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Cecilie Eriksen

Contextual Ethics - Ethics beyond Collectivism and Individualism

Contextual Ethics – Ethics beyond Collectivism and Individualism

Ethics is of fundamental importance to human life. Its nature, however, remains elusive and is characterized by contradictory traits. For instance, ethics appears both context-bound and context-transcending; it concerns the particular individual and the humanly universal. These traits give rise to rivaling moral theories in philosophy as well as in anthropology. 

Today there is a need in moral anthropology to work out a conception of ethics capable of incorporating insights from both collective oriented strains of moral thinking (for instance inspired by Durkheim) as well as individualistic strains (for instance inspired by Foucault) in order to attain a fuller understanding of ethics and the human condition. 

The aim of this project is to address this need by developing an understanding of ethics calledContextual Ethicsincorporating individualistic, inter-subjective and collective aspects of ethics. It will do so by taking leave in Løgstrup’s phenomenological philosophy and supplement it with insights from Wittgensteinian thinkers like Cavell, Diamond and Das.