Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Ethics for a Broken World (25-27 November 2016)


Idea and Motivation

The conference is focusing on Timothy Mulgan's book Ethics for a Broken World: Imagining Philosophy after Catastrophe (Routledge, 2014). Prof. Mulgan's book is a highly innovative exploration of our modern concepts in political philosophy. It achieves this aim by looking at our current theories from the viewpoint of a fictional "broken" future, i.e. one in which a climate catastrophe has made life much more difficult for all humankind. It therefore uses the methods of literature, thought experiments (such as Hobbes’ state of nature, Dworkin’s island or Rawls’ veil of ignorance) and scenario building to raise important questions about justice today: how and why should we care about future generations? Is our current political ethics, which Mulgan calls "affluent", sustainable? Are we – philosophically – prepared for climate change and other crises to come?


25  November 2016

19:00 - 21:00 Conference Keynote:

Introduction by Dr. Rebecca Gutwald and Dr. Andreas Kapsner
Prof. Tim Mulgan (Auckland): Ethics for a Broken World
Welcome and reception for the participants 

26 November 2016

09:00 - 09:30 Coffee and Welcome (Dr. Rebecca Gutwald, Dr. Andreas Kapsner)
09:30 - 10:30 Opening Keynote: Mozaffar Qizilbash (York): On Capability, Affluent Philosophy and the Broken World
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee Break
10:45 - 12:15 Session 1, Chair: Dr. Rebecca Gutwald

Prof. Andrew Crabtree (Copenhagen): Should future people pay for our illegitimate use of freedoms: intergenerational justice and climate change?
Oscar Gomez (Tokyo): The capability approach for a globalized, breaking world
Patrick Kaczmarek (Glasgow): The prevent disaster rule revisited
12:15 - 13:15 Lunch Snack
13:15 - 14:45 Session 2, Chair: Dr. Maria Karidi

Prof. Lisa Herzog (Munich): The monsters we created – legal entities and a broken world
Prof. Jürgen Volkert (Pforzheim): Economics and ethics in a breaking world: analyzing economics in the transition to a catastrophe
Rebecca Gutwald (Munich): Feminist utopias in a broken world
14:45 - 15:00 Coffee Break
19:00 Conference Dinner for all invited speakers

27 November 2016

11:00 - 11:15 Coffee Break
11:15 - 13:00 Session 3, Chair: Dr. Andreas Kapsner

Dr. Ortrud Leßmann (Hamburg/Salzburg): Genderequity, autonomy and time: Equality of opportunity vs. capability
Dr. Vanessa Schouten (Massey): Reproductive morality in a broken world
Dr. Alena Rettova: The role of apocalypse in the fictional works of two Swahili novelists and philosophers
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch (on your own)
14:00 - 14:40 Session 4, Chair: Dr. Martin Schneider

Dr. Julian Culp (Frankfurt): Cosmopolitan democratic education – an internationalist model
14:40 - 15:30 Concluding Keynote: Prof. David A. Crocker (Maryland): Current challenges in development ethics


The organizers gratefully acknowledge support from Bayrisches Staatsministerium für Bildung und Kultus, Wissenschaft und Kunst, ForChange, the Munich Center for Ethics and the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy.

Photo Credits

Header background: Schnubbii, "Wo bleibt der Regen?!". Some right reserved (desaturated from original). Source: