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Dinner/Discussion: Should governments try to influence private morality?

  • Jun 15, 2014 · 6:00 PM

As part of  the BBC Radio 4 Public Philosopher series Michael Sandel, a political philosopher and professor at Harvard, recently held a public discussion at the University of Utrecht on the role of the state in shaping and policing moral values.

Given that The Netherlands is described by Sandel as one of the world's most permissive countries, having liberal laws on prostitution, cannabis and euthanasia, the discussion deals with perspectives on these topics, amongst others. 

Duration: 44 minutes

The lecture is avaliable as a podcast on the link below.

Lets meet to discuss some of the perspectives put forward over dinner. I'll have a look at suitable places for dinner and I will post the location during the week. The location will, most likely, be near the Spui area in Amsterdam. 

Thanks to Kieran for suggesting the topic as one that would appeal to the group. 

Please Note:

An RSVP to this group registers a clear commitment to attend. Otherwise, please do not hit the RSVP button (regardless of how tempting it may feel :-)). 

For those who have recently joined the group - prior to attendance it is important to listen to the lecture, to process it, and to come along ready to discuss the perspectives put forward. 

Looking forward to an interesting conversation. 


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  • Mary K.

    Hi there,
    I'm going to leave the reservation at 6pm - for those of us who have an early start tomorrow.
    Sorry Hilko!! Hope it's a nice Father's Day, and please feel free to drop by for a drink aferwards as we will still be there at 8pm.
    I'm at a workshop today and will not be online again until about 4pm.
    If, for some reason, any of you cannot make it this evening then please leave a note so that I can inform the restaurant in advance of any changes.
    See you there later.

    June 15, 2014

  • Roelof R.

    I am happy that we will meet in a small room: better chance to understand eachother accoustically.
    I would prefer 18.00 hrs.

    June 14, 2014

  • Hilko B.

    Hmm, eight would actually be ideal for me, as it looks like I'm not going to be able to attend otherwise. I just found out it's father's day tomorrow and I'm expected to swing by for a visit...

    June 14, 2014

  • Mary K.

    HI all,
    Sorry - it has been a manic week. It's the last week of school and I've been a bit inundated with reports etc.,
    Great that you've made suggestions. I was going to suggest Humphrey's on the Spui but I've called Skek instead about the small room that you suggested Hilko. It sounds ideal - and we can reserve it but - only at either 6 or at 8.
    I've booked it provisionally for 6 - but if that is way too early (and 8 suits better) then please let me know asap - so that I can change it.

    June 14, 2014

  • Virginia

    Hi there, What about Kantjil & de Tijger in Spui? No need to reserve table since you never known how many people finally attend.

    June 14, 2014

    • Hilko B.

      Skek (Zeedijk) serves food and has a very nice separate room that we could make a reservation for. I've used it regularly in the past for a book club.

      June 14, 2014

  • SS

    Hello, folks--

    But do we think government will need to influence us on a location?

    June 14, 2014

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