Project description

“Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value” is a project of the operational programme Research, Development and Education, funded within the call “Support of excellent research teams”. The project runs for almost 6 years; it was started in December 2016, its implementation ends in 2022, October 31st, followed by 5-years sustainability period. The project involves the establishment of a Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value (CE) attached to the Department of Philosophy. CE will employ an international research team, comprising mostly leading foreign experts. The leader of the research team is Niklas Forsberg, based previously at University of Uppsala. The project has two strategic partners, King’s College London and University of Melbourne, where two senior guarantors of the projects are based.

The team's research agenda concerns the problem of the distinctive and irreplaceable value of humans and the ways in which it may be recognised or overlooked, both on a personal level (in our relationships with the afflicted, disadvantaged or criminals) and on a social level (in relations between different cultures, religious groups, marginalised groups, refugees etc.). This bridging of the level of the personal with that of the social, legal and political is in line with a trend within ethics and social theory away from the idea that these two levels are diametrically opposed. The central aim of the project is to identify and detail the many ways in which the content and themes of ethics at the first level must also shape the conception of ethically good practice at the second level.

The research activities of the project are divided into two three-year periods with a strong focus upon Basic Research (years 1-3) and Applied Research (years 4-6). In the first period the team will develop a basic account of the recognition of the humanity of the other through reflection on various kinds of relationships and forms of emotional responsiveness, both at the personal/interpersonal level, and at various levels of social and political interaction. In the second period, research will concentrate on the direct applicability of the concept of humanity to specific contemporary social problems, with a particular focus on the politico-legal difficulties posed by populism, nationalism, religious conflict, immigration, refugee crises, global warming, and a changing European identity.

The project implementation involves the following activities:

• Members of the CE team will publish the results of their research in articles and monographs, partly in collaboration with foreign researchers outside CE. These publications will be supplemented by the preparation of a series of Czech translations of selected key texts from Anglophone ethics.

• A platform for presenting the research of CE members and for their discussions with other foreign academics will be provided by regular events organised by CE. Between 2017 and 2022 four minor international workshops and two major international conferences (in 2018 and 2021) will be organised. During the academic semesters (starting in Autumn 2017), regular research seminars will take place, hosting invited foreign researchers, as well as one intensive seminar in each semester, led by an invited foreign expert. These seminars will be open to the broader academic public.

• The work of CE relies upon modernised research infrastructure, of which the most important part is access to text sources. A Reading and Study Room will be established at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, that will make top text sources accessible, both printed (including dictionaries, encyclopaedias, monographs and journals) and electronic (including  e-books and online databases). These sources will be available to students and researchers of the whole university, and, through the university library, the broader public.

• Edge-cutting research also requires intensive interactions with foreign colleagues and institutions. The project will support researchers’ mobility (presentations at international conferences, study stays, etc.), as well as establishing further international partnerships and cooperation, especially participations in international project competitions.

• An integral part of research work is education and sharing experiences with students, in particular doctoral students. The members of CE and of the partner institutions will work with (primarily foreign) doctoral students of philosophy, as supervisors or consultants of their theses, or as mentors of graduate seminars and tutorials in academic skills for the doctoral students. The project also supports international mobility in graduate students and international graduate student conferences that will be organised in the years 2018, 2020 and 2022.

Project: "Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value"
Grant no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000425 (Operational Programme Research, Development and Education, call "Support of Excellent Research Teams") 
Period: 01/12/2016 - 31/10/2022
Principal investigator: Mgr. Kamila Pacovská, Ph.D.