CFP: Chalmers and Carnap on Metaphilosophy

Submission deadline: April 7, 2018

Conference date(s):
June 18, 2018

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Topic areas


Call for Abstracts

The Vienna Forum for Analytic Philosophy (WFAP) will host a workshop with David Chalmers (NYU/ANU) on June 18th 2018 at the University of Vienna (Austria). The topic will be “Chalmers and Carnap on Metaphilosophy”.

Philosophers from Vienna defended a novel conception of philosophy in the 1930s, thus contributing foundational work for what we now call “analytic philosophy”. Debates on the task of philosophy are also flourishing at the moment, in particular in light of the literatures on (meta)metaphysics, disagreements, and the nature of concepts. David Chalmers has contributed to all these debates, e.g. in Verbal Disputes (2011). He has taken substantial inspiration from Rudolf Carnap, particularly vivid in his 2012 book Constructing the World, where he argues that all truths are scrutable from base truths. Scrutability allows for philosophical progress, as all philosophical truths are in principle knowable, and all philosophical disagreements in principle resolvable. Chalmers’ work also relates to a new theory within the methodology of philosophy: conceptual engineering – where the creation, assessment, and improvement of concepts is defended as the job of philosophers. This workshop aims to tackle such metaphilosophical debates, with special focus on Chalmers’ and Carnap’s work.

This call for papers is open to graduate students and early career researchers, and we especially encourage submissions from members of groups that are underrepresented in philosophy. We invite high-quality papers from one of the following or related topics:

  • Chalmers’ Verbal Disputes (2011)
  • Chalmers’ Constructing the World (2012)
  • The ideas of scrutability or bedrock concepts
  • Carnap’s metaphilosophy
  • Carnap’s Der logische Aufbau der Welt (2012)
  • Disagreements between Chalmers and Carnap
  • Conceptual engineering
  • Progress or disagreement in philosophy
  • The normative aspect of philosophy
  • Metaphysics relating to Carnap/Chalmers.

Submission information

Deadline for submission of abstracts: April 7th 2018
Notification of Acceptance: April 20th 2018

Abstracts of approximately 500 words should be in English and prepared for blind review. It should be clear from the abstract, which authors and debates the paper addresses, and which position it defends. The author’s name, affiliation, the title of the submitted paper, and e-mail address must be included in a separate document. Files should be submitted as PDFs and should be sent to: Victoria Lavorerio (

All abstracts will be reviewed by members of the Vienna Forum for Analytic Philosophy and faculty members of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna. Accepted papers should be suitable for a 45 min presentation. We have made good experiences with the distribution of the core ideas of the respective talks before the event, which allowed attendees to prepare for the workshop. Thus, we expect accepted speakers to send us an extended abstract of 1500 words by June 10th, which will be shared with speakers and attendees. If you have any questions about the event, or if you are unsure if you or your paper might qualify for submission, please get in touch with Victoria Lavorerio (

The structure of the event will be the following: David Chalmers will give a talk in the morning, and four speakers will have the chance to present their own research afterwards.

Please note that David Chalmers will also give the 26th Vienna Circle Lecture on June 19 2018. More information is available on the website of the Vienna Circle Society (


We aim to be an inclusive conference and will do our best, within our budgetary constraints, to help with any requirement you might have. For accessibility, please visit our website. (


The Vienna Forum for Analytic Philosophy (WFAP) is a student society, founded in 2009, for philosophical research in the analytic tradition at the Department of Philosophy of the Uni- versity of Vienna. For further information about the WFAP, please visit our website. (http://

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