Centre for Ethics and Humanism
Centrum voor Ethiek en Humanisme

Annual ETHU Seminar: ‘The Foundations of Existential Ethics’ – 19 May 2017

April 24th, 2017 | Posted by admin in Events | News

You are kindly invited to the Annual ETHU Seminar 2017, The Foundations of Existential Ethics, on May 19th 2017.

Seminar Theme and Aim

Existential philosophy is known for its resistance to discussing human reality in categories of ‘essence’. As such, it can be said to have had a pioneering importance for the challenge of any ‘foundation of ethics’, a challenge that was characteristic for a broad range of ethical thinking in the 20th century. This seminar aims to discuss the possibility of a foundation of existential ethics. Though existential thought has often been judged as having a solitary, isolated subjectivity as its point of departure, can it after all be said to hold any general principles? And if ethics somehow aims at universality and otherness, how then is this to be understood in an existential setting where the emphasis is on the actual situation of the concrete individual?

The seminar is meant to inspire and provoke a fruitful and unreserved exchange of ideas on the topic between all participants. Four speakers will give an introduction, approaching the question head-on, introducing their own reflections. Four respondents will then open the general discussion.


David Bugge (University of Aarhus)
Joakim Garff (University of Copenhagen)
Mélissa Fox-Muraton (ESC Clermont/Université Clermont Auvergne)
Stine Zink Kaasgaard (Free University of Brussels)


Heiko Schulz (Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main)
Gudmundur Thorbjornsson (Free University of Brussels)
Annemarie van Stee (University of Utrecht)
Karl Verstrynge (Free University of Brussels)


10.00-10.15: Words of Welcome by K. Verstrynge
10.15-11.00: Introduction: first two speakers
11.00-11.15: Coffee
11.30-12.15: Introduction: next two speakers
12.15-13.15: Lunch
13.30-15.00: Respondents & discussion
15.00-15.15: Coffee
15.15-16.45: Respondents & discussion
17.00-18.00: Reception


Participation is free of charge, but confirmation of your participation is necessary (latest April 19th).

Organization and Location

The seminar is organized by Dr. Stine Zink Kaasgaard and Prof. Dr. Karl Verstrynge and will take place at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Building C, Room 5C402 (‘Professorenzaal’).

Contact information

For participation and further information please contact: Stine.Zink.Kaasgaard@vub.ac.be.