Ethics Research Group
Welcome to the Ethics Research Group's webpage!
The Ethics Research Group (ERG) is hosted by the Philosophy Department at UiT. It is a group consisting of philosophers at UiT, as well as a network of external collaborators. The group is led by accosiate professor Heine A. Holmen (chair) and associate professor Ivar R. Labukt (vice-chair) and currently holds eleven members (for more details see Members).
We have all devoted ourselves to work on some of the most fundamental and vexing issues in ethics and moral philosophy, raising questions like: How should one live one's life? Why should one be moral or ethically virtuous? Is morality objective and universal, or is it a human construction or cultural artefact? Are there any true moral principles or universal virtues? Must self-interest be subdued by morality? Does evil exist and can one hold genuine evil-doers morally responsible? How does morality fit in with the rest of science and what else we know about the world?
As a part of this work, we organize conferences and workshops on a frequent basis here in Tromsø and with contributions from internationally acclaimed philosophers and researchers, as well as organizing reading and writing groups. There are also Ph.D. and Post Doc fellowships, whose projects and appointments are associated with the group.
We are a group in expansion and encourage all those who are interested to contact us, subsribe to our mailing list, participate to our events, as well as vouch to join our research network. See Contact us for more information.
Our main focus is different challenges and problems pertaining to the normative authority of ethics and morality, raising questions about the role that morality and ethics ought to play in our lives. We address this issue from a range of both contemporary and historical perspectives. We organize this work around four higly interrelated fields of ethical inquiry: (1) value theory and normative pluralism; (2) action theory and moral psychology; (3) metaethics and moral realism and constructivism; and (4) quality of life.
In particular, we focus on the following questions :
(1) Value Theory - Normative Pluralism
The question of how the normative authority of morality relates to other sorts of normative claims and values.
(2) Action theory - Moral Psychology
The question of whether the normative authority of morality may find some footing or leverage in our nature as agents or psychological subjects.
(3) Metaethics - Moral Realism and Constructivism
The question of whether (or how) our comitments to the normative authority of morality fit in with what else we believe about the world.
(4) Quality of life - Welfare, happiness and meaning
The question of how the quality of life - and relevant notions, such as meaning, happiness, welfare and so on - relates to the nature and normative authority of morality.
Also see our Research profile for more detailed descriptions of these respective research fields and topics.