Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Political Obligation in the World Society

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

UN Security Council

Jonathan Trejo-Mathys
Boston College

Date: Wednesday, October 2
Time: 12:00-1:15pm
Location: Boston College, Boisi Center


Abstract: Political philosophers have traditionally attempted to show that, provided certain conditions are met, there can be legitimate political authorities whose laws each citizen or subject ought to obey (and whose institutions they ought to support) for moral reasons, and not simply out of fear of punishment or for personal advantage. Beginning with Kant, and moving forward to debates surrounding monistic interpretations of international law and the nature of human rights, Professor Trejo-Mathys will offer some reflections on two different, but probably compatible, Kantian ways to think of political obligation from a world society perspective: one “foundationalist,” and one evolutionary, communicative and political.


Jonathan Trejo-Mathys is an assistant professor of philosophy at Boston College. His research interests lie in social and political philosophy (political authority, political obligation, global justice, transnational democracy), moral philosophy (Kant and the Kantian tradition in ethics and metaethics), and Habermas and the Frankfurt School tradition of "critical social theory." His recent scholarly publications have addressed Habermas and democratic law; Rorty and liberal democracy and religion; and Rawlsian critical theory and the World Trade Organization (forthcoming). He received his PhD in 2009 from Northwestern University.


In the News

An October 8 factory fire in Bangladesh, in which at least 10 people died and dozens were injured, raises questions about the obligation of individuals, states, and corporations to improve working conditions in the developing world. On October 2, BC philosophy professor Jonathan Trejo-Mathys discussed political obligation in an increasingly interconnected, international world society.