On Monday 23 May, Harjit Bhogal (University of Maryland) gave a work-in-progress talk to the FraMEPhys group.
“Moral Necessity and Scientific Contingency”
Abstract: Here is a puzzling phenomenon. Moral theories are typically thought to be necessary. If act utilitarianism is true, for example, then it is necessarily true. However, scientific theories are typically thought to be contingent. If quantum field theory is true, it’s not necessarily true — the world could have been Newtonian. My aim is to explore this discrepancy between domains. In particular, I’ll make a suggestion about what could motivate this modal difference — one to do with our intuitions about the ‘internality’ of explanations in the two domains.