Value Theory Discussion Group

Approximately once a month, the value theorists in the department get together for a reading group to discuss an article or book chapter. This includes faculty and graduate students and sometimes visiting professors who are in the area. The discussion is always well-attended and lively. A sample of our past and future meeting topics:

  • Nov 2006: David Velleman, "Motivation by Ideal"
  • Dec 2006: Jim Griffin, Chapter 9 ("Liberty") from his draft ms, On Human Rights
  • Jan 2007: Christopher Peacocke, "Moral Rationalism"
  • Feb 2007: Steve Darwall, selections from The Second-Person Standpoint
  • Mar 2007: Michael Bratman, "A Desire of One's Own"Apr 2007 (with Steve Darwall): Derek Parfit,
  • Chapter 15 ("Consequentialism") from his draft ms, Climbing the Mountain
  • Oct 2007: Tamar Shapiro, "The Nature of Inclination"
  • Nov 2007: Frances Kamm, "Responsibility and Collaboration"
  • Dec 2007: Tim Scanlon, Chapters 1 and 2 ("Permissibility and Intent") from his draft ms, Moral Dimensions
  • Feb 2008: Joshua Gert, "Normative Strength and the Balance of Reasons"
  • Mar 2008 (with Peter Railton): Peter Railton, "Aesthetic Value, Moral Value, and the Ambitions of Naturalism"
  • Apr 2008: David Velleman, "The Guise of the Good"
  • May 2008: Ronald Dworkin, “Objectivity and Truth: You Better Believe It” and Sharon Street, "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Rethink It"
  • Sep 2008 (with Michael Bratman): Michael Bratman, "Intention, Practical Rationality, and Self-Governance" draft
  • Oct 2008 (with Jason Stanley): John Hawthorne and Jason Stanley, "Knowledge and Action"
  • Nov 2008: Michael Otsuka, "Incompatibilism and the Avoidability of Blame"
  • Feb 2009: Kieran Setiya, “Sympathy for the Devil”
  • Mar 2009: Holly Smith, “Subjective Rightness”
  • Oct 2009: (with Robert Goodin): Robert Goodin, "Demandingness as a Moral Virtue"
  • Nov 2009: Gideon Rosen, "Culpability and Ignorance"
  • Dec 2009:  (with Andrew Sepielli): Andrew Sepielli, draft ms, "Evidence, Rationality, and Disagreement.
  • February 2010: (with Jeff McMahan) Jeff McMahan, draft ms, "The Just Distribution of Harm Between Soldiers and Civilians"
  •  April 2010: (with Laura Valentini) Laura Valentini, draft ms, "The Idea of Human Rights:  Between Normative Theory and Discursive Practice"
  •  May 2010: (with Oscar Horta) Oscar Horta, draft ms, "Questions of Priority and Interspecies Comparisons of Happiness"

Invited Guest Presenters For The 2010-2011 Academic Year: John Broome, Jonathan Dancy, David Enoch, Tom Hurka, Peter Railton

Recent and Upcoming Conferences

Upcoming Conferences

  • The Institute for Law and Philosophy Symposium on Amartya Sen’s The Idea of Justice (Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th, 2011) at the Rutgers University School of Law-Camden

Recent Conferences

  • The Rutgers Philosophy Department Conference on “Rights,” held in honor of James Griffin’s On Human Rights (April 2009)
  • The Institute of Law and Philosophy conference on “Ignorance of Law” (November 2009) at the Rutgers University School of Law-Camden
  • The Institute of Law and Philosophy Symposium on Michael S. Moore’s Causation and Responsibility: An Essay in Law, Morals, and Metaphysics (Oxford 2009) at the Rutgers University School of Law-Camden.

Values-Related University Centers and Institutes

  • The Rutgers-Camden School of Law Institute for Philosophy and Law works to advance knowledge and understanding of philosophically significant legal topics, both in normative legal theory and in analytical jurisprudence. It is designed to extend the acknowledged excellence in philosophical inquiry at the University by bringing together the strengths of the Camden Law School and New Brunswick Philosophy Department. The Institute hosts conferences and roundtables for discussion of issues of contemporary importance.  See for more information. 
  • The Center for Cultural Analysis sponsors interdisciplinary themed seminars, graduate courses, and working groups to address problems that lie across the traditional disciplines of the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.  The topics of these activities often overlap with the interests of philosophers, and the activities have incorporated both philosophy faculty and graduate students (as paid fellows).   See for more information.
  • The Center for Race and Ethnicity facilitates interdisciplinary collaborative research and education on matters of race and ethnicity in contemporary life in America, in New Jersey, and the world.  See
  • Initiative on Climate and Social Policy (Martin Bunzl, Director) marshals the resources of Rutgers University in the social sciences and the humanities to address the challenges posed by global warming, greenhouse gasses and the reduction of carbon emissions. Its mission is to conduct research, education and public service to better understand how both state and national political institutions can respond to these challenges.  See for further information.


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