Center for Interdisziplinary Research

ZiF Workshop

Is and Ought: The Ethical and Legal Relevance of Moral Psychology

Date: 11 - 12 May 2017

Convenors: Christoph Bublitz (Hamburg, GER), Norbert Paulo (Salzburg, AUT)

In recent decades, empirical research in moral psychology has yielded a wealth of interesting findings that requires philosophical interpretation. Some findings call basic assumptions of traditional philosophy into question and inspired the creation of the field of experimental ethics. It prompts a critical re-interpretation of the relation between the empirical world and the realm of values. At the workshop Is and ought: The Ethical and Legal Relevance of Moral Psychology an international group of philosophers, psychologists, economists and legal scholars investigated the normative implications of empirical research in moral psychology and cognitive sciences. Among many other things, the group discussed various attempts to analyze the structure of so-called debunking arguments in order to find a parallel structure for more constructive vindicating arguments in ethics. Another focus was on recent studies concerning bodily influences (especially disgust) on moral judgment and their relevance for ethics and law. The discussions led to novel ideas for the design of empirical studies as well as for research co-operations between the workshop participants. The convenors are grateful to the ZiF for the generous support of the workshop, and to the participants for their inspiring inputs.


Sylvia Agbih (Bielefeld, GER), Mark Alfano (Delft, NED), Amrei Bahr (Düsseldorf, GER), Bettina Bussmann (Salzburg, AUT), Hanjo Hamann (Bonn, GER), Frank A. Hindriks (Groningen, NED), Joachim Horvath (Köln, GER), Antti Kauppinen (Tampere, FIN), Victor Kumar (Toronto, CAN), Stefan Magen (Bochum, GER), Meghan Nesmith (Toronto, CAN), Julian Nida-Rümelin (München, GER), Hannes Rusch (Marburg, GER), Hanno Sauer (Utrecht, NED), Simone Schnall (Cambridge, GBR), Susanne Terbeck (Plymouth, GBR), Andrew Vierra (Hamburg, GER)

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