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The NYU Ethics Forum presents:
Jada Strabbing, "Responsibility and Normative Moral Theories"

General Colloquium

Jada Strabbing (Fordham University)

Thursday, March 23, 6:00 p.m.

5 Washington Place, Room 202

Thursday, March 23rd, Jada Strabbing of Fordham University will present her paper, "Responsibility and Normative Moral Theories," from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at 5 Washington Place, Room 202.

ABSTRACT: Stephen Darwall and R. Jay Wallace have independently argued that morality is essentially interpersonal by appealing to necessary connections between morality and responsibility. According to Darwall, morality is grounded in fundamentally second-personal accountability relations. On Wallace’s view, a normative moral theory must say that agents’ attitudes toward the moral properties of their actions are reasons for responsibility reactions, which only relational moral theories can do. If either argument succeeds, non-relational moral theories, such as consequentialism and perfectionism, are flawed. I demonstrate that neither argument succeeds. First, I show that, contrary to Darwall, we should not ground morality in accountability relations. I then argue that the normative connections that Wallace posits between responsibility and morality exist but, contrary to Wallace, need not be explained by moral theories. Finally, drawing on the objections raised to Darwall and Wallace, I show that, plausibly, no necessary connection exists between morality and responsibility that has implications for the content of moral theories. Hence Darwall and Wallace’s strategy does not work.

This event kicks off the NYU Ethics Forum, a series of informal talks at NYU given by ethicists in the New York City area. Food and drink will be provided.