CUNY Grad Conference 2019: Intersubjectivity and Interpretation

April 5, 2019
Philosophy Program, CUNY Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue
New York 10016
United States

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Keynote speakers:

Smith College

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In ethics, in epistemology, in philosophy of mind and even (Searlean protestations notwithstanding) in ontology interest has steadily been growing in the idea that intersubjectivity is a central concept for understanding various aspects of our world. Similarly, the concept of interpretation has come to attention in a new light as a key means by which the interactions between subjectivities is mediated. This line of research raises a number of philosophical questions:

- What is intersubjectivity? Can it be given ‘a clear explanation’? In what relation does it stand to objectivity? In what relation does it stand to the first-person and second-person perspectives?

- What is interpretation? What is it to interpret another person’s behaviour as that of a genuine subject of experience? Is this notion of interpretation the same as that which we employ when speaking of interpreting language, rules, art, or data?

- Does intersubjectivity require interpretation? Must we rely on interpretive practices in order to make sense of others as subjects? If so, what implications might this have for the concept of intersubjectivity, and those practices and entities that might depend upon it?

- Does interpretation require intersubjectivity? Is there a sense of interpretation for which one cannot genuinely interpret something without taking it to be the result of intentional action on the part of a subject, produced for other subjects? And if so, what implications might that have for our understanding of interpretive practices?

- How do these questions connect with issues in areas of philosophy such as epistemology, aesthetics, phenomenology, philosophy of mind, social philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, political theory?

The keynote speaker will be Jay Garfield, who will deliver a talk on “The Second Person: Reflexivity and Reflection”.

We are pleased to invite abstracts sufficiently in the spirit of the project theme of no more than 1,000 words. Abstracts should:

- Outline the paper’s principal argument(s).

- Give a good sense of the paper’s philosophical contribution(s).

- Be anonymized.

The deadline for abstracts is January 19th, 2019. Abstracts should be e-mailed to Please include with your submission a cover page that includes your name, affiliated institution, contact information, and title of paper.

We will accept submissions from any area of philosophy, and from any philosophical tradition. We strongly encourage participants from groups whose voices are disproportionately excluded from philosophical discourse to submit abstracts.

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