The relation between the political sphere and the ethical sphere

The course seeks to develop Nordic cooperation in the field of political ethics.

Political ethics deals with normative questions in the political sphere, as opposed to the private or intra-personal sphere. It is a growing interdisciplinary research area in the Nordic countries.

The course will provide future researchers with a sense of the shared methodological and conceptual concerns that comprise the field of political ethics as a distinct and independent, yet interdisciplinary field of study.

More specifically, the course deals with the substantial and methodological challenges having to do with the relation between politics and morality. Is politics a separate normative sphere, with its own normative rules, and perhaps a duty to “get their hands dirty” by committing immoral actions in order to achieve a higher goal?

If so, how do the methods of political ethics differ from the methods of ethics more generally?

By considering this latter question, the course will break new ground within the ongoing and vital discussion of methodology within moral philosophy, dealing with such questions as the role of moral intuitions and the relation between utopianism and realism in political theory.

Facts about the project
Project leader

Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, Aarhus University, Denmark