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Workshops & seminars

Virtue Ethics and Politics: The Personal and the Common Good

Workshop II


Friday, March 27, 2020 –
Saturday, March 28, 2020 (all day)

Free but registration is necessary; participation implies a commitment to reading the papers in advance


J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Room LB-362



Virtue Ethics and Politics - banner

It is often noted that Elizabeth Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy” (1958) renewed interest in virtue ethics in the latter half of the twentieth century. Subsequent work engaged Aristotelian ideas from modern perspectives in moral philosophy, the philosophy of language, moral psychology, and feminism. What is still lacking, however, is a contemporary virtue framework for social and political philosophy. Kantianism is alive in the Rawlsian liberal tradition, in justifications of human rights through autonomy, as well as sophisticated analyses of institutional justice. But this tradition has overlapped very little with virtue ethics. What might a modern Aristotelian approach to political philosophy look like?

This conference aims to stimulate further research at the intersection of virtue ethics and political philosophy by inviting speakers to address the issue of the relationship between the personal good and the common good, or alternatively, the virtues of individuals and the virtues of institutions. Possible suitable paper topics may include (but are not limited to) the virtues and public discourse, justice as an individual virtue, the virtues and social practices, character and political institutions, human flourishing and pluralism, and the role of rights in a virtue-centered polity. We also welcome papers from a historical perspective, as well as multidisciplinary approaches focusing on economic or psychological aspects of virtue and the common good.

This two-day workshop is co-organized by Katharina Nieswandt and Tristan Rogers and generously supported by le Centre de recherche en éthique (CRÉ), le Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire sur la normativité (GRIN), and the Social Justice Centre (SJC).

Places are limited. Workshop papers will be pre-circulated, and participation implies a commitment to reading the papers in advance. If you’d like to participate, please send your name and affiliation to the SJC's coordinator.

Paper authors

  • Mark LeBar (Florida State University, Tallahassee)
  • Lisa Tessman (Binghamton University)
  • Karen Stohr (Georgetown University)
  • Colin Farrelly (Queen's University)
  • John Hacker-Wright (University of Guelph)
  • Tristan Rogers (California State University, Sacramento)
  • Katharina Nieswandt (Concordia University)


  • Christine Tappolet (Université de Montréal)
  • Emilia Angelova (Concordia University)
  • Natalie Stoljar (McGill University)
  • Pablo Gilabert (Concordia University)
  • Ulf Hlobil (Concordia University)
  • Jing Hu (Concordia University)
  • Peter Dietsch (Université de Montréal)
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