Digest Week 8 Hilary Term 2023

HT23, Week 8 (5th-11th March)

If you have entries for the weekly Digest, please send information to admin@philosophy.ox.ac.uk by midday, Wednesday the week before the event. 

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


General Linguistics Seminar

Hosted by Víctor Acedo-Matellán and Daniel Altshuler

Title: Raising and answering questions in discourse

Speaker: Hannah Rohde (University of Edinburgh)

The seminar will take place at 5:15pm in Room 2 of the Taylorian Institute



Hegel Reading Group

We shall be meeting on Tuesdays 6-7.30 pm on Skype; please email louise.braddock@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for the Skype link.

This term and the next we are reading Hegel’s Anthropology, in the ‘Philosophy of Mind’ (translation is by Wallace and Miller) but we will work from the Michael Inwood revision (OUP 2007). We are starting (in 1st Week) from para 377, eventually getting to the end at para 412 (we will not read the Zuzatse in the sessions).

The reading is posted each week on hegelinoxford.wordpress.com


Gadfly Reading Group

focusing on the writings of Plato

Meet on Tuesdays during term time, 7:30pm at St John’s College

Reading: TBC

“I am the gadfly of the Athenian people” - Socrates, in Plato’s Apology 

The Gadfly Club was founded because we believe that dialogue is the principal and most effective method of understanding ourselves and the world around us. We thus read Plato’s dialogue not just as a model of dialogue, nor only for his philosophical insights; we use his dialogues as a springboard to discuss the real and living problems they present. This is why, after an hour or more of live-reading, we head to the only place friends and philosophers must go – the pub!

We encourage all – especially those who don’t consider themselves ‘students of philosophy’ – to come and join us, hoping to remain true to the main desire of the OSM – that of stimulating inter-disciplinary engagement. 


Objectionable Obligations

Speaker: Sophia Moreau

Time: 3pm to 4.30pm

Venue: Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Suite 1, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe’s Street, Oxford, OX1 1PT, (Buzzer no. 1)

Can someone be bound by a moral obligation and yet at the same time have a moral complaint about being so bound?  That is, there is something that they ought, all things considered, to do, for moral reasons.  And yet, we and they feel that they have a moral complaint about being the one who is bound to do it: it is unfair that they, and not others, should bear the burden of having to do or attend to whatever this obligation requires.  This is what I shall call an “objectionable obligation.”  Do such obligations exist?  Is this idea even coherent? And if it is, what follows from this fact? These are the questions I shall address in this talk.  I shall try to show that in many commonplace situations, our intuitive reaction is that someone has both a moral obligation and a moral complaint about it.  For instance, systemic discrimination, properly understood, involves not just a collective failure to attend to our non-objectionable obligations to subordinated groups, but also the imposition on subordinated groups of objectionable obligations.  However, moral theories such as consequentialism and contractualism seem to leave no conceptual space for such obligations.  If I am right that we need to be able to recognize such obligations, this casts doubt on these theories --and on any theory that aspires to moral completeness, purporting to provide a single procedure for determining what we owe to others that captures all morally relevant considerations.



BOOK LAUNCH: The Meaning of Mourning

Edited by Mikołaj Sławkowski-Rode

Thursday 9 March 5pm – 6:30pm

Main Aula, Blackfriars Hall, St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LY

With contributions from Lesley Chamberlain; Richard Conrad O.P.; John Cottingham; Douglas Davies; Matthew Dougherty; Amber Leigh Griffioen; Cathy Mason; Balázs M. Mezei; Anthony O'hear; Colin Murray Parkes; Roger Scruton; Mikolaj Slawkowski-Rode; Alexander Stoddart; Eleonore Stump; Raymond Tallis; Jerry Valberg

Refreshments will be served.




Jaeggi Reading Group

Text: Rahel Jaeggi, Alienation, trans Neuhouser/Smith (Columbia UP, 2014). German editions 2005/2016: Entfremdung.

The English text is available electronically via SOLO.

Friday 1.30-3.00pm HT 2023 Weeks 1 to 8

Venue: Worcester College, Le May Seminar Room


Webinar on ‘Human Rights & Climate Action’ 

The Smith School is organizing an online panel discussion webinar titled ‘Human Rights & Climate Action’ on Friday 10th March between 10:30-11:30 GMT. For more information and booking details please visit: https://talks.ox.ac.uk/talks/id/7b83a6b1-a3ef-4f12-87bb-6e9890b4d20e/.


Oxford Forum Hybrid Event: Panel Discussion

Tackling Crises in Healthcare and Mental Health: New Perspectives from Humanities and Social Sciences

Friday 10th March, 16:30

Stanford House, 65 High St, Oxford (in-person and online)


Professor Jonathan Wolff (Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, Governing Body Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford): ‘Music therapy and mental health’

Dr Valter Piedade (Psychiatrist, Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences, São Paulo São Paulo): ‘Addressing injustices in a new paradigm of mental health’

Professor Guilherme Messas (Professor of Psychiatry, Head of the Postgraduate Program on Phenomenological Psychopathology, Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences, São Paulo): title (tbc)

Dr Alexandra de Herbay (Psychiatrist, University Hospital of Strasbourg) and Dr Roxana Baiasu (Associate Member of the Philosophy Faculty, Seminar Leader for the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Stanford University in Oxford; Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Institute for Mental Health, University of Birmingham): ‘Uncertainties and responses to crises in healthcare and mental health’

Zoom link: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/96806135271?pwd=WWRVU05tcktMTmtrd090dE04dW14QT09

Password: 487615

Oxford Forum Conveners: Dr Roxana Baiasu and Professor Stephen Mulhall

For more information please contact: Roxana.Baiasu@philosophy.ox.ac.uk