Centre for Knowledge and Society (CEKAS) Workshop - 'Ambition, Social Recognition and Prestige'

Centre for Knowledge and Society (CEKAS) Workshop - 'Ambition, Social Recognition and Prestige'

This is a past event

This workshop explores ethical and epistemic problems connected to ambition and related ideas, such as social recognition, prestige, target-setting, achievement and the meaningfulness of life.  Ambition is an underexplored philosophical topic: yet arguably, the most significant achievements of humanity (e.g. space exploration, the elimination of smallpox) were strongly driven by aspirations to succeed. At the same time, misplaced ambition can lead to extremely negative results, either when the aspired-to goal is not in fact valuable, or when, even though worth pursuing in principle, the practicalities of pursuing the goal lead to overall detrimental effects—either for the individual(s) who pursue it, society at large, or both.

Mechanisms through which ambition is set, such as prizes, awards, targets, praise, role models, as well as issues arising from the achievement of high ambitions, such as those connected with admiration, fame and celebrity also fall under the remit of the workshop. This workshop aims to place the ethics and epistemology of ambition and related notions more prominently on the philosophical map.


Alfred Archer (Tilburg), ‘The Ethics of Cancelling Celebrities’

Catherine Robb (Tilburg), ‘The Wrongs of Reputation’

Federico Luzzi (Aberdeen), ‘Against Excellence As the Norm of Ambition’

Glen Pettigrove (Glasgow), ‘Ambition and Reputation’

Jules Holroyd (Sheffield), ‘Appraisive Things’

To register, please email Federico Luzzi: f.luzzi@abdn.ac.uk

We gratefully acknowledge support from the Society for Applied Philosophy and the Scots Philosophical Association.

     Society for Applied Philosophy LogoScots Philosophical Associaton Logo

Room 224, The Sir Duncan Rice Library