21-22 May, 2018

Lecture and seminar with Monika Betzler

Lecture: The Relational Value of Empathy

It is quite common to think that empathy and morality are closely linked. But this supposed tight connection between empathy and morality has recently come under attack. In this paper, I try to spell out what empathy is actually good for. My claim is that empathy is of relational value. It helps to build connections with others, and I show in more detail how empathy achieves that aim. Once we understand what empathy is good for, we are better able to show what the reach and the limits of empathy are: Sometimes empathy can be morally called for, but sometimes we have moral reasons not to empathize.

Seminar: Collegial Relationships

Relationships with our colleagues are an important kind of relationship: if our relationships with our colleagues are flourishing, they make our life go well. Empirical studies suggest that collegial relationships are an important part of both well-being and job satisfaction. But relationships with colleagues have hardly been a topic of philosophical inquiry. In this paper, my co-author, Jörg Löschke, and I try to provide a first step towards an ethic of collegiality. To that end, we first try to develop an account of the nature of collegial relationships. In a second step, we show what the source of value of such relationships is. More specificallly, we draw from relationship goods accounts to shed further light on what makes collegial relationships distinctively valuable. Once we understand what renders collegial relationships valuable, we are in a better position to show what reasons we have to make that relationships flourishing.

Participants: Marko Konjović (CEU), Petar Bojanić, Rastko Jovanov, Željko Radinković, Srđan Prodanović, Marjan Ivković, Aleksandar Fatić, Olga Nikolić, Mark Losoncz and Igor Cvejić (IFDT).

Bio: 

Monika Betzler is full professor and Chair for Ethics and Practical Philosophy at LMU Munich. Upon obtaining her Ph.D. in classical German philosophy in 1992 at LMU Munich, Monika Betzler worked for a year in a think-tank at the Commission of the European Union in Brussels, and was further appointed as an assistant professor for philosophy at the University of Göttingen. Between 1994 and 1997 she earned a degree at the Kennedy School of Government (Master of Public Administration) at Harvard University and was a visiting scholar at the philosophy department there. She was also a Feodor-Lynen Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley and a professorial fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs at Tulane University in New Orleans/USA. Betzler was also an associate professor at LMU Munich (Political Science Department). Upon passing her habilitation, she was appointed as a full professor at the University of Berne/Switzerland. In 2014 Betzler took up the Chair for Ethics and Practical Philosophy at LMU Munich. She is a member of the Swiss National Ethics Committee, and the current director of the Munich Ethics Center.

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