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Upcoming MA Defenses
On Regan’s Solution to the Moral Problem of Animal Predation
August 12th, 2020, 1.30pm - via Zoom
Supervisor: Chelsea Rosenthal
Second reader: Bruno Guindon
Abstract: In my paper, I aim to critique Tom Regan’s response to the moral issue of animal predation. Contrary to his ambition of showing that we do not have a duty to intervene with animal predation, Regan’s response actually leaves us with such an obligation. In fact, Regan’s response leads to what many would consider to be a radically counter-intuitive obligation: we ought to intervene on behalf of the predator in many predator-prey conflicts. As we will see, Regan's response to the moral issue of predation is importantly built on the putative competence of wild animals. But if my argument succeeds, I would have shown that the burden is on Regan to either come up with a plausible conception of competence, which I suggest he has not offered us, such that all wild animals would be competent in their conflicts or come up with a new, non-competence-based, strategy in order to resolve the moral issue of predation. At best, Regan's solution is incomplete. At worst, Regan's solution is self-undermining.
Credibility as a Distributive Good
Monday, August 17 via Zoom - 2 p.m.
Supervisor: Endre Begby
2nd Reader: Chelsea Rosenthal
Abstract: The credibility that one is given plays a central role in determining the degree to which one is allowed to participate in the production and distribution of social goods. Miranda Fricker (2007) sheds light on the injustice of credibility deficit in her conception of testimonial injustice. This conception, however, views credibility excess as irrelevant to the injustice in question. In this paper, I investigate features of credibility as a good and argue that it falls within the purview of distributive justice. In doing so, I demonstrate that excesses of credibility do create corresponding deficits, making them relevant to the question of testimonial injustice. Accordingly, I offer an understanding of testimonial injustice that accommodates the distributive nature of credibility while being consistent with Fricker's broader aims.