Sunday, October 16, 2011
NSSR Philosophy Graduate Student Conference
11th Annual Philosophy Graduate Student Conference at the New School for Social Research.
This year's topic is "Freedom and Responsibility".
Our Keynote Speakers are:
Alice Crary (The New School) & Margaret Gilbert (UC Irvine)
Our understanding of ourselves as responsible agents deeply permeates human life and is reflected in practices such as blaming, praising, accusing, forgiving, punishing, acquitting, and the like. It is common among philosophers to see these practices as intimately linked to a notion of human beings as free. The way that the link between freedom and responsibility is usually approached is from the perspective of the individual agent. This suggests the following central questions: What are the proper capacities that go into being a moral agent? How are one’s actions related to one’s intentions? Is the availability of alternative routes for action a necessary and sufficient condition for free, responsible agency? And what kind of threat does the thesis of determinism exert on these issues?
While these questions are still very much alive, there have been a number of challenges to this classical way of framing the idea of responsibility in terms of individual intentional actions. Various philosophers have raised the need to talk about collective responsibility, to shift the focus from individual agents to the entire cultural and historical milieu within which action takes place. Further challenges to the individualist frame can be found in psychoanalysis, or within hermeneutic philosophies of action, both of which question the idea of intention as being the first fact in our responsibility, or as being available in anything but a retrospective, narrative sense— and thereby seem, like determinism worn with a difference, to bring the very idea of freedom and responsibility into question.
This conference welcomes papers that address any of the ways in which questions of freedom and responsibility have been discussed, transformed, or disavowed; it further encourages participants to consider the intersections of these points of view, and to consider whether a full account of responsibility and its possibility requires a synthesis rather than a total change in perspective.
Papers should range in length between 3,000 and 4,500 words and be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for submission is November 1st, 2011
Notification will occur by email on or before January 30th, 2012