Feb 10 2022


4:00 pm - 5:45 pm


Department of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

The University of Hong Kong
Lingnan University
National University of Singapore

Barry Maguire
The University of Edinburgh

Fractal Solidarity

10 February 2022
4:00-5:45 pm

Zoom link:



I once defended the thesis that an individual’s reasons are all fully explained by facts about the value of the consequences of their available options. I now think that this approach is not merely false, but pernicious. It gives individuals at every choice point responsibility on their own for the entire world. Ethics is conceived as a question about how to make the biggest impact I can on the world. This all sounds a bit white male, and naïve, and profoundly hubristic. The deepest problem is that this approach omits the moral importance of proper ways of working with others. In response to this problem, the most conservative revision to this broadly individualistic approach simply adds value-responsive group reasons that transmit to individuals. Then individuals have direct value-based reasons and indirect group-participation value-based reasons, and some procedure for balancing them. Garrett Cullity’s Concern, Respect, and Cooperation is a sophisticated book-length defence of a pluralistic view of this kind. He argues that the titular values are three fundamentally distinct sources of ethical authority. I argue that concern, respect, and cooperation, suitably refined, are all part of one ideal mode of engagement with others, whether these others are patients or fellow collaborators. This mode of engagement constitutes solidarity with others. I argue that solidarity, so understood, is the one and only fundamental source of ethical authority. This proposal aims to integrate standards of justification in moral and political philosophy.

For inquiries:
Nathaniel Sharadin


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