Category Archives: NEWS

Codes of Ethics Day 2019

Our second Codes of Ethics Day will be on May 14th, in the Open University’s London Office in Camden. We’ll be looking at codes relating to bullying and harassment, as well as whistleblowing and confidentiality. More information and a draft agenda can be found at

If this interests you, do come along! Attendance is open and free. Refreshments and lunch are included, but do drop us an email so we can make arrangements. Contact details are on the workshop page.

Please pass this information on to anyone you know who might be interested in codes of ethics or conduct, etc., whether for practical or theoretical reasons. There is more information about our work on codes of ethics at


Third workshop in Edinburgh: July 12-14 2017

The third and final workshop will be in the Open University’s Scotland Office. A full programme is up under the Events tab, with abstracts where available:

  • Ben Sachs, St Andrews, ‘Political morality is the state’s role morality’
  • Stephanie Collins, Manchester, ‘Which Role-bearers Constitute the State?’ (co-author Holly Lawford-Smith)
  • Erin Taylor, Washington and Lee, ‘Social Roles and Ought Implies Can’
  • Jeremy Evans, Boston College, ‘Toward a Role-Ethical Theory of Right Action’
  • Tracy Isaacs, Western, ‘Role Responsibility and Role Obligation in Oppressive Social Contexts’
  • Lisa Herzog, Technische Universität, Munich, ‘Self and role – transformation agency in organizations’
  • Reid Blackman, Colgate, ‘Role-Grounded Normative Reasons’
  • Joseph Kisolo-Ssonko, Nottingham, ‘Race and the normative force of non-voluntary social roles’
  • Sarah Stroud, McGill, ‘Beyond My Station and its Duties: Could There Be a Role Ethics?’
  • Robin Zheng, Yale-NUS, ‘Responsibility for Structural Injustice: A Role-Ideal Model of Accountability’

There are two further (non-workshop) events in the Autumn during the grant period, including the Main Conference in Senate House, London at the end of September. Again, details will appear under the Events tab.

As ever, all welcome!

Workshop II (Manchester): 22nd March 2017

This single day event is now finalized, and the (only loosely enforced) theme is Roles and Wellbeing. We’ll have three sessions this time:

  • Sam Clark, ‘Three Relations between Roles and the Good’
  • Family Roles: discussion session with Lindsey Porter and (by videolink) Reid Blackman
  • Alex Barber, ‘Wellbeing in the context of collective achievement’

Abstracts and other details can be found on the Events page. It will be held in a University of Manchester building.

All welcome.

NOTE: the third workshop will be in Edinburgh, July 12-14 2017. Some details of this are also on the Events page but the programme is more tentative.

‘The Responsibility of Intellectuals’ anniversary

Noam Chomsky’s New York Review of Books essay was published fifty years ago today (Feb 23 1967) and is a seminal criticism of much of the response to the Vietnam war by academics at the time. Among other things he argues that intellectuals have special obligations have over and above their obligations as citizens:

For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us. The responsibilities of intellectuals, then, are much deeper than… the “responsibility of people,” given the unique privileges that intellectuals enjoy.

An event in London to commemorating the anniversary on Saturday (Feb 25) is sold out but will be live streamed, and will feature a video-link contribution by the author. The essay itself is freely available from the NYRB website.

Virtue Ethics and Role Ethics (special issue)

A new special issue of The Journal of Value Inquiry is dedicated to Virtue Ethics and Role Ethics (Volume 50, Issue 4, December 2016). The issue is edited by Richard Paul Hamilton (Notre Dame, Australia) and includes what look to be some very welcome discussions.

Here is the list of contents. The short introduction (full text via link below) provides useful context plus paper summaries.

  • Introduction: My Role and Its Virtues (Richard Paul Hamilton)
  • A Virtue Ethical Theory of Role Ethics (Christine Swanton)
  • Robust Role-Obligation: How Do Roles Make a Moral Difference? (Tim Dare)
  • The Ethical Importance of Roles (Anne Baril)
  • The Wholehearted Professional (Richard Paul Hamilton)
  • Academic Virtues: Site Specific and Under Threat (Michael P. Levine & Damian Cox)
  • Virtue Ethics and Public Policy: Upholding Medical Virtue in Therapeutic Relationships as a Case Study (Justin Oakley)
  • A Defence of the Aristotelian Virtue of Magnificence (Nafsika Athanassoulis)
  • Role Modeling in an Early Confucian Context (Cheryl Cottine)

Reid Blackman on role and internalism at PEA Soup

Reid Blackman, a member of this network, is a Featured Philosopher this week on PEA Soup. He has a guest post on roles, called ‘Roles ground reasons, so internalism is false‘. He argues exactly that. There is a lively exchange in the comments section, much of it (unsurprisingly) highly pertinent to this network, but in particular the metaethical implications of recognizing role-based reasons for action.