The Projects

Autonomy and Alterity. Kant in Dialogue (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jakub Sirovátka)


This project solution is based on the participation of other partners - Faculty of Arts, USB and Faculty of Philosophy, University of Pardubice.

The field of research is constituted by the tension between the idea of autonomy on the one hand and the relationship to alterity, which is not at disposal of autonomous subject, on the other. The examination is related to the ethical theory of I. Kant. This represents basis for dialogical examination of the tension between autonomy and alterity in the works of selecte thinkers of European philosophical tradition, those for whom the idea of autonomy plays a vital role. The research is inspired by the following question: Is it necessary to give up on the idea of autonomy in order to give way to appropriate relation to alterity, or, on the contrary, does this idea need new reconsideration and purification from misinterpretations? In this respect the very origin of the idea of autonomy in selected works of Kant’s predecessors and Kant himself is carefully examined; next part of research focuses on the tension between autonomy and alterity in works of F. Nietzsche, M. Heidegger, M. M.-Ponty, J.-P. Sartre, E. Levinas in dialogue with Kant’s theory.


OP VVV MŠMT CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/18_070/0010479:

Human Dignity between Anthropology and Metaphysics. Pedro de Ledesma (1544-1616)

and His Contemporaries (Dott. Emanuele Lacca Ph.D.)

The project, financed by the OP MŠMT in the field of the Maria Skłodowska-Curie IF Actions and lead by Dr. Emanuele Lacca, aims to analyse the anthropological and metaphysical work of the Spanish Dominican Pedro de Ledesma (1544-1616). In the universities of the XVIth century, philosophers and theologians debated on the importance and centrality of human being, especially on the value of his dignity during life. Among the others, Ledesma seems to have understood in an innovative and convincing way this value. His theory demonstrates the importance of human dignity for the comprehension of man from both anthropological and metaphysical sides, because of his intrinsic sociality and individuality. Within this framework, the project will answer four main questions: how is possible to define correctly ‘what is man’ from the metaphysical and anthropological points of view? What are the attributes that define this man as a human being? Which arguments are used to define a man as human being and as ‘social actor’? Why metaphysical questions are so important to solve anthropological questions on human dignity? The planned research tackles a major philosophical issue, with the potential to generate collaborations across different periods of the history of ideas and across different traditions of thought.


Defence of Human Being in Democracy (Dott. Emanuele Lacca Ph.D.)


What Dignity for Man? Vitoria and Suárez for the Defence of Human Being in Democracy.

The project deals with the study of the debate on human dignity between Francisco de Vitoria (1483-1586) and Francisco Suárez (1548-1617) and the new forms of democracy from historical, philosophical and theological points of view. This in order to clarify also present-day political forms of democracy, by explaining the importance of their thought for contemporary political field.

The main aim of this project is re-opening and discussing arguments from Vitoria’s and Suárez’s philosophy and analysing in which way their viewpoint can solve some of the existing political problems on human dignity and democracies. This will be achieved through careful, precise and clear analysis of their selected works in relation to the ever-changing historical context.

This research will make a connection between Vitoria’s and Suárez’s thought and existing philosophical problems, and offer new opinions and solutions. In addition, it will bring some new critical perspectives regarding the arguments, which will arise from analysis of Vitoria’s and Suárez’s work. The results will improve the viability and social benefits of their philosophy on human dignity and the ideas presented in their works, which are related to contemporary political philosophy.



Aesthetics and Apologetics – Evidence of Christianity and How Balthasar’s First Transcendental Can Explain the Faith (M.A. Stuart John Nicolson)


Aesthetics and apologetics meet in two distinct ways. While aesthetic apologetics has a more direct practical usage as a developing sub-field of apologetics, and is easily accessible and usable in certain apologetical encounters, the other, which may be named aesthetics in apologetics, is far more theoretical, albeit having specific applications. The former is that branch of the field where the fruits of Christianity and of the Church are described, thus showing the beauty and the good that these bring to the world, such as philosophical and legal developments, the advent of hospitals and universities, and the often-unrecognised charity work of the Church. On the other hand, aesthetics in apologetics, being more academic, considers the role of the transcendental of beauty, not only in how it relates to the common themes in apologetics, such as a good and loving God and order in the world, but also in how we can assist others in realising their appreciation of beauty as a gift of God.

Both sub-fields will be explored regarding the interconnection of aesthetics and apologetics in this project. In aesthetic apologetics, the growth of this field in recent decades, with offerings from a number of authors, will be described and examined for its role in presenting the stable position of Christianity and the Church in the postmodern world. Regarding aesthetics in apologetics, the writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar will be considered as fundamental in exploring the role of beauty and love as trustworthy, which leads to the use of such themes in apologetical situations. These themes will be explored amongst those of other authors. Thus, the important and often overlooked role of aesthetics within the field of apologetics will be presented and examined.


Moral Status of Technological Artefacts (Ehsan Arzroomchilar).


One of the important questions discussed by philosophers of technology has to do with the moral significance of artifacts in human life. While many philosophers agree that artifacts do have moral significance attached to them, others deny any moral relevancy attached to them. On the one hand some have argued that they are morally neutral, on the other, some of philosophers have gone as far as treating them at the same level with humans and accordingly have argued in favor of moral agency of artifacts.

In my project, I will try to articulate the moral relevancy of artifacts without ascribing a kind of moral agency to them. in fact in my view they are not, and never could be, agents, however, I believe they are morally relevant. I think they do affect our morality and can develop morally assessable outcomes without being moral agent. I will try to develop a framework in which we can study moral relevancy of artifacts in detail and at the same time show why they can not deemed as moral agents.