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Wittgenstein Lecture 2021


This year's Wittgenstein Lectures will be given by Prof. Fabienne Peter, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Prof. Peter specializes in political philosophy, moral philosophy, and social and political epistemology. Her lectures are on "The Grounds of Political Legitimacy", here is the abstract:

"What makes political decisions-legitimate? According to a longstanding tradition in political thought the source of political legitimacy is some form of democratic control or, more generally, the will of the people. But recent political developments are putting pressure on this view and it is thus timely to consider this question again. In my lectures, I will explore the question from a meta-normative point of view and consider factive and epistemic grounds of political legitimacy alongside the political will. I argue that each of those accounts of the grounds of political legitimacy faces a serious objection. In light of this, I develop a conception of political legitimacy that rests on a hybrid account of the grounds of political legitimacy, combining epistemic considerations and responsiveness to the political will. This epistemic accountability conception, as I call it, honours epistemic constraints on legitimate political decision-making, but also recognises that the epistemic circumstances of politics are typically not sufficiently favourable to allow political legitimacy to be determined on purely epistemic grounds."

The Wittgenstein Lectures were inaugurated 1987 and they are funded from the central University budget. They marked some of the first steps towards the internationalization of teaching at Bayreuth University. Following the tradition, we invite a renowned philosopher to hold a week of lectures and colloquia on themes central to our Philosophy & Economics programme. All philosophy teaching stops for a week, the first lecture is usually followed by a reception, the last one by a short exam on the lectures' contents. 

For more information about the series in general, see here.

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