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 Invitation to an International Conference 

Re-Learning to be Human for Global Times:

Justice and Responsibility


January 9-10, 2017                                                                                         Delhi, India




University of Delhi



Globalisation is taking us away from ‘something that is essentially required to be called a human’. To counter this kind of attitude many urged for human face of globalisation. The need of the day is to relearn to be human. This seminar aims to bring out academic engagement on two concepts - Justice and Responsibility - which are very important for an individual to be human. Human here, is taken to be able to relate to oneself and to the others as well as to the nature. With the understanding and use of these two concepts Individuals realise their own selves, in relation to themselves and in relation to the nature as well.


Justice has many forms, social, legal and natural, depending on the perception. It has been transforming its meaning as well as referent continuously with the growth of human civilisation. Its conception as well as its ensuring mechanisms have been changing from time to time in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill, Rawls, Robert Nozick, Michael Sandle, Thomas Pogge, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, Michael Boylan etc. It must be noted that institutions charged with giving justice must understand responsibility in terms of norms governing what people are entitled to expect of each other. On this conception, the sort of responsibility that is of interest to private law or distributive justice is not a relation between a person and the consequence, rather, it is a relation between persons with respect to consequences. As a result, nonrelational facts about a person's actions and the circumstances in which he/she performs them will never settle the questions of responsibility that matter to institutions charged with giving justice.


Similarly, philosophical discussions on the concept of Responsibility have varied from agent oriented to prospective, retrospective and virtue forms. Globalisation has brought a new orientation to all these forms of discussion on responsibility, by giving it a new dimension. Philosophers such as Edmund Burke, J.S. mill and Max Weber etc. have enriched the discussion, historically,  J.S. Mill for instance writes of responsibility from the point of principles of representative government. Similarly, Max Weber propounded an ethics of responsibility for the politician.


In the light of the above discussion, What kind of new challenges Globalisation is posing to the essentially human conceptions such as Justice and Responsibility is the major concern of the seminar.


The following are some of the sub-themes and questions that the seminar intends to address:


  1. Relation between Justice and Responsibility: Can there be justice without responsibility and vice versa, Are concepts like Justice and Responsibility dependent on concept of reciprocity?

  2. Justice and responsibility in relation to society, Religion, Economy, Nature, Life, Information technology, Artificial life

  3. Philosophical foundations of Responsibility: Individual responsibility versus group responsibility, Responsibility of the group to group, group towards individual, individual towards individual, individual towards group.

  4. Forms of Responsibility: Responsibility as Virtue, Agent oriented, Prospective and Retrospective Responsibility

  5. Whether we have any responsibility towards our future generations?

  6. Whether we are justified in excessively exploiting the resources for our own use, without giving a thought for the coming generations?

  7. Various forms of Justice: Distributive theories of justice: Social justice, Virtue, Fairness, Property rights and Maximisation of Welfare: Retributive Theories of Justice: Utilitarianism, Restorative justice and Mixed theories,

  8. Do we have any obligation to the unknown?

  9. Can there be any valid claim for justice by the unknown?

  10. Whether discussion on - Justice for the unknown, justice for the non-existent, justice for future – have any validity?

  11. Corporate social responsibility.

  12. Challenges to Justice and Responsibility during Globalisation.



Please send 300 words and a brief CV to Balaganapathi Devarakonda [balaganapathid@gmail.com] and [cua-rvp@cua.edu] until November 30, 2016. Presentation of accepted papers will be 20 minutes in length followed by 20 minutes discussion. Well-developed full papers will be publisehd by the RVP.



There is no registration fee. Travel expense and accommodation will be covered by theparticipants.



Balaganapathi Devarakonda
Department of Philosophy
University of Delhi
Delhi, India







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