Joseph Butler Society
John Schellenberg (Mount St Vincent): 'Christian Hiddenness'
Thursday, 8:30 to 10 pm, Oriel College.
For further details please see: josephbutlersociety.weebly.com
The Oxford University Student Conference on Spinoza
Pembroke College is hosting the inaugural Oxford University Student Conference on Spinoza in association with the Oxford University Philosophy Society and the British Society for the History of Philosophy – a conference to honour and explore the myriad ways in which Spinoza has contributed to, and continues to contribute to, the history of philosophy.
Professor Clare Carlisle (KCL) is delivering a keynote address entitled 'Why Spinoza? And why now?' and Professor Susan James (Birkbeck) will discuss 'Spinoza on Poetry and Imagination'
This will take place on Thursday of Week 3 (11th May) in the Harold Lee Room at Pembroke from 9am-5pm.
There will be a number of student speakers from far and wide presenting papers, as well as a roundtable discussion. The conference is open to all, and registration is not required. More information about the conference can be found here. A free lunch is also included for those who fill in this form.
John Coggon (Chair in Law, University of Bristol Law School): 'When the Health of the People was the Highest Law: Have Coronavirus Restrictions Damaged the Authority of Laws for the Public’s Health?'
Respondent: Alberto Giubilini
Thursday 11 May 2023 between 3pm to 4.30pm
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Suite 1, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe’s Street, Oxford, OX1 1PT, (Buzzer no. 1)
Cicero’s maxim salus populi suprema lex est—the health of the people is the highest law—has long held a fascinating and influential place within law and politics, not least given its prominence within John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government. It is also a maxim, sometimes a mantra, that is frequently found within works in public health ethics; a necessarily political field of applied philosophy. The maxim itself contains various points of inherent contestability. These include questions regarding the proper, or best, meaning of ‘salus’. And they include questions regarding the basis and scope of legitimate state action; amongst others, in relation to government intervention that is not based on a positive legal power, or that involves a breach of the law. In this paper, I explore the ideas that emanate from debates on the meaning and legitimate scope of salus populi suprema lex est both against normative and practical understandings of authority. Recognising and relating the discussion to critical discourses regarding the UK government’s legal and policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic, my central concern is to look at the nature of authority of public health laws outside of emergency situations. This includes analysis of approaches to public health law scholarship and practice leading up to the time of the pandemic, as well as appraisals of how the (implied) use of law in response to coronavirus demands open appraisals of the authority claimed then and since of public health laws. The situation demands attention, as the literature well shows, to basic trust in government and fundamental legal principles, such as legality and the rule of law. But it also invites consideration of the merits (or otherwise) of sector-based legislation for questions that reach fundamentally across policies, and of the place of health against devolution arrangements. Legal scholars working in public health must face head on the challenge of addressing where basic legal principles sit within broader structures of principle and power, with open understanding of the consequences of this for the very idea and authority of law itself.