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Ethics and Political Philosophy Group Talk (Jessica Flanigan, Richmond)

Thursday March 9, 2023, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Ethics and Political Philosophy Research Group is pleased to welcome as guest speaker Jessica Flanigan, the Richard L. Morrill Chair in Ethics and Democratic Values at the University of Richmond, where she is also an associate professor of Leadership Studies and of Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law. Dr. Flanigan’s research addresses the nature and limits of people’s enforceable rights. Her work focuses on questions around public health; norms, institutions, and justice; as well as justifications for enforceable rights.

This is an on-campus event, but if you cannot attend in person, here is a Zoom link: https://utoronto.zoom.us/j/88274414703

Passcode: 488720

Talk Title

The First Rescue

Talk Abstract

People do not usually treat pregnancy like other kinds of lifesaving rescues. In this presentation, I argue that they should. This means that pregnant women should be praised and encouraged to conceive and to continue their pregnancies, even though they are not required to do so. It also means that women who choose not to conceive or continue pregnancies should not be criticized or sanctioned. I first argue that rescuing is supererogatory, meaning that rescuing is praiseworthy but not required. Next, I argue that pregnancy is a form of rescue. I then argue that this view has some revisionary implications for how people morally respond to pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and abortion. To close, I consider alternative views of pregnancy and obligation.

About the Ethics and Political Philosophy Group

The Ethics and Political Philosophy Group meets periodically throughout the year to discuss topics in value theory and related fields, including meta-ethics, normative ethics, applied ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, moral psychology, practical reason, agency, and identity.



Thursday March 9, 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Jackman Humanities Building, Room 418
170 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8 Canada
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