Conference: Freedom and Autonomy

18th International Graduate Conference in Philosophy
 9 May 2015, University of Essex

Call for papers deadline: 1 February 2014

Keynote speakers
Dr Katerina Deligiorgi, University of Sussex
Professor Wayne Martin, University of Essex

Call for papers
The question of human freedom is one of the great problems in philosophy since Kant. The issue is crystalised in the Third Antinomy, which resonated so much in the work of his successors: how can we conceive of an agent that is at once wholly determined (from the perspective of natural science) yet also (practically) free? Have attempts to overcome this problematic been so many dead ends, or should the matter have long ago been settled on one side or the other (or perhaps under the banner of Strawson’s compatibilism)? And what is the greater significance of the debate? Can one, for instance, have autonomy without freedom? How should we think of ourselves as being guided (or even limited) by the world – or our instincts – in our actions and judgements?

These are the sorts of questions that our graduate conference at Essex will be exploring this year. We’re interested in answering them both with reference to the history of philosophy as well as in relation to contemporary debates (for instance, Essex has recently been home to the AHRC-funded Essex Autonomy Project, which was in large part focused on the application of philosophical debates about autonomy to medical ethics). In particular, we’re interested in ‘freedom’ not just in a metaphysical sense but in a practical one too.

We invite abstracts for 30-minute presentations relating to any aspect of the conference themes, from any tradition of philosophy. Abstracts should be of any reasonable length (200-500 words). All speakers should be currently undertaking graduate research in Philosophy or some other graduate research pertaining to philosophy (e.g. political theory).
Please send abstracts and all other inquiries to pygradc@essex.ac.uk. Web link here.

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