I am organising two conferences here at Birmingham on the methods of moral philosophy. The first one of these will take place on the 15th and 16th of September 2016 and the keynote speakers at this conference will be Antti Kauppinen (Tampere), Shaun Nichols (Arizona), and Catherine Wilson (York). The second conference will be on the 4th and 5th of January 2017 with the keynotes from Tristram McPherson (Ohio State), Valerie Tiberius (Minnesota), and Ralph Wedgwood (USC). In addition to the keynote speakers, four speakers for both conferences will be selected on the basis of the submitted abstracts. More information about the conferences and the call for abstracts can be found from below. The deadline for the abstracts will be on the 15th of May.

Call for Abstracts
Two Conferences on the New Methods of Ethics

Location: Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Conference 1: 15-16 Sep, 2016
Conference 2: 4-5 Jan, 2017

Invited Speakers:
Conference 1:
• Antti Kauppinen (University of Tampere)
• Shaun Nichols (University of Arizona)
• Catherine Wilson (University of York)

Conference: 2:
• Tristram McPherson (Ohio State University)
• Valerie Tiberius (University of Minnesota)
• Ralph Wedgwood (USC/Birmingham)

There have recently been many interesting debates which all, in one way or another, bear on how moral philosophy should be done. These methodological debates have concerned, for example, the following:

  • the role of thought-experiments and the epistemic significance of our intuitions concerning them (and the related questions in moral epistemology more broadly)
  • the use of formal logical, decision-theoretic, and mathematical methods in ethical theorising
  • the reflective equilibrium method: its interpretations, problems, and advantages
  • the new empirical scientific knowledge and its significance for moral philosophy (including the role of linguistics and empirical psychology in both metaethics and normative ethics, the relevance of evolutionary theory for moral epistemology, and the prospects of the so-called “experimental ethics” movement)
  • decision-making procedures, moral uncertainty, and the role of ethical principles
  • how moral philosophy is related to other areas of philosophy (including political philosophy, philosophy of mind and language, metaphysics, epistemology, and so on)
  • the connections between metaethical theories and first-order ethical views
  • the significance of the history of moral philosophy for the current philosophical debates

The purpose of these two conferences is to bring together moral philosophers who are all working on the previous and other methodological questions in order to initiate a dialogue about the proper methods of ethics more broadly. The hope is that this will lead to a better understanding of how the different methodological debates are related to one another and how different areas of moral philosophy should be pursued.

Call for Abstracts:
For both of the two conferences, in addition to the three invited speakers, four speakers will be selected on the basis of a blind review of the submitted abstracts. Each speaker will have 45 minutes to present their paper, followed by a Q&A session of 30 minutes. Please submit a detailed abstract (1500 words maximum) as a pdf-file on any topic concerning the methods of moral philosophy (such as the ones listed above). This abstract should be prepared for blind review and it should be emailed to Jussi Suikkanen (jussiphil@gmail.com) by the 15th of May, 2016. Notification of acceptance will be given by the 15th of June, 2016.

The submission email should have the subject ‘Methods of Ethics Submission’. In this email, please state your full name, address, institutional affiliation, as well as your current status. In addition, please specify whether you want your abstract to be considered for just one of the conferences or for both of them. Selected papers from the conference will also be published in a conference volume. Please indicate therefore whether you are willing to contribute to such a volume and to have a final version of the manuscript ready by June 2017.

For any queries about the conferences, please send an email to the conference organiser Dr Jussi Suikkanen (jussiphil@gmail.com). These conferences are funded by the AHRC’s Building Bridges in Ethics research project and the School of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham.

Dr Jussi Suikkanen
Department of Philosophy
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK