Dr. Liz Harman, Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University will talk on "Morality Beyond Requirement."
You hear that your next-door neighbor Alicia is sick with COVID-19. You’re new to the neighborhood and haven’t met Alicia yet. You’re overwhelmed with working from home and overseeing your kids’ remote schooling. You could reach out to Alicia and ask whether she needs someone to pick up medicine or groceries for her; that would be a nice thing to do. Morality doesn’t require you to do it, and you know that. You think it over. “I don’t have to offer to help, but I should,” you think, and you are right. You offer to help.
This could be a true story. Sometimes, there is a way that you could help someone; you don’t have to help; but all things considered, you should help. This means that morality can win out within the realm of the morally permissible to settle that you should do something morally good that you don’t have to do. I will argue for this view. My opponent holds that while moral reasons are present within the realm of the morally permissible, and though they make some things morally good things to do, they cannot win out to settle that one should act in particular ways. I will argue that moral reasons are not inert within the realm of the morally permissible, as my opponent’s view holds.