Our principal investigator Candace Vogler will be at Vanderbilt University October 5 to speak on moral relativism, hosted by the Thomistic Institute chapter in Nashville. Here is the abstract for her talk.
Moral Realism in a Climate of Moral Doubt
The thought that good is to be pursued, and bad is to be avoided is a basic condition on the intelligibility of animal movement generally. We are intellectual animals—the kinds of animals that need to figure out what to pursue and how to go about pursuing it. And this means that pursuit and avoidance are harder for us than they are for other kinds of animals. For all that, making sense of what we go for and what we fear or flee operates in the context of some understanding of what is good for human beings. These days, in the face of stark and shrill disagreement among thoughtful people about some of the most basic aspects of our lives, it can seem as though people have lost any clear, common understanding of human good. Moral disagreement can seem completely intractable. In this talk, I will look at some serious, likely intractable examples of profound moral disagreement, with an eye toward learning how to think about and engage these topics in the secure understanding that disagreement is partly a function of the challenges that intellectual animals face in trying to see what is good for them, urging a kind of modesty that does not require setting aside one’s own convictions.