Philosophy 290-7

Spring 2009

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-7 Graduate Seminar: Valuing (Future) Persons Wallace M 2-4 234 Moses Hall

It is a common thought that persons are profoundly valuable, and that their inherent value is an important desideratum for morality (perhaps the important desideratum). But what exactly is it to ascribe value to persons? How, more specifically, should the acknowledgement of the value of a person constrain or shape our deliberations about actions that might affect the person’s life in some way? This seminar will examine some recent work in moral philosophy that centers on these issues, paying attention in particular to questions about our attitudes toward persons who do not (yet) exist. Readings will include texts by Derek Parfit, T. M. Scanlon, Seana Shiffrin, David Velleman, and others.