Applied Ethics and Applying Ethics

Workshop at the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics

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 workshop takes place on 25-26 October 2013 in room GE 1.32 at the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics. Participation is free, however, registration with the Centre is required.

"Applied Ethics and Applying Ethics"

The idea of applied ethical reasoning comprises at least two dimensions. A first dimension refers to the question of how applied ethics is related to theoretical ethics. Should applied ethics be thought of as nothing more than an application of a given position in theoretical ethics? Or is it more plausible to think of it as an endeavor entirely independent of theoretical ethics? 

However, both at least seem to be mutually influential, which would yield the need to avoid inconsistencies between their respective assumptions and conceptions. In this respect, a mid-level approach may be of help, leaving fundamental disagreements on ethical foundations and justifications aside and instead focusing on shared ethical judgments and normative claims on a more concrete level. 

Still, in each of these cases a second dimension of applied ethical reasoning comes into play, namely the further question of how exactly to put ethics into concrete practice, i.e. how to apply ethical insights, conceptual distinctions, and normative conclusions in everyday life. However, this leads one back to the first dimension, for it raises the question of how putting ethics into practice may, in turn, affect the details of ethical reasoning in general.

The contributions of the workshop are intended to address this twofold problem of “applied ethics and applying ethics” and to discuss a number of positions tenable in this respect.


Friday, 25 October 2013
10:00 – 10:15 Welcome note and short introduction
10:15 – 11:15 Does the Idea of Applying (Philosophical) Ethics Pull One in Two Opposite Directions?
Michael Kühler (Münster)1
11:30 – 12:30 When to Apply Ethics, if at all?
Reinold Schmücker (Münster)
Lunch break
14:00 – 15:00 Applying of the Moral Enhancement
Veselin Mitrovic (Belgrade)
15:15 – 16:15 How to Do Ethics with Actions – Applying Ethics as Drama-Experiment
Jörg Zeller (Aalborg)
16:30 – 17:30 Applying Ethics? The Perspective of an Ethics-Committee at a Large German University Hospital
Norbert Jömann (Münster)
19:00 Dinner
Saturday, 25 Oct 2013
10:00 – 11:00 Bio-Ontological Foundations of Ethics and Being as Consciousness and Activity
Lennart Nørreklit (Aalborg)
11:15 – 12:15 Repression and Moral Reasoning
Hannes Nykänen (Åbo)
12:15 – 12:30 Final Remarks