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The Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law is delighted to invite Patrick Todd to lead the second workshop in the 2022/23 KJuris programme.


In response to criticism, we often say – in these or similar words – “Let’s see you do better!” Prima facie, it looks like this response is a challenge of a certain kind – a challenge to prove that one has what has recently been called standing. More generally, the data here seems to point to a certain kind of norm of criticism: be better . Slightly more carefully: One must: criticize x with respect to standard s only if one is better than x with respect to standard s. In this paper, I defend precisely this norm of criticism – an underexplored norm that is nevertheless ubiquitous in our lives, once we begin looking for it. The be better norm is, I hope to show, continuously invoked in a wide range of ordinary settings, can undergird and explain the widely endorsed non-hypocrisy condition on the standing to blame, and apparent counterexamples to the norm are no such counterexamples at all.

Speaker Bio:

Patrick Todd is a Chancellor's Fellow/Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, although from September 2022 - August 2024, he is based in Lund, Sweden, as a Senior Research Fellow in the Lund/Gothenburg Responsibility Project. His interests include metaphysics (especially the open future and the problem of future contingents), ethics (especially the ethics of blame), and free will and moral responsibility. He has recently published a book on the open future, The Open Future: Why Future Contingents are all False (OUP, 2021). He is currently working on topics relating to the standing to blame/criticize, epistemic arguments for compatibilism, and Strawsonian justifications of our responsibility practices.


Directed by Professor Lorenzo Zucca and Professor Massimo Renzo, King's Legal Philosophy Colloquium, KJuris, is a forum devoted to discussing works in progress by today's leading legal philosophers and theorists as well as by promising younger talents from around the world. While our focus is philosophical and jurisprudential, we construe these terms broadly and welcome all rigorous methodological approaches to legal theory.

At this event

Massimo Renzo

Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law

Lorenzo Zucca

Professor of Law & Philosophy

Event details

SW1.17 (Ante Room), The Dickson Poon School of Law, Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS