The Columns

Tim Dare of the University of Auckland Will Give Talk at Legal Ethics Institute

— by on March 23rd, 2012

Tim Dare, senior lecturer (associate professor of philosophy) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, will give the keynote speech at Washington and Lee University’s 34th Legal Ethics Institute on Friday, March 30, at 5 p.m. in Huntley 221. Dare previously gave the legal ethics talk in 2005.

The title of Dare’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Rescuing Roles from the Social Sciences.”

“With a few well-known exceptions, many of which are to be found in legal ethics, philosophers and lawyers have paid relatively little attention to the moral significance of social roles,” said Dare. “However, role theory was a major strand of inquiry in sociology for much of the last century, before rapidly falling from favor around the 1990s.

“In this talk, I will examine the rise and fall of role theory in the social sciences, arguing that the turn away from the approach was based on two errors: 1) the attempt to hold role theory to implausible and undesirable explanatory standards and 2) the idea that roles were inflexible, allowing little room for constructive engagement with roles by role occupants.  With these alleged flaws addressed, role theory has much to offer our understanding of the normative demands of social roles such as that of the lawyer.”

Dare is the author of The Counsel of Rogues? A Defence of the Standard Conception of the Lawyer’s Role (2009).  He co-edited Professional Ethics and Personal Integrity (2009/2010) with W. Bradley Wendel, who spoke at W&L’s Legal Ethics Institute in 2011. Dare has also written over 14 refereed journal articles, in addition to sections in books, reprints and reviews and comments.

Dare has taught at all levels within the philosophy department, mostly in courses in the broad areas of ethics, political philosophy and legal philosophy. Head of the philosophy department at the University of Auckland, he also is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He received his B.A., LL.B. and M.Jur. from the University of Auckland and his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta.

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