The Institute of Philosophy, RCH, cordially invites you to the upcoming talk

Ferenc Hörcher

Prudence, Moderation and Tradition: A Political Philosophy of Conservatism

The talk will be online.


This talk provides an overview of the speaker’s recently published book, entitled A Political Philosophy of Conservatism (2020). It will focus on the three concepts presented in the subtitle of the book: prudence, moderation and tradition. All the three are connected to the Ancient Greco-Roman and Christian tradition of European thought.

The last of the three terms is relatively unproblematic. It refers to the importance of communal knowledge for conservative politics, a form of tacit knowledge, a common sense, encoded in habits, customs and informal or formalised manners, including legal regulations, which is transferred from generation to generation in a given political community. The first two needs some further explanations.

Moderation will be presented as an appropriation of Aristotle’s teachings of the golden mean, as the most appropriate choice between two extremes. This idea is based in Aristotle on a theory of harmony and balance, and the paper will look at its relevance in politics. It will be argued, that Aristotle’s theory calls our attention to the balancing political role of the middle classes. Also, it will be argued that the idea of the mixed constitution is connected with this Aristotelian theory of balance and harmony (Greek armonia, lat. concordia).

Finally, the book’s most important term is prudence, referring to the cardinal virtue of prudentia (Greek phronesis). The claim is that while the virtue of justice (iustitia) is usually taken as the key concept of Christian and modern liberal political philosophy, for a conservative understanding of politics, what is possible is always more important than what is ideal. In this sense prudence precedes justice, while still keeping intact the coherence of the four cardinal virtues. In this regard the importance of Cicero for this version of conservatism will be noted. The talk will end with a description of the character of a practically wise (prudent) political agent.

Commentator: Walter Nicgorski (University of Notre Dame)

Date: 26 May 2020 (Tuesday), 2pm

You can join by clicking on the link below.ófiai_intézet_szeminárium

The recording can be accessed via the following link:

Ferenc Hörcher's new book is entitled A Political Philosophy of Conservatism. Prudence, Moderation and Tradition (Bloomsbury, 2020). The international book launch will feature two prominent foreign scholars: 

Robert Grant (Prof. emeritus, Glasgow University)
Ryszard Legutko (Professzor, Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

The roundtable talk will be hosted by John O’Sullivan, president of Danube Institute. The author will also participate at the roundtable.

Date: 19 February, 2020, 5 pm
Venue: NUPS, Ludovika Main Building, Zrínyi Hall (2 Ludovika tér, 1083, Budapest)

Everyone is welcome, please register here.

The Institute of Philosophy, RCH, cordially invites you to the upcoming talk

Tim Crane (CEU)
What is religious belief?


Many philosophers and other commentators think of religious belief as a combination of proto-cosmological belief and moral belief or moral precepts: a theory of the universe plus a theory of how to behave. This conception of religious belief does not seem to have room for what is one of the most obvious and central features of religion: religious practice. Why should a combination of cosmology and morality give rise to practices like going to church, mosque or synagogue? In this talk I sketch an alternative conception of religious belief that gives an answer to this question.

Commentator: Bettina Szabados (Institute of Philosophy, RCH)

Venue: 4 Tóth Kálmán str., 1097 Budapest, B.7.16. (room 'Trapéz')
Date: 21 January 2020 (Tuesday), 2pm

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