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Philosophy Colloquium Series: Does Moral Psychology Explain the Intuition that Pharmaceutical Companies Have a 'Special' Obligation to Society?
Start Date: 9/19/2013Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Date: 9/19/2013End Time: 2:30 PM

Event Description:

Suffolk University graduate student James Huebner (Ethics & Public Policy) presents "Does Moral Psychology Explain the Intuition that Pharmaceutical Companies have a 'Special' Obligation to Society?" as an event in the Philosophy Colloquium Series. Sponsored by The Suffolk Philosophy Society and the Philosophy Department. Refreshments will be served.

Abstract: Many people believe that the research-based pharmaceutical industry has a 'special' moral obligation to provide lifesaving medications to the needy, either free-of charge or at a reduced rate relative to the cost of manufacture.  I wish to defend the view that this ubiquitous notion of a special moral obligation is an expression of emotionally charged intuitions involving sacred or protected values and an aversive response to betrayal in an asymmetric trust relationship. I then review the most common arguments used to justify the claim that the pharmaceutical industry has a special moral obligation and show why these justifications fail. Taken together, these conclusions call into question the conventional ideologies that have traditionally animated the debate on whether the pharmaceutical industry has special duties of beneficence and distributive justice with respect to the impoverished in dire need of their products.

Contact Information:
Name: Jeppe von Platz
Phone: 617-573-8399
Intended Audience:
  • Faculty
  • General Public
  • Graduate Students
  • Staff
  • Undergraduate Students

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