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Annual Ethics Lecture - Cheshire Calhoun
WhenFriday, Nov 1, 2019, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Campus locationIntellectual House (INT)
Campus roomIntellectual House
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsProgram on Ethics
Department of Philosophy
University of Washington

"Responsibilities and Taking on Responsibility"

The Program on Ethics’ Annual Ethics Lecture brings a nationally and internationally prominent expert to campus to offer a free public lecture on the ethical dimensions of an important social issue. The series promotes interdisciplinary engagement and public scholarship.

Cheshire Calhoun is CLAS Trustee Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University and chair of the American Philosophical Association’s board of officers. She works in the areas of normative ethics, moral psychology, and feminist philosophy. She has two recent books: Moral Aims: Essays on the Importance of Getting it Right and Practicing Morality with Others (OUP 2016), and Doing Valuable Time: The Present, the Future, and Meaningful Living (OUP 2018). She is series editor for Oxford University Press’s Studies in Feminist Philosophy.

There is a familiar, everyday notion of a responsibility. Much of daily life on and off the job is consumed with taking care of responsibilities in this sense. But what is a responsibility, and how are responsibilities related to obligations? Reflection on the phenomenon of taking on responsibilities suggests that the concept of ‘a responsibility’ is distinct from that of ‘an obligation,’ and that not all responsibilities are also obligations even though many are. Reflection on taking on responsibilities also suggests that one can do so badly, for example taking on too many or meddling in others’ responsibilities. I reflect briefly on the ethics of responsibility taking.
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