Normative Rationalism: Moral, Epistemic and Logical

May 15, 2020 - May 16, 2020
Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cyprus, Nicosia

University of Cyprus, Aglantzia
Λεωφ. Πανεπιστημίου 1, CY, 2109, Λευκωσία, Κύπρος


Cambridge University
University of Vermont
Stockholm University
Birkbeck, University of London


University of Cyprus

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CFA: Normative Rationalism: Moral, Epistemic and Logical

15th-16th May, University of Cyprus

Nicosia, Cyprus


Anandi Hattiangadi (Stockholm)

Christopher Cowie (Durham)

Florian Steinberger (Birkbeck)

Terence Cuneo (Vermont)


This is a two-day conference on the broad topic of normative rationalism in metaethics, metaepistemology and philosophy of logic. We have four keynotes (see above) and we are looking for six more speakers via a call for abstracts. Anonymized abstracts should be between 500-1000 words (excl. references) and be submitted to the email address [email protected] by the 20th January (23:59 GMT). Women and other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. An indicative and non-exhaustive list of possible topics that the abstracts could address follows below.

Possible Topics

Morality, epistemology and logic seem prima facie normative domains. They are concerned with how we ought to act, believe and deduce inferences. One possible position with regard to moral, epistemic and logical normativity is normative rationalism. One construal of normative rationalism is that, roughly, there are normative facts (moral, epistemic and logical) that provide us with reasons to act, believe and deduce.

Normative Rationalism raises a swarm of questions that could be explored:

  • Metaphysical: Are there normative facts? If yes, what is their ontological status? If not, how should we understand normativity? Are normative facts queer or metaphysically strange in some sense? Is there a normative supervenience or grounding relation? Can we settle for a ‘quietist’, metaphysically relaxed normative ontology that postulates normative truths but no facts?
  • Epistemological: Can we have reliable knowledge of normative facts? Is reflective equilibrium a reliable method for normative knowledge? Are there foundational normative truths? Is conceptual intuition reliable for normative knowledge? Can we debunk moral, epistemic and logical facts as redundant, non-causal, non-explanatory etc.? How should we understand the epistemic import of normative disagreement?
  • Psychological: Are there external normative reasons or only internal normative reasons?  What is a normative reason? Does rationality constrain the reasons we ought to have? What is the role, if any, of non-cognitive attitudes in normative reasoning and motivation?
  • Semantic: Do normative concepts refer? If yes, how are we to understand that reference relation – as descriptive, causal-historical, or other? If not, what is the semantic function or value of normative concepts? What is a normative concept? Can we conceptually engineer normative concepts?
  • Companions-In-Guilt Arguments: Are there interesting parities or disparities between any possible subset of moral, epistemic and logical facts? What do such parities or disparities indicate about the (im)plausibility of normative rationalism?

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For any queries, please contact Christos Kyriacou at [email protected]

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May 11, 2020, 5:00am EET

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Farrukh Khudoydodov

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