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“The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and Contemporary Ethics” is devoted to interpreting and defending in a contemporary setting a number of the doctrines found in Henry Sidgwick’s “The Methods of Ethics”. It therefore discusses a wide number of moral problems of interest to contemporary moral philosophers, including the conflict between self-interest and morality, the nature of moral reasons, the nature of well-being, the demands of morality, the conflict between utilitarianism and deontology, among many others. The author-meets-critics session will include presentations that discuss the interpretive and the normative claims defended in Katarzyna de Lazai-Radek and Peter Singer’s 2014 book, “The Point of View of the Universe”.



Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek is a Polish utilitarian philosopher and lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy at Lodz University in Poland where she also completed her dissertation. Professor Lazari-Radek also teaches an intensive summer seminar on utilitarian ethics at the European Graduate School (EGS) together with the famous applied ethics philosopher, also one of the animal rights founder, Peter Singer. She would do two Master’s degrees, also at Lodz University, one in English Literature (2000) and one in Philosophy (2001). Lazari-Radek’s doctoral dissertation (2007) examined the work of the utilitarian English philosopher and economist Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900), whose work on work has had a lasting impact, especially in economics. Her dissertation was entitled Good and Reason in the Moral Philosophy of Henry Sidgwick (2007).

Professor Lazari-Radek’s research since then has focused on a plethora of ethical issues, including bioethics, medical ethics, the ethics of aid, the ethical aspects of globalization, as well as both the ethics of journalism and the ethics of research.

Read more about Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek.

Photo by Tony Phillips - ICEL 2014

Photo by Tony Phillips – ICEL 2014

Peter Singer is an Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. From 2005 on, he has also held the part-time position of Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, first in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, and then in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.

Peter Singer first became well-known internationally after the publication of Animal Liberation. His other books include: Democracy and Disobedience; Practical Ethics; The Expanding Circle; Marx; Hegel; Animal Factories (with Jim Mason); The Reproduction Revolution (with Deane Wells), Should the Baby Live? (with Helga Kuhse), How Are We to Live?, Rethinking Life and Death, Ethics into Action, A Darwinian Left, One World, Pushing Time Away, The President of Good and Evil, How Ethical is Australia? (with Tom Gregg), The Way We Eat (with Jim Mason) and The Life You Can Save. He also co-authored The Greens with Bob Brown, founder of the Australian Greens. Books he has edited or co-edited include Test-Tube Babies; In Defence of Animals; Applied Ethics; Animal Rights and Human Obligations; Embryo Experimentation; A Companion to Ethics; The Great Ape Project: Equality Beyond Humanity, Ethics, A Companion to Bioethics, Bioethics: An Anthology, The Moral of the Story, In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave and Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Issues. His works have appeared in more than 20 languages. He is the author of the major article on Ethics in the current edition of the Encylopaedia Britannica. Two collections of his writings have been published: Writings on an Ethical Life, which he edited, and Unsanctifying Human Life, edited by Helga Kuhse. There are also two collections of critical essays about his work, which include his responses: Singer and His Critics, edited by Dale Jamieson, and Peter Singer Under Fire, edited by Jeffrey Schaler. The latter includes a 75 page “Intellectual Autobiography.”

Peter Singer was the founding President of the International Association of Bioethics, and with Helga Kuhse, founding co-editor of the journal Bioethics. Outside academic life, he is the co-founder, and President, of The Great Ape Project, an international effort to obtain basic rights for chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. He is also President of Animal Rights International.

Read more about Peter Singer.


9:00-9:30: Coffee

9:30-10:00: Presentation: Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer: The main themes of “The Point of View of the Universe”.

10:00-11:15: Presentation: Thomas Hurka (Toronto)

11:15 -11:30: Break

11:30-12:45: Presentation: Jennifer Hawkins (Duke)

12:45-1:45: Lunch

1:45-3:00: Presentation: Anthony Skelton (Western)

3:00-3:15: Break

3:15-4:30: Presentation: David Phillips (Houston)

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