Members’ activities

Mar
9
Tue
Groupe de lecture | Reading group – Kristin Andrews, “Naïve Normativity: The Social Foundation of Moral Cognition”
Mar 9 @ 14:00 – 15:30

Groupe de lecture en éthique environnementale et animale organisé par Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) et François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Hiver 2021

#3 – Lecture de Kristin Andrews, “Naïve Normativity: The Social Foundation of Moral Cognition”, Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 2020.

Pour vous inscrire, merci de contacter Ely Mermans, coordinateurice du GRÉEA : ely.mermans@umontreal.ca

Reading group in environmental and animal ethics organized by Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) & François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Winter 2021

#3 – Reading of Kristin Andrews, “Naïve Normativity: The Social Foundation of Moral Cognition”, Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 2020.

To register, please contact Ely mermans, GRÉEA’s coordinator: ely.mermans@umontreal.ca

Mar
10
Wed
Rainer Ebert, “The dignity of subjectivity account of the wrongness of killing” (online, CRÉ’s event)
Mar 10 @ 12:30 – 13:45

As part of Les midis de l’éthique of the CRÉ, Rainer Ebert (CRÉ-GRÉEA) will give a virtual talk on “The dignity of subjectivity account of the wrongness of killing”.

Registration: valery.giroux@umontreal.ca

Abstract

Traditional morality maintains that it is as seriously morally wrong to kill one human being as it is to kill any other human being, yet less seriously wrong to kill other animals, as human beings have a special moral status and are one another’s moral equals. On another view, which has emerged more recently, the boundaries of the community of moral equals should be redrawn so as to include all and only persons, regardless of species membership. Both views, which continue to enjoy a great deal of popularity in contemporary moral philosophy, radically mark out a certain class of conscious beings for special treatment. In this talk, I will argue that doing so conflicts with our modern scientific understanding of nature, according to which all life on earth is interrelated, through evolution, and biological characteristics come in degrees. If we could look at all organisms that have ever existed at once, we would see in front of us a continuous spectrum of the properties that philosophers commonly associate with our special moral status, with no recognizable discontinuity that would recommend itself as a line of moral demarcation. As I have argued elsewhere, that is a serious problem not only for defenders of human dignity but also for Jeff McMahan and others who similarly seek to superimpose a binary morality onto living nature. One would have to define a map between the continuous spectrum of biological characteristics on the empirical side, which is messy as all of nature is, and the neatly compartmentalized world of traditional or otherwise dichotomous morality, and there is little hope that this can be done in a non-arbitrary and intuitively plausible way.

I am not the first one to note that Darwinism puts pressure on views that endorse the equal worth of all human beings or persons. Tim Mulgan and James Rachels, for example, have made essentially the same point. Both, in response, advocate consequentialism, which is one way to avoid the just-described mapping problem. Consequentialism, however, has well-known problems of its own, and I think the idea of equal human worth, arguably one of humanity’s greatest moral achievements, is well worth defending and should not be easily surrendered. I will hence propose a tenable and attractive alternative response to the tension between our modern naturalistic view of the world and binary morality, which is less radical than consequentialism in that it retains the idea that we are all equal in terms of moral worth, but also more radical in that it rejects human exceptionalism in a way most versions of consequentialism do not.

I will argue that what makes it true that you and I have equal moral worth – so that, other things being equal, it is equally wrong to kill you and me – is the fact that we share the property of having the capacity for phenomenal consciousness, on which our worth supervenes.

In developing the details of this account, I will show that it avoids the shortcomings of its alternatives. For example, I will argue that we are essentially capable of phenomenal consciousness, and that the capacity for phenomenal consciousness is best understood as a binary concept. From this, I will conclude that my account does not share the superficiality of McMahan’s morality of respect, instead affirming that moral worth is not transient but the kind of thing we have during our entire existence, and carves out of the natural world of organisms the community of moral equals along a non-arbitrary line that carries empirical significance.

While my account fits very well with how people commonly think about human beings, its implications radically diverge from popular opinion in the case of non-human animals. A review of the relevant scientific literature will show that we may reasonable assume that at least mammals and birds have the capacity for phenomenal consciousness, which makes them intrinsically valuable subjects of experience whom it is no less seriously wrong to kill as it is to kill you or me, other things being equal. I will use the last part of this talk to explore some of the implications of this for the way we eat, dress, do science, build and produce things, move around, entertain ourselves, do sports, and worship.

Mar
30
Tue
Groupe de lecture en philosophie de l’écologie – Mikkelson G. (2004)
Mar 30 @ 19:30 – 21:30

7e rencontre du Groupe de lecture en philosophie de l’écologie (via ZOOM)
(Coorganisé par Anne-Marie Boisvert, Antoine C. Dussault, Véronica Ponce)

Préinscription: boisvert.anne-marie@uqam.ca

Article à l’étude : Mikkelson, G.M. (2004). “Biological Diversity, Ecological Stability, and Downward Causation”, in by Oksanen, M. & Pietarinen, J. (eds.) (2004). Philosophy and Biodiversity, Cambridge University Press, pp. 119-130.

Ce groupe de lecture est organisé dans le cadre des activités du Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST) et du Groupe de recherche en éthique environnementale et animale (GRÉEA)

Apr
6
Tue
Groupe de lecture | Reading group – Sharon R. Krause, “Environmental Domination”
Apr 6 @ 14:00 – 15:30

 

Groupe de lecture en éthique environnementale et animale organisé par Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) et François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Hiver 2021

#4 – Lecture de Sharon R. Krause, “Environmental Domination”, Political Theory, 2019.

Pour vous inscrire, merci de contacter Ely Mermans, coordinateurice du GRÉEA : ely.mermans@umontreal.ca

Reading group in environmental and animal ethics organized by Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) & François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Winter 2021

#4 – Reading of Sharon R. Krause, “Environmental Domination”, Political Theory, 2019.

To register, please contact Ely mermans, GRÉEA’s coordinator: ely.mermans@umontreal.ca

Apr
27
Tue
Groupe de lecture en philosophie de l’écologie – Bryant R. (2012)
Apr 27 @ 19:30 – 21:30

8e rencontre du Groupe de lecture en philosophie de l’écologie (via ZOOM)
(Coorganisé par Anne-Marie Boisvert, Antoine C. Dussault, Véronica Ponce)

Préinscription: boisvert.anne-marie@uqam.ca

Article à l’étude : Bryant, R. (2012). “What if Communities are not Wholes?”, in Kabasenche, W.P. et al. (eds.), The Environment: Philosophy, Science, and Ethics, MIT Press, pp.37-56.

Ce groupe de lecture est organisé dans le cadre des activités du Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST) et du Groupe de recherche en éthique environnementale et animale (GRÉEA)

May
18
Tue
Groupe de lecture | Reading group – Val Plumwood/Robert Sessions
May 18 @ 14:00 – 15:30

Groupe de lecture en éthique environnementale et animale organisé par Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) et François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Hiver 2021

Lecture de deux textes :

#5 – Val Plumwood “Nature, Self, and Gender: Feminism, Environmental Philosophy, and the Critique of Rationalism”, Hypathia, 6(1), 1991.

#6 – Robert Sessions, “Deep Ecology versus Ecofeminism: Healthy Differences or Incompatible Philosophies?”, Hypathia, 6(1), 1991.

Pour vous inscrire, merci de contacter Ely Mermans, coordinateurice du GRÉEA : ely.mermans@umontreal.ca

Reading group in environmental and animal ethics organized by Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) & François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Winter 2021

Reading of two papers:

#5 – Val Plumwood “Nature, Self, and Gender: Feminism, Environmental Philosophy, and the Critique of Rationalism”, Hypathia, 6(1), 1991.

#6 – Robert Sessions, “Deep Ecology versus Ecofeminism: Healthy Differences or Incompatible Philosophies?”, Hypathia, 6(1), 1991.

To register, please contact Ely mermans, GRÉEA’s coordinator: ely.mermans@umontreal.ca

May
25
Tue
Groupe de lecture en philosophie de l’écologie – Blandin T. (2007) & Wilson D. S. (1988)
May 25 @ 19:30 – 21:30

9e rencontre du Groupe de lecture en philosophie de l’écologie (via ZOOM)
(Coorganisé par Anne-Marie Boisvert, Antoine C. Dussault, Véronica Ponce)

Préinscription: boisvert.anne-marie@uqam.ca

Articles à l’étude :

  • Blandin, T. (2007). « L’écosystème existe-t-il? Le tout et la partie en écologie », in Martin, T. (2007). Le tout et les parties dans les systèmes naturels, Paris, Vuibert. pp.21-46.
  • Wilson, D.S. (1988). “ Holism and Reductionism in Evolutionary Ecology”, Oikos, 53, 2, pp. 269-273.

Ce groupe de lecture est organisé dans le cadre des activités du Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST) et du Groupe de recherche en éthique environnementale et animale (GRÉEA)

Jun
15
Tue
Groupe de lecture | Reading group – Lorraine Code, chap. à définir | to be added
Jun 15 @ 14:00 – 15:30

Groupe de lecture en éthique environnementale et animale organisé par Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) et François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Hiver 2021

#7 – Lecture de Lorraine Code, Ecological thinking: The politics of epistemic location, Oxford University Press, 2006. – chapitre à définir.

Pour vous inscrire, merci de contacter Ely Mermans, coordinateurice du GRÉEA : ely.mermans@umontreal.ca

Reading group in environmental and animal ethics organized by Juliette Roussin (Université Laval) & François Jaquet (CRÉ) – Winter 2021

#7 – Reading of Lorraine Code, Ecological thinking: The politics of epistemic location, Oxford University Press, 2006. – chapter to be specified. 

To register, please contact Ely mermans, GRÉEA’s coordinator: ely.mermans@umontreal.ca