Green leaves in front of fluted columns on the Columbia University campus

Twin Conferences in Tribute to The Philosophy of Joseph Raz

Columbia Law School, New York, September 22-24, 2023
YTL Center, King's College, London, October 27-29, 2023

Professor Joseph Raz, to many of us a lifelong mentor, colleague and dear friend, passed away on May 2nd, 2022. In recognition of Raz's enormous influence in philosophy and legal theory, organizers of the twin conferences in tribute to his work invite you to attend one or both conferences and to participate in the discussions. The papers will be made available for download in advance of each conference, and participants will be assumed to have read the papers in advance. The sessions will be devoted to open discussion. This event is open to all.

Please fill out this short registration form to confirm your attendance.

Advanced registration is not required and can be completed on the day of attendance.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Program on Ethics & Public Life, Cornell University.

Conference Logo

Conference Program

Jerome Greene Hall, Room 101 

Friday, September 22nd
1:30: Check-in begins in Jerome Greene Hall
2:00: Coffee and Light Refreshments Served
2:30: Opening Remarks by Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law
2:35 - 4:00: Brian Bix, 'What Does Law Claim?'
4:30 - 6:00: Ulrike Heuer, 'The Point of Exclusionary Reasons'

Saturday, September 23rd
9:00: Breakfast Available
9:30 - 11:00: Thomas Scanlon, 'Understanding Good of a Kind and Good for in Terms of Reasons'
11:30 - 1:00: Elinor Mason, 'Pitfalls of Being in the World'
1:00 - 2:30: Lunch + Coffee Served
2:30 - 4:00: Claire Kirwin, 'The Guise of the Good and the Agential Perspective on Action'
4:30 - 6:00: Emad Atiq, 'Law, the Rule of Law, & Goodness-fixing Kinds'

Sunday, September 24th
9:00: Breakfast Available
9:30 - 11:00: Ashwini Vasanthakumar, 'Standing up for yourself (and others): other-regarding aspects of the duty of self-respect'
11:30 - 1:00: Daniel Weinstock, 'Rethinking Multiculturalism with (and against) Raz'
1:00 - 2:30: Lunch + Coffee Served
2:30 - 4:30: Ralph Wedgwood, 'Decision-Theoretic Virtue Ethics' 


Emad H. Atiq

Emad H. Atiq

Professor of Law & Philosophy, Cornell University

Emad Atiq's research explores the nature of normative reasoning and the connections between moral, legal, and epistemic norms.

In the philosophy of law, Atiq defends the claim that legal facts are partly determined by moral facts; raises a new challenge for opposing views that's based on the history of legal systems; and argues the persistent disagreement about the relationship between law and morality undermines claims of objectivity in recent legal theory. Apart from jurisprudence, Atiq has published on the philosophy of contract law, on convention-dependent normative questions, on how judges should reason about moral questions under the law, and on the scope of judicial obligations to follow the law.

In ethics and epistemology, Atiq's scholarship explores: the ethical implications of broadly expressivist views of the nature of moral thought and talk; how best to understand the supervenience of the normative on the non-normative; ground-theoretic attempts to distinguish quasi-realism from full-blooded realism about normative truth; and the nature and moral significance of knowledge by perceptual acquaintance. Atiq's work in this area is increasingly guided by the aim of developing a naturalistically acceptable account of the objectivity of moral demands.

Brian Bix

Brian Bix

Frederick W. Thomas Professor of Law and Philosophy, Minnesota Law

Professor Brian Bix joined the faculty in 2001. He teaches in the areas of jurisprudence, family law, and contract law. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Philosophy.

Professor Bix received his B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983; his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1986; and his D.Phil. in Law from Balliol College, Oxford University, in 1991. Professor Bix taught at Quinnipiac University School of Law, as Associate Professor (1995-1997) and Professor (1998-2001). He was a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center during the spring semester of 2000 and at George Washington University Law School in the fall of 1999. Professor Bix was the Lecturer in Jurisprudence and Legal Reasoning at King's College, University of London, from 1991 to 1993; he taught at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, from 1989 to 1990. He was a law clerk for Justice Benjamin Kaplan at the Massachusetts Appeals Court (1993-95, while on leave from the King's College), and he also clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1987-1988), and Justice Alan Handler, New Jersey Supreme Court (1986-1987). He is a member of the American Law Institute.


Ulrike Heuer

Ulrike Heuer

Associate Professor, University College London

Ulrike Heuer has received her PhD from the Free University in Berlin. Before coming to UCL, she was an Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Leeds, and before that an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She also held fixed term positions at Columbia University, and Barnard College, and was a Faculty Fellow at the Safra Institute for Ethics at Harvard University, as well as at Murphy Institute at Tulane University, and most recently she has been a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Vienna as part of the ERC advanced project "Distortions of Normativity".


Claire Kirwin

Claire Kirwin

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University

Claire Kirwin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. She works on the nature of value—e​thical, aesthetic, and beyond—a​nd the nature of our relationship to it as minded creatures. Currently, she is writing about moral knowledge, love, alienation, the first-person perspective, and whether value is real (it is).


Elinor Mason

Elinor Mason

Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Barbara

Elinor Mason is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Previously she taught at Edinburgh University, University of Colorado Boulder, and Arizona State University. She is the author of Ways to be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness and Responsibility (OUP 2019) and Feminist Philosophy: An Introduction (Routledge, 2022).


Thomas Scanlon

Thomas Scanlon

Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, Emeritus, Harvard University

T.M. Scanlon is Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity. He received his B.A. from Princeton in 1962 and his Ph.D. from Harvard. In between, he studied for a year at Oxford as a Fulbright Fellow. He taught at Princeton from 1966 before coming to Harvard in 1984.

Professor Scanlon's dissertation and some of his first papers were in mathematical logic, but the bulk of his teaching and writing has been in moral and political philosophy. He has published papers on freedom of expression, the nature of rights, conceptions of welfare, and theories of justice, as well as on foundational questions in moral theory. His teaching in the department has included courses on theories of justice, equality, and recent ethical theory.


Ashwini Vasanthakumar

Ashwini Vasanthakumar

Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in Legal and Political Philosophy, Queen’s University

Ashwini Vasanthakumar is an Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in Legal and Political Philosophy at Queen’s Law School. She holds an A.B from Harvard; an M.A from the University of Toronto; a J.D from Yale Law School; and a DPhil from Oxford, where she studied as a Canadian Rhodes Scholar. 

Prior to Queen’s, she held positions at King’s College London, University of York, University of Oxford, and Jindal Global Law School. She is a researcher at the Institute for Futures Studies (Stockholm) and will be a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School (Berlin).

Vasanthakumar’s research explores political authority, membership, and obligation. Her monograph, The Ethics of Exile: a political theory of diaspora, will be published by Oxford University Press in late 2021. Current research projects include: privatization and legitimacy in border control, victims’ duties to resist their oppression, and transitional justice as transnational justice. 

Her research has been supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, a British Academy Rising Star Award, the Swedish Research Council and the Wallenberg Foundation.

Ralph Wedgwood

Ralph Wedgwood

Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California

Ralph Wedgwood is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. Before taking up this position, he was educated at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, at King’s College London, and at Cornell University, and taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at Merton College, University of Oxford. His primary interests are in epistemology and ethics (including metaethics, normative ethical theory, and the history of ethics). He has published more than sixty articles and three books, The Nature of Normativity (Oxford, 2007), The Value of Rationality (Oxford, 2017), and Rationality and Belief (Oxford, 2023).

Daniel Weinstock

Daniel Weinstock

Katharine A. Pearson Chair in Civil Society and Public Policy in the Faculties of Law and of Arts and Associate Dean for Research, McGill University

Professor Daniel Weinstock's research interests have spanned widely across a wide range of topics in contemporary moral and political philosophy – from the just management of ethnocultural and religious diversity in modern liberal democracies, to state policy with respect to children, families, and educational institutions.

His main research interests at present have to do with the problem of health equity, and with issues of justice and inclusion as they arise in the organization of modern cities.

The guiding thread of his research has been to connect philosophical and ethical argument with institutional reasoning. It is marked by the firm conviction that moral and political philosophers have paid insufficient attention to the institutional parameters that both enable and constrain the realization of normative ideals. His areas of expertise also include the politics of language and identity, democracy, citizenship, and pluralism.

He joined McGill’s Faculty of Law in August 2012, and was director of the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy from 2013 to 2020. He was appointed Katharine A. Pearson Chair in Civil Society and Public Policy in the Faculties of Law and of Arts on June 2020, for a seven year mandate. He started a three-year mandate as the Faculty's Associate Dean (Research) in September 2021.

Professor Daniel Weinstock has published many articles on the ethics of nationalism, problems of justice and stability in multinational states, the foundations of international ethics, and the accommodation of cultural and moral diversity within liberal democratic societies. He has also been an active participant in public policy in Québec, having been a member from 1997 to 1999 of a Ministry of Education working group on religion in public schools, and from 2003 to 2008, the founding director of Quebec’s Public Health Ethics Committee.

Professor Weinstock is a prize fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (2004), and a recipient of the André-Laurendeau Prize given by the Association canadienne-française pour l’avancement des sciences (2008). A James McGill Professor from 2014 to 2020, he was awarded the 2017 Charles Taylor Prize for Excellence in Policy Research by the Broadbent Institute.

Previously a Professor of Philosophy at the Université de Montréal, Daniel Weinstock held Canadian Research Chair on Ethics and Political Philosophy. He was also the director of the Research Centre on Ethics at Université de Montréal (CRÉUM) for many years. He is also a member of Centre d'études ethniques des universités montréalaises (Université de Montréal).

He studied under Charles Taylor, and at Harvard University, he also studied under John Rawls. Professor Daniel Weinstock holds a DPhil in philosophy (Oxford), an MA in political philosophy, and a BA in French literature and political philosophy (McGill).


Conference Papers

More Information

Guests of the Raz Conference are able to receive Columbia preferred rates at several nearby hotels. Bookings can be completed online using the Columbia Visitors Travel Portal. If booking by phone, please mention you are a Columbia guest to receive the preferred rate.

Columbia Preferred Hotels Include:

  • The Belleclaire - 2175 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
  • The Radio Hotel Washington Heights - 2420 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10033
  • The Lucerne - 201 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024
  • Warwick New York - 65 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019
  • Aloft Harlem - 2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027
  • The Arthouse - 222 W 77th St, New York, NY 10024
  • Edge Washington Heights - 514 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032


Participants will need to cover their own travel expenses. A limited amount of funding will be available to assist those who cannot cover the costs from their research/travel budgets. Please email [email protected] with "Raz Conference" as the subject line to inquire about these funds.

Columbia Law School NYC Steering Committee:

  • Ashraf Ahmed (Columbia)
  • Kimberley Brownlee (Univ. of British Columbia)
  • Mala Chatterjee (Columbia)
  • David Enoch (Hebrew Univ.) 
  • Andrei Marmor (Cornell)
  • Daniel Viehoff (NYU)
  • Jeremy Waldron (NYU)

King's College London Steering Committee

  • Maria Alvarez (KCL)
  • John Hyman (UCL)
  • Timothy Macklem (Queen Mary)
  • Andrei Marmor (Cornell)
  • Massimo Renzo (KCL)

King's College Conference Information