Liberal Naturalism

November 23, 2017 - November 24, 2017
Philosophy department, PHI research group, Deakin University

Deakin Downtown, Collins street, level 12


  • Alfred deakin institute of citizenship and globalisation

Keynote speakers:

Mario De Caro
University of Roma Tre
Dan Hutto
University of Wollongong
University of Wollongong
University of New South Wales
Gavin Kitching
Cathy Legg
Deakin University
David Macarthur
University of Sydney
Jennifer McMahon
University of Adelaide
Talia Morag
Deakin University
Wuhan University
Paul Redding
University of Sydney
Deakin University
Patrick Stokes
Deakin University


Talia Morag
Deakin University

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Liberal naturalism, like other forms of naturalism, denies the existence of supernatural objects and causes. It is unique, however, in allowing for the existence of objects and causes that are not a matter for scientific study. In addition to scientific descriptions and explanations of reality, liberal naturalism accepts the irreducible existence of person-level phenomena such as reasons, self-consciousness, values, artworks, ordinary objects and much else.

The view was inspired by the writings of H. Putnam and J. McDowell, and may be ascribed to Jennifer Hornsby, Barry Stroud, P. F. Strawson, R. Rorty, J. Rawls, T. Scanlon and others. It has been explored in detail in the collections edited by Mario de Caro and David Macarthur: Naturalism in Question (Harvard University Press, 2004) and Naturalism and Normativity (Columbia University Press, 2010).

The conference will include presentations on a variety of topics and thinkers, ranging across the analytic and continental traditions of philosophy.

The conference will take place on 23 – 24 November, at Deakin Downtown: Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins St, Melbourne.

Please email Talia Morag regarding this event and to register interest in attending: [email protected]


9:00-10:00   David Macarthur (Sydney): Liberal Naturalism and the Problem of the Supernatural

10:00-11:00  Mario de Caro (Roma Tre): Liberal Naturalism and Realism Liberalized

11:00-11:30  Morning Tea

11:30-12:30  Cathy Legg (Deakin): Liberal as Methodological Naturalism

12:30-1:30    Lunch (own arrangements)

1:30-2:30       Paul Redding (Sydney) Naturalism or Actualism?

2:30-3:30       Dan Hutto (Wollongong): Naturalism in the Goldilocks Zone: Wittgenstein’s Delicate Balancing Act

3:30-4:00       Afternoon Tea

4:00-5:00       Gavin Kitching (UNSW): Liberal Naturalism and Social Science



9:00-10:00    Jack Reynolds (Deakin): Time, Naturalism, and the 4Ms

10:00-11:00  Patrick Stokes (Deakin): Selves, Persons, and Liberal Naturalism

11:00-11:30  Morning Tea

11:30-12:30  Talia Morag (Deakin): Psychoanalysis and Liberal Naturalism

12:30-1:30    Lunch (own arrangements)

1:30-2:30      Paul Patton (UNSW): Toward a Naturalistic Reading of Rawls

 2:30-3:30       Jennifer McMahon (Adelaide): The Sublime “Beyond Cognition”

3:30-4:00       Afternoon Tea

4:00-5:00       Heikki Ikaheimo (UNSW): Hegel and Liberal Naturalism

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