Digest Easter Vacation 2023

This page lists all Philosophy-related events taking place throughout the Easter vacation.


Notices - other Philosophy events, including those taking place elsewhere in the university and beyond

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Royal Institute of Philosophy (Oxford) Lecture: The politics of AI: How AI risks to undermine democracy

Speaker: Mark Coeckelbergh

The 5th Royal Institute of Philosophy (Oxford Brookes) lecture this year is on 21 March and Mark Coeckelbergh will be discussing The politics of AI: How AI risks to undermine democracy. It's to be held in the Clerici Learning Studio CLC1.12, 5.30 - 6.45 on the Oxford Brookes Headington campus. To reserve a place and for details of the event click here.

The political impact of AI is a timely concern, not in the least because of cases such as Cambridge Analytica and language models that lead to worldwide political discussion. Focusing on AI and democracy, this talk connects the dots and gives an overview of the problems guided by some concepts from political philosophy and epistemology. It is argued that AI risks to undermine some of our most fundamental democratic principles and values and creates problems for the knowledge base needed for democracy.

Mark Coeckelbergh is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vienna and ERA Chair at the Institute of Philosophy in Prague, where he sets up a new centre for environmental and technology ethics. He was member of the High-Level Expert Group on AI of the European Commission and is the author of numerous books including Growing Moral Relations, New Romantic Cyborgs, Introduction to Philosophy of Technology, AI Ethics, Robot Ethics, Self-Improvement, and The Political Philosophy of AI.


Ethox Seminar: 1:00 – 12:30

Title: The moral value of diversity. An intersectional ethical analysis of diversity and discrimination in medicine and health care

Speaker: Dr Merle Weßel,  Postdoctoral researcher, Ethics in Medicine, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg and Caroline Miles Visiting Scholar, Ethox Centre

Abstract: People with diverse identities often face injustice and discrimination due to their marginalised political and social status, which can negatively impact their physical and mental health. The poor health of marginalised people frequently cumulates over their lifetime based on an unhealthy living environment, lack of access to good nutrition and clean water, physical labour, and unequal access to health care. Further, in health care and medicine, they can experience unequal access and treatment and injustice in the context of diagnosis and health outcomes. Their experience of discrimination is based on multiple structural factors and is not adequately addressed in current debates on justice in medicine and health care.

The Black feminist theory of intersectionality is a tool to analyse and understand multidimensional structural discrimination based on unequal power structures that are not visible in one-dimensional approaches to discrimination, such as sexism, racism, or classism. Medical ethics has only recently discovered intersectionality as useful approach.

In this talk, I propose intersectionality as a helpful tool to address the injustice and discrimination of people with diverse identities in medicine and health care. I analyse notions of social justice and responsibility by Iris Marion Young, approaches to feminist justice in health care by Susan Sherwin as well as intersectionality how a diversity-sensitive approach to just medicine and health care should look like to address diverse needs and prevent discrimination. With the help of the example of the injustice older diverse people experience in the context of addressing their care needs, I demonstrate the relevance of old age in context of medical ethics and intersectionality. In this way I contribute to discourse on good ageing as well as intersectionality from an ethical point of view.

This will be a hybrid seminar in the Richard Doll Building, Rosemary Rue Meeting Room. If you will join online, please register here.



Practical Ethics and Law Lecture: 'Does non-commitment undermine the hypocrite’s standing to blame?'

Speaker: Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen

3pm to 4.30pm, Friday, 21 April 2023, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Suite 1, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe’s Street, Oxford, OX1 1PT, (Buzzer no.1)

According to an influential account of standing to blame, hypocritical blamers lack standing to blame in virtue of their lack of commitment to the norm etc. to which they appeal in their blame. While this account has several attractive features, it is not, so I argue, clear what exactly commitment to a norm in the relevant standing-affecting sense amounts to. First, I show how three prominent accounts of commitment differ importantly and point to several unresolved issues regarding the nature of commitment that must be addressed in any more fully worked-out commitment account. Second, I argue that, however these unresolved issues are dealt with, the commitment account has the wrong shape to account for why hypocrites lack standing to blame - it appeals to a monadic property of the blamer and not to a pairwise comparison of blamer and blamee. Third, building on the lessons of that critique I propose a novel account of what undermines standing to blame - the comparative fairness account. This differs from the commitment account and the other prominent account of why hypocrites lack standing to blame: the moral equality account. Finally, I observe that, intuitively, lack of commitment undermines standing to blame and that many hypocrites might lack standing for that reason (also). Moreover, typically the hypocrite’s omission to address their own fault is a feature in virtue of which, other things being equal, the hypocrite is less committed to the norm in question. These two observations provide the basis for an error theory of why the commitment account has been seen by many as an appealing account of why hypocrites lack standing to blame, despite the account’s inability to explain why qua hypocrite a blamer lacks standing to blame. 



Deadline to Register for Questioning ‘Western Philosophy’ Conference: 12 April 2023

Questioning ‘Western Philosophy’: Philosophical, Historical, & Historiographical Challenges 

28th April–30th April 2023 (In-person & Online Attendance)

Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre Worcester College, University of Oxford

The Conference will take place in-person at Worcester College, Oxford, on 28th April (14:00-17:30), 29th April (9:00-18:30), and 30 April (9:00-18:30). In Person: A limited number of tickets for in-person attendance (which includes a drinks reception on Friday 28th, and coffee/tea and lunch on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th) can be purchased here. Online: Alternatively, it is possible to register to watch the conference remotely in real time. To register to receive the link for the livestream recording, please complete this form. For more information about the Conference please click here.