Oxford Literal Festival | 12:00-1:00pm | Oxford Martin School: Seminar Room
''Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body''
Clare Chambers Interviewed by Timandra Harkness
Philosopher Clare Chambers argues that it is time for men, women and children to reclaim their bodies and that an unmodified body is a key principle of social and political equality.
Chambers ranges across a variety of areas from bodybuilding to makeup, male circumcision, breast implants, motherhood and childbirth. She argues that social pressure to modify your body sends a message that you are not good enough, and it reinforces inequalities of sex, gender, race, disability, age, and class.
Chambers is professor of political philosophy and a fellow of Jesus College in Cambridge. She is regarded as one of the most original philosophers in the UK today and is a member of the Nuffield Council on bioethics. She is author of Against Marriage and specialises in feminism, bioethics, contemporary liberalism, and theories of social justice. Here she talks to writer, comedian and broadcaster on scientific, mathematical and statistical topics Timandra Harkness.
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Oxford Literal Festival | 2:00-3:00pm | Oxford Martin School: Lecture Theatre
''What’s Wrong with Rights?''
Nigel Biggar Interviewed by James Orr
Theologian Professor Nigel Biggar calls for a richer dialogue and public discourse about ethics and an abandonment of rights-fundamentalism.
Biggar looks at a range of questions, from whether individual rights should subvert the common good to whether rights are an expression of Western neo-imperial arrogance, whether judges should strive to extend them from civil Europe to anarchical Basra, whether judges or parliaments should pronounce on rights, and whether human rights advocates should have greater sympathy for those trying to govern. And he says much contemporary rights talk obscures the importance of fostering civic virtue, corrodes military effectiveness, subverts the democratic legitimacy of law, proliferates publicly onerous rights, and undermines their authority and credibility. The solution to these problems lies in the abandonment of rights-fundamentalism and the recovery of a richer public discourse about ethics, one that includes talk about the duty and virtue of rights-holders.
Biggar is Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology and director of the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life at the University of Oxford. His books include Between Kin and Cosmopolis: An Ethic of the Nation and In Defence of War. Here he talks to Dr James Orr, assistant professor of philosophy of religion at the University of Cambridge.
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