Workshop on “Emotion, Responsibility, and Agency”

April 13, 2024 - April 14, 2024
School of Philosophy, Zhejiang University


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Université de Montréal


Zhejiang University
Zhongwei Li
Zhejiang University

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The School of Philosophy at Zhejiang University is happy to invite submissions for our 3rd Workshop on Philosophy of Emotion, with the theme “Emotion, Responsibility, and Agency”, to be held during April 13-14, 2024.

Emotions play a central role in our moral responsibility practices as well as interfere with our agency. On the one hand, in the moral responsibility literature, the prominent Strawsonian accounts have been focused on appealing to reactive attitudes to account for our moral responsibility practices. Attitudes such as blame, anger, praise, and gratitude have been assigned essential roles in the attribution of moral responsibility. On the other hand, it has been argued that emotions can enhance and also can threaten our agency in terms of participating in our practical reasoning processes. As a result, the relationship between emotions and autonomous agency has become a crucial issue in philosophy of action. This workshop aims to explore the nature of these emotional attitudes and their relationship to moral responsibility and agency. Possible questions include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • What is the significance of emotion for moral responsibility, moral agency, and agency in general?
  • Do reactive attitudes theories require a normative account of emotions? How to make sense of their appropriateness? Are we morally responsible for the inappropriate emotions we feel?
  • How do moral beliefs or judgments interact with moral emotions in attributing moral responsibility? How do moral reasons interact with moral emotions in practical reasoning? In what sense are emotions reason-responsive?
  • How to understand the (a)symmetry between negative and positive emotions, and between self-regarded and other-regarded emotions with respect to moral responsibility?
  • Are there neglected emotions that we should pay more attention to in order to better understand responsibility and agency?
  • Does new research in philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience of emotions challenge or support the reactive attitudes framework? Does this research aggravate or alleviate the tension between emotions and practical reasons?
  • What roles do emotions play in one’s moral development, so that one can become a morally better, a more autonomous, or a morally responsible person? Can discussions of emotions shed light on the tension between situationism and virtues ethics?
  • Is it possible to appeal to the notion of collective emotions when talking about collective responsibility and collective agency?
  • What would be a plausible account of holding non-human animals and artificial intelligent beings morally responsible in the reactive attitudes framework? How would this inform us about their agency?  

This in-person workshop will include a maximum of eight speakers over two days to have plenty of time and energy for discussion.

Confirmed key-note speaker:

Christine Tappolet, Professor of Philosophy at the Philosophy Department, Université de Montréal, Canada

Submitted abstracts should be: (a) 750-1,000 English words long, (b) prepared for anonymous review, and (c) suitable for a 30 minute presentation. Please submit your abstracts via email to [email protected] by Oct 31, 2023. If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Dong An ([email protected]). 


Dong An ([email protected])

Zhongwei Li ([email protected])

Important dates: 

Submission deadline: Oct 31, 2023 

Decision of acceptance: Feb 29, 2024 

Workshop: April 13-14, 2024 

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March 15, 2024, 9:00am CST

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