SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

On Griffin's Personhood Account: The Agent-Restriction
(Political Philosophy & Philosophy of Law, English)

Although Griffin's On Human Rights (2008) makes for an intriguing piece of work, I argue that he is inconsistent and mistaken about the set of cases which constitutes infringements on the right to liberty. More specifically, I argue that "the agent-restriction" is mistaken in precluding "large-scale economic or social events" and that his conception of the restriction and its implications exhibits an inconsistency with respect to the claim that infringement implies moral criticism -- which I show to underlie his discussion. The argument is foremost based on cases discussed by Griffin, concerning structural (potential) infringements of liberty -- such as a child's paucity of options as a native member of a fundamentalist community, or society's culturally-historically moral ignorance with respect to same-sex couples' right to marry -- which plausibly lack an appropriate blameworthy agent as perpetrator; sometimes even lack an appropriate agent. Implicitly, I suggest that agent-produced events may constitute violations of liberty, without there being any agent with sufficient control as to render the agent culpable for the violation. The talk also include a short general presentation of Griffin's theory of human rights, more thoroughly on the right to liberty -- in order to make the argument available for the unfamiliar reader.

Chair: Martina Valkovic
Time: 10:00-10:30, 14 September 2018 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.007

Anton Emilsson 
(Lund University, Sweden)

Anton Emilsson, aspiring philosopher, part-time dock worker; currently pursuing a M.A. in Practical Philosophy at Lund University (Sweden), where he also earned his Bachelor, titled: "On the Appeal to Individual Indifference with respect to Anthropogenic Global Climate Change". Focused on Political Philosophy, problems concerning (individual as well as collective) Responsibility and Blame, and Climate Ethics -- especially, the intersection of the interests, the political responsibility of the unstructured global community for the (current and expected) harm of climate change.

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