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Next meeting of the Ethics Reading Group

June 12 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The first half of the SU22 ethics reading party will wrap up this Sunday June 12th at 5:30pm, with the fourth meeting held by Zoom. But it’s not too late to participate! The reading party will discuss John McDowell’s (1979) paper, ‘Virtue and reason‘. Here is a modified abstract:

It is natural to think of ethics as a branch of philosophy whose primary topics are the concepts of right conduct and of the nature and justification of principles of behavior. If there is a place for an interest in the concept of virtue, it is a secondary place. Virtue is a disposition—perhaps of a specially rational and self-conscious kind—to behave rightly. Thus, the nature of virtue, if explained at all, is explained from the outside in (so to speak). This paper outlines a different perspective, which harks from the philosophical tradition of Aristotle’s ethics. According to my alternative, engaging in ethical reflection still concerns the question How should one live?; but it should be approached via the conception of a virtuous person. Hence, the concepts of right conduct and the nature and justification of principles of behavior are analyzed from the inside out (so to speak).

Note that, if you have just read the above abstract, you have nearly read the entire first section of the paper already. See, easy! So, come join along for discussion.

The following weekend, the reading party will turn toward deontological views in normative ethics. Volunteers are invited to lead the discussion on Christine Korsgaard’s (1989) paper, ‘Kant’s analysis of obligation: the argument of Foundations I‘. For questions, please contact organizer Yahui Chen.


June 12
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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Yahui Chen