“(Ir)rationality: Understanding Irrational Belief, Action, and Reasoning”

February 19, 2016
Philosophy, King's College London

United Kingdom

View the Call For Papers

Keynote speakers:

Levy Neil
University of Melbourne


Cote-Bouchard Charles
King's College London
Jenkins David
King's College London
Doody Paul
King's College London

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Intuitively, there is a constitutive connection between someone’s being rational and their being able to possess propositional attitudes, perform inferences or execute actions. But what do we mean by ‘rational’? Moreover, given the supposed constitutive connection, what are we to make of irrational beliefs, actions and inferences?

We invite submissions from graduate students for a conference hosted by the Philosophy Department at King’s College London, to be held on Friday, February 19th, 2016.

There will be respondents from KCL faculty to all selected papers.

We conceive of the conference’s themes very broadly and welcome submissions from all related areas of philosophy. Interdisciplinary submissions are particularly welcome. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

What Does Rationality Require?

Are there norms of rationality?

How do we determine such norms?

Folk Psychology and Rationality

Are folk-psychological explanations necessarily rationalizing explanations?

How can we make intelligible an irrational belief, action, or inference?

Reasons and Causation

Are reasons causes?

What is the difference between a reason and mere cause?

Paradigm Cases of Irrationality


Epistemic akrasia

Weakness of the will

Wishful thinking

Irrationality and Pathology

What is the relation between rationality and statistical normalcy?

Does mental pathology necessarily involve irrationality?

What are the ethical implications of linking or divorcing the concepts of pathology and irrationality?

Deadline for Submission: 3rd January 2016

Please send submissions to kclirrationalityworkshop2016@gmail.com.

Submissions must be in PDF or Word format and prepared for blind review. Papers should not exceed 4000 words, and should be suitable for a 30 minute presentation.

Please submit a separate cover letter in PDF or Word format with the following details:

name, paper title, institutional affiliation, and contact information.

We especially encourage authors from underrepresented groups in philosophy to submit.

For more information, please contact us at kclirrationalityworkshop2016@gmail.com.

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University of Manchester

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