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The present charter completes the identity, as founded by its statutes, of the association Pro Ethica – Think tank en sciences morales. The charter defines the association’s position with regard to its object, ethics, and the conditions to which its endeavors are subject. It also guides the association’s activities by expressing its objectives and by specifying its means of action. Finally, it establishes the general principles underlying the association’s relationship to its members and interlocutors.
Pro Ethica‘s object is ethics as an intellectual discipline, as an object of discourse, and as a daily practice. Pro Ethica is interested in all traditions and knowledge likely to contribute to a deeper and larger understanding of ethics in all three accepted meanings.
As a discipline, ethics is independent of other areas of study, such as the empirical sciences or religion. Recognizing the usefulness of such other areas of study to inform ethical studies, Pro Ethica acknowledges and fosters the autonomy of ethics.
Pro Ethica takes ethics, as an object of discourse, to rely on non-moral facts and is therefore convinced that acknowledging this reliance is indispensable to promoting ethics in all three accepted meanings. Consequently, Pro Ethica is convinced that answers to moral questions are explicable and justifiable by making reference to non-moral facts, and promotes the idea that moral explanations and justifications should fulfill this requirement.
Ethics, as an intellectual discipline, is first and foremost concerned with human beings and the relations between them. However, Pro Ethica does not believe that ethics exclusively concerns human beings; in general, Pro Ethica is convinced that numerous aspects of the environment are ethically relevant.
Pro Ethica is convinced that ethics, as an object of discourse, cannot be reduced to a set of norms. In this regard, the association is committed to considering not only moral norms, but also the plurality of morally relevant values. Consequently, Pro Ethica is not only interested in the relation between actions and norms, but also in the relation between persons and values.
Pro Ethica is convinced that every human being is capable of benevolence, impartiality, honesty and perfectibility, and that exercising these capacities is essential not only for thinking about ethics, but also for acting ethically. In this regard, Pro Ethica is committed to promoting a dialogue which is:
- free of merely individual interests;
- based on explanations and arguments in the spirit of article (3) above;
- respectful of every participant in a spirit of constructive critique.
- Pro Ethica aims to contribute to a deeper and larger understanding of ethics in the three accepted meanings of the term. To that purpose, the association works toward:
- reflecting on action-guiding ethical norms in the contemporary socio-economic context by elaborating a methodology, analytical tools and a theoretical framework to evaluate the position of different agents in relation to these norms;
- identifying the issues structuring contemporary ethical debates and working out theoretical solutions as well as measures of action in order to improve the moral fabric of society;
- collecting, improving and sharing knowledge relevant to the above-mentioned points.
- Pro Ethica does not seek to impose any particular positions on civil society or on the political sphere, but to influence these two interlocutors by way of reflection and argumentation in accordance with the present charter. Nor does it propose ethical sanctions for agents’ actions, be they individuals, juridical persons, groups or institutions. However, Pro Ethica is committed to the moral evaluation of actions as part of the fulfillment of its objectives.
Strategy and means
- Pro Ethica does not accept mandates. However, the association welcomes funding in observance of its statutes. All sources of external funding shall be published unless otherwise requested by the sponsor, in which case Pro Ethica shall only publish the amount received.
- In promoting and exercising its activities Pro Ethica can mandate a member or a third party. The third party can be an individual, a juridical person, a group or an institution. In such cases the conditions of attribution and accomplishment of the mandate are determined in particular by the present charter.
- In promoting and exercising its activities Pro Ethica can collaborate with a third party, be it an individual, a juridical person, a group or an institution. The conditions of collaboration are defined by the present charter.
- Pro Ethica publishes a summary of the state of its work on a regular basis and free of charge. It includes internal projects, collaborations and mandates.
Please refer to the French or German version for the content of this section, as the English version is not available yet.