Reason and Agency

May 5, 2016 - May 6, 2016
Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto

170 St. George St.

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Kieran Setiya
University of Pittsburgh
Helen Steward
University of Leeds

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What role does agency play in human life? How does it relate to our capacity for reason? Such questions have reoccurred throughout the history of philosophy. Ancient debates centered on fate and freedom, and skeptical challenges to our rationality. Enlightenment philosophers defended the sovereignty of individual agents, while German Idealists positioned practical rationality at the centre of inquiry. More recently, Marxist and feminist philosophers have challenged traditional theories of reason and agency, placing greater emphasis on historical and sociological forces.

In order to further explore these issues, we have chosen Reason and Agency as the topic for the Graduate Conference at the University of Toronto. We have confirmed as our keynotes Kieran Setiya and Helen Steward. Setiya has published extensively on the nature of reasons and rationality, while Steward has published influential work on the philosophy of action and free will.

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University of Texas at Austin (PhD)
Cambridge University

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