Freitag, 10.06.2016, 09:00 Uhr
In the field of normative ethics, a variety of moral theories – e.g. consequentialism, deontology or contractualism – have always shaped the discussion in an important way. Usually, it is simply assumed (rather than argued) that those theories are mutually exclusive, competing accounts. Indeed, it may sometimes even look like the whole project of normative ethics can be understood as the quest to find out which of these theories would best explain and justify our particular moral judgements.
Discussions in metaethics have traditionally focused on issues in moral metaphysics, epistemology, psychology and semantics. However, given their prominent status in ethical theorizing, there has been surprisingly little systematic meta-reflection about moral theories themselves, addressing questions like: How do moral theories relate to each other? Are they really mutually exclusive, or might they be compatible or even reducible to one another? Based on what philosophical method and on what criteria do we choose between them? Do they all have the same purpose? And what do the answers to such questions tell us about the nature of the subfield of philosophy we are dealing with?
By engaging with these questions, the workshop aims at gaining a more systematic understanding of normative ethics and its methods.