EPLab - Laboratory of Ethics and Political Philosophy

The EPLab is a research structure within the larger research-oriented Nova Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA) at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal.

EPLAB integrates IFILNOVA’s general aim of developing research focused on the role that values play in contemporary societies as well as on the various levels of contemporary individual and collective experience, especially in the context of globalization.

The researchers composing the Laboratory might be divided into two main groups: one mainly concerned with modern ethical/political philosophy, from the XVI up to the XVIII centuries, and another mainly focused on contemporary themes and debates, such as global justice, the problem of political sovereignty or the question of fundamental rights in the European Union. The researchers work in close interaction and counts on active participation of IFILNOVA members integrating other Labs.

EPLAB’s work is organized in four distinct but intrinsically linked research lines:

1) The study of the origin and transformation of values in modernity, namely in the European and North American framework (from the late scholastic, Suarez, through natural right philosophers, Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Spinoza until Kant);

2) The investigation of some problems in the framework of contemporary debate on the nature of liberty, justice, natural right  or the status of subjective rights, from the point of view of different traditions and methodologies;

3) The study of the so called globalization of fundamental rights and the ways in which the global market interacts with values such as freedom, equality, moral rightness or wrongness, etc.

4) An applied research on the nature of the European Union as an axiological community of political rights and on the European debate on fundamental rights.

Over the past four years, the EPLAB has implemented three FCT-funded research projects, focused on the changing perception and models of justification of individual and collective norms of conduct and conceptions of good life:

-  “Global Justice and International Terrorism” (PTDC/FIL/68987/2006);

- “Post-national Sovereignty: the path of the European Union towards a political identity” (PTDC/FIL/108287/2008).

- “Scepticism and Conservatism” (PTDC/FIL-FIL/112953/2009)

The first project dealt with the “globalization” of the normative-ethical discourse and the evolution of legal and political institutions beyond the boundaries of the nation-state. The case studies focused upon were the debates surrounding “Global justice” – i.e. the discussion of principles of justice on a global scale – and International Terrorism, i.e. the debate around global security issues.

The “Post-national sovereignty” project dealt with the contemporary reconceptualization of political systems in a supranational perspective by analyzing the European Union as the thus far most impressive example of a post-national political entity still struggling with the classic concepts of political theory: sovereignty, nationhood, the state as the paramount political entity, etc.

The “Scepticism and Conservatism” project aimed at establishing and exploring the relation between scepticism (both as an attitude and as a tradition) and political conservatism from a philosophical standpoint, seeking to determine the modalities of existence of that relation in contemporary times and at reflecting upon them and their implications.


All Events

Ethics and Metaethics Reading Group

The possibility of parity, Ruth Chang

September 27, 2017

Wittgenstein and Applied Epistemology

Wittgenstein and Applied Epistemology - 6th Symposium of the International…

June 06, 2017

EPLab Seminar Session

"A crítica de Merleau-Ponty à noção de liberdade radical em…

May 31, 2017

Ethics and Meta-Ethics Reading Group

Ethics and Meta-Ethics Reading Group - 2017

April 19, 2017

"Moral Worth and Moral Motivation: Kant's Real View"

Paul Guyer's Conference

March 31, 2017


International Conference

March 06, 2017

EPLAB's Permanent Seminar – series 2016-2017

Moral-Epistemological Issues in von Wright

February 01, 2017

EPLAB's Permanent Seminar – series 2016-2017

'Kant: The Limiting Case of an Internal Reasons Theorist?'

December 07, 2016

Workshop CULT-COOP-01-2017: Democratic discourses and the rule of law

Workshop in preparation of a COST Action on Economic Governance…

October 27, 2016

"Formas de vida e práticas dos valores: políticas da subjectividade no último Foucault"

Ciclo de Seminários do EPLab

October 26, 2016

EPLab's Permanent Seminar

EPLab's Permanent Seminar - series 2016/2017

October 26, 2016

"Da acção à ética - Aproximação a uma teoria da acção na filosofia de J.-P. Sartre."

EPLab Conference

September 30, 2016

"Property-Owning Democracy and the Welfare State as Social Systems -Reconsidering Rawls's Critique of the Welfare State"

"Property-Owning Democracy and the Welfare State as Social Systems -Reconsidering…

September 22, 2016

"How Conflicts Makes (into) Law?"

EPLab Workshop - "How Conflicts Makes (into) Law?"

June 22, 2016

Intersubjectivity and Values: Phenomenological Perspectives


June 14, 2016

Nietzsche & EP-Lab seminar session

"Liberal Democracy and Markets: An Evolutionary Political Theory of Preference…

March 16, 2016

EPLab Conference

EPLab Conference - Professor Vicente Sanfélix Vidarte

February 23, 2016

EPLab Conference - Jamie Buckland

EPLab Conference - Jamie Buckland

February 04, 2016

John Broome

EPLAB/ARGALB Joint Seminar on "Values and Human Action": John Broome

November 12, 2015

EPLab Conference - Alex Voorhoeve

EPLab Conference - Alex Voorhoeve

October 30, 2015

Conference - Philip Stratton-Lake

Philip Stratton-Lake to give a conference at IFILNOVA

October 16, 2015

Workshop with Jonathan Dancy

Jonathan Dancy on Moral Reasoning at IFILNOVA

May 22, 2015


Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa