Lovanium Seminar in Ethics and Public Policy 2015-16
« Utopian Thinking and Public Policy »
Frank Vandenbroucke (KU Leuven), Toon Vandevelde (KU Leuven), Philippe Van Parijs (UCL)
This seminar jointly organized by the UCL and the KU Leuven focuses on a special theme that changes from year to year. In takes place on four Fridays in each semester, from 10.30 am to 5pm, alternatively in Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve. In the first semester, it hosts guest speakers from various relevant disciplines. In the second semester, it consists in a presentation and discussion of papers by the students who take the course for credit.
Past themes include global justice, migration, justice and democracy, the ethical limits of the market, justice in health care, the neutrality of the state, exploitation, discrimination and exclusion, social justice in the European Union, varieties of federalism and their philosophical justifications, justice between genders, ethnic groups and generations. In 2015-16, the seminar will be one of the many activities that fit within the « utopia year » organized by both universities on the occasion of the 500th anniversay of the publication in Louvain/Leuven of Thomas More’s Utopia. The topic will be: Utopian thinking and public policy.
Programme for the first semester
16 October: LLN, LECL 93, salle du conseil ESPO, 1 Place Montesquieu
10.30-13: Contemporary political philosophy (selective and personal introduction by Philippe Van Parijs, UCL)
14-15.45: Christophe Vielle, Guido Latré and Charles-Henri Nyns (UCL) on 16th century Louvain and the context of the publication of More’s Utopia
16-17: Utopian thinking and public policy (introduction to this year’s theme by Philippe Van Parijs, UCL)
13 November: Leuven, Raadzaal HIW, 2 Kard. Mercierplein
10.30-13: Jan Opsomer and Geert Roskam (KU Leuven) on utopian thought in Antiquity
14-15.30 : Andrea Robiglio (KU Leuven) on More’s Utopia and its context
15.45-17 : Stéphane Symons (KU Leuven) on the place of utopia in Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt School
27 November: LLN, LECL 93, salle du conseil ESPO, 1 Place Montesquieu
10.30-13: Manuel Cervera-Marzal (EHESS, Paris, and Hoover Fellow UCL) on Miguel Abensour and utopian thinking in contemporary France
Edoardo Traversa (UCL) on the gradual emergence of today’s tax sytems
Toon Vandevelde (KU Leuven) on utopian theories of inheritance taxation
Jorgen Pedersen (University of Bergen, Hoover Fellow UCL) on inheritance taxation in liberal egalitarian theories of distributive justice
4 December: Leuven, Raadzaal HIW, 2 Kard. Mercierplein
Fernand Tanghe (UA) on utopia and socialism
Walter Van Trier (UGent) on utopia and welfare state reform
Bea Cantillon (UA), Erik Schokkaert and Frank Vandenbroucke (KU Leuven) on whether there is a role for utopian thinking in today’s socio-economic policy
Each student taking the seminar for credit will need to write a papers of maximum 7000 words and present it to the class in the second semester (presentation of 20 minutes followed by 20 minutes for discussion, with the outline on a handout to be made available to the audience). Students will be evaluated on the basis of their paper, their presentation and their active participation in the seminar.