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Reflective Equilibrium in Ethics: Theory and Practice

17 May @ 10:00 - 16:00

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Reflective Equilibrium in Ethics: Theory and Practice Workshop | 17 May 2022 VU Amsterdam Confirmed speakers: Wibren van der Burg (Erasmus University Rotterdam): Pragmatist Reflective Equilibrium. Ibo van der Poel (Delft University of Technology): Applying Wide Reflective Equilibrium in the Context of Technological Development. Ghislaine van Thiel (UMC Utrecht): Including Moral Wisdom in the Equilibrium: a Normative-Empirical Approach. Rob Compaijen (Protestant Theological University): Perception and Deliberation in Ethics: Finding a Proper Place for Reflective Equilibrium. Theme: Reflective equilibrium is a…

Reflective Equilibrium in Ethics: Theory and Practice

Workshop | 17 May 2022

VU Amsterdam

Confirmed speakers: Wibren van der Burg (Erasmus University Rotterdam): Pragmatist Reflective Equilibrium. Ibo van der Poel (Delft University of Technology): Applying Wide Reflective Equilibrium in the Context of Technological Development. Ghislaine van Thiel (UMC Utrecht): Including Moral Wisdom in the Equilibrium: a Normative-Empirical Approach. Rob Compaijen (Protestant Theological University): Perception and Deliberation in Ethics: Finding a Proper Place for Reflective Equilibrium. Theme: Reflective equilibrium is a very influential method in ethics. The so-called 'wide' version of the method interprets ethical reflection as a process in which we attempt to attain coherence between our initial beliefs about a given situation, our moral principles, and our relevant background theories. Reflective equilibrium can be used for different purposes: for example, to shape and justify theories, or to formulate an answer to the practical question ‘What is the right thing to do in the particular situation I find myself in?’ Notwithstanding its influence, however, reflective equilibrium is controversial too. It is criticized for being insufficiently critical with regard to our initial moral beliefs: these beliefs, so the objection runs, tend to be (influenced by) biases, so why should they be given a place in ethical reflection in the first place? Another objection is directed towards the coherentist nature of reflective equilibrium: even if we manage to establish coherence among our beliefs, why should we believe that they are warranted or true? And yet another charge against the method is that it is rarely of practical use: we typically have so many beliefs that pertain to the situation at hand that reflective equilibrium threatens to become unworkable for normal moral agents. In this workshop we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of reflective equilibrium in ethics. We will focus on both theoretical and practical aspects, investigating fundamental issues that pertain to it as well as its role in applied contexts. Invitation: Scholars (advanced scholars, postdoctoral researchers, Ph.D. students and MA students) who are interested in reflective equilibrium in ethics are warmly invited to join this workshop, which will start at 10 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. Participation is free and lunch will be provided. Please register by sending an e-mail to: j.r.compaijen@pthu.nl. This workshop is made possible by The Dutch Research Council (NWO) under Grant 016.Veni.195.447.  

Details

Date:
17 May
Time:
10:00 - 16:00

Reflective Equilibrium in Ethics: Theory and Practice

Workshop | 17 May 2022

VU Amsterdam

Confirmed speakers:

Wibren van der Burg (Erasmus University Rotterdam): Pragmatist Reflective Equilibrium.

Ibo van der Poel (Delft University of Technology): Applying Wide Reflective Equilibrium in the Context of Technological Development.

Ghislaine van Thiel (UMC Utrecht): Including Moral Wisdom in the Equilibrium: a Normative-Empirical Approach.

Rob Compaijen (Protestant Theological University): Perception and Deliberation in Ethics: Finding a Proper Place for Reflective Equilibrium.

Theme:

Reflective equilibrium is a very influential method in ethics. The so-called ‘wide’ version of the method interprets ethical reflection as a process in which we attempt to attain coherence between our initial beliefs about a given situation, our moral principles, and our relevant background theories. Reflective equilibrium can be used for different purposes: for example, to shape and justify theories, or to formulate an answer to the practical question ‘What is the right thing to do in the particular situation I find myself in?’

Notwithstanding its influence, however, reflective equilibrium is controversial too. It is criticized for being insufficiently critical with regard to our initial moral beliefs: these beliefs, so the objection runs, tend to be (influenced by) biases, so why should they be given a place in ethical reflection in the first place? Another objection is directed towards the coherentist nature of reflective equilibrium: even if we manage to establish coherence among our beliefs, why should we believe that they are warranted or true? And yet another charge against the method is that it is rarely of practical use: we typically have so many beliefs that pertain to the situation at hand that reflective equilibrium threatens to become unworkable for normal moral agents.

In this workshop we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of reflective equilibrium in ethics. We will focus on both theoretical and practical aspects, investigating fundamental issues that pertain to it as well as its role in applied contexts.

Invitation:

Scholars (advanced scholars, postdoctoral researchers, Ph.D. students and MA students) who are interested in reflective equilibrium in ethics are warmly invited to join this workshop, which will start at 10 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. Participation is free and lunch will be provided.

Please register by sending an e-mail to: j.r.compaijen@pthu.nl.

This workshop is made possible by The Dutch Research Council (NWO) under Grant 016.Veni.195.447.

 

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