Department of Philosophy

Benedict Rumbold- Autumn research seminar

Online - 365 Teams Meeting
Wednesday 10th November 2021 (15:00-16:30)
Autumn Philosophy Seminar Series Poster. This is a complex image. Please email for more information. Quote Philosophy Autumn 2021

For the next Department of Philosophy Research Seminar (DPRS) we are very lucky to have our own Benedict Rumbold on “‘Er, hello?! What about me?’ Comparative Unfairness as Non-Recognition”.

The abstract for the talk is:

“According to one plausible conception of comparative unfairness, indebted to Broome, we act comparatively unfairly when we fail to satisfy claims in proportion to their strength. For example, suppose you and ‘Craig’ have been working equally hard all year and, as such, have an equal claim to an end-of-year bonus (usually some number of mince pies). When it comes round to giving out the annual bonuses however, your boss – call him ‘Neil’ – gives all 12 available mince pies to ‘Craig’ and none to you. In such a situation, we can say ‘Neil’ acts comparatively unfairly. This much (I would argue) is clear. What is less clear (at least to me) is what is wrong about ‘Neil’ acting comparatively unfairly. In this paper, I offer a theory: comparatively unfair acts are wrong just because they fail to recognise claimants as claimants, given distributing agents' recognition of others. Understanding comparatively unfair acts as failures of recognition is important, I argue, not only because it clarifies the particular wrong done to victims of comparative unfairness but also because it helps us clear up a number of puzzles around fairness in the literature; in particular, why, sometimes, our reasons to act comparatively fairly can be stronger than our reasons to distribute goods. No mince pies are offered during the talk.”

This talk aligns well with the Department’s Normative Philosophy research cluster! For more information about the department’s research clusters, please see here:

Join us for our Autumn research seminars of 2021. 

Please note that all talks will take place virtually, not on campus. All are welcome. The seminars will take place Wednesdays at 3pm.

To sign up for our mailing list, please email the seminar convenor, Craig French.

(We require your email to send you an invitation to the online seminar.)

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