Events 2019

Interdisciplinary Conference "Migration, Stability and Solidarity"

The conference will discuss two neglected questions within migration ethics:
1. What is the relation between migration and political stability?
2. How should solidarity be understood when it comes to migration?

With respect to the first question, some theorists argue that political stability is important in a pragmatic but not principled sense when it comes to migration (e.g. Carens, Cassee, Pevnick).
Others disagree, especially many participants in public discourse. To them, political stability is of utmost importance and can be threatened by migration under certain circumstances (e.g. Miller, Walzer). This discursive divide raises a number of philosophical questions, for instance: What exactly is the normative importance of political stability? How is it possible to determine if and to what extend political stability is threatened by migration? If there indeed is such a threat, how can it be reduced without infringing on the legal and moral rights of migrants?
With respect to the second question, it is sometimes argued that migration undermines solidarity within societies (e.g. Miller). At the same time, it can be argued that it establishes and strengthens patterns of global solidarity needed to advance liberal values and human rights globally (e.g. the case of ‘solidarity cities’ or Rorty’s approach to solidarity). As in the case of political stability, the question arises as to the normative importance of different forms of solidarity. Related questions concern the proper understanding of solidarity and whether solidarity presupposes some form of perceived similarity or connectedness. It might also be asked how solidarity can be strengthened without damaging the rights of migrants.
The topics of stability and solidarity are interconnected, since both point at something like a discursive dilemma. Whereas some argue that a discussion of these issues would play into the hands of nationalists and illiberal right-wing movements, others claim that avoiding this debate would have the same effect. In any case, an informed and rational discourse is needed. For this, it is important to get the empirical facts right, but also to map the normative landscape carefully. Urgent tasks are to identify and weigh different moral claims as well as to develop creative policy solutions that address the apparently conflicting claims of residents and migrants.

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Conference "Kant and Poverty" from February 22-24, 2019

In cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen, the Chair for Practical Philosophy organizes a three-day conference called "Kant and World Poverty". Organizers are Prof. Corinna Mieth (Ruhr-University Bochum) and Martin Sticker (University of Bristol). The conference takes place from the 22nd to 24th of February at the Euro-Eck in Bochum and registration is open for all.

Please register your interest by sending an email to Registration is free. For enquiries email


12.00-1.30: Nuria Sánchez Madrid: “Kant on Social Dignity”.
2.30-4.00: Oliver Sensen: “Kant and the duty to help in emergencies”.
4.00-5.45: Alessandro Pinzani: ‘Fighting Poverty: Four Kantian Strategies”.
Response: Eytan Celik
6.00-7.30: Karen Stohr: “Beneficence and Indifference”.

10.00-11.45: Merten Reglitz: “
Response: Ewa Wyrębska-Ɖermanović
11.45-1.15: Martin Sticker: “Emergencies and True Needs”
2.30-4.00: Rafeeq Hasan: “Need and Necessity in Kant’s Doctrine of Right”.
Response: Stephan Zimmermann
4.15-6.00: Alice Pinheiro Walla: “Global Poverty and Territorial Rights: A Kantian Argument for Global
Response: Philipp-Alexander Hirsch.
6.15-7.45: Violetta Igneski: “Responding to global poverty: individual and collective duty-bearers”.

9.00-10.45: Corinna Mieth / Garrath Williams: “Poverty, dignity and essential ends”.
Response: Jens Gillessen
10.45-12.15: Joel Klein: “The institutional limits of poverty from the perspective of Kantian political
philosophy: thinking with Kant beyond Kant”.
1.30-3.00: Ariel Zylberman: “Material Independence in Kant”.

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Events 2017

Conference "Kant and Global Poverty" from 5th to 7th of October

In cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen, the Chair for Practical Philosophy organizes a three-day conference called "Kant and World Poverty". Organizers are Prof. Corinna Mieth (Ruhr-University Bochum) and Martin Sticker (Trinity College Dublin, Irish Research Council funded Postdoc). The confernce takes place from the 5th to 7th of October and registration is open for all.

Please register your interest by sending an email to Registration is free. For enquiries email

Provisional Program

October 5th
13.30 – 14.45: Elizabeth Ashford: “The allowing of severe poverty as the discarding of persons’ lives”.

15.00 – 16.15: Klaus Steigleder: “Kant and positive duties”.

16.30 – 17.45: Corinna Mieth: “World Poverty and positive Duties”.

18.00 – 19.15: Heather Widdows: "A public goods approach to global health and justice".

October 6th
9.30 – 10.45: Alessandro Pinzani: “Beati Possidentes? Kant on Inequality and Poverty”.

11.00 – 12.15: Claudia Blöser: “What must we hope? The impact of hope in development economics”.

12.30 – 13:45: Georg Lohman: “Is there a Kantian, republican argument against poverty?”.

13.45: Break

15.00 – 16.15: Anna Wehofsits: “On Rationalizing”.

16.30 – 17.45: Martin Sticker: “Kant, Emergency and Latitude”.

18.00 – 19.15: Sarah Holtman: “Beneficence and Civic Respect: Some Reflections on Kantian Citizenship”.

October 7th
9.30 – 10.45: Maike Albertzart: “Kant and fantastic virtue”.

11.00 – 12.15: Reza Mosayebi: “Kant's 'honestas iuridica' and the Poor”.

12.30 – 13:45: Alice Pinheiro Walla: “Right, not Beneficence: Kantian ideas for
a new understanding of Global Justice”.

13.45: Break

15.00 – 16.15: Christoph Bambauer: “Autonomy, Poverty, and Human Rights”.

16.30 – 17.45: Onora O’Neill: “Realism about Justice:  some differences between Kant's political philosophy and contemporary human rights approaches”.

Additional participants and Commentators:

Dieter Schönecker (Siegen)
Gözde Yıldırım (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul)
Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul)
Pauline Kleingeld (Groningen)
Zubeyde Karadağ Thorpe (Hacettepe Üniversity, Ankara)

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EELP Summer School "Michael Blake on Migration" with Michael Blake from July 10th to 14th 2017

This year's summer school of the master programme Ethics - Economics, Law and Politics is dedicated to the issue of migration. At the center of debate will be the position of the philosopher Michael Blake from the University of Washington, who will personally introduce his thoughts and be part of an intensive discussion on them. The summer school takes place at Beckmanns Hof, one of the Ruhr-University's conference centers.

The course is part of an ongoing cooperation with the master programmes Political, Legal and Economic Philosophy (PLEP) at the University of Bern and Political, Economic and Legal Philosophy (PELP) at the University of Graz. It also is partly organised by the university Duisburg-Essen, the Technical University of Dortmund as well as the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Essen.

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Events 2016

Research project "Ethics of Immigration"

This research project aims at a more precise and adequate understanding of the (universal) right to freedom of movement. Central to this inquiry is the question “who may, and under what conditions, be allowed in or turned away?” This question is not only philosophically important; it is also at the centre of current political and social controversies. Therefore it is necessary to find out, for example, whether the strengths and limits of the right to freedom of movement depend on the reasons for migration or on the conditions for its realization in particular societies. The purpose of the project is, thus, to analyse political, social, and economic contexts of migration and their normative meaning. Our presupposition is that the right to freedom of movement can be appropriately understood only if we take into account different reasons for migration, while also considering a range of empirical constraints. Further details are available here.

The research project is conducted by Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Technische Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen. Funding of this project has been secured and granted by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr.

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International workshop "Kant and World Poverty" from April 4th to 5th 2016

In cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen, the Chair for Practical Philosophy organizes a two-day international workshop under the title "Kant and World Poverty". The event will take place at the Comeniusraum GA 2/41 at the Ruhr-University Bochum.


Monday, April 4, 2016

09:45 am Corinna Mieth (Ruhr-University Bochum)/Martin Sticker (University of Göttingen)
– Opening Remarks –

10:00 am Oliver Sensen (Tulane University)
Why should I help others?

11:15 am – 11.30 am Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:45 pm Alice Pinheiro Walla (Trinity College Dublin)
Requirements of Rationality in Kant's Ethics: The Case of Beneficence

12:45 pm – 02:00 pm Lunch Break

02:00 pm – 15:15 pm Kate Moran (Brandeis University)
Neither Justice nor Charity? Kant on ‘General Injustice’

15:15 pm – 16:30 pm Martin Sticker (University of Göttingen)
Kant in the Shallow Pond – Easy Rescue and the Role of Emergency for Kant’s Ethics

16:30 pm – 17:00 pm Coffee Break

17:00 pm – 18:15 pm Jens Timmermann (University of St Andrews)
Is it demeaning to help someone out of pity?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

10:00 am Corinna Mieth (Ruhr-University Bochum)
Two Problems in the Kantian Conception of Positive Duties

11:15 am – 11.30 am Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:45 pm Thomas Mertens (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Kant on special obligations in the Metaphysics of Morals

12:45 pm – 02:00 pm Lunch Break

15:15 pm – 16:30 pm Maike Albertzart (HU Berlin)
Parfit, Kant and the Problem of Imperceptible Differences

16:30 pm – 17:00 pm Coffee Break

17:00 pm – 18:15 pm Alessandro Pinzani (Florianopolis, Bochum)
The Phantom of Freedom

Respondents and further participants:
Anna Wehofsits (LMU)
Stefano Lo Re (University of St Andrews)
Michael Walschots (University of Western Ontario)
Parttyli Rinne (University of St Andrews)
Martin Brecher (Mannheim)
Nora Kassan (Bochum)
Ido Geiger (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Corinna Mieth
Martin Sticker

Martina Tomczak (

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Internationale conference "Why people migrate" from 18th to 19th of February 2016

The causes for migration are obivously relevant for the normative judgement and justification of claims of migrants. This is especially so if one is concerned with the origin and aims of migrants. Some causes legitimate strict duties, whereas others are not able to ground any claims. And some reasons, which came into being by the receiving countries, can bring about claims of compensation. At the same time can reasons, that are independent from the receiving states, lead to completely different claims and duties. This internationale conference aims at bringing scholars from law and social sciences, who are interested in (forced) migration, together with political philosophers, who try to elaborate on the ethics and political implications of migration.

The conference is part of the MERCUR research project„Ethics of Immigration“, which was founded by philosophers and political scientists from the university Duisburg-Essen, the Ruhr-University Bochum and the TU Dortmund as well as the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen and the Universitätsallianz Ruhr (UAR). The project aims at improving the debate about the ethics of migrations by integrating judicial and socio-scientific perspectives on migration, the capacity of states and the effects of migration on the cultural and social life.

Scientific direction:
Prof. Dr. Corinna Mieth  (Ruhr-University Bochum)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Niederberger (University Duisburg-Essen)
Prof. Dr. Volker Heins (Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen)
JunProf. Dr. Christian Neuhäuser (Technical University Dortmund)
in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Galya Ruffer (Center for Forced Migration Studies, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA)

Paula Banerjee (Calcutta Research Group), Tendayi Bloom (Yale University), Jan Brezger (Freie Universität Berlin), Nergis Canefe (York Univesity Toronto), Andreas Cassee (Freie Universität Berlin), Frank Dietrich (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Johanna Gördemann (Universität Duisburg-Essen), Anna Goppel (Universität Bern), Henning Hahn (Universität Kassel / Freie Universität Berlin), Peter Higgins (Eastern Michigan University), Jennifer Hyndman (York University Toronto), Matthias Kettner (Universität  Witten-Herdecke), Olaf Kleist (Oxford/Universität Osnabrück), Zachary Lomo (York University Toronto), Andreas Niederberger (Universität Duisburg-Essen), Galya Ruffer (Northwestern University), Dallal Stevens (University of Warwick), Shelley Wilcox (San Francisco State University)

Participation after application until the 15th of February. Contact: Martina Tomczak (RUB),

The conference language is English

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