Philosophy Colloquium to be held at Ashland University

Staff report

The Ashland University Philosophy Department and Philosophy Club are sponsoring a Philosophy Colloquium that will feature AU alumnus Jonathan Spelman, who is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Spelman will speak on the topic of “Moral Luck” at the event, which is set for Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall of the Dwight Schar College of Education. The event is free and open to the public.

Spelman specializes in normative ethics, but he is also interested in moral responsibility and a number of topics in applied ethics.

He is a 2008 graduate of Ashland University with a bachelor of arts in philosophy and political science and a 2010 graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a master of arts in philosophy. He is expected to receive his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado-Boulder in May of 2017.

According to Spelman, “Imagine a drunk driver who swerves off the road, killing a pedestrian. Now, imagine a second drunk driver who swerves off the road in almost identical circumstances. This time, however, there are no pedestrians around. Consequently, the second drunk driver doesn’t kill anyone. Although our legal system would almost certainly punish these individuals differently, I argue that they do not deserve to be punished differently because the only difference between them is attributable to luck. If I am right, then we must dramatically alter the way we see others.”

Staff report