The Centre will host two outstanding Marie-Curie researchers

This week, the results of the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) were published. We are pround to announce that two excellent researchers who applied to visit our centre (Dr. Silvia Panizza and Doc. Olli Lagerspetz) were successful in getting the fellowships. 

With two successful projects, our Centre will host the same number of Marie Curie fellows as, for example, the entire Masaryk University in Brno. We congratulate both our colleagues for their hard work in writing the applications.

The abstracts of their projects:


Moral Impossibility: Rethinking Choice and Conflict (Dr. Silvia Panizza)

Abstract: The project aims to offer a theoretical framework for a significant yet under-explored set of phenomena which I will call ‘moral impossibility’ (MI), and to use the theoretical understanding achieved to propose a new approach to intractable moral conflict. MI refers to what – for moral reasons – lies outside the range of possibilities available in one’s choices. While empirical and logical impossibilities are widely accepted, moral ones are far less obvious, yet they shape and delimit, often silently, all choices. These include the possibilities we never consider, those we cannot make sense of (e.g. because too morally abhorrent), and those we consider but cannot bring ourselves to carry out. Neglecting the role of MI leads to crucial misrepresentations of situations of conflict in contemporary philosophy. Using recent case-studies, I propose to analyse intractable moral conflict in terms of moral possibilities that are not shared between the parties, in opposition to the dominant ‘disagreement’ model. The objectives of the research are 1) to construct a conceptual framework of MI, 2) to conduct a normative analysis of its most controversial manifestations, and 3) to use the conceptual and normative frameworks to offer a new understanding of the causes, meaning, and possible resolution, of intractable moral conflict. Each objective corresponds to a work package with a distinct methodology and contributing to a different branch of ethics: moral theory/ moral psychology, normative ethics, and applied ethics. The action, proposed at a crucial stage in my research career, will be carried out at the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value at the University of Pardubice, where I will be trained in its distinctive research methods, case study analysis, and included in its wide European and global networks, and where I will in turn set up a new Czech-Irish link with my home institution (UCD)'s Centre for Ethics in Public Life.


Philosophy as Cultural Self-Knowledge: R. G. Collingwood, Peter Winch and the Human Sciences (Doc. Olli Lagerspetz)

Abstract: The input of the humanities and social sciences is vital in fostering a viable civil society. Informed public debate concerning the good life needs the kind of reflexive cultural self-understanding that they can offer. In cultural reflection, conceptual analysis, which is the domain of philosophy, has a key role. This vision of philosophy and the human sciences as cultural self-knowledge currently remains a minority view. However, during the twentieth century, it found powerful proponents in two leading philosophers of history and the social sciences: R.G. Collingwood (1889–1943) and Peter Winch (1926–1997). The aim of the planned project is to confront these two thinkers and tease out their underlying visions of philosophy. By engaging with these thinkers, the present project reopens questions about (1) the place of philosophy among the sciences, as well as (2) issues concerning the very nature of philosophical inquiry and (3) its impact on civil society and its challenges. The relation between Collingwood and Winch remains almost completely unexplored at present. The relationship between philosophy and human historicity, which was a key issue for both, presently remains underdeveloped in the analytic tradition. The planned research will take advantage of extensive manuscript material at the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value (CE) at the University of Pardubice (UPa). The CE has the unique combination of full access to the relevant Peter Winch manuscripts and a team of scholars knowledgeable in the post-Wittgensteinian tradition to which Winch belonged. The project furthermore includes a short visit to the Collingwood Archives at Oxford. The scholarship will enhance the CE’s reputation as the ‘go-to’ place for anyone doing research in the post-Wittgensteinian tradition. It will help the ER establish his reputation as a global expert and to expand his research network in a new direction, i.e. towards scholars on idealism.