Keynote speakers 2014

The panel discussions and keynote lectures are offered by leading scholars of several disciplines teaching at SUN, who will share their latest research, ideas and opinions. All these events are followed by a question and answer period when the speakers take and answer questions from the audience.
 

Public lecture 1 

presented by the Morality: Evolutionary Origins and Cognitive Mechanisms CEU Summer University course and the CEU Department of Cognitive Science 

Date: 6:00 pm, Thursday, June 26, 2014
Venue: Auditorium, CEU, Nador u. 9
 
Lecturer: Pascal Boyer a Henry Luce Professor of Individual and Collective Memory at Washington University in St. Louis.University
 
Abstract:
 
Religious representations are widespread in human societies. A tempting explanation is that religions somehow constitute some form of evolutionary adaptation for human minds, perhaps fostering cooperation and prosocial behavior. But the historical and anthropological record contradicts that interpretation. A better explanation for religious representations should [a] start from the observation that the term `religion` misleadingly lumps together three very different kinds of social-cultural processes; [b] model the diffusion of religious concepts in terms of cultural epidemics based on universal cognitive dispositions; and [c] explain why some (not all) religious concepts can serve as recruitment devices in building coalitions.
 

Public lecture 2

The Practice-Independence of Intergenerational Justice

presented by the Applied Philosophy: Issues, Method and Nature CEU Summer University course 
 
Date: 5:00 pm, Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Venue: #909, Faculty Tower, CEU, Nador u. 9
 
Lecturer: Merten Reglitz, Research Associate at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University
 
Abstract:
 
One central debate in contemporary political philosophy regards the question whether justice is a practice-dependent or practice-independent ideal. For practice-dependent theorists, justice is a standard for regulating the cooperative interactions of human beings and for deciding how to distribute the benefits and burdens produced by these social practices among their participants.To practice-independent conceptions, on the other hand, justice also has to do with the promotion of the value of states of affairs and with the access to, and distribution of, certain non-socially created benefits and opportunities (as they arise, for instance, from the use of natural resources). This debate is of importance since our understanding of the nature, scope, and purpose of justice depends on which of these two views we hold. The problem of intergenerational justice (that addresses the question of what we owe to future generations) presents a litmus test for practice-dependent views of justice. The aim of the lecture is to explain why such conceptions of justice cannot pass this test and argue that, consequently, we have to think about justice fundamentally in practice-independent terms.