John-Stewart Gordon

Professor and Head of the Research Cluster for Applied Ethics


Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas
Research Cluster for Applied Ethics

V. Putvinskio g. 23 (Room 403)

LT-44243 Kaunas



Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy

DP of Philosophy and Social Critique

V. Putvinskio g. 23

LT-44243 Kaunas








Call for Papers: "Intelligent Machines and Human Beings: Challenges of a new Relationship"

Closing date for online submission: 01/12/2016


***NEW DEADLINE for submission: 15/01/2017***


Some scholars claim that the technological development of intelligent machines will soon outdo the human capacities in various fields of expertise within the next 50 years, for example in games such as chess, automated driving systems, the health sector, and war robots. Very complex artificial systems will become a socio-political milestone concerning the relationship between human beings and machines. This includes new forms of alterity and otherness: long gone are the days when the term “robot” mainly refers to human androids. For example, we need to discuss the anthropological status of cyborgs – when human beings merge with machines. Another challenge is the role and status of hybrid systems due to their double- or better multiple-nature. They consist of two or more fully autonomous subsystems that temporarily coalesce. As parts of a hybrid system the subsystems change their status as well since hybrid systems are also subjects.
Not only questions of ethical and legal responsibility – in cases of malfunction – must be considered, but also the very idea of how one should view the very relation between the two intelligent beings. This special issue examines the diverse and complex problems that the relationship between human beings and intelligent machines face or will face in the (foreseeable) future, provides insights in new technological developments, and features new approaches and solutions to vital problems in current debates.


Call for Papers: The Ethics of Ageing

Closing date for submission: 01/09/2016


***NEW DEADLINE for submission: 01/03/2017*** 


The Editors of Bioethics are pleased to announce a special issue in 2017 on the Ethics of Ageing. Despite ongoing inequalities in life expectancy across the globe, the world population is constantly growing and the proportion that consists of elderly persons, including frail elderly, is increasing. This is not only a source of pressure for social systems and the health care systems of various countries, but also concerns the vital question of how society should deal with elderly people and raises questions about how to respond. Issues include the appropriate use of ressources, models of health and social care, and policies concerning health, retirement age and pensions. Can Western countries learn something valuable from non-Western less developed countries regarding ageing and elderly people? What does it mean to live a dignified life in old age? Is there a promising normative theory of ageing that deals with the contemporary issues at the cutting edge of age, responsibility, and good life? What are the key notions of an ethics of ageing? These and associated issues should be discussed in the publication.


Human Rights and Dignity:
Schroeder and Schaber

"Human rights and human dignity are important but also highly contested notions in ethics. This is particularly true in bioethical discourses, where the concepts’ vagueness often precludes focused ethical conclusions. For example, it is a matter of debate “whether there is widespread agreement that all human beings have human rights simply because they are human beings”. Here, it is fair to say that “there is currently no common ground with regard to the moral and legal justification or the ontological and epistemological status of human rights” (Gordon 2013)."

Read the full article on my blog.

The New York Times on the film "San Andreas"   

"Watching seemingly successful people punished by earthquakes, sudden illnesses or bad luck “is literally calming down the people’s anger (that they are less fortunate) and a perverse form of healing the tormented souls,” John-Stewart Gordon, a professor of anthropology and ethics at the University of Cologne in Germany, said in an email."

Read the article on my blog or the NYT website!

Human Rights, Capabilities, Disability, John-Stewart Gordon

Hans Jonas
und die klassische Philosophie

Hans Jonas' Auseinandersetzung

mit der Philosophie der Antike und der klassischen Moderne


15.-17. Dezember 2014