Ambition, Recognition and Social Prestige

June 27, 2024
Centre for Knowledge and Society (CEKAS), University of Aberdeen

Seminar room 224
Sir Duncan Rice Library, Bedford Road
Aberdeen AB24 3AA
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

This event is available both online and in-person


  • Scots Philosophical Association


Tilburg University
University of Sheffield
University of Aberdeen
University of Glasgow


University of Aberdeen

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This workshop explores ethical and epistemic problems connected to ambition and related ideas, such as social recognition, prestige, target-setting, achievement and the meaningfulness of life.  Ambition is an underexplored philosophical topic: yet arguably, the most significant achievements of humanity (e.g. space exploration, the elimination of smallpox) were strongly driven by aspirations to succeed. At the same time, misplaced ambition can lead to extremely negative results, either when the aspired-to goal is not in fact valuable, or when, even though worth pursuing in principle, the practicalities of pursuing the goal lead to overall detrimental effects—either for the individual(s) who pursue it, society at large, or both.

Mechanisms through which ambition is set, such as prizes, awards, targets, praise, role models, as well as issues arising from the achievement of high ambitions, such as those connected with admiration, fame and celebrity also fall under the remit of the workshop. This workshop aims to place the ethics and epistemology of ambition and related notions more prominently on the philosophical map

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June 21, 2024, 5:00pm BST

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University of Innsbruck

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