The Centre of Ethics as Study in Human Value brings together a group of international philosophers that in various ways work on problems related to human value. The research conducted at the Centre aims to tackle concrete ethical problems of contemporary society that in one way or other relate to the notion of human value – from more theoretical concerns about knowledge, language, understanding, the role of emotions (such as love, hate, care, shame, guilt, etc.) in knowledge and understanding, and conceptual investigations of concepts such sharedness, belonging, communality, etc; to issues of more direct ethico-political relevance such as populism, nationalism, religious conflict, immigration, refugee crises, global warming, and a changing European identity.
The Researchers at the Centre come from varied backgrounds, and we have expertise in a wide variety of schools and traditions of philosophy. We are all united by a shared sense that philosophy is ever so important now, but also by a fear that philosophy will lose the right kind of importance if it does not remain anchored in the real world – with its hands in the soil, as it were. The research team is not committed to a particular school of thought, but to the principle that frictionless theory, disconnected from specific contemporary social challenges, is liable to go astray. There is a strong emphasis on the actuality of the problems and we encourage philosophical communication with neighboring disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, literature, art theory, and others. We struggle to follow problems to their roots, without being restricted by disciplinary or philosophico-political borders.
The Centre for Ethics offers a vibrant and stimulating research environment in which a broad range of ethical topics is discussed. As a PhD student at our Centre, you are a member of the research community at the Centre for Ethics and welcome to participate in the Centre’s weekly seminars, various reading groups, and the Conferences, Workshops and Intensive Seminars that the Centre organizes. We have several partner institutions around the world with which we do various forms of research exchanges. We want to make sure that all PhD students from the Centre for Ethics are internationally mobile and partake in international co-operations and mobility programs.
Full-time, resident students admitted to the PhD programme at the Department of Philosophy pay no tuition fees, and receive a modest monthly stipend to alleviate living expenses for a study period of up to three years.
Applicants are encouraged to contact a prospective supervisor in the Centre in advance in order to discuss the suitability of their proposal. Possible supervisors include: Ondřej Beran, Michael Campbell, Christopher Cordner, Niklas Forsberg, Nora Hämäläinen, Tomáš Hejduk, Kamila Pacovská, Hugo Strandberg. Possible consultants: Marina Barabas, Raimond Gaita. (See the research profiles.)
The Centre invites applications from students working in ethics and political philosophy, broadly construed. Examples of possible research projects:
- The value of humanity; disregarded human value (nationalism, racism, xenophobia, social exclusion, poverty, affliction); love and hatred; emotions in political discourse; decent society and the virtue of civility
- Socrates’ and Plato´s conception of love; ethical topics from Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch and Raimond Gaita; Wittgensteinian approaches to moral philosophy
- Good and evil; remorse, punishment, forgiveness; love and goodness
- Theory of action; wrongdoing, self-deception, akrasia and addiction
- Virtue ethics, moral change, ethics and historicity, personhood and self-development
- Morality in philosophy and art; philosophy and literature; film and philosophy
- The role of theory in ethics; questions of philosophical method in ethics
- Understanding others; intimacy, strangeness and alienation
- Kantian moral philosophy; respect, dignity and human rights; impartiality and attachment
- Bioethics; health, luck and justice; the philosophical foundations of health and healthcare
The University of Pardubice is located within walking distance from the historical centre of Pardubice, a charming city in the heart of Europe. Pardubice is well connected by train to several major European cities, including Prague (1 hour) and Vienna (3 hours) and by air direct to London.