The Direction of Moral Duties: Foundations and Applications

May 20, 2016 - May 21, 2016
Department of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University

515 West Hastings st
Vancouver V6B 5K3

View the Call For Papers

Keynote speakers:

Tamar Schapiro
Stanford University
Sarah Stroud
McGill University
Michael Thompson
University of Pittsburgh
R. Jay Wallace
University of California, Berkeley


Sam Black
Simon Fraser University
Ariel Zylberman
Simon Fraser University

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CFP: The Direction of Moral Duties: Foundations and Applications


The Department of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University is delighted to announce a conference on the direction of moral duties to be held in Vancouver May 20-21, 2016.


Keynote Speakers:


Tamar Schapiro (Stanford)

Sarah Stroud (McGill)

Michael Thompson (Pittsburgh)

R. Jay Wallace (Berkeley)


            Ariel Zylberman and Sam Black (Simon Fraser University)


Directed moral duties are not merely obligations that specify what actions are right; they are obligations that determine what is due to one another. A careful study of the direction of moral duties promises to recast our understanding of moral and political norms in essentially relational terms.

·      In political philosophy, for example, directed duties are held to explain why distributive justice is not merely about the distribution of stuff, but requires maintaining the right kind of social and democratic relationships.

·      In normative ethics directed duties are held to explain, for instance, why the practice of making promises to one another or claiming rights against one another is not justified by the production of good states of affairs but is justified because it establishes relations of the right kind, such as relations of mutual respect, or non-domination.

·      In meta-ethics, directed duties are held to be the essence of some, or perhaps all moral obligations.

The aim of this conference is to explore ways in which work on the foundations of directed moral duties is enriched by and can in turn enhance understanding of their implications.

Call for Abstracts:

We have room for a few contributed papers on any topic on the direction of moral duties, relating either to their normative foundations or to their applications in normative ethics or political philosophy. We expect to be able to help defray some of the travel expenses of presenters.

Abstracts should be maximum 1000 words and prepared for blind review. The deadline for submission is March 18, 2016. Abstracts should be sent to Ariel Zylberman ( Please include in subject line: Directed Duties Abstract. We will respond with a decision at the beginning of April.

If you have any questions, please contact Ariel Zylberman (

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May 9, 2016, 9:00am PST

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