Ethics Seminar: Isserow

Jessica Isserow (Australian National University) will speak to the Centre for Ethics and Metaethics about "What's Wrong with Being Friends with Bad People?" All welcome!

Date: 26-04-2017
Time: 15:00 - 17:00

Jessica Isserow is completing a PhD thesis on the moral error theory at Australian National University.


Intuitively, one who counts a morally bad person among their friends has gone wrong somewhere. Yet it is far from obvious exactly where they have gone astray. Perhaps in cultivating a friendship with a morally bad person, one extends to them certain goods that they do not deserve. Or perhaps the failure lies elsewhere; one may be an abettor to moral transgressions. Yet another option is to identify the mistake as a species of imprudence; an individual may take on great personal risk in counting a morally bad person as a friend. In this paper, I argue that none of these intuitive explanations are convincing. However, they do point us in the direction of a more satisfying explanation—one which concerns a person’s character and her moral priorities. One who counts a morally bad person among her friends is, I propose, one who betrays a distinct kind of defect in her values. 

Location: Botany House 1.03
Cost: Free