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About the centre

The breadth and depth of contemporary societal challenges are many, and include (amongst others) climate change, racism, gender inequality and ableism, the digitalisation of social and political life, the spread of pandemics and health injustice, authoritarian violence and repression, changes in social movements and (anti)democratic repertoires. Such societal challenges call on philosophy to be more engaged in the and with the social and political world. The Radboud Centre for Philosophy and Society (RCPS) therefore positions itself directly at the intersection of philosophy and society.

The explicit goal of the RCPS, shared by its members, is to bring conceptual clarity, critical inquiry and analytic rigor of academic philosophy to bear on the moral, political, social, economic and cultural transformations raised by contemporary societal developments, whilst contributing to the further development of philosophical theory. Importantly, such philosophical engagement with societal issues is regarded as a two-way street: the aim is not only to communicate or translate one’s research “top-down” but rather also to inform, shape and adapt one’s philosophical work “bottom-up”, namely on the basis of input gained through engaging with societal stakeholders. It thereby deepens both empirical analysis and enriches philosophical thought. Hence, RCPS members actively engage in cooperation with relevant partners inside and outside academia: from other research centres within the faculty and within Radboud University, to think-tanks, NGOs, policymakers, activists and other stakeholders both at a national and an international level.

Moreover, in order to do justice to both the philosophical and societal complexities at hand, research at the RCPS not only engages with multiple philosophical traditions within ethics and political philosophy, but is also interdisciplinary in nature.  That is, RCPS research also actively engages with insights and methods from other disciplines, such as health care and medicine, politics, sociology, anthropology and the natural sciences. As part of this deep commitment to engage with society, researchers at RCPS partake in both public outreach to, and research informed by, society at large, including professionals, activists, policy makers and NGOs.

Key Research Themes within the RCPS

- climate ethics;

- comparative political philosophy;

- conflict & contestation;

- critical philosophy of race;

- digital ethics & digital society;

- empirical philosophy

- environmental ethics & sustainability;

- ethics of professionals (judges, military officers, civil servants, …);

- human rights and repertoires of democracy;

- identity & exclusion;

- (mental) health & healthcare

- intersection of race-religion;

- philosophical democratic theory;

- philosophy & economy;

- philosophy of technology;

- philosophy of work;

- post- /de-colonial theory;

- protest & social movements;

- theories of freedom, vulnerability & autonomy;

- virtue ethics.