ABC article

An article of mine has appeared online on ABC’s ‘Religion and Ethics’ pages: ‘The Expressions of Life: Does K. E. Løgstrup’s Ethics Require a Concept of God?’ Thanks to Scott Stephens for his interest in this piece, which is adapted from earlier article:

‘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

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Two talks

I am giving a couple of talks in the next few weeks which might be of interest, both with relations to Løgstrup:

‘Too Demanding? How Much Does Morality Require of Us?’

Oxford Brookes Philosophy Public Lecture, Wednesday 24th January, 19.30- 21.00, Blackwell’s Bookshop. Details here

Abstract

This paper considers our obligations to others, and thus how much morality asks of us. Peter Singer has famously argued that just as a person ought to help someone whose life is threatened right in front of them, so they are under a similar obligation to help someone starving in another country; but critics have responded that this makes morality overdemanding in various ways. The paper will discuss these issues, using ideas from the Danish philosopher and theologian K. E. Løgstrup (1905-1981) to argue that there is an important disanalogy between these two cases, as in the first case the person alone can help, whereas in the second case others can also help instead – and this seems to make a moral difference.

‘K. E. Løgstrup on Education: Between Luther and Levinas’

UCL, Institute of Education, Wednesday 14th February, 17.30-19.15, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL. Details here

Abstract

This paper considers some of the ideas on education put forward by the Danish philosopher and theologian K. E. Løgstrup (1905-81). Løgstrup’s ethics has sometimes been compared to that of Levinas, in his emphasis on our interdependence, and the distinctive nature of our ethical encounters with others. Løgstrup was also a Lutheran, working within that tradition. Alongside his general philosophy, Løgstrup wrote several pieces on education which have had some influence in Denmark. This paper will put Løgstrup’s ideas on education in context, and show how in comparing him to Levinas, his Lutheran background should not be overlooked.

 

Publications

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.