Abstract for Sinclair’s Talk

Known and suspected paedophiles are the subject of particularly harsh treatment in the UK and the US, at least.  At the same time, contemporary public discourse concerning paedophilia suggests a paradigmatic moral panic—the kind that obscures the basis of the judgments of evil that characterise it.  And of course paedophilic acts have not always been regarded as they are now.  Whereasthere’s plenty of philosophical work on other acts widely regarded as great evils—slavery, terrorism, and colonialism, for example—there doesn’t seem to be much on paedophilia, even though it’s not altogether obvious what exactly is wrong with paedophilic acts.  So it seems worth inquiring into.  That’s what I’ll do in this talk.