Wednesday 18th April 2018: Mikko Yrjönsuuri (University of Jyväskylä)

Ethical Egoism in the 13th Century: Henry of Ghent on self-preservation

Time: 16:15–17:45
Place: Lecture room 10, 3rd floor, Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40)

My aim is to show how Henry of Ghent’s (1217-93) ethical theory assumes that primary ethical duty is towards oneself rather than other people. I’ll first argue that Henry is to be understood as a clear ethical egoist, looking at his position in relation to what has become to be known as rational egoism. Then I’ll turn to his theory of the right for self-preservation, which he develops in discussing the subjective rights of a criminal convicted to death.

Mikko Yrjönsuuri is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä.