Moral Grammar

Moral judgment on the large-scale institutional changes is thought to be the privilege of politicians and journalists. However, during the last decades, new research programs were developed for investigating moral dimension of social institutions. Axel Honneth invokes the concept of “moral grammar,” a system of normative presuppositions that is inscribed in institutions and social relations. Peter Wagner introduces the notion of societal self-understanding, i.e. the ongoing communication about common rules and its sedimentation in societal mise en forme. Monica Heintz and authors of Anthropology of Moralities explore structural and situational agency of individuals in reshaping the tacit knowledge regarding the social construction of vices and virtues. 
The framework of modernity lends historical perspective to our understanding of how abstract moral principles are joined with particular rationalizations that individuals give to their actions. It brings forth the universal horizon of humanity, in which individuals can make sense of their private and collective lives. The particular narratives, practices and institutions that our moral values are articulated in, shape the vision of our future and determine the probability of collective action to strive for that future. Comparative research on current narratives and their institutionalizations allows us to identify the ways of producing (or dissolving) solidarities in late modern societies.

The organizers of the conference welcome presentations on a broad range of topics, including, but not limited to the following:

• Sacrality and religious authority in public life of late modern societies
• Political idealism and utopianism in crise de l’avenir • “Healthy society” and “undistorted personality”: the self and noninstrumental social relations in debates on recognition
• Principles of justice and inequalities of late modern capitalism: redistribution, recognition, revolution
• Modern biotechnologies and moral regimes of late modernity: contested views of assisted reproduction, cloning, genetic manipulation
• Discursive arenas to articulate moral grammar in late modern societies: mass media and social media, contemporary art practices such as actionism, performance


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