September 6-7, 2019: Workshop for PhDs and PostDocs “Die Frage nach dem Eigentum” in Oldenburg (with post-workshop summary)

Post-workshop summary

For two days an interdisciplinary group of philosophers, economists and sociologists came together to discuss some of the key questions of property:

  • How can property be described in an  interdisciplinary context?
  • What are the inner norms of property?
  • How is property formed from within society and how does it react back into it?
  • Which modifications of property structures would be desirable for a more social-ecologically sustainable society?

Four keynote speakers presented their views:

  • Prof. Gesa Lindemann (Sociology, University of Oldenburg)
  • Prof. Dirk Löhr (Economics, College of Trier)
  • Prof. Mathias Kaufmann (Philosophy, University of Halle)
  • Prof. Tilo Wesche (Philosophy, University of Oldenburg)

Extensive discussions that followed each presentation allowed thorough debate. It became clear that property is an ever changing institution, however not detached from the existing understandings of it. It is more likely to be altered than invented anew from scratch. Its connection to sustainable ways of living is without doubt and societies need to find answers to some more questions:

  • Should it be possible for all goods to be possessed by (legal) persons following the same institutional rules?
  • How and where can alternative property settings (e. g. Commons) find their place in societies?
  • Could economic sustainability be achieved by assigning property rights to non-human actors?
  • And do we need to distinguish more carefully between possession and property to adequately critique the current modes of market capitalism?

Overall, the workshop provided the much-needed room for reflection on some of the fundamentally important questions of our day and opportunity for early career scholars to meet and discuss their thoughts and research with scholars with various interdisciplinary backgrounds and experiences.

Read more about this Workshop here!

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