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CFP: Virtuous and Vicious Partiality

Justin McBrayer | Published on 8/10/2021

CFP: Virtuous and Vicious Partiality
There has long been a puzzle in ethics concerning the balance between our general moral obligations to everyone and our specific moral obligations to a smaller subset of people: our family, our nation, our friends, etc. Accordingly, the distinction between praiseworthy, virtuous ways of fulfilling our special obligations and vicious immoral ways of fulfilling these special obligations are as important as ever. We invite papers from all philosophical views on any topic related to virtuous and vicious forms of partiality.

Potential Topics Include:

How do we distinguish between virtuous patriotism and vicious nationalism?

What is the legitimate scope of familial preference?

How are special moral obligations justified?

The moral value of friendship 

What do we owe our children?

What do we owe our parents?

When-if ever- is epistemic partiality virtuous?

Is partiality towards the self ever virtuous?

Utilitarian arguments for partial relationships

Can love be compatible with impartiality?

MacIntyrean Traditions and virtuous partial relationships

Arguments from virtue ethics or care ethics against impartiality

Rawlsian strategies for grounding partiality

Special obligations within sexual relationships

What special obligations does the state have towards its citizens?

Our obligations in dysfunctional relationships: divorced, estranged, and disowned relationships

Special obligations in the business world: shareholders, employees, customers, employers

Religion and partiality

Abstracts of ~1000 words are due 12/1/21. Send all submissions to All papers will be considered for inclusion in a book proposal following the conference. (Our last ethics conference resulted in an edited collection with Routledge). The sessions for each paper will be 50 minutes. Conference papers should be 3000-4000 words for 20-30 minutes of reading time.

Conference fees will be $50 per person. A registration site will be available after acceptances are sent out. 

The Conference will be held Feb. 18-19, 2022 at Christopher Newport University. Our keynote speaker will be Stephen Darwall (Yale University-Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy).

Sponsored by The Christopher Newport University Department of Philosophy and Religion and The Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College