CFP: The Ethics of Roles: Public, Professional, Personal

Submission deadline: January 31, 2019

Conference date(s):
May 3, 2019 - May 4, 2019

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Conference Venue:

Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Topic areas


The Graduate Associates atthe University of Toronto Centre for Ethicsare soliciting papers for their 7th annual graduate student conference. The conference theme is “The Ethics of Roles: Public, Professional, Personal.” We will use this opportunity to explore the place of roles within our ethical lives, such as the ways in which roles can alter our moral duties, improve or corrupt our moral character, and shape our understanding of others. We will also consider the ethical dimensions of specific roles, for example: public servants, lawyers, medical professionals, business professionals, academics, artists, religious or spiritual advisors, citizens, parents, siblings and friends. The hope is for this breadth of focus to reveal common questions and further our understanding of roles and their ethics.

The conference will feature a public keynote address by Arthur Applbaum, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values at Harvard University. Applbaum is the author of Ethics for Adversaries: The Morality of Roles in Public and Professional Life. His work on political legitimacy, civil and official disobedience, and role morality has appeared in journals such as Philosophy & Public Affairs, Journal of the American Medical Association, Harvard Law Review, Ethics, and Legal Theory.

The Graduate Associates invite participants to present their work in an interdisciplinary environment that takes a deliberately broad approach to ethics. We welcome submissions from a variety of fields, including, but not limited to: political science, philosophy, bioethics, literature, law, sociology, economics, religious studies, and history. Accepted submissions will be paired with a discussant from the Centre for Ethics community.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Ethical conceptions of roles and the “good life”

  • Philosophical analyses of roles and their relation to moral responsibility

  • Contributions to sociological role theory

  • Literary and artistic perspectives on roles and their ethics

  • The ethics of public service

  • The ethics of lawyering and the adversary legal system

  • Business ethics

  • Bioethics

  • The ethics of academia and/or journalism

  • The ethics of family roles and friendships

Interested participants should send an abstract of their paper, not exceeding 300 words, to [email protected] with the subject line “Graduate Conference Proposal 2018”. Submissions must be prepared for blind review. In your email, please include your name, abstract title, and institutional affiliation. Submissions are restricted to persons currently enrolled in a graduate or professional program. We can only accept one submission per author. Submissions should be suitable for a 15-20 minute conference-style presentation.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2018. Successful applicants will be contacted in February. Following acceptance, a paper version of the presentation will be requested, for use by discussants.

For further information, please contact us at [email protected].

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