$860,000 Grant to Study Kantian Ethics


What is the “political-theoretical background” of the central concepts of Kantian ethics? Pauline Kleingeld, professor of philosophy at the University of Groningen, was just awarded a €745,000 (approximately $860,000) grant to find out.

The grant is from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, or NWO). Professor Kleingeld’s project, “Universal Moral Laws: A New Approach to Kant and Kantian Ethics” was one of twelve winners in NWO’s “Free Competition Humanities” program, and the only one led by a philosopher.

The project will look at the “key concepts in Kant’s universalistic ethics such as moral ‘legislation’ and ‘autonomy’, human ‘dignity’, and ‘freedom’ of the will” and “investigate the possibilities for developing a convincing modern Kantian ethics.”

There’s some further information here.

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Matt
3 years ago

Kleingeld’s book on Kant’s cosmopolitanism is an excellent example of both philosophy, broadly understood, and scholarship, as well as being highly readable, so I am excited about this result. I hope it will result in more work of a similarly high quality (as I would expect.) A very nice development!Report

SCM
SCM
3 years ago

It’s so good to see that there is now some small measure of support for research in the potentially exciting field of Kantian ethics. Report

Colin McGinn
Colin McGinn
3 years ago

I hope they focus on the idea of the moral LAW in Kant. Not just prescriptions or recipes for happiness but unbreakable laws. How do we maintain the robustness and authority of moral laws while avoiding Kant’s misplaced absolutism (e.g. in the case of lying)?Report

Walter Horn
3 years ago

I’m sorry, but that sum is ridiculous.Report

Desiderio Lopez Guante
Desiderio Lopez Guante
Reply to  Walter Horn
3 years ago

Why? Report

DailyReader
DailyReader
Reply to  Walter Horn
3 years ago

I have to agree, why didn’t they just make it a round number, like $1,000,000? Report

Walter Horn
3 years ago

Because it’s almost a million dollars, and there are adjunct philosophy professors living in their $800 cars.Report

bazinga
bazinga
Reply to  Walter Horn
3 years ago

Is the assumption that that money would have otherwise gone to fix the adjunctification of academic labor? Report

Jon Light
Jon Light
Reply to  Walter Horn
3 years ago

If you’ve ever written a grant budget, you wouldn’t say that. It’s not like this money actually goes to professors, usually. It’s either internalized at universities in terms of course releases, used to hold conferences (which benefits dozens and dozens of other people), funds graduate students and post-docs (cf., your comment about un/under-employed ppl), and so on. At the margins, it can top off summer salaries, but it definitely isn’t the case this money just goes in her bank account.Report

SCM
SCM
Reply to  Walter Horn
3 years ago

How many adjunct philosophy professors are living in $800 cars in the Netherlands? Report

sahpa
sahpa
Reply to  SCM
3 years ago

Yeah I agree, that’s a ridiculous thing to say–theyre living on their $800 bikes, surely!Report

Pauline Kleingeld
Pauline Kleingeld
3 years ago

Indeed, most of the money goes to five years of postdoc salaries and four years of phd salaries (with benefits, such as pension contributions, parental leave, etc.); the rest goes to travel, conferences, ‘impact’ activities, and some teaching reduction for me; no summer salary (we’re on 12-month appointments here anyhow). I’ll be running open searches for these positions, which I will be announcing in due course.
Report

Oliver
Oliver
3 years ago

Grants beget more grants, anyone jealous should stop spitting venom.Report