CONFERENCE Ethics: Form and Content


May 26—27, 2018

Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value

University of Pardubice, Czech Republic


A conference organized by the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value in collaboration with The Nordic Wittgenstein Society. This conference is the 9th annual conference of the Nordic Wittgenstein Society.

Keynote Speakers:

Andrew Klevan (University of Oxford, UK)
Toril Moi (Duke University, USA)
Dawn M. Wilson (University of Hull, UK)

Conference programme:

Saturday, May 26
Room: 03004
9:00 – 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 9:45 Welcome address
09:45 – 11:00 KEYNOTE LECTURE: TORIL MOI (DUKE UNIVERSITY, USA): The Trouble with Formalism: The Case of Literary Characters

11:00 – 11:15 COFFEE

Room 03004
11:15 – 11:45 Eric J. Ritter (Vanderbilt University, USA), Form and Content in Ethical Reflection: Learning from Stanley Cavell
11:45 – 12:15 Nuno Venturinha (Instituto de Filosofia da Nova - IFILNOVA, Lisbon): A Moral Response to Scepticism

Room 01033
11:15 – 11:45 Markus Kortesmäki (Åbo Akademi University, Finland): Two approaches to moral inference and the function of moral vocabulary
11:45 – 12:15 Christoph Hanish (Ohio University, USA): Other Agents: A Blessing and a Curse

12:15 –13:30 LUNCH

Room 03004
13:30 – 14:00 Mattimai Bakor Syiem (Centre for Ethics, University of Pardubice): The Moral Weight of Guilt Feelings
14:00 – 14:30 Camilla Kronqvist & Natan Elgabsi (Åbo Akademi University, Finland): Taking moral reflection too easily: The morality of sexual relationships and what not to do in France

Room 01033
13:30 – 14:00 Diana Kalášková (Centre for Ethics, University of Pardubice): Entering a Fictional World
14:00 – 14:30 Ingeborg Löfgren (Uppsala University, Sweden): The Truth in “The Ineffable” – Cora Diamond, Sara Lidman, and the Sharing of “Con-Science”

14:30 – 14:45 COFFEE

Room 03004
14:45 – 15:15 Salla Peltonen (Åbo Akademi University & University of Helsinki, Finland): Macho philosophy in the spirit of openness?
15:15 – 15:45 Viktor Johansson (Södertörn University, Sweden): The State of the Learning Soul: Literature and, in, and as Educational Research

Room 01033
14:45 – 15:15 Ryan Manhire (Åbo Akademi University, Finland & Flinders University, Australia): Wittgenstein, Moral Certainty, and the Fragility of Humanity
15:15 – 15:45 Stefan Giesewetter (Åbo Akademi University, Finland): The Existential Aspect of Philosophical Problems

15:45 – 16:00 COFFEE

16:00 – 17:15 KEYNOTE LECTURE: DAWN WILSON (UNIVERSITY OF HULL, UK): Photography and Co-portraiture

17:15 – 18:15 RECEPTION (Wine and snacks)

18:15 – 19:00 Annual Meeting of the Nordic Wittgenstein Society

Sukova třída - Tyršovy sady, 530 01 Pardubice

Sunday May 27

Room 03004
09:30 – 10:00 Leonidas Tsilipakos (University of Bristol, UK): Can moral force be based on a disciplinary corpus?
10:00 – 10:30 Francesco Pesci (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA): How to be an antireductionist about thick terms

Room 01033
09:30 – 10:00 Fergal McHugh (University College Dublin, Ireland): Difficulty, Style and the Moral Face of Philosophy
10:00 – 10:30 Hannah Kim (Stanford University, USA): Using Philosophy against Itself: The Tractatus’s Form and Conclusion

10:30 – 11:00 COFFEE

Room 03004
11:00 – 11:30 Mira T. Reyes (Centre for Ethics, University of Pardubice): Adorno, Kafka & Animal Suffering: Animal Ethics in Literature
11:30 – 12:00 Hanna Lahdenperä (University of Helsinki, Finland): Fiction and/as Philosophy: Monika Fagerholm’s Diva and the challenge of context

Room 01033
11:00 – 11:30 Carolina Davis (Centre for Ethics & Dept. of History, University of Pardubice): “Pedro Lemebel and the powerful force of literature in the public sphere”
11:30 – 12:00 Galina Babak (Charles University, Prague & Queen Mary University of London,UK): Ethical vs Ideological in Literary Discussions about Form and Content in Soviet Ukraine in 1920s.

12:00 – 13.30 LUNCH

Room 03004
13:30 – 14:00 Antony Fredriksson (Åbo Akademi University, Finland): The Art of Attention and the Reading Image
14:00 – 14:30 Sinan Oruc (Binghamton University: The State University of New York, USA): “I Promise”: Reading Dardennes’ The Promise with Wittgenstein’s Transcendental Ethics
14:30 – 15:00 David R. Cerbone (West Virginia University, USA): Losing Hope: Wittgenstein and Camus after Diamond

15:00 – 15:30 COFFEE

15:30 – 16:45 Keynote Lecture: Andrew Klevan (University of Oxford, UK): The Ethics of Aesthetic Evaluation

16:45 – 17:00 CLOSING


About the Conference

This two-day conference will focus on questions about the relationship between form and content in ethical reflection. It will address a number of questions about the relation between ethics (or philosophy) and literature, photography, film, and arts. For example: In what respect does ethical reflection depend on the form in which it is investigated? What are the differences between ethical reflections conducted in theoretical forms of discourse, such as abstract theorizing and various forms of analyses, and ethical forms of investigations and reflections that take the shape of, say, a novel, a film or any other art form? Can the same moral concerns be investigated in different media and reach the same conclusions? And if not, what would that mean? Aside from addressing the particular manifestations of ethical content, what are the ethics of evaluating artistic form? 


We invite contributions from researchers at all levels, but priority will be given to PhD students and Post-docs.

This event is co-organized by the Nordic Wittgenstein Society, and our intention is to bring together thinkers who address these kinds of topics and are inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s work and/or may be said to work in his aftermath in some sense.


About our Keynotes:

Andrew Klevan is Associate Professor in Film Studies in the Faculty of English at the University of Oxford.  Klevan’s work focuses on film criticism; aesthetics, especially evaluative aesthetics; philosophy of criticism; film interpretation; the close analysis of film style; film performance; film and pedagogy. His publications include: Aesthetic Evaluation and Film (Manchester University Press, forthcoming August 2018); Barbara Stanwyck (BFI, Palgrave 2013); Film Performance: From Achievement to Appreciation (Wallflower Press/ Columbia University Press, 2005); and Disclosure of the Everyday: Undramatic Achievement in Narrative Film (Flicks Books, 2000).


Toril Moi (Duke University, USA) is James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, and Professor of English, and Theater Studies at Duke University. She is Director of the Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature (PAL) at Duke. Her most recent monograph is Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell (Chicago University Press, 2017). Moi’s main lines of interests are feminism, literary theory, ordinary language philosophy and literature. Some of her previous publications are Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (1985); Gender and the Body: The Student Edition of What Is a Woman (2005); Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman (2nd edition 2008); Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism won the MLA’s award for best book in comparative literary studies for (2007).

Dawn. M Wilson (University of Hull, UK) is a Lecturer in Philosophy at Hull. Wilson collaborates with interdisciplinary and international research networks on projects dedicated to photography, art, perception, image-theory, and cultural conservation. She is a member of the scientific committee for the Groupement de Recherche International project, Photographs: Perception and Changes. Currently her research includes comparing photography with music and working on the topics of time, visibility, portraiture and artistic practice.  She has published on aesthetics, causation and mind-independence. Her publications on Wittgenstein’s philosophy include articles on logical analysis, clarity, and the conservation of Wittgenstein’s House in Skjolden.



In the days after the conference, May 28 –30, the Centre for Ethics hosts a three-day Intensive Seminar with professor Toril Moi entitled FORM AND FORMALISM IN LITERARY STUDIES. Over the course of three days, we will discuss 1. Wittgenstein and literary studies; 2. Beyond formalism? Form in literary studies; 3.  Reading My Struggle. Conference participants are welcome to stay for that event as well. Attendance is free, but please register in advance since seating is limited, and so that we can distribute reading instructions etc. in advance.


For more information, contact