Saturday, June 30, 2007
I don't know when the final closure happens, and I can't be bothered to make the special trip into town, but any bargain hunters in the area may want to check for closing down sales...
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I'm playing too, but - as usual - I lost in three sets to Pavel tonight. Between us, we did manage to (mis)hit a few good shots, but it was the final game that summed things up. Serving for the match, Pavel confidently predicted at 15-0 'just three more points'. Well, I not only took him to deuce, but even two break points. His victory finally game after we'd both closed to the net, I smashed a volley right at him, and his winning shot was literally no more than a block...
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Dr. S. Matthew Liao from the Program on the Ethics of the New Biosciences would like to invite you to participate in a summer reading group on Frances Kamm's new book Intricate Ethics, which will take place online at www.ethics-etc.com.
Each week, a commentator will provide a summary of a chapter and some points for consideration. The post will then be open for discussion, and we welcome your thoughts on any aspect of the chapter. Please register yourself on the blog.
The Kamm Reading Group is in part sponsored by the Program on the Ethics of the New Biosciences, and aims a) to help launch Ethics, Etc as one of Britain's first group ethics blogs; and b) to provide a service to the philosophical community on Kamm's important book. Professor Kamm will give the Uehiro Lecture in 2008. So do join us for the discussions and let your colleagues know about this event.
The schedule is as follows:
Chapter 1 July 6 S. Matthew Liao (Oxford) Nonconsequentialism
Chapter 2 July 13 Toby Ord (Oxford) Aggregation and two moral methods
Chapter 3 July 20 Daniel Star (ANU) Intention, harm, and the possibility of a unified theory
Chapter 4 July 27 David Wasserman (Yeshiva) The doctrines of double and triple effect and why a rational agent need not intend the means to his end
Chapter 5 Aug 3 Dan Moller (JHU/Maryland) Toward the essence of nonconsequentialist constraints on harming : modality, productive purity, and the greater good working itself out
Chapter 6 Aug 10 Nir Eyal (Harvard) Harming people in Peter Unger's Living high and letting die
Chapter 7 Aug 17 Guy Kahane (Oxford) Moral status
Chapter 8 Aug 24 Nick Shackel (Oxford) Rights beyond interests
Chapter 9 Aug 31 Rebecca Roache (Oxford) Conflicts of rights: a typology
Chapter 10 Sept 7 Neil Levy (Melbourne & Oxford) Responsibility and collaboration
Chapter 11 Sept 14 Tom Douglas (Oxford) Does distance matter morally to the duty to rescue?
Chapter 12 Sept 21 Thom Brooks (Newcastle) The new problem of distance in morality
Chapter 13 Sept 28 Julian Savulescu (Oxford) Peter Singer's ethical theory
Chapter 14 Oct 5 Michael Otsuka (UCL) Moral intuitions, cognitive psychology, and the harming/not-aiding distinction
Chapter 15 Oct 12 Mark Sheehan (Oxford) Harms, losses, and evils in Gert's moral theory
Chapter 16 Oct 19 Gerald Lang (Leeds) Owing, justifying, and rejecting
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Well, it looks like I'm teaching three tutorials on human rights for the St Hugh's Summer School. I'll be posting syllabus/reading list info here for ease of access. Feel free to make use of what I suggest and/or recommend additions.
Topic 1: What are 'human rights'?
For the first essay, I think we should focus on what rights there are and, to some extent, why. Think of the various things we are often alleged to have rights to - anything from security of the person, to free speech, to paid holiday, and ask whether these are really human rights. Things to think about include the distinction between legal and moral rights, what is 'natural' or 'human' about them, and what it is that gives us these rights. Write an essay (at least 1,000 words, to be brought with you) addressing some or all of these questions.
I assume you won't have access to many books now (you will be able to use the library when you get here). Therefore I'll concentrate on some online resources, and your own thoughts. Feel free, of course, to draw on other sources you're aware of, e.g. contemporary newspaper discussion or from human rights groups like Amnesty International, however beware that a lot of material on the internet is not necessarily credible - the online encyclopaedia articles given below (unlike, say, Wikipedia) are written and reviewed by academics.
First, familiarise yourself with the UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which can be found online, e.g.: http://www.un.org/rights/50/decla.htm
Then read these general overviews:
J. Nickel (2006) 'Human Rights' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
L. Wenar (2005) 'Rights' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
A. Fagan (2005) 'Human Rights' The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Other useful internet resources:
Human Rights Library <http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/>
Human Rights Internet <http://www.hri.ca/index.aspx>
If you do have access to a decent source of books, you might want to look now at:
J. Rawls (1999) The Law of Peoples (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP)
M. Freeden (1991) Rights (Open University Press)
A. Gewirth (1982) Human Rights (Chicago: University Press)
J. Nickel (2006) Making Sense of Human Rights 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell)
T. Pogge (2002) World Poverty and Human Rights (Cambridge: Polity)
B. Orend (2002) Human Rights: Concept & Context (Peterborough, Ont: Broadview)
J. Waldron (1984) Theories of Rights (OUP)
These aren't essential just yet - but I'm sure we'll look at some of them
later in the course...
Today I received an email with the final proofs in PDF format, for any last minute essential corrections. Hopefully these will be few or any, but I also have to complete and sign various forms dealing with copyright, offprints, etc and then fax it all back in the next few days. Looks like the thesis will have to wait another day...
It was nice to be addressed 'Dear Dr/Prof Saunders' though!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Sadly, although this promised much - including Lost Prophets taking on 'Davidian', Soulfly covering 'Beautiful People' and YourCodeNameIs:Milo offering their version of 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer' - my first impression was that this was very disappointing, with most of the bands opting for very faithful covers. Usually, this merely highlights the fact they're not as good as the originals - something particularly evident in The Automatic's attempt at Faith No More's 'Epic'. Kudos to Lost Prophets for a reasonable, if faithful, stab at a Machine Head classic and Bring Me The Horizon for at least making Slipknot's 'Eyeless' even heavier...
Oh, and for some reason the magazine's love affair with Bullet For My Valentine, Funeral For A Friend and Fightstar continues, all of whom present and correct once again.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I'd signed in for high table in Jesus, which was the last chance for me, Leigh, Steve and Rhiannon. Even though there were seven of us altogether, we ate in the SCR rather than the hall, which is often nicer (it's easier to talk to people round a small table than lined up along one side of a big one), but slightly disappointing that twice this week I failed to get my last meal on the actual high table.
After dinner, I headed up to Milan's post-exam BBQ. I was disappointed to find I'd missed a game of football, and being stuffed from crisps at the earlier party before high table I didn't eat anything. Nonetheless it was and enjoyable time, and we hung around talking in his very nice garden until around midnight, at which point someone suggested going on to Baby Love and I decided to make an exit.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Unfortunately, we couldn't stop too long as we went to see Jay Wallace give the snappily-titled Dasturzada Dr Jal Pavry Memorial Lecture on The Deontic Structure of Morality (paper here). Too be honest, I wasn't too impressed, but then I'm not sure I followed too well - I wasn't clear what this deontic structure was, or the importance of the fact that some of his examples of discretion seemed to be self-regarding cases. It became clear during the questions that whatever his aim was it was rather minimal in any case.
I'd been thinking I hadn't been out to dinner much this term, not with the moral philosophy seminar or political theory research seminar, nor with Peter Singer or the Nuffield seminar. There was a dinner with Jay Wallace, but Jonas, Brian and I went back to Brasenose and caught the end of the party then went to Zizzi's for dinner.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
I didn't know many people there, but it was quite a nice time. Possible highlight was being introduced to someone by Rachele saying something along the lines of 'Ben, this guy knows what that says on your t-shirt [Cyclefly] and likes them. Sometimes he wears t-shirts like you too, but today he's dressed normally'!
Luckily my Tesco veggie burgers also barbecued fine, even from slightly frozen - unlike Dunlaith's Indian quarter pounders, which only fell apart even more than under the grill, and consequently ended up uneaten.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Gerrard was England's best player in a holding midfield role, while Lampard was poor once more on the international stage as the attacking force. The balance, at least, looked better, but this was more a tribute to Gerrard's brilliance and adaptability than signs of a genuine, workable partnership between the pair. Once Owen Hargreaves is fit... [McLaren] should drop Lampard, give Gerrard the attacking role, and use Hargreaves as the holder... not for the first time, Gerrard emerged as England's best player once the effect of the glitz and the flashlights had worn off.
I couldn't say it better myself, and it really is about time McLaren realised it too.
My team for Estonia (based on who's fit):
Carragher, King, Terry, Bridge
Beckham, Gerrard, Carrick, J Cole
With one of Dyer, Bentley or Defoe added in some kind of attacking midfield/striker role...