Societas Ethica | 58th Annual Conference 2022
Vulnerability & Integrity
August 25-28, 2022

Vulnerability and Integrity

The moral impact of vulnerability, especially human vulnerability, has been intensely discussed in recent years. It seems that human vulnerability offers a foundation to better understand morality, especially regarding the moral duties of beneficence and nonmaleficence. But it might also enable a deepened understanding of concepts of autonomy and justice.

The concept of vulnerability refers to the potential or the risk of being wounded (Latin vulnus for wound) or harmed. Thus, the concept presupposes that there is something unharmed, some integrity (Latin integer for unharmed) that can be wounded or harmed. This points to a close relation of the two concepts of vulnerability and integrity, but the question for the moral relevance of these conceptual observation remains.

While the concept of vulnerability has been intensely discussed there is far less ethical discussion on the concept of integrity. Therefore, this conference suggests clarifying the moral relevance of vulnerability by reference to a better understanding the concept of integrity and vice versa. The topic can be discussed on a fundamental conceptual and normative level, or with regard to different areas of applied ethics as the question for vulnerability and integrity is already discussed in the context of medical ethics, nursing ethics, political ethics, and ecological ethics. We welcome proposals from researchers at every career-level in the fields of philosophy, theology, and applied ethics.




  • Prof. Dr. Hille Haker, Richard A. McCormick, S.J., Chair of Catholic Moral Theology, Loyola University Chicago, USA
  • Prof. Dr. James F. Keenan, S.J., Canisius Professor, Theology Department, Boston College, USA

  • Prof. Dr. Mark Schweda, Professor of Ethics in Medicine at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Health Services Research, University of Oldenburg, Germany

  • Prof. Dr. Margit Shildrick, Guest Professor in Gender and Knowledge Production, Stockholm University, Sweden.

  • Prof. Dr. Svenja Goltermann, Professor of Modern History at the Department of History at the University of Zürich, Switzerland.

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