Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL IAS Book Launch: Rules and Ethics: Perspectives from Anthropology and History

29 September 2021, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Rules and Ethics book cover

We welcome Emily Corran (UCL History) and Morgan Clarke (Keble, Oxford, Anthropology) to launch their book which investigates the pronounced enthusiasm that many traditions display for codes of ethics characterised by a multitude of rules.

This event is free.

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Recent anthropological interest in ethics and historical explorations of 'self-fashioning' have led to extensive study of the virtuous self, but existing scholarship tends to pass over the kind of morality that involves legalistic reasoning. Rules and ethics corrects that omission by demonstrating the importance of rules in everyday moral life in a variety of contexts. In a nutshell, it argues that legalistic moral rules are not necessarily an obstruction to a rounded ethical self, but can be an integral part of it. An extended introduction first sets out the theoretical basis for studies of ethical systems that are characterised by detailed rules. This is followed by a series of empirical studies of rule-oriented moral traditions in a comparative perspective.

Professor Ben Kaplan (UCL History) and Professor Fernanda Pirie (St Cross, Oxford, Anthropology) will each give a short response to the book followed by the editors of the volume (Professor Morgan Clarke and Dr Emily Corran) making some closing remarks.

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About the Speakers

Dr Emily Corran (Editor)

Lecturer in Medieval History at Department of History, UCL

More about Dr Emily Corran (Editor)

Professor Morgan Clarke (Editor)

Professor of Social Anthropology at Keble College, University of Oxford

More about Professor Morgan Clarke (Editor)

Professor Ben Kaplan

Professor of Dutch History at Department of History, UCL

More about Professor Ben Kaplan

Professor Fernanda Pirie

Professor of the Anthropology of Law at St Cross College, University of Oxford

More about Professor Fernanda Pirie