CfA for NOWAR 2: The Reckoning

This is a call for abstracts for the second biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR), to be held in New Orleans, LA at the Intercontinental Hotel on November 7-9, 2013.  Abstracts are welcome on any topic having to do with agency and/or responsibility.  Perspectives beyond just those from moral philosophy (e.g., psychology, legal theory, neuroscience, economics, metaphysics, and more) are welcome.  (To see more about the workshop’s general aims and other details, follow this link.)  More info below the fold.


Abstracts should be no more than 3 double-spaced pages and are due no later than March 1, 2013.  They do NOT need to be prepared for blind review.  Please send abstracts by e-mail to David Shoemaker: dshoemak@tulane.edu.  A program committee will evaluate submissions and make decisions by early May.  The authors of all accepted abstracts will be expected to provide drafts of their essays for distribution to NOWAR attendees four weeks prior to the workshop, present their ideas at the workshop, and then commit the final versions of their essays (subject to external review) to the second volume of Oxford Studies on Agency and Responsibility (which is expected to be published in early 2015).  Those who presented at the first NOWAR are ineligible to present at the second.

NOWAR is a biennial workshop featuring the presentation of sophisticated original research on issues roughly captured under the label “agency and responsibility.”  This general area involves investigation of such questions as: What does it mean to be an agent?  How (if at all) does the nature of personhood and personal identity across time bear on questions of agency?  What is the nature of, and relation between, moral and criminal responsibility?  What is the relation between responsibility and the metaphysical issues of determinism and free will?  What do various psychological disorders (autism, psychopathy, cognitive disabilities) tell us about agency and responsibility?  What is involved in the development of moral agency?  What is the will, willpower, and weakness (or strength) of will?  What do the results from neuroscience imply (if anything) for our questions about agency and responsibility?  What is the nature of autonomy and how is it related to agency and responsibility?

Work in agency and responsibility, while more or less having a home base in the world of moral philosophy, draws from a host of cross-disciplinary sources, including moral psychology, psychology proper (experimental, developmental, abnormal, etc.), philosophy of psychology, philosophy of law, legal theory, metaphysics, neuroscience, neuroethics, political philosophy, and more.  It is unified by its focus on who we are as deliberators and (inter)actors, embodied practical agents negotiating (sometimes unsuccessfully) a world of moral and legal norms.

The workshop, sponsored by the generous support of the Murphy Institute at Tulane University, will involve 11 presentations (including keynote speakers), from which will be drawn the papers contributing to the OUP book series, Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility.

Keynote Speakers, 2013

John Martin Fischer, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside

Susan Wolf, Edna J. Koury Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina

6 Replies to “CfA for NOWAR 2: The Reckoning

  1. It means many things to many people. I will, however, recommend — as I invariably do — that you not go back to Rockville.

  2. Looks like an awesome conference! If it weren’t during the school year in Singapore, when it’s hard to get to the US and back, you’d probably have abstracts coming in from me and seven Chinese brothers.

  3. I’ll prepare an abstract, full of pretty persuasion, but if I second guess myself it will be a letter never sent (I’m sorry).

  4. I’d look forward to these excellent abstracts if only someone could help me find my harborcoat.

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