february, 2019

06feb4:00 pm6:00 pmJonathan Wolff: 'Injustice in the Real World'A Hart Seminar


Event Details

It is my pleasure to invite you to a Hart Seminar featuring Professor Jonathan Wolff: ‘Injustice in the Real World’. This is an optional pre-read seminar, and the reading will be circulated to registered attendees one week prior to the event.

Abstract: The perspective of ‘real-world political philosophy’ suggests that, rather than looking for models of an ideally just society, the political philosopher should seek out the most serious injustices in the actual world and join with others to propose steps to remove or mitigate those injustices. An objection to this approach is the claim that without some sort of ideal of justice, first, there is nothing to guide social change, and second, there is no role for the political philosopher. My response draws on the insights of standpoint theory, from Marxism, feminism and critical race theory, to explain how philosophy can be used to identify myths that disguise the injustice of the status quo, and thereby make that injustice evident, without appealing to ideal theory.

Jonathan Wolff is the Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He was formerly Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL. His recent work has largely concerned equality, disadvantage, social justice and poverty, as well as applied topics such as public safety, disability, gambling, and the regulation of recreational drugs, which he has discussed in his books Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry (Routledge 2011) and The Human Right to Health (Norton 2012).

Professor Wolff’s seminar is part of our Hart Seminar Series, which features a diverse group of leading scholars working at the intersection of law and philosophy. Hart Publishing contributes generous support to make the seminar series possible.


(Wednesday) 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


University of Surrey School of Law

Frank Whittle Building (AB) Fifth Floor, Guildford, GU2 7XH

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