Current & Upcoming Philosophy Department Conferences

Below you will find brief descriptions of the forthcoming conferences sponsored by our department. At the end of each description, you will find a link to the conference webpage, when available. There you will find more detailed information about the conference in question. In many cases, you will also find an image of the conference poster. If you click on the image, an enlargeable version of the poster will open, allowing you further to enlarge the image to whatever size you like in order to make it easier to read.

Graduate Student Conference in Ancient Philosophy

The 2nd annual Graduate Student Conference in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Chicago will take place on April 7th and 8th. This year's theme is 'Argument in Ancient Thought'. The conference will be held on in Classics room 110 on the University of Chicago campus. Carrie Swanson (University of Iowa) will be giving the keynote on Plato's Euthydemus. The conference is open and all are welcome to attend.

The schedule can be found on the University of Chicago Ancient Philosophy Workshop website (https://voices.uchicago.edu/agarp/1537-2/). All the papers will be posted on the Ancient Workshop website as well.

Please contact Rory Hanlon at rhanlon11@uchicago.edu with questions, requests or concerns.

Subjectivity in Language and Thought

The Departments of Linguistics and Philosophy at the University of Chicago will host a two-day workshop, May 19-20, 2017, that aims to bring together recent innovations and novel perspectives on the phenomenon of subjectivity in language and thought. The workshop is funded by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and will be held at the Franke Institute for the Humanities on campus.

Expressions whose meaning have a distinctly subjective dimension, most notably predicates of personal taste, have received increased attention by linguists and philosophers in the last decade or so. In addition to the extensively debated phenomenon of "faultless disagreement," the fact that across languages certain attitude verbs such as English 'find' require their complement to be subjective in a distinct way raises unique conceptual and empirical challenges to a comprehensive theory of natural language meaning. Several researchers have explored issues about subjective expressions beyond their significance for the relativism-vs-contextualism debate that is so prominent in linguistics and philosophy of language, including: the types of subjective meanings that natural languages encode, the subjective dimensions of modality, and the evidential dimension of subjective predicates and attitude verbs. The aim of this workshop is to continue this trend by bringing together innovative perspectives on subjective language and thought in an interdisciplinary setting.

Invited speakers:

Elizabeth Coppock (Gothenburg)
Anastasia Giannakidou (University of Chicago)
Daniel Lassiter (Stanford)
Alda Mari (Instutut Jean Nicod, CNRS, ENS, EHESS)
Dilip Ninan (Tufts)

A call for abstracts can be found here. All abstracts must be submitted by January 2, 2017 (11:59 PM CST) via email to subjectivity2017@gmail.com. Any questions should also be emailed to this address.

Other Minds/Other Wills

Our conference will take place on the weekend of June 2-3 (probably on Friday and Saturday only). The title is "Other Minds/Other Wills". The confirmed participants so far are:

Kyla Ebels-Duggan (Northwestern)

Naomi Eilan (Warwick)

A. J. Julius (UCLA)

Doug Lavin (University College, London)

Henrike Moll (USC)

Dick Moran (Harvard)

Kieran Setiya (MIT)

Our idea for the conference grows out of our sense that there are interesting connections to be drawn between debates in the philosophy of mind about how we understand the minds of other persons and debates in moral philosophy about the special normative significance of our relations to other persons. Our aim is bring together philosophers and other researchers who have approached these topics from interesting angles, and to invite them to reflect on how their projects might engage with one another. We envision that participants might address questions such as (but certainly not limited to) the following:

  • How is our capacity to understand other subjects related to our capacity to stand in relations of "mutual recognition" with other subjects? Is the idea of another mind fundamentally the idea of a "second person", a "you" to my "I"?
  • What role does perception of bodies play in our awareness of other minds? Can we perceive the mental states of another person, or must we always make an inference from something exterior and visible to something interior and invisible?
  • Does understanding other minds require possession of a "theory of mind"? To what extent is our understanding of other minds appropriately conceived as a kind of theoretical understanding? What role, if any, does our understanding of our own minds plays in grounding our understanding of other minds?
  • What is the relation between understanding other minds and feeling concern for other persons? Is our capacity for shame, empathy, a sense of justice, etc. grounded on our understanding of other minds, or do such forms of concern for others themselves ground our understanding of what another mind could be?
  • How is the relation between two subjects of action different from the relation to between two subjects of belief? In particular, how is giving you my reason for doing something different from giving you my reason for believing something, and what, if anything, does this reveal about the difference between reasons for action and reasons for belief?
  • How must two agents be related to another other in order for them to be capable of wronging one another?

The Philosophy of Howard Stein

A Conference at the University of Chicago, June 9th-11th 2017

It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the publication of Howard Stein's paper "Newtonian Space Time" in 1967 inaugurated the modern study of the foundations of physics. Thereafter, Stein's work continued to set the standard in the philosophical community and beyond for the study of theories of spacetime structure (Newtonian and relativistic), the conceptual structure of quantum mechanics, the methodology of science in general and the character of scientific knowledge, and the history of physics and mathematics. This three-day conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stein's landmark paper by providing an opportunity to reflect on Stein's lasting influence for those working on a wide range of topics of vital interest to historians and philosophers of science. While speakers include Stein's former colleagues, past students and friends, our focus is on his continuing influence on contemporary work, and we aim to demonstrate the relevance of Stein's work for the next fifty years of our discipline.

For more information about the conference please click here.