CFP: Devotion and Meaning in Life

Submission deadline: August 15, 2024

Conference date(s):
December 12, 2024 - December 13, 2024

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, Boston University
Boston, United States

Topic areas


Workshop topic: our lives are pervaded by commitments: you might be committed to meeting a friend for dinner, exercising four times per week, learning a language, being considerate, sustaining a friendship, promoting a political cause.  Some commitments are relatively trivial and readily set aside.  Others are deeper and more resistant to change.  When people display extreme degrees of commitment, we sometimes describe them as devoted.  Devotion seems to involve a particularly robust form of commitment, which might differ from standard forms of commitment in its intensity, stability, resistance to compromise, epistemic status, or deliberative weight.  

This conference seeks to explore the relationship between devotion and meaning in life.  How does devotion connect to our desire for a meaningful or purposeful life?  What needs, longings, or motivations drive us to express devotion?  Do different objects of devotion (such as devotion to fitness communities, to sports teams, to political causes, etc.) fulfill these needs in different ways?  Is devotion linked in important ways to our identity?  To our sense of what is important?

Confirmed Speakers:

Ruth Chang (Oxford, Philosophy/Jurisprudence) 

Joshua Hicks (Texas A&M, Psychology)

Antti Kauppinen (Univ. of Helsinki, Philosophy)

Simon May (King's College London, Philosophy)

Crystal Park (UConn, Psychology) 

Plus approximately five additional talks selected from abstract submissions. 



Please submit a brief abstract (approximately 500 words, prepared for blind review) to [email protected].  In the body of your email, include your paper title, name, institutional affiliation, and contact information.  If you are interested in being a commentator, please indicate this in your email. 

Submissions are due by August 15, 2024.  We hope to issue acceptances by mid September. 

Supporting material

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