Research at the Chair of Philosophy II

Research at the Chair of Philosophy II focuses on topics of practical philosophy, in particular on topics of applied ethics. The main focus is on special issues of corporate and business ethics as well as environmental and climate ethics. We also work in the field of history of philosophy, especially on early-modern philosophy.

Professor Gesang's research also focuses on sustainability and its democratic implementation (see also the completed project “Future's Advocates”).

Dissertation Projects

  • Wild Animal Suffering and Laissez-faire Intuition

    Beka Jalagania

    Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bernward Gesang, Chair of Philosophy II

    In his PhD thesis, Beka Jalagania addresses questions concerning the ethics of wild animal suffering. The thesis provides a comprehensive analysis of the view, called the Laissez-faire Intuition, that we are not required to assist wild animals. In contrast to this view, the thesis makes the case for assisting wild animals in their struggle to live lives free from suffering and provides a theoretical ground for an ethically justified intervention in nature.

  • Wiedergutmachungen global agierender Unternehmen: Von der Pflicht, gerecht zu wirtschaften (Arbeitstitel)

    Sebastian Burger

    Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bernward Gesang, Chair of Philosophy II

    The doctoral project contributes a practically oriented corporate ethics, which regards human rights as a central, normative foundation and aims at the relative improvement of morally reprehensible conditions. The dissertation has three parts. First, three different principles of attribution of responsibility are analysed and discussed. These include the polluter pays, solvency and beneficiaries principle. In a globalised economy, the polluter pays principle, which is dominant in corporate ethics, seems to be reaching its limits. It must therefore be supplemented by the other two principles. Second, the normative consequences are discussed: What responsibility for elimination or reparation obligations do global companies have in order to be able to prevent, combat or compensate for human rights violations? In the final part, it is examined what needs to be done at the macro, meso and micro levels of business ethics to put into practice the responsibility to eliminate and redress.