Workshop: The Value in Abilities

We are pleased to announce the workshop ‚The Value in Abilities‘ on July 25th and 26th, 2024.

Abilities (and their kin: competences, skills, virtues, capacities) have come to play an increasingly central role in (meta)normative projects. In particular, they have been employed across a number of subdisciplines to answer questions of value. Knowledge is especially valuable, according to Virtue Epistemology, because it is an exercise of epistemic skill, virtue or ability.  Action is morally valuable, according to virtue ethics, because it stems from the agent’s virtues; and good actions are morally worthy, according to some, if they manifest the agent’s normative competences. Finally, the value of (normative) achievement more generally, a category these examples arguably belong to, is often explained as stemming from the exercise of abilities.

While the idea that the possession or exercise of abilities confers value is promising, many important questions remain open. How exactly are we to understand the relevant types of abilities? Is their possession inherently valuable, or is their exercise crucial as well? And how do the supposed mechanisms of “value conferral” work? In this workshop, we bring together researchers in the relevant subdisciplines to answer these and adjacent questions.


  • Maria Alvarez
  • Samuel Boardman
  • David Heering
  • Ulrike Heuer
  • John Hyman
  • Christian Kietzmann
  • Sophie Kikkert
  • Erasmus Mayr
  • Barbara Vetter

The workshop will take place in person in Erlangen on the 25-26th of July. If you want to register, please send an E-mail to

The event is organised by the research project ‚Capacities and the Good‘, funded by the German Research Foundation. Project Number: 439616221.