CFP: Anti-theory in the Philosophy of Science and Ethics

Submission deadline: March 5, 2023

Conference date(s):
July 4, 2023 - July 6, 2023

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Conference Venue:

Philosophy Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Beersheba, Israel

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Call for Papers: Anti-theory in the Philosophy of Science and Ethics
International Workshop, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 4-6 July 2023

During the 1970s and 80s two movements emerged—one in the philosophy of science and the other in ethics—that challenged the prevailing conception of philosophical theorizing in their respective fields. In PoS, Paul Feyerabend (1970, 1975) criticized attempts to identify a scientific method and to formulate a theory of scientific rationality. Scientists, he claimed, do not—and should not—follow strict rules of a fixed method. In ethics, a diverse group of prominent philosophers questioned the purpose and value of moral theorizing. They insisted that excellent moral behavior does not consist in following strict moral principles and that organizing our lives on dictates of moral theory is morally pernicious (MacIntyre 1981; Williams 1985; Baier 1985; Taylor 1989).

Despite the undeniable differences between science and ethics, there is, nevertheless, a deep and important similarity between the two anti-theory movements—they both reject the presumption that a chief task of their field is to formulate strict principles for practical guidance. Interestingly, this principal similarity has been overlooked and the debates in the philosophy of science and in ethics have developed independently one from the other.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together scholars from philosophy of science and ethics to provide a comparative assessment of anti-theory movements in the philosophy of science and in ethics and to explore ways in which insights gleaned from one subfield can shed light on the other.

Confirmed Speakers: Sophie-Grace Chappell (Open University, UK), K. Brad Wray (Aarhus University, Denmark), Nora Hämäläinen (University of Helsinki), Jamie Shaw (Leibniz Universität Hannover), Shlomit Wygoda Cohen (Polonsky Fellow, Van Leer Institute)

We invite submissions on Anti-Theory (broadly construed) that illuminate important features of either or both ethics and philosophy of science and that may enable us to import insights from one to the other, and thus to advance our understanding of both fields.

We also invite expressions of interest to participate as commentators and/or session chairs in the workshop.

The workshop is organized by Dr. Uri D. Leibowitz ([email protected]) and Dr. Klodian Coko ([email protected]) from the Philosophy Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in conjunction with a research project funded by the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF 1943/20).

The workshop will take place on 4-6 July 2023, in Israel. We hope to be able to cover at least some of the travel expenses. Accepted papers may be considered for publication in an edited volume on the topic.  

Please send an abstract of approximately 1000 words or expressions of interest to participate as commentator and/or session chair, or any questions/comments to [email protected]  

Deadline for submission of abstracts: Sunday March 5, 2023.


Communication of acceptance will be sent by 19 March 2023.

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