Research School of Social Sciences Inaugural Public Lecture

Freedom and Other Robustly Demanding Goods

If you enjoyed freedom in a particular choice then it must be that no one interfered with the option you actually took and that no one would have interfered with any of the options not taken. In that sense freedom requires robust, not just actual non-interference. Many other goods display a similar robustly demanding profile, including the good provided by the love or friendship of others, or by their honesty, justice or kindness. The robustness of the demands imposed by such goods is worth marking, because it has deep-running, often neglected implications for ethics and politics.

Philip Pettit is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Australian National University as well as the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University. His research is philosophically broad, and often interdisciplinary, but is centred in moral and political theory. His recent books include On the People’s Terms (2012), Group Agency (with Christian List 2011), A Political Philosophy in Public Life (with J.Marti 2010) and Made with Words (2008). Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit appeared in 2007 with OUP, edited by Geoffrey Brennan, R.E.Goodin, Frank Jackson and Michael Smith. He is a member of the Australian academies in Humanities and Social Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Irish Academy. Currently he is working on a book The Robust Demands of the Good, the text of the Uehiro Lectures in Ethics, Oxford University 2011. He is to give the Tanner Lectures on Human Values in the University of California at Berkeley in 2015.

Date & time

Mon 06 May 2013, 4:30pm to 6:30pm


Hedley Bull Theatre 1, ANU


Philip Pettit, School of Philosophy


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