Events @ C4E

  • Mon, Feb 26, 2018
    Perspectives on Ethics, Science|Ethics|Tech
    Perspectives on Ethics: Regina Rini

    Democracy and Social Media Are Incompatible: Now What?

    It takes time for the norms of democratic debate to adjust to new technologies – in some cases, too much time. In parts of Europe in the 1920s and 30s, change brought on by the new technology of radio outran democratic adaptation. I will argue that we are now at a similar inflection point with social media. Healthy democratic debate requires that we view fellow citizens as typically sincere and thoughtful when they express disagreement. I identify several features of social media discourse that have rapidly undermined this presumption and weakened the authority of democratic norms. What can be done about these shifts? I will argue that state and consumer solutions are unlikely to work. Our best hope is for social media platforms to create infrastructure enabling citizens to detect insincerity and carelessness in discourse.

    Regina Rini
    York University
    Philosophy

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Feb 27, 2018
    Ethics at Noon, C4E Flash Event
    New Perspectives on Mass Incarceration in the United States
    The American incarceration rate has quintupled over the last generation, to the point where the United States now incarcerates over two million individuals. A wave of new empirical, sociological and legal scholarship has begun shed new light on the growth of mass incarceration. John Pfaff (Fordham) and Jonathan Simon (Berkeley) will discuss their groundbreaking research on the causes of mass incarceration, the response by the courts and proposals for reform going forward.

    Panelists:

    12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Tue, Feb 27, 2018
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!
    Ethics & Film: No No: A Dockumentary

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Feb 28, 2018
    Ethics at Noon
    Ethics@Noon: John-Stewart Gordon

    Moral Experts vs. Ethical Theories

    The lively topic of whether moral expertise and moral experts exist has been vividly discussed in recent contributions in ethics and, particularly, in bioethics. I hold the view that moral expertise exists and that some moral philosophers can be considered as moral experts in the full sense, who have moral expertise, while most cannot. In this talk, however, I focus on the question of whether moral experts–by adhering to their particular expertise–are better qualified to solve complex moral questions than (moral) philosophers who (only) use a particular moral theory. This is an important issue because my analysis will respond to the vital question of whether one is, in general, able to solve complex moral issues by adhering to only one moral theory given the background of the complexity of moral life.

    John-Stewart Gordon
    Professor & Head of the Research Cluster for Applied Ethics
    Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Feb 28, 2018
    C4E Flash Event, Ethics in the City
    Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, To Police and Be Policed: Multiple Perspectives on Racialized Law Enforcement in a Diverse and Changing City

    Despite official claims of tolerance and inclusion, Toronto’s Black population has a historically tenuous relationship with the city’s law enforcement agencies. This study addresses how distrust of the police and notions of Black criminality are mutually sustained and reproduced through police encounters with Black citizens. Prior research has documented the myriad ways in which the police serve to subjugate and control Black populations. Previous research has also highlighted the importance of fair treatment in shaping citizens’ perceptions of police (and state) legitimacy. Very little, however, has simultaneously incorporated the perspectives of those on both sides of “the thin blue line.” Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, this study draws on interview and survey data with police officers and civilians to untangle the intricate relationship between race, policing, citizenship and state authority. The findings illustrate that both police officers and Black citizens act in ways that run counter to their own interests during their often hostile and confrontational encounters. Such encounters contribute to the erosion of police legitimacy and to the criminalization of race/racialization of crime. The findings provide support for a methodological approach to the study of racial inequality that is attentive to the multiple perspectives of the actors involved.

    Akwasi Owusu-Bempah
    University of Toronto, Sociology

    02:15 PM - 03:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Feb 28, 2018
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics in the City
    The End of Public Works? The Politics of Infrastructure and the Quiet Decline of Local Democracy (Ethics in the City Series)

    Focusing on Sidewalk Toronto, the joint project of Waterfront Toronto and Google’s Sidewalk Labs, Mariana Valverde critically examines the evolution, via neoliberal privatization, from public works to public-private partnerships as modes of urban governance.

    Mariana Valverde
    Criminology & Sociolegal Studies

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Thu, Mar 1, 2018
    Ethics & the Arts, Critical Ethics
    Emily Baxter, We Are All Criminals

    We Are All Criminals looks at people with criminal histories but no record–people who have had the luxury to forget.

    Doctors and lawyers, social workers and students, retailers and retirees tell stories of crimes they got away with, and consider how different their lives would have been had they been caught.

    The stories are of youth, boredom, intoxication, and porta potties. They are about race, class, and privilege. They are humorous, humiliating, and humbling in turn.

    Through photography and storytelling, this project seeks to challenge society’s perception of what it means to be a criminal and how much weight a record should be given, when truly – we are all criminals.

    Emily Baxter
    Founder & Executive Director, We Are All Criminals

    Commentators:
    Shaunna Kelly
    Law Offices of Shaunna Kelly

    Paula Maurutto
    Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

    co-sponsor:

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Fri, Mar 2, 2018
    Political Theory Research Workshop
    Thilo Schaefer, Laneways of the Imagination: The Importance of "Utopia" for City Building 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Tue, Mar 6, 2018
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ethics of AI in Context: Vincent Chiao

    Predicting Proportionality: Algorithmic Decision-Making in Sentencing

    Sentencing in many jurisdictions remains quite discretionary, with significant variability in how judges approach otherwise similar cases, raising concerns of both arbitrariness and bias. This paper proposes systematizing judgments of proportionality in sentencing by means of an algorithm. The aim of such an algorithm would be to predict what a typical judge in that jurisdiction would regard as a proportionate sentence in a particular case. Notably, unlike most discussions of algorithmic decision-making in the criminal law, the objective of the algorithm would be on predicting the behavior of judges rather than defendants. I show that endorsing such an algorithm does not come at the cost of case-specific justice, that it is consistent with a highly particularistic account of moral judgment, and that it is attractive even despite pervasive uncertainty as to the point of punishment.

    Vincent Chiao
    Law & Criminology
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 7, 2018
    Ethics at Noon
    Ethics@Noon: Simon Lambek

    Simon Lambek
    Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 7, 2018
    Author Meets Critics
    Author Meets Critics: Richard Moon

    Putting Faith in Hate: When Religion Is the Source or Target of Hate Speech (Cambridge 2018)

    Richard Moon
    Faculty of Law
    University of Windsor

    Commentators:
    Mohammad Fadel
    (Law & Religion, University of Toronto)
    Anna Korteweg (Sociology, University of Toronto)
    Ruth Marshall (Religion & Political Science, University of Toronto)

    To allow or restrict hate speech is a hotly debated issue in many societies. While the right to freedom of speech is fundamental to liberal democracies, most countries have accepted that hate speech causes significant harm and ought to be regulated. Richard Moon examines the application of hate speech laws when religion is either the source or target of such speech. Moon describes the various legal restrictions on hate speech, religious insult, and blasphemy in Canada, Europe and elsewhere, and uses cases from different jurisdictions to illustrate the particular challenges raised by religious hate speech. The issues addressed are highly topical: speech that attacks religious communities, specifically anti-Muslim rhetoric, and hateful speech that is based on religious doctrine or scripture, such as anti-gay speech. The book draws on a rich understanding of freedom of expression, the harms of hate speech, and the role of religion in public life.

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Mon, Mar 12, 2018
    Perspectives on Ethics, Ethics & the Arts
    Perspectives on Ethics: Jessica Rosenfeld

    Winners, Wasters, and the Shadow of Envy: Theories of Justice and the Scene of Medieval Literature

    Is envy at the root of all claims for justice (so says Freud), or is envy a regrettable but surmountable human tendency that will be minimized in a just society (as Rawls has it)?  Should we, as newer political and feminist theory has suggested, take envy seriously as a “political emotion” and allow it to direct the building of a better democracy?  My talk will trace the recent history of envy’s role in theorizing social justice and then turn to medieval literature as a terrain of close attention to envy, not only as a “deadly sin,” but as an emotion that provokes the social imagination, and the articulation of the move from the individual to the political.  The figures of the winner (upstanding citizen) and waster (profligate spender, “welfare queen”) have a long history, and can help us to understand the passages between the personal and the social, the economic and the affective, and perhaps to disentangle the threads of envy, resentment, and justice.

    Jessica Rosenfeld
    Washington University in St. Louis
    English

    co-sponsored by

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Mar 13, 2018
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!
    Ethics & Film: The Second Mother

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 14, 2018

    Ethics@Noon: Jeremy Davis

    Jeremy Davis
    Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 14, 2018
    Science|Ethics|Tech, Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics in the City
    Countering the Digital Consensus: The Political Economy of the Smart City (Ethics in the City Series)

    What are the risks related to the trend of increasingly technocratic governance? How might it enable the commercialization of the public service? How can government respond to this mounting digital and data-driven consensus?

    Bianca Wylie
    Head, Open Data Institute Toronto

    Co-Founder, Tech Reset Canada

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Fri, Mar 16, 2018
    Political Theory Research Workshop
    Zhichao Tong, Epistemic Democracy and International Relations 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM
    Room 3130, Sidney Smith Building
    100 St. George St.

  • Tue, Mar 20, 2018
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ethics of AI in Context: Kathryn Hume

    Kathryn Hume
    integrate.ai

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 21, 2018
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics in the City
    Building Cities Better, Building Better Cities: Are We Building Smart Cities on Dumb Information Systems? (Ethics in the City Series)

    The advent of Smart Cities has seen an explosion of research, development and deployment of applications that take advantage of the convergence of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Web-based information systems, mobile technologies, and the Cloud. But lurking beneath these applications is a city-wide information system (Urban Operating System) whose architecture is rooted in the previous century. Just as cities have physical infrastructures that are over 100 years old, city operating systems are often legacy systems over 10-20 years old. Yet, the Urban OS is fast becoming the primary means by which citizens and corporations interact with the city. It is becoming the face of the city. How do we want to interact with the city?. More importantly, how do we want the Urban OS to behave when the city and the Urban OS are the same? In this presentation we explore the question of how the future Urban OS should behave and not just how they are constructed.

    Mark S. Fox
    University of Toronto Distinguished Professor of Urban Systems Engineering

     

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Mon, Mar 26, 2018
    Perspectives on Ethics, Events on Campus
    Shai Lavi

    Shai Lavi
    Director, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

    hosted by:

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Room 100, Jackman Humanities Building
    170 St. George St.

  • Tue, Mar 27, 2018
    Science|Ethics|Tech, Ethics in the City
    Ronald Deibert, These Are the Sensors in My Neighbourhood (Ethics in the City Series)

    As almost everyone knows by now, we share a lot of highly-revealing and sensitive data with companies. But what those companies do with that data, whether they share it or not with third parties, and just how much of it they collect and retain, is still largely a mystery. Drawing from Citizen Lab reports, in my talk I will review the exploding universe of “big data” collection, the accumulating fine-grained sensors that facilitate it, and the public policy, security, and privacy issues that accompany it.

    Ronald Deibert
    Director, The Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Tue, Mar 27, 2018
    Science|Ethics|Tech, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of AI Film Series
    Ethics of AI Film Series: Her

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 28, 2018
    Ethics at Noon
    Ethics@Noon: Ryan Liss

    Crime at the Limits of Sovereignty

    Ryan Liss
    Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
    Centre for Ethics

    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Apr 4, 2018
    Public Lectures, Ethics & the Arts
    Peter Brooks, The Chameleon Poet and the Ethics of Reading (C4E Public Lecture)

    My understanding of an “ethics of reading” stands more with John Keats’ “chameleon poet” than with his “virtuous philosopher.” Starting from my reaction to the U.S. “torture memos” (post 9/11), I explore what an ethics of reading might mean, and what is peculiar to the literature classroom. I then pursue the idea by way of the concept of a literary “character”: how we have learned to reach fictional persons, why we want and need them, and what kind of an ethical investment they propose to readers. Among a number of examples, that of Proust will be crucial here.

    Peter Brooks
    Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar, Comparative Literature and University Center for Human Values

    Princeton University

    co-sponsored by:

     

     

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility
    1 Devonshire Place

  • Tue, Apr 10, 2018
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!
    Ethics & Film: Moonlight

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Thu, May 3, 2018

    Master Class: Rainer Forst

    Rainer Forst
    Professor of Political Theory & Philosophy
    Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.

    co-sponsored by:

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Room 200, Larkin Building
    15 Devonshire Place

  • Fri, May 4, 2018
    Events on Campus
    Rainer Forst

    Rainer Forst
    Professor of Political Theory & Philosophy
    Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.

    hosted by:

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Solarium, Faculty of Law
    84 Queen's Park, Falconer Hall

  • Fri, May 11, 2018
    Conferences
    Globalization and Its Critics in the 21st Century

    The 6th Annual
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Ethics

    Graduate Student Conference
    May 11-12, 2018

    Globalization and Its Critics in the 21st Century will take the opportunity to consider the ethical implications of the resurgence of anti-globalization movements, in an interdisciplinary setting. We will look at the categories and concepts that different disciplines have used to understand, defend, or critique globalization and its critics, and ask whether they remain adequate frameworks for thinking about contemporary developments (Call for Papers).

    Keynote Speaker:
    Bernard Yack
    Lerman Neubauer Professor of Democracy and Public Policy
    Brandeis University

    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

Past Events