Thick (Concepts of) Autonomy?

Conference of the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics
2012-10-18 20 Plakat Thick Autonomy

During the last two decades, the concept of autonomy has been widely discussed in practical philosophy. Based on criticisms of minimal conceptions of autonomy, thick conceptions have been put forward which highlight the corporeal and social conditions of what it means to be a human person. This development also has a direct impact on biomedical ethics, as respect for autonomy is one of its core principles.

The aim of the conference is to provide a survey of thick conceptions of autonomy currently being put forward and to discuss possible objections. Furthermore, it will be discussed whether thick conceptions of autonomy should be brought to bear in biomedical ethics or whether referring to minimal conceptions of autonomy (or strictly formal ones) might suffice.



Download abstracts for all lectures as a PDF.

Thursday, Oct 18
6.00 p.m. Respecting Autonomy in Bioethics: 
Do we need a thicker concept of autonomy?
James F. Childress (Charlottesville, VA)
Public lecture at Erbdrostenhof, Salzstraße 38
Friday, Oct 19
9.15–10.30 a.m. Is the Autonomy Talk Misleading?
Thomas Gutmann (Münster)
10.30–11.45 a.m. What Moral Responsibility is Not
John M. Fischer (Riverside, CA) 
Coffee break
12.00–1.15 p.m. Autonomy And Beliefs
Alfred R. Mele (Tallahassee, FL)
Lunch break
3.00–4.15 p.m. Autonomy-Capacities: Risk-related or Not?
Bettina Schöne-Seifert (Münster)
Coffee break
4.45–6.00 p.m. How Much Understanding is Necessary for Autonomy?
James S. Taylor (Ewing, NJ)  
Saturday, Oct 20
9.15–10.30 a.m. Caring for Autonomy: 
Becoming Self-Governing With Other's Help
John Christman (State College, PA) 
10.30–11.45 a.m. Relational Autonomy and Capabilities Theories of Justice:
Exploring the Connections
Catriona Mackenzie (Sydney)
Coffee break
12.15–1.30 p.m. Perfectionist Autonomy
Thomas Schramme (Hamburg)  



Due to funding by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – DFG), taking part in the conference is free of charge. However, we kindly ask you to register in advance using the registration form.

There is a limited number of discounted hotel rooms allocated for participants of the conference, which can be booked until September 17, 2012 using this link. After this date please use the room booking service of "Münster Marketing" to find accommodation.


Conference Venues

The public lecture on Thursday evening will take place in a 18th century palace called Erbdrostenhof. It is located in the city centre of Münster (Salzstr. 38) and can be reached by foot from most of the hotels.

For the sessions on Friday and Saturday, the lecture hall will be the Alexander von Humboldt-House (Hüfferstr. 61) in the neighbourhood of the medical science campus. The location is connected to the city centre by several bus lines (e.g. 11, 12, 13, 22 – dismount at station "Jungeblodtplatz").

You might as well want to feel like a resident and rent a bicycle for getting around in Münster. There are several rental companies and even some hotels are keeping bikes available for their guests.

Participants from far away, especially our foreign guests, might also want to check the webpage of "Münster Marketing" on how to get here.