The Thalberg lecture will take place at 4pm in the Institute for the Humanities (Stevenson Hall, lower level).
Abstract: There is a familiar, everyday notion of responsibility about which there is surprisingly little literature, philosophical or otherwise. It is the notion of a
responsibility. Much of daily life on and off the job is consumed with taking care of responsibilities in this sense. This kind of responsibility is a familiar object of complaint: Some people have too many responsibilities. Some take on responsibilities that they ought not. Some meddle in what is not their responsibility. Some feel their willingness to take on responsibilities is exploited. Sometimes responsibilities seem unfairly distributed. But what is a
responsibility? In particular, how are responsibilities related to obligations? And is there an “ethics of responsibility” underlying familiar complaints having to do with having and taking on responsibilities. I begin by exploring the nature of responsibilities and then turn to the ethics of responsibility, focusing particularly on concerns related to taking