Inaugural lecture Marcel Verweij: Praktijk in ethiek

Prof. dr. Marcel Verweij. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk
Professor Marcel Verweij. Photo: Ed van Rijswijk

Marcel Verweij is Professor of Philosophical Ethics at Utrecht University’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies since 1 April 2023. On 11 January, he will hold his inaugural lecture entitled: ‘Praktijk in ethiek’ (‘Practice in Ethics’).

Moral dilemmas

Would you save the lives of five people at the expense of one other? The ‘trolley problem’ is a well-known example of thought experiments that test and clarify our moral intuitions. In his inaugural lecture, however, Verweij will explain how these philosophical analyses are often useless for the clarification of real moral dilemmas.

According Verweij, it is much more fruitful for philosophical ethics to analyse real moral problems. Ethicists should put moral complexity of dilemmas, societal policies, and professional practices at the centre of their work, he says.

Scarce health care resources

Verweij will illustrate this with the problem of allocating scarce health care resources, now and during the pandemic. Should our solidaristic health care insurance cover extremely expensive medical treatments? And what ethical considerations should guide intensive care triage in a public health crisis?

Ethics cannot do without moral theory, Verweij says, but an adequate theory must be able to grasp the complexity of deep moral problems of our time. He will suggest how such a theory can bring together traditionally competing approaches such as utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics.

Start date and time
End date and time
Hybrid: online (click here) and for invited guests in the Utrecht University Hall
M. F. Verweij
Wijsgerige ethiek
Inaugural lecture
Praktijk in ethiek