Research Workshop

Sherri Lynn Conklin (UCSB Grad Student)

"The Possibility of Permissible Wrong Doing"

Friday, November 16th from 12:10-2 PM in 22-210 (English bldg)

Abstract: In this paper, I defend both the possibility of permissible-wrong actions – actions that are morally permissible and nonetheless morally wrong – and the philosophical utility of recognizing this possibility. Initially, this will sound like a mistake. An action cannot be both wrong and permissible, since we take wrongness and impermissibility to be interchangeable, and an action cannot be both permissible and impermissible without a straightforward contradiction. The apparent inconsistency hangs on the assumption that all morally wrong actions are morally impermissible. Driving a wedge between “impermissibility” and “wrongness” and arguing they are different types of moral assessments about actions reveals the possibility of permissible-wrong action. Permissible-wrong action helps to provide solutions to many of moral theory’s other most challenging puzzles. I focus on genuine moral dilemmas and asymmetrical assessments of permissibility in Doctrine of Double Effect cases in this paper.

The Cal Poly Philosophy department is continuing the Research Workshop series. At these Research Workshops, graduate students from the UC Santa Barbara philosophy department come to Cal Poly to discuss some of their current work over lunch with our students and faculty. The Philosophy Research Workshops provide an opportunity to encounter and explore areas of current graduate student research. If the topics seem puzzling, consider attending so you may learn more about areas of philosophy beyond the scope of your current experience. We have scheduled two Research Workshops in Fall, with more scheduled for Winter and Spring.

The Cal Poly Research Workshop is made possible by the generous support of our alumni and benefactors.

For questions please contact:
Ken Brown
Department Chair 

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