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Philosophy: The Problem of Moral Obligation with Professor Robert Stern from The University of Sheffield

22nd May 2017 @ 12:45 - 13:30


We often think we have moral obligations: e.g. I have the obligation not to lie to you. But what makes something a moral obligation? One common view is that an obligation is like a command from some sort of authority – where that has been taken to be God, or other people, or reason itself.

This talk will argue that all accounts of this sort are mistaken, as this would mean that we act morally out of respect for authority, rather than because the action is right to do in itself. But if authority accounts are rejected, the question then arises how moral obligations are to be understood instead.

This session forms part of The University of Sheffield’s Philosophy week. Please see the following link for further details: Philosophy Week 2017 with The University of Sheffield

Suitable for: This lecture would be appropriate for Year 12 students studying Philosophy, Religious Studies and/or Sociology. It is also suitable for students who think they may be interested in studying Philosophy at university.

Lecturer Biography (Please click): Professor Robert Stern

Preparation or Pre-Reading: We recommend that students consider some questions in advance relevant to the subject matter.

The IT Setup: The setup is similar to Skype, using a pc and webcam, although students take part as a group with the image projected on a whiteboard rather than as individuals in front of lots of pcs. Dedicated videoconferencing equipment is also compatible if available to the school. We will work with your IT department to ensure everything is set up and working prior to the event. The sessions are generally limited to 3 or 4 schools to maintain the interactive nature of the experience.

Booking a Place: If you have a group of students that you would like to take part in this event, please contact us via email or via the contact form at the top right of this webpage. Subject to availability we will book a place for you.


22nd May 2017
12:45 - 13:30
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