Fifth Annual Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) Conference

September 30 — October 2, 2016 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Keynote Speakers: Michael Brady (Glasgow) and Peter Railton (Michigan)

Abstracts of 300-500 words, prepared for blind review, are due by June 1, 2016 to this email address:  Any questions may be directed to Clerk Shaw (

The organizers of this year’s TVA invite abstracts for papers on pleasure and pain, broadly construed to include positive and negative affect in general.  We seek submissions across a maximally wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

the nature of pleasure, pain, emotion, and mood

Do these have an intentional structure?  How do they relate to brain states and bodily states more generally?  Can animals experience emotions and moods?  Can social groups?  To what extent are these experiences conditioned by upbringing and belief, and to what extent are they invariant across time and cultural context?

the ethical significance of pleasure, pain, emotion, and mood

How do these influence our beliefs about what is good and bad, right and wrong?  Should they influence those beliefs?  Might they even constitute our ethical beliefs?  Can emotions come into conflict with ethical beliefs, and if so, does that reflect on one’s character?  How do these states influence our actions, especially our morally significant actions?

the aesthetic significance of pleasure, pain, emotion, and mood

Why do we respond affectively to art?  Is art’s ability to provoke an affective response relevant to its quality, and if so how?  Why do we often enjoy tragedy, horror, and other forms of painful art?

We are open to submissions that address any period or figure in the history of philosophy, work within any philosophical tradition (including non-Western philosophy), and employ any methodology (including empirically-informed and other interdisciplinary approaches).

We aim to notify authors of selected abstracts by July 1, 2016.

We expect to be able to arrange onsite childcare, and we invite those needing other accommodations to contact us.

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