• 2018

    © SK

    Doing Realist Political Theory

    We do not live in an ideal world. So shouldn't political theory also allow itself a pinch of realism? Not whether but how this could actually work in practice will be discussed at a conference from 4 to 6 July.

    © NN

    Demandingness in Practice

    The question of when moral norms are too demanding has so far primarily been discussed from a metaethical point of view. But how does it look in practice: Do I have to risk my life or my job to help others or to do the morally right thing? A workshop on 27–29 June will focus on demandingness objections in practical ethics.

    © NN

    Philosophical Ascriptivism

    "There is nothing good except: One does it." Ascriptivists would probably supplement: "One does nothing good, unless it is recognized". A workshop on June 21-22 will explore how Ascriptivism turns the current practice of the constitution of actions and the attribution of responsibility upside down.

    © Stefan Klatt

    Causation and Responsibility in Moral Philosophy & Law

    The concept of causality is not only of interest in the natural sciences, but also plays a central role in the attribution of responsibility in law and ethics. A workshop on 19 and 20 April will be focusing on the manifold and complex issues arising in this context.

  • 2017

    © Stefan Klatt

    Consent: Its Nature and Normative Relevance

    Consent can make the difference between visiting someone’s home and trespassing, between battery and surgery, and between rape and sex. A conference on June 21-23 will deal with some fundamental questions about consent.

    Causation and Responsibility: Fact or Ascription?

    A depressed person acquires an occupational disability after an accident. To what extent is the perpetrator of the accident also responsible? A public lecture and a masterclass with Richard Wright and Ingeborg Puppe (27–28 April) will deal with the relationship of causation and responsibility.

    Moral Demandingness

    Do I have to be moral when my own well-being is strongly restricted thereby? Are ethical theories implausible when they ask too much of us? A workshop on 21–22 January 2017 will investigate the phenomenon of moral overdemandingness.

  • 2016

    Political Virtues & Political Emotions

    While in her recent book, Martha Nussbaum praised the role of (positive) political emotions, at the same time, a phenomenon called "post-truth politics" can be observed in the Western world. A workshop on 10 November will examine what political emotions are and how they relate to political virtues.

    Well-being and Time

    “When it can’t get any better, one should stop” is not just an old German saying, but also a result of happiness research. It gives us a hint to discuss the good life in its temporal constitution, rather than as an aggregated phenomenon. A conference on 17–19 October will take up that perspective.

    Perfectionism in Public Health

    The ban on smoking in restaurants is widely accepted. But how much should the state intervene in individual liberties for the purpose of public health care? A workshop on 21-22 March will deal with objectives and limits of „public health“.

    Happiness and the ontology of values

    It is often said that everyone has „his own personal ›good‹“. But aren't there also objective criteria of a good life, and if so, how do they relate to each other? A workshop on 3–4 March will deal with the ontology of (supposedly) happiness-relevant values.

    Call for Abstracts

    The temporal dimension of justice

    What is the significance of temporal aspects in ethics? During a summer school, interested young scientists may enter into dialogue with experts and with each other about this theme complex. The call for abstracts ends on 15 March.

  • 2015

    Consent and injustice

    A physically invasive procedure, e.g. blood withdrawal, is usually unlawful without the patient's consent. But what exactly is consent, and how does it change the legal and moral status of acts? A workshop on January 15th and 16th will bring together the relevant debates from different disciplines.

    Interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity

    A physicist discusses with a theologian… How can this be not the beginning of a joke but of innovative research? A workshop on December 10th and 11th will critically assess questions of whether and under which circumstances interdisciplinary research can be fruitful.

    Religion and Biopolitics

    Are religious arguments legitimate in biopolitical debates? What influence should theologians have e.g. in ethics committees? A conference on October 27 to 29 will focus on the role of religious actors and arguments from theoretical and empirical perspectives.

    Time - a normative resource?

    Should my advance directive still hold 50 years from now? When important decisions are being made, their temporal dimensions often play a big role. A conference on 19-22 October will examine to which extent this is true in the context of ethics.

    Modus vivendi

    Pluralistic societies face the problem of dealing with citizens' disagreements. Increasingly, such disagreements are deep and seem to be unresolvable. Some political theorists suggest the search for a "modus vivendi". A conference on 8-10 July will deal with the merits and problems of "modus vivendi".

    Priority of morality?

    Should a doctor be allowed to assist someone who wishes to die in taking their own life for reasons of conscience although this conflicts with the code of medical ethics? A convention taking place from 13 April until 15 April will examine conflicts between morality and other norms.

  • 2014

    Dimensions of dignity

    It seems that everyone has a different understanding of inviolable human dignity - although or maybe even also because it is at the opening of the German Constitution. A convention on 11 and 12 December 2014 will analyse different conceptions of dignity and their relation to each other.

    The ontological status of norms

    Human life is deeply imbued with norms in all its domains. But in which ways do all these norms exist? A workshop on 14 July will deal with the existence of norms from different philosophical perspectives.

    Is This Really Me? Autonomy, Authenticity and Alienation

    To what extent can a person lead an authentic life while taking antidepressants? Beyond this very specific example of Applied Ethics, a workshop on 6 June 2014 will seek to clarify the systematic relationship between alienation, authenticity and autonomy.

    What is justifiable by emergency?

    Does necessity know no law, as the folk saying goes? How can Ethics take into account the moral relevance of emergency situations? On 8 April 2014, a workshop will deal with problems of Emergency Ethics.

    Justification of Norms and Historical Experience

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been issued in 1948 subsequent to two devastating world wars and the holocaust. A conference on 30 and 31 January shall deal with the question if norms can be justified with reference to historical experience.

  • 2013

    Applied Ethics and Applying Ethics

    In dealing with applied ethics, we are confronted with two interdependent problem areas: the question of how applied ethics is related to theoretical ethics and the question of how to put ethics into concrete practice. A workshop on 25-26 October will examine these dimensions of "applied ethics and applying ethics".

    The Importance of Being Dead

    For transplantation medicine the principle applies: Vital organs may only be removed from already-dead donors. In cooperation with the ZiF, a conference on 12-14 September shall explore the normative status of the so called Dead Donor Rule.

    Aggregation and Fairness

    Due to limited resources in medical care, it constantly comes to situations where not all can be saved. A workshop on 5-6 September seeks to clarify central aspects of the question if the number of saved persons is morally relevant or not.

    2013-04-11 13 Teaser2 Pluralism

    Pluralism and Democracy

    The diversity of worldviews, moral outlooks and ethical commitments is one of modern societies‘ most significant characteristics. A conference on April 11-13 will deal with the problems of decision-making and other challenges of pluralism.

    Kant in Progress

    When concerned with deontological conceptions of ethics, the reading of Kant is a must. The Graduate Workshop "Kant in Progress" on 28 January is an opportunity to meet a Kant beyond the "Groundwork".

    The Concept of Solidarity in Bioethics

    In cooperation with the Emmy Noether Research Group "Political Philosophy and Bioethics", a Workshop will take place on 7 February dealing with the Concept of Solidarity in Bioethics.

  • 2012

    Bioethics and Freedom of Speech

    The utterances of bioethicists on controversial topics are at least potentially in the public domain these days. In a lecture on November 7 Professor John Harris will outline which new responsibilities will result from this thesis.

    Do We Need a Thicker Concept of Autonomy?

    Ethical controversies - e.g. regarding consent to or refusal of medical procedures - inevitably raise the question about an adequate concept of autonomy. In a lecture on October 18, Professor James F. Childress will discuss the suitability of different concepts.

    Ethical problems of organ donation

    On Friday, September 21, Michael Quante will give a public lecture on ethical problems of organ donation. The lecture will take place in the course of the open house of Münster University's Public Education service.

    Upright walking

    New publication: In his Opus Magnum "Der aufrechte Gang" ["Upright walking"], Kurt Bayertz is raising no lesser question than what it means to be human. What makes us human? What, besides pride and back problems, did our special position do for and to us?

    Thick (Concepts of) Autonomy?

    Respect for autonomy is one of the core principles of biomedical ethics. A conference on October 18-20 will discuss thick conceptions of autonomy, especially possible objections against them as well as their application to contexts of biomedical ethics.

    Cruel Care?

    In a public lecture on July 26, Professor Thomas Schramme will examine coercive measures in psychiatry and identify morally problematic practices. The lecture is part of the Summer School on Limits of Self-Determination in Medical Care.

    What is to be done if you cannot save everyone?

    What ought one do if one is faced with the decision to either save a smaller or a larger group of people from certain death? A workshop on July 3, 2012 will discuss the positions of the "Do numbers count?" debate.

    Theory and Practice of Global Health

    The Health Impact Fund is a reform project seeking to improve worldwide medication supply especially for the poor. Its theoretical foundations as well as its practicability will be discussed in a workshop on June 6.

    Bioethics – Pluralism – Religion

    Which role are religiously motivated arguments playing in recent bioethical debates, or which role should they play? In a workshop on May 24th, the Centre will discuss the pointed contributions of H. Tristram Engelhardt on this topic.

    Workshop with Bennett W. Helm

    Bennett W. Helm is an expert in Moral Psychology, Personal Autonomy, and Philosophy of the Mind. In a workshop in the afternoon of March 13, 2012, two of his recent works will be discussed.

    Autonomy and Love in Bioethics

    Many problems regarding patient autonomy have to be addressed differently, if love is taken into account. The workshop on March 12, 2012 will examine the relationship between different concepts of love and autonomy.

    Consequentialist Ethics: The Fundamental Questions

    Always doing that which will likely have the better consequences only appears to be a naive commonplace on the surface. A workshop on 16 and 17 February will consider and discuss the basic ideas and problems of ethical consequentialism.

    Call for Papers

    Limits of Self-Determination in Medical Care

    What is meant by patient autonomy and what are the limits of its range? Young researchers get the opportunity to present their own work on this topic in a summer school in July 23-27, 2012 and to discuss it with experts.

  • 2011

    Human Persistence or Personal Identity?

    The question regarding personal or human identity throughout time is a returning problem in debates of biomedical ethics. Cordula Brand has proposed a naturalistic criterion for identity which shall be discussed in a workshop on November 15.

    The problem of humanitarian intervention

    Sebastian Laukötter, philosopher at the Centre, has been honoured with the "Poertgen Herder Prize" for his dissertation "Between Interference and Assistance - Humanitarian Intervention and Responsibility to Protect in History of Political Thought".

    Narration and Principlism

    What does narration have to do with medicine? What are middle range principles and how do they apply to specific medical cases? In a master class Marcia Day and James Childress discussed with the participants several problems of medical ethics.

    Liberalism and Pluralism

    There is disagreement between liberalists and pluralists on how rules and norms of democratic societies should be constituted. In a workshop on May 31 the relationship between liberalism and pluralism shall be examined.

    Beckett at the Bedside

    Professor Marcia Day Childress (University of Virgina) gives a lecture on the value of Beckett's short plays for medical education. The public lecture takes place on May 30 in the Institute for Medical Ethics, History and Philosophy of Medicine.

    Religious reasons in secular clothing?

    Sociologist Professor John H. Evans discussed with the Centre about the relationship of religious and secular reasoning in public bioethics. What are the consequences for normative theory?

    A Decent Proposal

    For students and postgraduates in political sciences and philosophy at the University of Münster Professor Thomas Pogge gave a master class on questions of globals justice.

    Conscience vs. Patients' Will

    The medical ethicist Professor James Childress (University of Virgina) gives a lecture on problems of conscientious refusals in health care. The publis lecture takes place on May 16 in the lecture hall of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine.

    "A massive violation of human rights"

    The current system of medication supply leads to a structural disadvantage of the poorest in the world, says philosopher Professor Thomas Pogge. In his lecture on Wednesday he presented the "Health Impact Fund" as an alternative.

    World Poverty and Health

    The philosopher Prof. Dr. Thomas Pogge (Yale University) gives a lecture on "A Fairer Global Healthcare System". The public lecture takes place on April 20 in lecture hall F2 of the Fürstenberghaus, Domplatz 20-22 and starts at 18 o'clock.

  • 2010

    2010-12-02 Teaser2 Autonomie

    Autonomy and Paternalism

    In current bioethics, the principle of respect for autonomy has outstripped the traditional orientation to the patient's welfare. In a workshop on December 2, 2010, the conceptual problems arising with this shift shall be addressed.


    Preprints of the Centre

    Within the series "Preprints of the Centre for Advanced Study" recent research result of members and fellows of the Centre will pe published on our homepage. At present nine articles can be found here


    Healthier through education

    Professor Dr. Volker H. Schmidt discussed with the members of the Centre on the topic of prioritization in welfare policy. He argued, that in Germany the expenditure on health should be cut back to the benefit of those on education.

    Opening Ceremony of the Centre

    In a ceremonial act in the Palace, the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics will be officially openend on Tuesday April 27, 2010. Highlight of the evening will be a lecture on "Value Pluralism and Ethical Neutrality of the State - the Example of Bioethics" by Professor Dr. Horst Dreier (University of Würzburg). Beginning of the ceremony is 20 o'clock.