide a greater opportunity for well-being. While many people today are not sleeping long enough, there is still an important minority of the population who sleeps longer than average. Even a small reduction in the number of hours a person sleeps could have a significant positive impact on how well that person's life can go. The authors propose that there is a strong reason to investigate any ways of allowing peopl...
2012-Dec-04 • 41 minutes
If I could just stop loving you: Anti-love drugs and the ethics of a chemical break-up
Emotional pain and difficulty in relationships is potentially dangerous and destructive. In this talk, I explore some of the potential uses and misuses of anti-love biotechnology from a scientific and ethical perspective. "Love hurts" - as the saying goes - and a certain degree of pain and difficulty in intimate relationships is unavoidable. Sometimes it may even be beneficial, since, as it is often argued, some types (and amounts) of suffering can lead to personal growth, self-discovery, and a range of oth...
2012-Nov-22 • 51 minutes
2012 Leverhulme Lecture 3: Religious Virtues, Democratic Virtues and their interaction in Practice
This series of lectures attempts to explore whether possible relations between some typical religious virtues, attitudes and practices and typical democratic virtues, attitudes and practices must be a source of conflict or can be mutually supportive. There seem to be several sources of anxiety about the role that religion plays or might play in the world of public democratic politics. Some concern the widespread perception that there is an inherent tendency for religion to provoke instability, conflict, eve...
2012-Nov-22 • 52 minutes
2012 Leverhulme Lecture 2: Reason, Religion and Public Discourse in a Liberal Democracy
This series of lectures attempts to explore whether possible relations between some typical religious virtues, attitudes and practices and typical democratic virtues, attitudes and practices must be a source of conflict or can be mutually supportive. There seem to be several sources of anxiety about the role that religion plays or might play in the world of public democratic politics. Some concern the widespread perception that there is an inherent tendency for religion to provoke instability, conflict, eve...
2012-Nov-22 • 48 minutes
2012 Leverhulme Lecture 1: Some Problems about Religion in the Political Sphere: the dangers of instability and violence
This series of lectures attempts to explore whether possible relations between some typical religious virtues, attitudes and practices and typical democratic virtues, attitudes and practices must be a source of conflict or can be mutually supportive. There seem to be several sources of anxiety about the role that religion plays or might play in the world of public democratic politics. Some concern the widespread perception that there is an inherent tendency for religion to provoke instability, conflict, eve...
2012-Nov-19 • 93 minutes
The bad seed: facts and values in the study of childhood antisocial behaviour
The speaker presents some recent work that has been done on children who are seen to be at risk of violence; and raises questions about the social and ethical significance of studying children in this way and for this purpose. Most societies seek to reduce the level of violence that occurs between its members and utilise social and political means to do so. There has been increasing interest in the possibilities of using psychiatric and psychological means to reduce violence; chiefly by identifying potentia...
2012-Oct-24 • 39 minutes
The Possibility of Religious-Secular Ethical Engagement Debate 1: Abortion
The Possibility of Religious-Secular Ethical Engagement: Abortion. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;
2012-Oct-23 • 39 minutes
The Possibility of Religious-Secular Ethical Engagement Debate 2: Euthanasia
The Possibility of Religious-Secular Ethical Engagement: Euthanasia. Julian Savulescu and Charles Camosy held two public debates in Michaelmas Term 2012 under the series title 'The Possibility of Religious-Secular Ethical Engagement'. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;
2012-Oct-18 • 83 minutes
Uehiro Seminar: The Ethics of Creating Designer Babies
Julian Savulescu believes that if we can genetically alter the next generation, not only should we be free to do so, it may even turn out that in some circumstances we have an obligation to go ahead and do it. The term 'designer baby' is usually used in a pejorative sense - to conjure up some dystopian Brave New World. There are already ways to affect what kind of children you have - most obviously by choosing the partner to have them with. But there are others too: a pregnant mother can improve her baby's ...
2012-Jun-20 • 59 minutes
Wellcome Lecture in Neuroethics
The brain disease model of addiction: Assessing its validity, utility and implications for public policy towards the treatment and prevention of addiction. Genetic and neuroscience research on addiction has been interpreted by leading figures in the USA as demonstrating that addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease that reflects enduring changes in brain function that are produced by sustained heavy drug use and explain the inability of addicted persons to refrain from using drugs, despite their profe...
2012-Jun-14 • 85 minutes
Counter-terrorism and its Ethical Hazards
Since the terrorist attacks by Islamic militants upon the US and UK in the early 2000s, a host of anti-terrorist measures have been introduced which raise conceptual and ethical issues that have serious implications for practical politics. Since the terrorist attacks by Islamic militants upon the United States (and Great Britain) in the early 2000s, the drive to prevent further such attacks has produced a host of anti-terrorist governmental measures, including new laws and amendments to old ones, torture, w...
2012-Jun-06 • 90 minutes
Philosophical Theory and the Justification of Terrorism
There is widespread belief that terrorism can never be morally justified, ut this belief is not widespread amongst philosophers; they offer a variety of justifications for some terrorist acts. Seminar 2 of 3 in the Series 'The Meaning of Terrorism - philosophical perspectives' Tony Coady is one of Australia's best-known philosophers. He has an outstanding international reputation for his writings on epistemology and on political violence and political ethics. Coady's best-known work, Testimony: a Philosoph...
2012-May-30 • 80 minutes
St Cross Seminar: Informing Egg Donors of the Potential for Embryonic Research
Schaefer is currently reading for the B.Phil in Philosophy at Oxford. His interests lie in moral philosophy, especially applied ethics, as well as political philosophy and personal identity and he has a background in research ethics. Human embryonic stem cell research has been a lightning rod of controversy since the first embryonic stem cell lines were derived in 1998. Most of the controversy revolves around the provenance of the lines; the derivation of cells to develop an embryonic stem cell line u...
2012-May-23 • 59 minutes
Geoengineering: Science, politics and ethics
An introduction to geoengineering, covering the broad range of issues raised by the emergence of climate engineering as a response to climate change. Why geoengineering? What has led us to the point where serious attention is now being paid to the possibility of regulating the Earth's climate system? If the structure of political systems, the power of lobby groups and the influence of denial and evasion have prevented effective measures to reduce carbon emissions, how will these same factors condition the ...
2012-May-10 • 60 minutes
The Ethics of Entertainment: a case study of Popular Cinema in China and India
Karanjeet de Feo-Giet's thesis focuses on contemporary Chinese and Indian entertainment films in Mandarin and Hindi and their roles in communicating ideas about identity and Asian-ness today. What is the value of entertainment? Is it necessarily consigned to the category of the frivolous, or can it be transformative? Should entertainment films exist at all in countries with deep social problems? Do film makers in such countries in fact have an ethical and moral obligation to produce films that address these...
2012-Apr-16 • 86 minutes
Lecture: Rumour, conspiracy theory and propaganda
David Coady is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Tasmania. He is the author of What to Believe Now: Applying Epistemology to Contemporary Issues and the editor of Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate. Rumour and conspiracy theory are closely linked in both the popular imagination and academic debate, with the rumour often portrayed as a vehicle of conspiracy theory. They are also linked inasmuch as they are both typically thought to be bad things. In this paper I will defend rumour and ...
2012-Feb-27 • 62 minutes
St Cross Seminar HT12: Cooperation, altruism and cheating in micro-organisms
Santorelli is a research fellow in the Zoology department, University of Oxford. He is interested in investigating the evolution of cooperative behaviors of macro and microorganisms. While discussions of cooperation and conflict are common in the study of animal and human societies, only within the last few decades we have realized that these acts also occur in more primitive, microscopic forms of life, such as amoebae or bacteria. The field of Sociobiology explains and investigates how social behaviour ha...
2012-Feb-08 • 34 minutes
Foundations of Rights of Access to the Benefits of Science in International Law
Professor Aurora Plomer is Chair in Law and Bioethics at the University of Sheffield. The paper retraces the historical genesis and philosophical foundations of the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress in international law in order to explore how the right may be adapted to address emerging ethical challenges in "the century of biology".
2012-Jan-23 • 53 minutes
EU ban on hESC Patents: A Threat to Science and the Rule of Law
In this talk, Professor Plomer (Chair in Law and Bioethics, University of Sheffield) argues that, from a legal perspective, the EU ban on hESC patents is seriously flawed. To her knowledge, it is the first ruling of a supranational court conferring legal protection to frozen embryos on the back of legislation formally relating to patents and in disregard of diversity of moral and legal cultures on hESC research in Europe. Professor Plomer argues that the ruling sets a dangerous constitutional precedent and...
2011-Dec-08 • 51 minutes
2nd St Cross Seminar MT11: Dr Margaret Yee
Whose Ethics? Six Principles and Six Guidelines determinative of a superior ethics. Note: due to a technical issue the first ten minutes of the presentation are missing. In this exploratory presentation it will be suggested that perplexing moral dilemmas may be resolved effectively by employing a meta-ethics, consisting of six designated principles, which are multi-dimensional, critical and inclusive, and six theologically informed guidelines. The six principles to be discussed will be concerned with whet...
2011-Sep-01 • 18 minutes
Bio-ethics Bites: Onora O'Neill on Trust
Onora O'Neill, formerly principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, has been thinking about the issue of 'trust': trust is vital in most areas of human interaction - but nowhere more so than in health and medicine.
2011-Jun-29 • 54 minutes
2nd St Cross Special Ethics Seminar TT11: Museum Ethics
Museum Ethics. The Museum world, like most professions, encounters various ethical problems. This short talk will consider the ethics of conservation and reconstruction, and of human remains, but will mostly discuss ethical problems associated with the acquisition of cultural property from other countries. Archaeologists are particularly concerned that the trade in antiquities leads to the looting of sites, and illegal export of valuable items. How far can British and American museums continue to maintain c...
2011-Jun-20 • 33 minutes
Human Rights vs Religion?
Professor Roger Trigg gives the St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Trinity Term 2011. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;
2011-Jun-01 • 24 minutes
Savulescu interview: Moral Enhancement
Nigel Warburton interviews Julian Savulescu on the topic of moral enhancement.
2011-Mar-28 • 85 minutes
Prioritarianism, Levelling Down and Welfare Diffusion
Lecture and discussion from Professor Ingmar Persson (Gothenburg University), the discussant is Derek Parfit (Oxford). Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;
2011-Mar-28 • 65 minutes
New Imaging Evidence for the Neural Bases of Moral Sentiments: Prosocial and Antisocial Behaviour
2nd Annual Wellcome Lecture in Neuroethics, given by Professor Jorge Moll on 18th January 2011 on the subject of new evidence for Neural bases for moral sentiments. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;
2011-Mar-22 • 49 minutes
Hug me daddy I hate you: the ethical challenges of a C21 business
Dr Mick Blowfield, Fellow of St Cross College, gives the second St Cross Special Ethics Seminar on The Ethical Challenges of 21st Century Businesses. We enjoy a love-hate relationship with business. We expect it to behave like a sentient ethical being, but some of the demands we make of it would tax any conventional definitions of moral acceptability. The dichotomies that result are becoming even greater because of the challenges of building prosperous economies in the C21 when business confronts the pros...
2011-Jan-24 • 61 minutes
Good Intentions and Political Life: Against Virtue Parsimony: St Cross Special Ethics Seminar
Dr Adrian Walsh delivers a St Cross College Lecture entitled Good Intentions and Political Life: Against Virtue Parsimony. It is a commonplace that the good life and the good society are intimately interconnected. In order to maximize our chances of living well, we require a well-ordered polity; and this is one of the fundamental challenges of politics. Typically we regard a good society as, amongst other things, a society that has well designed institutions. One crucial aspect of the 'design challenge' con...
2009-Aug-12 • 16 minutes
The Flipside of Scientific Freedom
Scientists have always had to contend with the idea that their research may be misused. The problem, weighing scientific freedom of inquiry against the possibility that research could be used for harm, is known as the 'dual-use dilemma'.