Ketan Ramakrishnan (University of Oxford and Yale Law School): "Deontology Over Time"

Wed, Apr 7, 2021, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Free And Open To The Public

Ira W. DeCamp Bioethics Seminar

ABSTRACT: Deontological moral rights and permissions cannot be explained entirely by reference to the underlying interests they protect, for they protect these interests out of proportion to their moral significance. Still it seems clear that a person's moral rights should not frustrate her interests, in ways that she would not countenance. Deontological rights should not injure the interests of the very people they are supposed to protect. The problem I will discuss in this talk is that deontological rights threaten to do precisely this, when they regulate the formation and execution of temporally extended plans of action. There may be no way to avoid this conclusion, however, without generating other conclusions that are paradigmatically repugnant to ordinary moral conviction. Reflection on the operation of deontology over time thus puts severe pressure on some of deontology's central features. 

BIO: Ketan Ramakrishnan is a JD candidate at Yale Law School and a DPhil candidate in philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is a co-editor of Principles and Persons: The Legacy of Derek Parfit (Oxford University Press, 2021). 

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