Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference 2024

Posted on July 9, 2024

I’m at the Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference this week. It has been great to catch up with all of the wonderful philosophers in the Australasian philosophical community. Lots of great talks. Lots of great conversations. I presented some of my own work on Monday and presented work co-authored with Luara Ferracioli today. Here’s the abstract from my talk:

This presentation will address a puzzle about conceptions of meritocracy which understand meritocracy in the pejorative sense as involving a morally problematic form of merit-based status inequality. How are we to distinguish between problematic forms of merit-based status inequality and unproblematic forms, given that some forms of merit-based status inequality are clearly unproblematic, and some disparities of regard do not induce relations of superiority and inferiority? I defend the view that disparities of regard based on merit are morally problematic only when they are not offset by equality of regard at a more fundamental level. I contrast this solution with an alternative offered by Niko Kolodny. I then explore the prospects for reconciling a commitment to the ideal of meritocratic equality of opportunity with a commitment to the ideal of social equality.

Here’s the abstract from the talk I co-presented with Luara:

What would it mean to treat children and parents as moral equals in an account of the scope, limits, and grounds of parental authority? Would it mean developing an account of parental authority that is almost exclusively motivated by the best interests of children, giving no weight at all to the interests of parents and prospective parents, as proponents of radically child-focused accounts have claimed? Or would it be possible to develop an account that, while ensuring that children’s interests are adequately served, gives some weight to the interests of parents and prospective parents above such an adequacy threshold, as proponents of dual-interest accounts have claimed? In this presentation, we will argue that in order to make progress on questions of parental authority, we need to adopt a relational view of interpersonal morality. We will also argue that we must refrain from being misled by a rights framework which singles out particular interests as worthy of protection.