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Victor Moberger: J. L. Mackie om rättvisa och rättigheter

Tid Onsdag 13 september, 2023 kl. 13:15 - 15:00
Plats HUM.H.119 (HD108)

Högre seminariet i filosofi bjuder in till seminarium med Victor Moberger. Seminariet har den engelska titeln "J. L. Mackie on Justice and Rights". 

Abstract (på engelska): At the time of his death in 1981, J. L. Mackie left behind a number of unpublished manuscripts. Several of these were published posthumously in two volumes in 1985 (Logic and Knowledge and Persons and Values). Mackie also left behind a book-length manuscript on political philosophy, entitled Theories of Justice and Rights, which is now forthcoming with OUP (edited by Jonas Olson and myself). In the manuscript, which was written in the late 1970s, Mackie puts forward a unique right-based approach to political philosophy, while also criticizing rival views, especially those of John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and Ronald Dworkin. Interestingly, Mackie’s arguments often draw heavily on the metaethical conclusions from his earlier book Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. In the talk I will outline Mackie’s right-based view and then zoom in on his critique of Rawls. Due to Rawls’s explicit adoption of the method of reflective equilibrium, Mackie finds in A Theory of Justice two basic lines of argument: a ‘forward argument’ and a ‘backward argument’. The forward argument moves from highly theoretical considerations concerning fairness and the shape of the original position to Rawls’s two principles of justice, and then on to more specific conclusions about societal institutions. The backward argument moves in the opposite direction, from more specific claims about a just society to the two principles, and then all the way back to the original position. Mackie argues that both of these arguments fail. I will focus specifically on the forward argument, where Mackie’s critique can be summarized as follows: (i) The ‘main idea’ of a hypothetical contract agreed to from behind a veil of ignorance is not a reliable guide to justice. (ii) Contrary to Rawls’s intention, this ‘main idea’ supports and justifies adoption of a principle of average utilitarianism, rather than of the two principles of justice. (iii) The priority of basic liberties, as Rawls developed it, is neither plausible in itself nor supported by Rawls’s arguments.

Observera att seminariet ges på engelska. Alla intresserade är välkomna att delta!

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