Kierkegaard and Issues in Contemporary Ethics

May 2, 2019 - May 3, 2019
ESC Clermont

4, boulevard Trudaine
Clermont-Ferrand
France

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Periodically brought to the fore in times of social and intellectual upheaval, Kierkegaard’s philosophy, and existential philosophy more generally, has often been associated with what Hannah Arendt termed a ‘willingness to tear down outmoded intellectual structures,’ and a return to the question(s) of the existing human being. More recently, philosophers such as Alasdair MacIntyre and Jürgen Habermas have appealed to Kierkegaard’s existential understanding of ethics as a way of moving beyond the sterile debates in normative ethics and of opening up the sphere of moral philosophy through an existential turn. Despite this renewed interest, little work has been done on how Kierkegaard could fruitfully be drawn into contemporary questions in ethics. Although existential philosophy is perhaps best characterized as a philosophy which focuses on ‘concrete’ existence, it is curious that it has not often enough been challenged with regard to concrete moral issues.

The aim of this conference is to attempt to bring to the fore some of these issues, and engage with them from the perspective(s) of existential ethics. Do Kierkegaard’s writings contain resources which could enable us to think through contemporary issues which the Dane himself never envisaged, such as the liberalization of genetic manipulation, acts of terrorism or political violence, the impact of new technologies on personal identity and social interaction, migration, gender identity, poverty and social inequality, the protection of the natural environment, the legalization of euthanasia, or the regulation of artificial intelligence? 

From the definition of the individual within the political sphere to the definition of humanity confronted with the increasing technicality of the environment, Kierkegaard’s philosophy continues to engage with those issues which shape our modern human condition and the mutations of our contemporary societies.

Conference Programme:

Thursday 2 May 2019

8:30 Welcome participants/coffee  (ESC Clermont, Room 250)

9:00 Opening words 

SESSION 1: ETHICS AND RELIGION (Room 250)

9:15 Roe Fremstedal (The Arctic University of Norway) Religion Reduced to Ethics? Moral Overridingness and the ‘Teleological Suspension of the Ethical’ 

10:00 Shai Frogel (Kibbutzim College of Education & Tel Aviv University) Either religion or ethics

10:45 Coffee break

11:00 Tomer Raudanski (Humboldt University) Two Meanings of Nihilism in Kierkegaard’s Aporia of Inoperative Death

11:45 Liam Hughes (Independent Researcher) Reflections on Kierkegaard's internalist perspective and its relation to social change

12:30 Lunch

SESSION 2: MEDIA AND POLITICS (Room 250)

14:00 Wojciech Kaftanski (Husserl-Archives, KU Leuven)Kierkegaard and Role Models: Imitation, Admiration and Moral Vision

14:45 Christopher Black (Texas A&M University) Choosing for Yourself in the Age of the Social Media Echo Chamber

15:30 Coffee break

15:45 Andrzej Słowikowski (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Science) Can a refugee be one’s neighbor in an ethical sense?

16:30 Paul Michael Whitfield(San Francisco State University) Kierkegaardian Reflections on Love and the State

 

SESSION 3: KIERKEGAARD ET LES ENJEUX DE L’ETHIQUE EXISTENTIELLE (Auditorium)

18:30 Accueil

19:00 Mélissa Fox-Muraton (ESC Clermont/Université Clermont Auvergne) Kierkegaard: une éthique existentielle pour notre époque?

19:45 Karl Verstrynge (Free University of Brussels, VUB) Déconnecte ta vie. Une approche kierkegaardienne de la détox digitale 

20h30-22h RECEPTION for all conference participants and guests

Friday 3 May 2019

SESSION 4: SELF AND OTHER

(Room 250)

9:00 Oliver Norman (Université de Poitiers) Despair and Gender Identity: Reading The Sickness Unto Deathin a Queer Light

9:45 Deidre Green (Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, BYU) (Divine) Love at a Distance: Kierkegaard’s Maternal Metaphors and Feminist Ethics

10:30 Coffee break

10:45 René Rosfort (Copenhagen University) The Strength of a Fragile Mind: Kierkegaard and Psychiatric Ethics

11:30 Viktoras Bachmetjevas (LSMU Emmanuel Levinas Center) Clemency over Forgiveness: Assessor Wilhelm’s Response to Vladimir Jankelevitch

12:15 Lunch

SESSION 5: ETHICAL LIFE AND DIVERSITY

(Room 250)

13:45 Bernhard Obsieger (Saint Louis University) A Kierkegaardian Approach to Ethical Life

14:30 Jakub Marek (Charles University Prague) Creatures of Habit: On Hereditary Sin and the Development of ‘Moral Faculties’ in Kierkegaard

15:15 Coffee break

15:30 Michael Glass (Temple University) Kierkegaard and Interreligious Understanding

16:15 Charles Blattberg (Université de Montréal) Kierkegaard’s Deep Diversity: The One and the Many

17:00 Closing words

Organisation: Mélissa Fox-Muraton (melissa.fox-muraton@esc-clermont.fr)

Scientific committee: Karl Verstrynge, René Rosfort, Roe Fremstedal

For all queries, contact: kierkegaard.clermont@esc-clermont.fr

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