Ethical Concepts and Problems

ISBN : 9780198859048

Knud Ejler Logstrup
160 ページ
135 x 216 mm

This is first English edition of Ethical Concepts and Problems (1971) by Danish philosopher and theologian K. E. Logstrup (1905-81). Originally published as a contribution to a textbook of ethics for students of theology, it propounds a philosophical ethics in continuity with Martin Luther's conception of the natural law. We find here the core idea from The Ethical Demand, that in our dealings with others we are faced with the demand that we take care of them, now conceptualized as the central tenet of an ontological ethics based on human interdependence as a fundamental condition of life. Later in his career, Logstrup developed a conception of what he called 'the sovereign expressions of life'-spontaneous other-regarding impulses or ways of conduct such as trust, sincerity, and compassion-and these are here described and determined in their relation to the ethical demand and moral norms. Furthermore, this key text discusses a number of central ethical concepts such as duty, responsibility, will, and choice. Logstrup also explores the relationship between love of the neighbour and politics, before finally concluding with an extensive discussion of political questions such as cultural policy, democracy, and the right of resistance. Ethical Concepts and Problems therefore offers an instructive survey of important parts of Logstrup's ethical and political thinking, from theological issues like Luther's doctrine of the bondage of the will, to the ideas of philosophers such as Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. In this edition Logstrup's original text is accurately rendered into readable English and paired with an introduction which explains the main themes and wider context of the work.


Translators' preface

A chronology of Logstrup's life

Hans Fink and Kees van Kooten Niekerk: Introduction

Ethical Concepts and Problems

1 Three Ethical Traditions

2 The Ethical Demand and the Sovereign Expressions of Life

3 Norm and Spontaneity

4 The Ethical Demand and the Norms

5 Politics and Ethics

6 Duty

7 Responsibility

8 Choice, Will, and Freedom

9 Choice, Decision, and Resolution

10 Politics

Editor's notes

Select bibliography


Kees van Kooten Niekerk was formerly Associate Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Aarhus. He was in charge of the Logstrup Archive and the editor of its newsletter between 2000 and 2013. He has published works on the relationship between theology and science, bioethics, and K. E. Logstrup.; Kristian-Alberto Lykke Cobos is Assistant Lecturer in Moral and Medical Philosophy at the University of Aarhus. He has recently edited and translated a Spanish edition of K. E. Logstrup's The Ethical Demand (1956).; Hans Fink is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Aarhus. He is the co-editor of What Is Ethically Demanded?: K. E. Logstrup's Philosophy of Moral Life (Notre Dame 2017, with Robert Stern).; Bjorn Rabjerg is Assistant Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at Aarhus University. He holds a PhD in Systematic Theology and an MA in Philosophy. He has worked extensively on Logstrup since 2004 and in 2013 became Head of the Logstrup Archive at Aarhus University. His most recent publications have been on Logstrup, Kierkegaard, Luther, and Knausgard.; Robert Stern is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, where he has worked since 1989. He was previously a student and then Junior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He has published extensively on Kant, Hegel, and transcendental arguments, as well as on accounts of moral obligation. He recently published the first academic monograph in English on Logstrup, entitled The Radical Demand in Logstrup's Ethics (Oxford 2019).