September Speaker Series

Friday, September 30, 2022 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

September 30th

large arrow point to the right with a group of smaller arrows under it pointing to the left
Kate Norlock, Trent University
"We're going backwards": The Possibility of Moral Regress"
Hagey Hall room 373
3:30pm -5pm

Pre-event Social 
2:30pm - 3:30pm
HH/PAS green space (outside)
coffee and sweets provided

Philosophers offer abundant articulations of the concept of moral progress, including what moral progress is, and whether and how individuals and groups achieve it. There is far less philosophical literature focusing on the nature of moral regress. But real concerns that the well-being and the moral advances of a group or nation are going in the wrong direction are expressed often in popular culture. Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v Wade was met with the titular exclamation in much press coverage. I suggest moral regress merits more attention than it gets in philosophy. It is possible, it is threatening, and arguably, in some domains, it has recently happened. That ascertaining it is difficult, and that groups may disagree when one group's perception of regress is another's perception of progress, is perhaps all the more reason to develop more robust accounts as to what regress might be.