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Aretai, 8th annual Conference - Ethos and virtue: theoretical and practical perspectives

University of Bari, Italy

September 25-27, 2024

Aula Aldo Moro of the Law School Battisti 1, Bari


The conference aims to bring together moral, legal and political

philosophers to reflect on the social impact of character and the

virtues on public and private life. Virtuous conduct is never just a

matter of individual achievement: the ethos of a political community

represents a necessary counterpart. ‘Ethos’ as the distinguishing

character, sentiment, or guiding beliefs of a society may rely on the

character and virtues of the groups or institutions which play the main

social roles. Professional virtues, such as those of legal or business

groups, have a special role in the flourishing of a political community.

Professional virtues are both role-specific (e.g. ‘impartiality’ for the

judge) and general (e.g. ‘courage’ for both lawyers and businessmen). A

special interest must be focused on phronesis or practical wisdom, and

related meta-virtues (e.g. reasonableness, responsibility, respect,

resilience) because of the particular shape they can take in the course

of professional exercise. Although ‘ethos’ is originally a descriptive

concept, we believe that a normative bent is possible. It is, for

example, through education to phronesis and the classical virtues of the

Aristotelian tradition that a ‘civic ethos’ may be enhanced, while a

‘democratic ethos’ should be encouraged through education to values such

as equality, freedom and individuality.


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Amalia Amaya (University of Edinburgh, School of Law)

Iris Van Domselaar (University of Amsterdam, School of Law)

Jennifer Frey (University of Tulsa, Honors College)

Michele Mangini (University of Bari, School of Law)


During the conference Prof. Kristjàn Kristjànsson will be awarded the

First Aretai Prize.


With the aim of including as many contributions as possible, the

conference will be structured around plenary sessions and parallel

sessions with the contributed papers selected by double blind review.

The contributed papers should last 30 minutes (presentation +

discussion). Abstracts of about 500 words (references included),

prepared for blind refereeing, should be sent as email attachments to


Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

-       the relations between character and virtues, and forms of ethos within

a political community;

-       from a descriptive ethos to a normative dimension: the idea of ‘civic


-       the possibility of different and contrasting forms of ethos within the

same society; relations with the virtues;

-       liberal and republican perspectives on the idea of ‘civic virtues’;

-       individual flourishing and professional virtues;

-       the institutional ethos of the rule of law and the virtues;

-       the special place of phronesis v. techné within professional virtue


-       education to moral and civic virtues as education to a civic ethos.


Scientific Committee:

Sofia Bonicalzi (Rome 3 University - CVBE,

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Angelo Campodonico (University of Genoa)

Michel Croce (University of Genoa)

Mario De Caro (Rome 3 University – Tufts University)

Mirko Garasic (Rome 3 University)

Michele Mangini (University of Bari)

Claudia Navarini (European University, Rome)

Maria Silvia Vaccarezza (University of Genoa)


Organizing Committee:

Federico Bina, Matilde Liberti, Chiara Palazzolo, Elena Ricci


Important Dates:

Deadline for submissions: 10/03/2024

Communication of acceptance: 10/04/2023

Accepted abstracts will be available online before the conference.

For further information, please contact:


Participation in the conference will require registration and payment of

the conference fee, € 80. The fee includes registration, all

coffee-breaks and the lunch of the 26th.

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