Katarzyna Lazari-Radek

Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek, Professor of Ethics and Philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS.


Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek (b. 1946) is a Polish utilitarian philosopher and a lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy at Lodz University in Poland, where she completed her dissertation. She also teaches an intensive summer seminar on utilitarian ethics at The European Graduate School / EGS, together with the famous applied ethics philosopher Peter Singer.

After completing two master's degrees at Lodz University, one in English Literature (2000) and one in Philosophy (2001), Katarzyna Lazari-Radek wrote a doctoral dissertation examining the work of the English utilitarian philosopher and economist Henry Sidgwick (1838–1900), entitled Good and Reason in the Moral Philosophy of Henry Sidgwick (2007). Since then, her research has focused on a plethora of ethical issues, including bioethics, medical ethics, the ethics of aid, ethical aspects of globalization, the ethics of journalism, and the ethics of research.

Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek is the author of numerous articles, including a piece co-authored with Peter Singer and published in Ratio, the international journal of analytic philosophy, entitled "Secrecy in Consequentionalism: A Defence of Esoteric Morality" (2010). Their abstract presents the following outline:

“Sidgwick's defence of esoteric morality has been heavily criticized, for example in Bernard Williams's condemnation of it as ‘Government House utilitarianism.’ It is also at odds with the idea of morality defended by Kant, Rawls, Bernard Gert, Brad Hooker, and T.M. Scanlon. Yet it does seem to be an implication of consequentialism that it is sometimes right to do in secret what it would not be right to do openly, or to advocate publicly. We defend Sidgwick on this issue, and show that accepting the possibility of esoteric morality makes it possible to explain why we should accept consequentialism, even while we may feel disapproval towards some of its implications.”

Other articles by Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek include: “Yeshayahu Leibowitz - prorok wśród swoich” ("Yeshayahu Leibowitz - A Prophet among His People," 2004), about the Israeli public intellectual known for his commentaries on Judaism and ethics; "Ethics Without God" (2010); and “Dualizm rozumu praktycznego” ("Dualism of Practical Reason," 2011). In 2001, she translated Bent Flyvbjerg’s "Habermas and Foucault: Thinkers for Civil Society?" into Polish. She has also written several book reviews, including a review of Peter Singer’s The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George. W. Bush (2004).

Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek is the co-author, together with Peter Singer, of The Point of View of the Universe: Sigdwick and Contemporary Ethics (2014), a major new contribution to moral philosophy that shows that Sigdwick-style utilitarianism retains its power and appeal today.