Category Archives: Notices

2nd Call for Convenors – MANCEPT Workshops 2018

The MANCEPT Workshops is an annual conference in political theory, organised under the auspices of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory. Next year’s conference will take place on Monday 10 September to Wednesday 12 September at the Arthur Lewis Building, University of Manchester. The conference offers academics an opportunity to come together in a series of workshops so as to develop specialised work and engage in lively philosophical discussion. Attracting scholars throughout the world, the conference is now established as a leading international forum dedicated to the development of research in all subfields of political theory. read more...

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Postdoc Sydney Moral and Political Philosophy

Postdoctoral Position in Moral and Political Philosophy is available at the Practical Justice Initiative, University of New South Wales. A one year postdoctoral position in climate justice is available as part of the research program of the Practical Justice Initiative (PJI). The aim of the position will be to contribute to research as part of PJI’s climate justice research program. Some of the research being undertaken includes: Providing a framework to fairly determine Australia’s ‘carbon budget’; understanding the moral obligations of fossil fuel exporting nations; examining the justice related issues associated with climate transitions; intergenerational climate justice and historical responsibility for emissions. The position includes scope to develop further topics. The position would suit a candidate within the broad area of moral and political philosophy but candidates from cognate disciplines and with a background in climate justice are also encouraged to apply. The role also includes an opportunity to develop high impact outputs related to the research area. There is potential to extend the position. There is also potential to offer a fractional position. Contact: Professor Jeremy Moss, Co-Director Practical Justice Initiative E:<> T: (61 2) 9385 2357 Applications close: 25th January 2018
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Gender, Gender-orientations and Gender Language

There are many kinds of things which we can observe in the world, many of which have words that go with them: “gold” in English/gold in the world, “house plants” in English/house plants in the world, “red things” in English/red things in the world. What makes these kinds is that they all share properties, in some cases single properties (red things), in others clusters of properties (gold and house plants).

Let’s focus on property-cluster kinds and their associated words, and ask : What puts the property-clusters together for the word associated with the cluster? (I have added the italicized qualification to distinguish this from the question: What puts the property-cluster together in the world? That is, I am not asking what or who puts plants inside houses.) In some cases it seems that we put the property-clusters together: in the case of the term “house plants” we put together the property of plants and of houses and of one thing being inside another to create a concept which we then associate with the term “house plants”.  Since there will usually be social pressures helping to create and maintain the cluster, we can say that the term “house plant” signifies a socially constructed property-cluster-concept. What makes the individual properties in a socially-constructed property-cluster concept cohere as a cluster are acts of human conceptual aggregation: that is why these clusters are called “concepts”. read more...

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Call for Papers Workshop 12-13 April 2018 The Legitimacy of Transnational Orders: Discussing the Idea of a World State – Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy – Boston College

Scholars in the field of legal and political theory are to a large extent familiar with the Kantian analysis of the options available beyond the State. How can states be coerced by a body which does not respond to its own sovereign will? More in general, what is normatively desirable? What is practically realizable? Can this divide even be closed?
The possibilities on offer here range from mere adjudicative forms of international arbitration, to a voluntarily leagues of states and finally to the possibility of conceiving a demanding State of States, either a Republic or, undesirably, a World Monarchy. All such legal and institutional configurations generate a host of complex issues concerning, for instance, the attribution of authority, the supranational transferring of sovereignty, or even the discussion of the legitimacy of adjudicative bodies.
Historically, the debate on power and authority has proceed in parallel with the ‘discovery of the new world’ as well as with the definition of territorial rights and the right to visit which has followed up until Kant.
Mindful of such legal-philosophical ascendants, the workshop seeks to explore the contemporary significance of a World State in all its possible conceptual and empirical declinations, alternatively, as a normative ideal, as a factual hegemonic distortion of the society of peoples, or even as a response to the international context marked by regime fragmentation and legal pluralism. To this purpose, some of the core questions will include: what reasons are available to the justification of a centralized States’ coordination and law production? What imaginative patterns can help reflecting upon the global extension of the European Union model?
Recent philosophical reflection, as with J.Habermas’s idea of a “divided sovereignty at the root”, has tried to explain how States can be seen capable of delegating competences and still remain autonomous entities. Are there alternative ways to solve this sovereignty dilemma?
The workshop welcomes a variety of interdisciplinary contributions disclosing the perils and the possible solutions for the idea of a World State widely conceived. No commitment or preference is pre-assigned to any of the possibilities mentioned above. Presentations and discussions will be conducted therefore in a genuine spirit of open assessment of options presented.
Organizers are Professor Claudio Corradetti (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”) and Professor Vlad Perju (Boston College). Interested participants may contact either organizer with questions about the workshop. This Conference is organized under the aegis of the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College. More information about the Center is available here:
Scholars are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 500 words by February 28, 2018 to with the title “Abstract: World State Conference”. We are seeking original “concept” or “ideas” papers that will facilitate the discussion. With this in mind, we expect the final papers to be around 5,000 words.
The Clough Center will cover transportation and accommodation costs. read more...

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The events of the year 2016 have led many critical observers to doubt the stability and longevity of democracy. Ideally, democracy effectuates the rule of reason. Debates in elected assemblies and in society as a whole should serve the process of finding best reasons for political decisions. However, the mechanisms that currently produce such decisions are vulnerable to misuse. Arguably, they need to be redesigned in an attempt to make them “foolproof” – i.e., to design them in a way to make misuse inherently impossible or to minimize its negative consequences.

Empirical evidence suggests that political agents may generally lack the required competence for deliberation and debate. Even very intelligent people systematically tend to focus on information that confirms what they already believe and dismiss information that contradicts it. Instead of seeking rational debate, people often cling to forms of modern tribalism. In addition, modern communication networks are swiftly replacing traditional print and broadcast news media. This shift presents deliberative democracy with opportunities but also risks, as these communication networks neither encourage a balanced exchange of information nor systematically check its quality. read more...

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Social Trust Conference Submission Deadline Extended

BGSU philosophy will begin reviewing abstracts for the social trust conference following the deadline of December 15th, but abstracts will be accepted through January and evaluated on a rolling basis. We welcome abstracts from philosophers, political scientists, and economists.

Conference details below. Please submit abstracts to Sally Pietrasz (

Call for Abstracts

The Bowling Green Workshop in Applied Ethics and Public Policy

Social Trust

April 20th-21st, 2018

Keynote Speakers: Cristina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania) and Ted Hinchman (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

Political scientists and economists have studied social trust for decades, but social trust is seriously underexplored in philosophical contexts, despite a sizeable literature on personal trust in ethics, psychology, and epistemology. Yet given the centrality of social trust for social order, it seems natural to think that analyses of social trust and its value could help answer some of the central questions in social and political philosophy. The purpose of this workshop is to generate a cross-disciplinary discussion on the nature and value of social trust among philosophers, political scientists, and economists working in the area or interested in doing so. We invite a range of submissions from any theorists, social or normative, working on topics concerned with social trust. read more...

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