Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Moral Responsibility CFP extended

The deadline for submissions of abstracts for the Moral Responsibility
conference has been extended by three weeks from March 2nd to March 23rd to accommodate a later-than-expected mailing out of paper conference posters to international locations.

This means that you still have the opportunity to submit an abstract and, if you are a qualifying student, to apply for a scholarship to present your paper.

See below for details.


FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS (abstracts due March 23rd 2009)

Moral Responsibility: Neuroscience, Organization & Engineering Department of Philosophy, Faculty of TPM, TU Delft, Netherlands August 24-26, 2009
W: http://www.ethicsandtechnology.eu/responsibility
E: responsibility@ethicsandtechnology.eu

Who is responsible, for which outcomes and under what circumstances? What are our responsibilities and to whom are they owed? Who are responsible agents, and to which spheres of activity does their responsible agency extend? Who should take responsibility, for what and how? This conference will address these and similar traditional philosophical questions about responsibility, especially as they apply to the following areas:

Neuroscience and the law: Do recent advances in neuroscience shed any new light on questions about moral and legal responsibility? For instance, should the law avail itself of new diagnostic and intervention techniques - e.g. functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation - in an effort to more accurately assess the responsibility of those accused of criminal misconduct, or to enhance the responsibility of the incompetent and the irresponsible, or is neuroscience largely irrelevant to the law's responsibility practices?

Collective and individual responsibility: It has been argued that moral philosophy traditionally deals with individual actions and that this is problematic since a lot of activities with harmful effects now take place in complex collective settings. How should philosophical theories take this into account and what are the implications for the notion of moral responsibility? How can an erosion of individual responsibility be avoided and the problem of many hands dealt with?

Science, technology and engineering: Can artifacts and institutions be designed in better ways so as to promote rather than destroy responsibility? For instance, must expert systems necessarily take some responsibility away from their users by creating epistemic niches for which nobody can legitimately accept responsibility, or can responsibility be taken into account at an earlier stage and be somehow designed into those systems?

We will facilitate discussion between philosophers, scientists and engineers, and policy-makers, with the following three aims in mind: (i) extend philosophers' understanding of responsibility beyond the traditional concepts that dominate the free will and determinism debate, (ii) pose new questions about responsibility for scientists and engineers to address, and (iii) help policy-makers and other practitioners answer pressing questions by drawing on philosophical and scientific expertise and insight.

There will be 13 keynote speakers distributed across the following areas:

THEME 1: Traditional Issues in Responsibility
- Antony Duff (University of Stirling, Scotland, UK)
- Andrew Eshleman (University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA)
- Ted Honderich (University College London, UK)
- Michael Smith (Princeton, USA)

THEME 2.(a): Responsibility in Neuroscience and the Law
- Jeanette Kennett (Australian National University, Australia)
- Stephen Morse (University of Pennsylvania Law School, USA)
- Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Dartmouth College, USA)

THEME 2.(b): Collective and Individual Responsibility
- Larry May (Washington University in St. Louis, USA)
- Seumas Miller (Australian National University, Australia)
- Steve Vanderheiden (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)

THEME 2.(c): Responsibility in Science, Technology and Engineering
- Michael Davis (Illinois Institute of Technology, USA)
- Jeroen van den Hoven (TU Delft, Netherlands)
- Carl Mitcham (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)

In addition to the thirteen keynote sessions, there will also be a further 40 sessions for contributed papers, and the conference organizers invite you to offer a contributed paper in any of the four areas listed above.

To offer a paper you should submit an abstract of no more than 400 words using the online submission form on the conference web site no later than March 23rd, 2009. Session length for contributed papers will be 45 minutes including question time, and the organizers encourage authors to prepare papers that take no longer than 30 minutes to present so as to leave ample time for discussion afterwards.

Papers accepted for presentation may also be considered for publication in special issues of prestigious peer reviewed academic journals - see the conference web page for details - or in an edited collection on the topic of responsibility. Should you wish to have your paper considered for publication, then we will need a written draft no later than Monday, August 3rd 2009. (Note that submission of a draft does not yet guarantee that your paper will be accepted for publication since papers will still need to be refereed.)

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS: A limited number of scholarships to the value of €500 each will be made available to students who present a paper at the conference to help cover travel and accommodation costs. Due to the limited number of these scholarships, applications will be competitive and abstracts will be assessed on the basis of merit. Students intending to apply for a scholarship should send an email to responsibility@ethicsandtechnology.eu
after they have submitted their abstract, stating that they would like to apply for a scholarship. Applicants will be advised of the success of their application by mid-April 2009, and funds will be paid to scholarship recipients once their paper has been presented at the conference.

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