If you want to check out the lecture that I gave to the Conceptual Engineering Network back in May, that video is now posted on YouTube!
The talk is called “Conceptual Engineering as Taking Responsibility for Concepts.” It builds on a pair of papers I published in the European Journal of Philosophy a few years back, in which I argued that we can be (backwards-looking) morally responsible for the concepts that we possess and use. In this lecture (a work in progress!), I argue that sometimes, doing conceptual engineering projects involves taking forwards-looking moral responsibility for concepts.
The key example that I talk about in the latter portion of the talk is the concept EMPLOYMENT, and the possible replacement concept HUMAN RENTALS. There, I draw on some fascinating work about workplace democracy by David Ellerman – you can download the whole book here!
While philosophers tend to talk about moral responsibility in its backward-looking form, moral responsibility also comes in a future-oriented form. In this talk, I’ll focus on the forward-looking kind of responsibility and make a case for the claim that when we undertake conceptual engineering projects for moral reasons, we are taking forward-looking moral responsibility for our conceptual repertoires. To illustrate my position, in the latter part of the talk, I’ll explore the moral reasons we have to do some conceptual engineering when it comes to the concept EMPLOYMENT.
You’re welcome to join us on Zoom for approximately an hour’s worth of lecture and an hour of Q & A. (But if you miss it, the lecture portion will be posted on the CEN YouTube channel after the fact.)
Yesterday was the first session in this spring’s Conceptual Engineering Online Seminar, and the first one that I’ve ever been able to attend live – though I’ve enjoyed watching all the older ones on their YouTube channel since liberating myself from my previous employer.
Thanks to Kwame Anthony Appiah for getting the spring series off to a great start!
The seminar meets every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Central time until June 28th and is open to all. (Thanks to the organizers in Europe for not making it any earlier!) See the poster below for the Zoom info.