What are practical applications of epistemology

Practical philosophy

Practical philosophy is traditionally distinguished from theoretical philosophy and the history of philosophy. They are united by an interest in the understanding and normative assessment of human action. The practical philosophy is divided into several large sub-areas.

The largest sub-area is the ethics, the scientific study of morality. It is divided into applied ethics, normative ethics and Metaethics. Applied ethics deals with specific moral questions, such as abortion issues, the ethics of artificial intelligence, or migration. It encompasses many area ethics, such as bioethics or the ethics of technology. Normative ethics examines the systematic connections between our concrete moral judgments. It sets up theories about what makes a moral act right or wrong, such as whether this is a question of the consequences of the act or, rather, is related to the fact that we owe it to people to never treat them as a means but always as an end in themselves. Finally, metaethics does not deal with questions within morality, but with questions about the essence of morality. For example, she asks whether there are moral truths, whether and how we can recognize them, or whether our moral statements describe a moral reality at all and are not rather a pure expression of our feelings.

A second sub-area is Action theory. This explores the phenomenon of deliberate human action in all its breadth. Action theory is interested, on the one hand, in how our explanation of actions can be integrated into the worldview of the natural sciences by giving reasons and goals, which is dominated by causal relationships. There are big points of contact here Theory of practical reasons. On the other hand, action theory examines more specifically how our actions can be individualized and whether there are such things as basic actions, which figure as the cornerstones of more complex actions and cannot themselves be traced back to another action. Finally, action theory deals with various questions at interfaces with other areas of philosophy, such as questions about the Free will, the moral responsibility or the Moral psychology. Understanding actions is central to assessing whether an action can be ascribed to a person and whether they can therefore be held accountable or even legitimately punished. The theory of action therefore also has points of contact with the Legal philosophy.

A third area is that political philosophy. This examines the normative prerequisites (in contrast to the empirical prerequisites, which are dealt with in political science and sociology) of our coexistence in a society. On the one hand, political philosophy asks about the essence of the political and its relationship to other areas, such as morality or law. It continues to deal with how political power can be legitimized and what individuals owe or can expect from society. In the area of ​​the state, she deals with the question of which forms of rule are normatively preferred and how these can best be maintained and developed. Finally, political philosophy also deals with more specific questions about political coexistence, such as questions of (social) justice, private happiness or the social representation of minorities.

Finally, a fourth area represents the Theory of Rationality This branch of practical philosophy asks when decisions - both those of individual individuals and those of collectives such as the Bundestag or a supervisory board - are rational. For this purpose, the theory of rationality makes use of formal methods, such as those used in mathematics and economics.

The University of Munich offers a wide range of lectures and seminars in the field of practical philosophy.

The research focus of Chair IV for Philosophy and Political Theory is mainly in political philosophy (currently on the topics of justice, cosmopolitanism and the ethics of migration), the theory of rationality and metaethics (here with a focus on realism). In addition, where thematically necessary, digressions into the philosophy of spirit, the philosophy of language and the theory of knowledge are made.
The research focus of Chair V for Practical Philosophy and Ethics lies in normative ethics, action theory and moral psychology, especially in the areas of ethics of personal relationships, autonomy and the theory of normativity as well as the whole range of moral psychology (such as empathy, Trust, emotions, and self-deception).
The focus on practical philosophy is further strengthened by two further institutions. The Munich Competence Center for Ethics (MKE), as a cross-faculty research institution, addresses ethical issues in research, politics and society. The center offers its own program of events, which is also aimed at the public.
The aim of the Munich Research and Doctoral College for Ethics in Practice (MKEP), which is financed by the Volkswagen Foundation, is to train ethicists who participate in ethical discourses in a practical way, also outside the university, and complete practical modules accordingly.