Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Responsible Belief in the Face of Disagreement

Call for papers

August 18‐20, 2009

VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Conference Theme

The ethics of belief and the phenomenon of disagreement are two epistemological topics that show an interesting revival during the last few decades. This conference aims to draw the two issues together: What is it to acquire or hold responsible belief on some issue if that issue is the subject of (fierce) controversy? How does the existence of (known) disagreement affect the epistemic status of our beliefs? And what sort of cognitive response is appropriate when one is confronted with opposed views on a subject matter considered? Some of the key questions and issues to be considered in this area include:

- Are we responsible for what we believe? If so, in what sense and if not, why do we often talk as if we are?

- Is there an ‘ethics of belief’? What are the norms, principles, obligations, and permissions that might constitute an ethics of belief?

- Are we to take responsibility for our beliefs and what does that amount to?

- Are beliefs in any sense under our voluntary control? Is our having responsibility for what we believe compatible with doxastic involuntarism?

- What is disagreement? Is there faultless disagreement?

- What is responsible belief when confronted with disagreement among one’s peers?

- What is responsible belief in the face of testimony to the contrary?

- Is belief in the face of disagreement ever responsible if one’s evidence is inconclusive?
Keynote Speakers

Robert Audi (University of Notre Dame)

Richard Feldman (University of Rochester)

Bruce Russell (Wayne State University)
Call for Papers

We cordially invite you to submit a 500 word abstract on any topic relevant to the conference theme. Please prepare your abstract for anonymous review. Abstracts may be submitted by e-mail (as plain text, MS Word, Pages, or pdf files) or by regular mail. Abstracts should be submitted to the conference organizers by March 15th, 2009. Notification of acceptance / rejection: April 15th, 2009. Selected papers will be eligible for publication in a special issue of a leading philosophical journal.


This is the second Amsterdam-based conference organized by the Knowledge, Belief, and Normativity project run by René van Woudenberg, Duncan Pritchard, and Igor Douven. The first conference in Amsterdam was held in 2007. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

To register, send us your full contact details including e-mail address. Also let us know of any special dietary requirements you may have. When paid before June 15th, 2009 the conference fee is ¤ 125,‐ and ¤ 100,‐ for PhD students. After June 15th, the fee will be ¤175,‐ and ¤125,‐ for PhD students.
Conference Organizers

Martijn Blaauw (VU University Amsterdam)

Anthony Booth (Utrecht University)

Rik Peels (Utrecht University)

Jeroen de Ridder (VU University Amsterdam)

René van Woudenberg (VU University Amsterdam)

Contact Details

The conference organizers can be reached at the following e-mail address:

Or by regular mail:

Jeroen de Ridder

Faculty of Philosophy

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105

1081 HV Amsterdam


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