History of Social Ethics

“History is life’s teacher.”

This statement of  Cicero phrase describes how the meaning of history was understood in classical, medieval and Renaissance historiography. Even today we share this educational connotation of history: the study of the past serves as a lesson for the future. History shows us different ways to think and act. Thus, knowing the past supports the critical evaluation of current ways of thinking about and adopting attitudes and values.

History of Social Ethics is an interdisciplinary study track. The primary aim is to analyse and understand those historical themes, circumstances and events that are relevant to social ethics within the history of moral and political philosophy, social and political thought, and legal history. The time span covered extends from Antiquity to the Enlightenment.

Currently, the main research themes concern the history of human rights, theories and views on moral psychology in the emergence of the modern state, and the history of social justice. In the future, we also aim to study religious tolerance and intolerance and mutual recognition in interreligious and multicultural contexts in the European history of ideas.

Experts: Virpi Mäkinen, Ilse Paakkinen

See also Medieval and Early Modern Thought – research team of the Academy of Finland’s Center of Excellence Reason and Religious Recognition