THEORIES OF ACTION AND MORALITY: Perspectives from philosophy and social theory

 10-11 September 2012, at Universidad de Navarra

Pamplona, Spain

This conference addresses the question of whether human action is intrinsically moral, and hence the question of whether or in what sense a conception of the nature of action is relevant for a theory of what is good or right to do.  This issue comes up in contemporary discussions in many different forms: whether practical rationality can be understood in instrumental terms, whether instrumental rationality is normative, whether all intentional action is done under “the guise of the good,” etc.  The aim of the conference is to address this question from a variety of perspectives, both historical (Aristotelian, Humean, Kantian and Hegelian approaches) and contemporary (Davidson, Anscombe, etc.).  Also of interest are perspectives on action in the social sciences, which standardly approach action is instrumental (“rational choice”) and yet also theorize the social dimensions of human agency, like Hegel or even Aristotle.  The conference aims to make a contribution to the study of human action, overcoming the abstractions and shortcomings that stem from a lack of dialogue between different traditions and academic disciplines.

INVITED SPEAKERS: Margaret Archer (Warwick), Ana Marta González (Navarra), Terry Pinkard (Georgetown), Sebastian Rödl (Basel), Dieter Schönecker (Siegen), Alejandro Vigo (Navarra)


– Presenters must be young faculty or postdocs (PhD received after 2006).

– We encourage the submission of papers on social theory. At least 1 (and probably 2) of the selected papers will be from this subject.

– We also encourage the submission of papers on Hume and his influence and/or Davidson and papers that compare different schools of thought or approaches (philosophy/social theory).

– Accommodation and meals costs will be covered, and (subject to budget availability) also travel expenses.

José M. Torralba (Prof. Ay. Doctor, Navarra / Visiting Scholar, University of Chicago)
Mark Alznauer (Assistant Professor, Northwestern University)

Submission Instructions: Before 9 March 2012: Please send a 2 page abstract (including bibliography) and a short cv to  By 26 March 2012 selected candidates will be asked to submit a full paper prepared for blind review.