CFP: The Good Life in Ancient Ethics

Submission deadline: April 12, 2020

Conference date(s):
June 3, 2020

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Conference Venue:

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen
Groningen, Netherlands

Topic areas


Starting with Socrates, Greek and Roman philosophers have extensively explored the nature of the good life, treating the question of what our life as a whole should be like not only as the entry point of ethical reflection but also as an essential part of philosophy as such. Indeed, much recent scholarship has heightened our awareness of the fact that for the ancients, philosophy itself was meant to inform one’s way of life.   

To bring together scholars interested in this subject, we organize a one-day workshop that will take place on Wednesday June 3, 2020 at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. We invite submissions of papers addressing issues surrounding the good life in ancient ethics, broadly construed. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: 

- Formal features of the good / eudaimonia 

- Objectivism/realism versus subjectivism/anti-realism about the good 

- Friendship, love, and sex and their role in a good life  

- The nature and value of pleasure (and other affections) 

- The nature and value of theôria and other cognitive/rational activity and their role in a good life 

- (Problems with) Hedonism  


- Virtue and vice 

- Moral psychology 

- The possibility and value of self-knowledge 

- Philosophy as a way of life 

- Modern (e.g. psychological, philosophical, or therapeutic) appropriations of ancient ethics 

Keynote speaker      

The workshop’s keynote-speaker is professor Katja Maria Vogt (Columbia University), who has published widely in ancient philosophy and whose latest book—Desiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary Theory (Oxford University Press, 2017)—defends a novel and distinctive approach in ethics that is inspired by ancient philosophy. Ethics, according to this approach, starts from one question (‘what is the good for human beings?’) and its most immediate answer (‘a well-going human life’). Ethics thus conceived is broader than moral philosophy; it includes a range of topics in psychology and metaphysics.   

Submission guidelines  

Final papers should be approximately 40 minutes long, leaving 20 minutes of Q&A/discussion for each paper.

Please prepare your abstract of about 500–750 words for blind review and include a separate document with the title of your paper, your name, affiliation, career stage and contact details.    

Submissions should be sent to by Sunday April 12, 2020 (i.e., before April 13, 2020).  

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