One of my Løgstrup papers has just been published:

‘A Gift or a Given? On the Role of Life in Løgstrup’s Ethics’, in Gary Keogh (ed), The Ethics of Nature and The Nature of Ethics (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2017), pp. 53-70

See here for further details.

I also recently heard from Oxford University Press that they will be publishing my monograph on Løgstrup: The Radical Demand in Løgstrup’s Ethics. This will hopefully appear in late 2018 or early 2019.


Løgstrup and role ethics

I will be contributing a paper on Løgstrup and Levinas to a forthcoming conference on role ethics: details of the conference here.

The abstract of my paper is here:

This paper will consider role ethics against the background of ideas from K. E. Løgstrup and Emmanuel Levinas. For both thinkers, there is a distinction to be drawn between the fundamental ethical encounter with an individual in need, and the norms and roles with which our social lives are structured more broadly. While both recognise a place for this second ethical level, both treat it as having a different structure from the ethical encounter between individuals, both in terms of the motivations required and the kinds of responsibility thereby generated. This paper will consider whether the viewpoint adopted here by Løgstrup and Levinas highlights genuine limitations on how far role ethics can take us in understanding what it is to stand in an ethical relation to another person.

Løgstrup and Luther

I came back recently from a conference of the European Reformation Research Group, at which I gave a paper on Løgstrup and Luther. Here is the abstract:

This paper will consider the impact of Luther on twentieth century theology and philosophy in Denmark. In particular, it will focus on an important Lutheran strand in the thinking of K. E. Løgstrup (1905-81). It will be shown how Løgstrup takes up Luther’s conception of sin as ‘incurvatus in se’, and treats this as fundamental to the wickedness of the self. However, while for Luther the theological conception of grace is required if this turning in on the self is to be overcome, it will be argued that Løgstrup seeks for a more secular conception, whereby this in-turning is resolved by the ethical encounter with the other person. Thus, Løgstrup argues, ‘we can only be freed by our fellow man’. The paper will consider whether this secularised conception of grace can be made cogent, or whether something closer to Luther’s original picture is required.

I will be developing this paper further at a forthcoming conference at Westminster Abbey and at Aarhus.

Løgstrup in Berlin

I am just back from giving the Kant-kurs at the Humboldt University in Berlin. There were seminars for two days on themes relating to my work on Kant’s ethics – and I took the opportunity to bring Løgstrup into the debate, particularly in relation to the issues of realism, moral obligation, and formalism. It was a very enjoyable discussion all round, and thanks to those who attended, and to Tobias Rosefeldt for the kind invitation.

Darwall and Løgstrup

I am just back from a NOMOS conference on Darwall:

It was a very interesting meeting, where I gave a paper contrasting Darwall’s approach to Løgstrup’s. Broadly speaking, I argued that while Darwall offers a social command view of moral obligation, Løgstrup is closer to a natural law approach.