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Adela Cortina

  • Adela Cortina. Photo: Étnor Foundation

    Adela Cortina. Photo: Étnor Foundation






Date of birth


"Philosopher. Adela Cortina, the first woman –in 2008– to join the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Science, has received the 2014 National Essay Award for her work "¿Para qué sirve la ética?" (What is ethics really good for?).

Adela Cortina was born in Valencia in 1947. Since 1986 she has been professor of Ethics and Legal, Moral and Political Philosophy at Valencia University, in addition to her work as director of the ÉTNOR Foundation for ethics in business and organisations. In 1969 she joined the Department of Metaphysics at Valencia University. The award of a scholarship enabled her to further her studies at the universities of Munich and Frankfurt, when she came into contact with the philosophy of Jürgen Habermas and Karl-Otto Apel. On her return to the newly democratic Spain in the second half of the 1970s, she felt moved to seek a "code of ethics for all", and from that point on this science has been her main focus of study and dedication. Among her prolific output it is worth mentioning particularly "Ética minima" (1986), "Alianza y Contrato" (2005), and "La escuela de Fráncfort: crítica y utopía" (2008).


National Essay Award (2014)
International Jovellanos Award (2007)

Essential works

  • Front cover of

    ¿Para qué sirve realmente la ética?

    "¿Para qué sirve realmente la ética?" (What is ethics really good for?) by Adela Cortina is the winner of the 2014 National Essay Award. This work reminds us in plain language that "no society can function if its members do not have an ethical attitude".

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Other highlighted works

  • Las fronteras de la persona
  • La escuela de Fráncfort: crítica y utopía
  • Ética de la razón cordial
  • Alianza y Contrato
  • Por una ética del consumo
  • Ciudadanos del mundo
  • Ética aplicada y democracia radical
  • Ética sin moral
  • Ética mínima

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