Event Announcements

Christine Korsgaard on our Moral Obligations to Animals [Uehiro Lecture 2]

by Karamvir Chadha @karamvirchadha

 What are our moral obligations to animals? This was the subject of Christine Korsgaard’s Uehiro lecture on 2 December 2014, the second of a three-lecture series on the moral and legal standing of animals. (To listen to the lecture follow this link)

Korsgaard argued for the conclusion that animals have moral standing. Her argument for this conclusion was characteristically Korsgaardian: it was both extremely ambitious and grounded in a distinctive interpretation of Kant. Continue reading

The dappled causal world for psychiatric disorders: implications for psychiatric nosology

On Thursday 16th October, Professor Kenneth Kendler delivered his second (and final) Loebel Lecture, entitled ‘The dappled causal world for psychiatric disorders: implications for psychiatric nosology’. You can view it online here or listen here.

Whilst Kendler’s first lecture – summarised by Roger Crisp here - focused on empirical issues, the second lecture was more philosophical. Kendler’s key question in the second lecture could perhaps be formulated as: Given the complex aetiology of mental disorders, how can we best understand and explain how they arise? Continue reading

Event Announcement: 2013 Wellcome Lectures in Neuroethics

Wednesday 27th November, 5 – 7pm

Lecture Theatre
Oxford Martin School
Old Indian Institute
34 Broad St (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets)
Oxford OX1 3BD

ALL WELCOME

The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics & International Neuroethics Society are pleased to present a set of two Wellcome Lectures in Neuroethics for 2013:

Brain mechanisms of voluntary action: the implications for responsibility
Prof. Patrick Haggard
University College London

The irresponsible self: Self bias changes the way we see the world
Prof. Glyn Humphreys
Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University

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Announcement: Making Better Babies, Pro and Con: A Debate

October 2, 6.00 – 7.30 p.m.
BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne
ALL WELCOME

Public debate between Julian Savulescu (Oxford University) and Rob Sparrow (Monash University).

Further information

Wellcome Lecture in Neuroethics: Wayne Hall on the brain disease model of addiction

Wellcome Lecture in Neuroethics: The brain disease model of addiction: Assessing its validity, utility and implications for public policy towards the treatment and prevention of addiction
Wayne Hall, NHMRC Australia Fellow, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research

Thursday 14 June, 5.30 – 7.00 p.m., Seminar Room 1, Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad St.
ALL WELCOME- NO NEED TO BOOK

Genetic and neuroscience research on addiction has been interpreted by leading figures in the USA as demonstrating that addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease that reflects enduring changes in brain function that are produced by sustained heavy drug use and explain the inability of addicted persons to refrain from using drugs, despite their professed intentions to do so. The brain disease model contrasts starkly with the commonsense view that drug use is a free choice for which individual drug users are responsible. This paper: assesses the evidence and arguments offered in favour of the brain disease model of addiction; assesses the arguments advanced by critics of the model; considers the social and ethical implications of these views in dealing with addicted persons and in formulating public health policies that we should adopt to prevent the harmful use of and addiction to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.

Biographical Sketches

Wayne Hall is an NHMRC Australia Fellow in addiction neuroethics and Deputy Director (Policy) at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. He was formerly: Professor of Public Health Policy in the School of Population Health (2005-2010), Director of the Office of Public Policy and Ethics at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (2001-2005) both at the University of Queensland; and Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW (1994-2001).  He has advised the World Health Organization on: the health effects of cannabis use; the effectiveness of drug substitution treatment; the scientific quality of the Swiss heroin trials; the contribution of illicit drug use to the global burden of disease; and the ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on addiction. He was awarded an NHMRC Australia Fellowship in 2009 to research the public health, social policy and ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on drug use and addiction.

Reminder: Everyday philosophy

Quick reminder of a forthcoming talk at the Oxford Playhouse on the 11th February, given by Philosophy Bites author Nigel Warburton:

What is philosophy? Who needs it? Writer and podcaster Nigel Warburton, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University, discusses the relevance of philosophy to life today. From questions about the limits of free speech to the nature of happiness, from what art is to the impact of new technology, philosophy offers insights into questions that matter. Warburton will explore how the thoughts of some of the great philosophers of the past shed light on our present day predicament.

Advance notice: Everyday philosophy

Advance notice of a forthcoming talk at the Oxford Playhouse on the 11th February, given by Philosophy Bites author Nigel Warburton:

What is philosophy? Who needs it? Writer and podcaster Nigel Warburton, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University, discusses the relevance of philosophy to life today. From questions about the limits of free speech to the nature of happiness, from what art is to the impact of new technology, philosophy offers insights into questions that matter. Warburton will explore how the thoughts of some of the great philosophers of the past shed light on our present day predicament.

 

Oxford Debates — Performance-Enhancing Drugs Should be Allowed in Sport — Moderator’s Opening Statement

Oxford Online Debates

by Roger Crisp

Taking drugs to improve one’s sporting performance seems, on the face of it, a paradigmatic example of a wrong action. It combines two activities usually considered shameful: the use of banned substances, and cheating.

But on closer inspection the issue is more complicated. The use of some drugs, such as nicotine or caffeine (both of which might enhance performance in some cases), carries little or no stigma, and the charge of cheating would be inappropriate were the drugs in question explicitly permitted.

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Drugs in Sport debate and special edition

Over the next month Oxford Online Debates will be tackling the motion "Performance enhancing drugs should be allowed in sport". We will try to collect together relevant materials and blog posts below
in this special edition.

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The hammer or the nail – are addicts morally responsible?

In a case that is probably echoed daily across this country and many others, an amphetamine addict Michael Hunter was jailed yesterday for attacking a friend with a hammer. The judge noted that

"amphetamine had clearly affected
Hunter’s mental health, but he highlighted the fact that he had been
responsible for two unprovoked attacks using weapons."

The judge alluded to the question of responsibility and the influence of addiction. Are addicts morally responsible? Should drug addiction excuse or mitigate blame for actions taken under their influence?

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