Research

Here you will find an overview of Prof. Dr. Dietrich's fields of work and currently running research projects as well as of his staff members and their projects.

Prof. Dr. Frank Dietrich

Fields of work

Political philosophy:

  • Territorial rights and secession
  • State authority and political obligation

Moral philosophy:

  • Distributive justice

Medical ethics:

  • Rationing and allocation of organs
  • Preimplantation diagnosis
  • Euthanasia

Research

One focus of research in the field of the philosophy of international politics is on justifying territorial claims. The currently running project focusses the right of peoples to political self-determination as it is rooted in Art. 1 of the Conventions on Human Rights of 1966. Both these conventions on human rights as well as other authoritative legal documents connect the right to political self-determination to the right to dispose of those natural resources as existing on the territory of a people. The project pursues the question if convincing normative reasons suggest that the right to political self-determination implies privileged claims to the exploitation of natural resources.

Another project deals with the justification of the execution of state power in the context of education. State interventions in the parents´ rights of education may be based on two kinds of arguments. One the one hand one may refer to the legitimate interests of the children, such as their autonomy, which require interventions into education. On the other hand one may refer to the necessity of communicating fundamental values, such as tolerance, to the children, in order of maintaining a democratic community. The project focusses on the particular challenges for the legitimation of state interventions in pluralist societies where different concepts of the good are competing with each other.

Dr. Joachim Wündisch

Fields of work

Political philosophy:

  • Territorial rights and climate change
  • Left-Libertarianism and Right-Libertarianism

Moral philosophy:

  • Distributive, compensatory and restitutive justice
  • Moral responsibility

Medical ethics:

  • Disability
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • Human enhancement

Research

Within climate ethics I work on grounding the restitutive claims of groups whose territories are in whole or in part lost to the rising sea. My focus are the following questions: (1) Is a sufficientarian theory of political self-determination plausible, and if so, what should it look like? (2) What claims to restitution arise from the partial loss of territory and the associated potential reduction in political self-determination?

In the field of moral responsibility I work on the subject of excusable ignorance and on answers to the following questions: (1) Why does excusable ignorance exculpate? (2) Does the exculpatory power of excusable ignorance extend to liability for costs? (3) How do interdependent and collective decision-making processes affect individual excusable ignorance?

Within the philosophy of disability I work on answers to the following questions: (1) What is a disability? (2) Is the mere-difference view of disability justified? (3) What are the duties of society towards persons with disabilities?

[Translate to English:] Adis Selimi, M.A.

[Translate to English:]

Fields of work:

Legal Philosophy:

  • Philosophy of International Law
  • Law and Morality

Political Philosophy:

  • Legitimacy of Political Institutions
  • Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory
  • Territorial Rights

Moral Philosophy:

  • Ethics of Migration

Research

As part of my dissertation project, I am concerned with the moral foundations of state recognition. While the capacity of a group of individuals to form a state was initially based on descriptive criteria formulated in the Montevideo Convention (1933), like the effective control over a territory, modern international law has increasingly added normative criteria that influence the practice of state recognition. These include, in particular, the protection of human rights and the democratic legitimacy of the government. As a result, several de facto regimes (e.g. Northern Cyprus and Transnistria) were refused admission to the international community. This goes hand in hand with the non-recognition of the rights and obligations inseparably linked to the principle of statehood. The aim of the research project is to examine the legitimacy of the practice of withheld recognition and to work out normative criteria that political entities should fulfill in order to be accepted into the international community.

Benjamin Huppert M.A.

Fields of work

  • Psychology and philosophy of moral judgement and moral action
  • Evolutionary explanations of morality
  • Meta-ethical and normative relevance of scientific ways of understanding morality

Research

Until summer, 2015, I was writing my doctoral dissertation on the moral-philosophical significance of recent scientific explanations of moral judgement and behaviour. In particular, I investigated the influence of intuitions, emotions, and heuristic psychological processes as well as evolutionary mechanisms on impressions of moral relevance. In the near future, I intend to deal with the development of concepts of merit and responsibility as well as their psychological preconditions.

Dr. Sebastian Laukötter

Fields of work

Political philosophy:

  • Theories of global justice
  • Human rights
  • Just war theory

Moral philosophy:

  • Foundation of Ethics

Medical ethics:

  • Global health justice
  • Ethical problems of the access to essential medicines

Research

My current research work focusses on developing a theory of global justice which includes principles of corrective, political and distributive justice. This moderately cosmopolitan framework is applied to the fields of world poverty and global health.

Dr. Alexander Bagattini

Fields of work

Child welfare and children's rights:

  • Participation of children (children´s suffrage, medical steps, education)
  • Concepts of welfare/child welfare
  • Paternalism
  • Parental authority

Philosophy of sports:

  • Doping in sports
  • Values of sports

Research

Head of the sub-project “Ethical aspects of child welfare in the context of the BMBF project on `child welfare as a pattern of collective orientation”: The inter-disciplinary overall project is supposed to shed light on the overall-societal dimension of the concept of child welfare, by looking at the concept of child welfare as part of a discourse, with different disciplines such as medicine, cultural history, sociology, philosophy (ethics) and jurisprudence contributing. The project is a part of the BMBF overall funding line “Sexual violence against children in the context of institutions”. The topical goal of this combined project is working out a guideline on the topic, addressing the staff members of educational institutions such as children´s homes and schools.

Main applicant and head of project of the DFG network “Normative foundation of child welfare”: Scientists from medicine, philosophy, sociology, history and jurisprudence participate in this inter-disciplinary network. The topical goal of the network is the analysis of the various normative implications of the concept of child welfare. Under discussion are topics such as the justification of paternalism towards children, children´s rights to be heard (such as in medical contexts or in the context of political elections) or reasons for excluding children from liberty rights. In the course of the first network-funded workshop (01/2015), various concepts of child welfare were compared to each other. The second workshop (10/2015) discussed the relation of child welfare and the vulnerability of children. Until 2017 two more workshops and publications in the context of the network are intended.

Head of section

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Frank Dietrich

Building: 23.32
Floor/Room: U1.27
Phone +49 211 81-12912
Fax +49 211 81-15651

Visiting time

by appointment: Frank.Dietrich@hhu.de


Secretary's office

Petra K.-Schiebel M.A.

Building: 23.32
Floor/Room: U1.29
Phone +49 211 81-12912
Fax +49 211 81-15651

Visiting time

Mon-Thu: 8:00 - 12:00 am

Responsible for the content: