The Normative Grounds of Sustainability

Donnerstag, 29. Oktober 2015 - 14:00 - Freitag, 30. Oktober 2015 - 18:00
Bad Homburg

The concept of sustainability refers to the quality of practices or processes being able or worthy of being carried on. But on what grounds is a practice or process to be recognized, accepted and promoted as sustainable? This is a key question that needs to be addressed from a moral and political perspective.

The conference aims to discuss ideas that surround the concepts of sustainability and of sustainable development, especially those ideas that can provide a normative foundation for defending sustainability as a principle of both individual and collective action. Claims about nature conservation, preservation of natural capital, intergenerational equity, quality of life, environmental protection, environmental limits, as well as arguments defending or rejecting them as a suitable basis for sustainability will be topics of discussion.




Thursday, 29th October
14:00: Welcoming: Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, Pierre Monnet, Rosa Sierra

Section 1
14:30 – 15:30: Catherine Larrère, Sustainability and Limits
16:30 – 17:30: Konrad Ott, Rawlsian Justice and Strong Sustainability: A Conceptual Arrangement
Public lecture
18:00 – 19:30: John O’Neill, Well-being, substitutability and ecosystem services

Friday, 30th October
Section 2
9:00 – 9:45: Susanne Hiekel, Widening the Scope of Considerations regarding Sustainability
9:45 – 10:45: John Nolt, Sustaining the Welfare of Life

Section 3
11:15 – 12:15: Bernward Gesang, Do Individuals have a Duty to Protect Climate?
12:15 – 13:15: Andreas Niederberger, Who Must Act Sustainably? Sustainability and the Difficulties of Collective Responsibility

Section 4
14:30 – 15:15: Dirk Lanzerath, Sustainability and Biodiversity
15:30 – 16:30: Hannes Peltonen, Sustainability in the Anthropocene
16:30 – 17:30: Rosa Sierra, Sustainability and the Long-term
17:30 – 18:00: Final Remarks

The Conference takes place at:
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften
Am Wingertsberg 4
61348 Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe
Participation is free, but registration is required.
Please register until October 25 at:
Further information:


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