CFP: Uncertain Oughts

Submission deadline: December 8, 2022

Conference date(s):
December 8, 2022 - December 9, 2022

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Conference Venue:

Department of Practical Philosophy, University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland

Topic areas


The Responsible Beliefs project at the University of Helsinki is happy to invite abstracts for a workshop on the topic of what we ought to do in situations in which we are uncertain about normative or non-normative facts. This in-person workshop will include eight speakers over two days to have plenty of time and energy for discussion. Our keynote speakers will beBenjamin Kiesewetter(HU Berlin) andMaria Lasonen-Aarnio(Helsinki). (More invited speakers may be added.)

Possible questions that abstracts could address include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Are there both subjective and objective oughts? If so, what is the relationship between them? What is the relationship between what we are rationally required to do and what we ought to do?

  • Are moral oughts relative to the agent’s beliefs or evidence, or to their objective circumstances? Must oughts be action-guiding?

  • What should we do when we’re unsure of the value of the possible outcomes of our actions? Should moral and empirical uncertainty be treated symmetrically? Is the ought of moral uncertainty just what we rationally ought to do in our epistemic situation insofar as we’re conscientious, or is it something else?

  • What is the relationship between different kinds of normative uncertainty (e.g., epistemic, moral, and prudential)? What should we do if we’re uncertain about what to do when we’re uncertain about normative or non-normative facts?

  • Is morally worthy action possible under moral uncertainty?

  • Are theories of what to do when normatively uncertain independent from first-order normative theories? Conversely, do independently plausible theories of what to do when normatively uncertain have first-order implications?

Abstracts should be: (a) 750-1,000 words long, (b) prepared for anonymous review, and (c) suitable for a 30 minute presentation. We strongly encourage authors from underrepresented groups in philosophy to apply.

Please submit your abstracts via email to [email protected] by October 21, 2022. If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact project researchers Max Lewis (max.lewis at, Giulia Luvisotto (giulia.luvisotto at or Jaakko Hirvelä (jaakko.hirvela at

Important dates:

Submission deadline: October 21

Decision of acceptance: November 1

Workshop: December 8-9

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