CFP: Practical Mental Representations

Submission deadline: December 9, 2022

Conference date(s):
February 16, 2023 - February 17, 2023

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University
Orange, United States


It seems undeniable that mental representations have a practical dimension, whether it is for planning future actions, for identifying present action possibilities, for reasoning about practical matters, for acquiring practical skills, etc. However, most philosophers who endorse representationalism usually think of mental representations as having truth, veridicality, or accuracy conditions, that is, success conditions of a broadly descriptive kind. But if mental representations have descriptive contents, how exactly do they fulfil their fundamentally practical functions? How can a description, whether accurate or inaccurate, itself motivate or set the normative standards for any sort of practical engagement with the world?  This workshop aims at exploring more and less known solutions to this problem. We encourage participants to propose novel and original views of the content and format of mental representations designed to bridge the apparent gap existing between the descriptive normativity evoked by notions like accuracy or veridicality and the more practical kind of normativity involved in processes like intending, acting intentionally, or performing skillfully.

The workshop will consist of talks by two invited keynote speakers, two submitted talks, and a series of activities focused on encouraging the active participation of Chapman undergraduate students.

We ask that, upon confirming attendance to the workshop, all speakers and senior commentators commit to taking up the role of facilitator during small group discussions with students.

Submitted talks: All those interested in being selected as speakers should submit an extended abstract of no more than 750 words on the topic of practical mental representations. Presentations should be about 45 minutes long, and they should be accessible for a non-expert audience. They should also be accompanied by either slides or a printed handout containing the main terminology used in the talk and the basic structure of the talk’s argument.

Address for abstract submission: [email protected]

Deadline for abstract submission: December 9th, 2022

Selected speakers notified by: January 1st, 2023

For questions and to request additional information, please contact Alessandra Buccella at [email protected]

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)