The Oslo Lecture in Moral Philosophy

(17.06.09) The Oslo Lecture in Moral Philosopy is an annual event hosted by the Ethics Programme, where an internationally known philosopher gives a public lecture on a burning issue of ethical importance.


The Oslo Lecture 2011:


Agnes Heller

1 desember 17.15 - 19.00
Helga Engs hus, Auditorium 3

Are we living in a world of moral decay?


The lecture raises the question whether we live in a world of moral decay.

It begins with the short and critical presentation of the typical answers to the question supported by anthropological and-/or historical arguments. The identification between morality and ethics is rejected. Since we never know for sure whether someone acted out of mere moral reasons or not, we cannot compare cultures on the ground of morality. As far as ethics, that is the norms and rules themselves are concerned, all the three typical options (there is progress,there is regress, it is always the same) results in self contradiction. Thus, not just new answers, but new questions need to be formulated. First, in what does the modern moral world differ from all the pre-modern ones? Secondly, how can one rely on a moral foundation in a world without fundaments? Finally, whether there are good men and women today, and how someone can become a decent human being willing to distinguish between good and evil today. The lecture suggests tentative answers to these very questions.


Agnes Heller er en av grunnleggerne av Budapest-skolen, og er i dag professor Emeritus ved New School for Social Research i New York. Hun har blant annet arbeidet med politisk filosofi, sosialfilosofi, etikk og eksistensialisme.