CFP: Taking Social Norms Seriously

Submission deadline: May 1, 2024

Conference date(s):
July 5, 2024 - July 6, 2024

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Universität Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany

Topic areas


Social norms have a major impact on our everyday lives – for better or worse. On the one hand, they seem indispensable as tools for cooperation, social stability or accountability. On the other hand, the unwritten rules of our society can function to perpetuate inequality and form an obstacle to positive change. We underestimate social norms when we primarily conceive of them as arbitrary and inconsequential norms we happen to accept, such as table setting rules. Instead, this broad category of norms reaches far beyond dinner parties and affects us in much larger ways, from filling in ideas of fairness to determining who gets to speak up.

To take social norms seriously as an important subject of philosophical inquiry, we must start from an accurate and comprehensive picture of what they are and what they mean to us. This requires combining explanations, justifications and criticisms developed from a variety of perspectives. The aim of this conference is to bring together people from different subdisciplines in philosophy with a shared interest in social norms, in order to inspire a joint understanding of these norms and their effects.

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

-          The ontology of social norms

-          Norm-following

-          Scripts

-          Social practices and ideology

-          The relation between social norms and morality

-          The normative force of social norms

-          Social norms and the law

-          Norm change

-          Intercultural conflict

-          Injustice in or through social norms

-          Norms and prejudice

The keynote speakers will be Laura Valentini (LMU Munich) and Katharina Berndt Rasmussen (Stockholm University & Institute for Futures Studies). There is room for nine more talks, with a duration of 50 minutes each (including Q&A).

You are invited to send an abstract of up to 500 words (excluding references) to [email protected]. Please anonymise your abstract and add a separate document with your name, email address and affiliation (if any).

Deadline for abstracts: *May 1st*.

Decisions will be communicated by May 15th.

There will be no conference fee. A bursary toward travel costs will be available for speakers without institutional support. Feel free to ask about this before submitting an abstract.

Postgraduate students are encouraged to apply.

For questions, email [email protected].

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)