CFP: Minds, Machines and Morals

Submission deadline: April 30, 2013

Conference date(s):
July 15, 2013 - July 17, 2013

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, United States

Topic areas


This generation has borne witness to a veritable explosion in the use of computing technologies in almost every aspect of life. Philosophers, scientists, and technologists/engineers have an important role to play in addressing the foundational questions that arise on the inexorable march toward intelligent machines. This year’s theme is “Minds, Machines and Morals.”  Questions regarding the status of machines as moral agents and patients press on us as we envision a future filled with self-driving cars, robotic surgeons, health-care providers, and online computational surrogates. According to what principles should they behave, if any?  How much autonomy should they be granted, and how might they interact with human partners before, during, and after engaging in action accompanied by moral deliberation?  What is the nature of the folk concepts that drive our ordinary ascriptions of blame and praise?  Is it necessary for machines to be sensitive to the vicissitudes of human moral cognition in context, and if so, how might these be computationally instantiated in systems built to work side-by-side with people?  Finally, how can traditional moral philosophy contribute to this emerging picture of human-machine interaction? We encourage the submission of novel work on these and related issues.  We remain especially interested in the kind of interdisciplinary investigations that have been typical of our meetings as we seek to reach out to cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, social
psychologists and experimental philosophers in further developing our understanding of moral minds and moral machines. Work in other areas traditionally of interest to the computing and philosophy community is invited as well.

Conference Organization and Important Dates

This year’s meeting will be organized somewhat differently than past meetings.  Rather than having a general call for symposia and an associated program committee, we have decided to structure the meeting around three distinct yet related tracks. Each track will be organized and supervised by a dedicated chairperson who will be responsible for managing the collection, review and dissemination of referee reports. Track chairs will assemble their own program committees to assist in the adjudication of submissions. In a change from previous meetings, all submissions are to be full papers of approximately 3000 words and may not exceed 4000 words. Improperly formatted submissions or papers that do not meet submission guidelines will be subject to exclusion from the review process. Information regarding formatting and submission, including templates and other formatting aides can be found in their respective sections on the conference website. Track descriptions and chairs are listed below:

*Track I:  Information and Computing Ethics*

*Chair: Mariarosaria Taddeo, Oxford University*

In contemporary information societies, information technologies have grown to the point of being indispensable for many of our activities, from working to entertaining and interacting with others and with the environment, from learning and education to waging war. The ubiquitous
deployment of such technologies raises important ethical problems concerning their design and use. The track aims at gathering both papers discussing conceptual frameworks to address such problems and papers focusing on the specific ethical issues affecting contemporary information
societies.  Main areas of interest are:

  • Security and warfare;
  • Individual rights;
  • Privacy and anonymity;
  • Personal identity;
  • Social interactions;
  • Education;
  • Economy;
  • Healthcare;
  • Technological design.

*Track II:  Minds and Machines*

*Chair: Marcello Guarini, University of Windsor*

The Society for Machines and Mentality, an IACAP special interest group, is devoted to advancing the philosophical understanding of issues involving artificial intelligence, philosophy, and cognitive science.  The Machines and Mentality track chairs welcome philosophical papers in one or more of the following areas:

  • Machine Ethics
  • Moral Cognition
  • Models of mental state ascription
  • Nature of concepts
  • Philosophy of (or in) AI
  • Philosophy of (or in) the Cognitive Sciences or Cognitive Modeling
  • Other work at the intersection of (i) philosophy and (ii) AI or the various cognitive or psychological sciences

*Track III: Computing in Philosophy*

*Chair: Cameron Buckner, University of Houston*

This track is devoted to the ways that computers can extend our ability to acquire, represent, understand, and distribute philosophical knowledge. These include the application of new methods of proof, representation, and visualization to traditional philosophical questions, the use of new formal, online, and distributed forms of research and publication, and the possibilities digital representations of the discipline afford as a guide to metaphilosophy. We welcome papers on the way that these new approaches are transforming philosophy in the following areas:

  • Computational metaphysics
  • Computational epistemology
  • Digital archives and reference works
  • Cognition and visualization
  • Computing and art
  • Computing in the philosophy of information
  • Digital pedagogy and computer-enhanced instruction
  • Formal argument analysis and theories of reasons
  • Social computing and distributed philosophy
  • Computational metaphilosophy

*Winner: Covey Award*

*Winner: Herbert A. Simon Award*

Important Dates

  • Final submissions entered into Easychair website: April 30th 2013
  • Standard registration period (TBD)
  • Late registration period (TBD)
  • Conference: July 15-17 2013

Submission Website

Submissions will be handled through the EasyChair submission website.

Resources for Authors

IACAP 2013 will rely on electronic submission of papers for review purposes. Papers must not exceed 4000 words, including all figures, tables, and references. We will return to the authors any submissions that exceed this limit or that diverge significantly from the format as specified. The text of the paper should be formatted in one column, with an overall width
of 6.0 inches (15.24 cm) and length of 8.0 inches (20.32 cm). The left margin should be 1.25 inches (3.175 cm) and the top margin 1.5 inches (3.81 cm). The right and bottom margins will depend on whether one prints on US letter or A4 paper.

The paper body should be set in 11 point type with a vertical spacing of 12 points. Please use Times Roman typeface throughout the text.  We assume that authors will have access to LaTeX or Word to format their documents and can use a Web browser to download style files and upload their papers. Electronic templates for producing the camera-ready copy are available for
LaTeX and Microsoft Word.

Templates are accessible on the Web at:

Authors who have questions about these templates or other formatting issues should send them to [email protected] by e-mail.

To ensure the ability to preview and print submissions, authors must provide their manuscripts in pdf format. Papers prepared in Word should be saved as pdf files and submitted in this format. To support the review process, each submission must be accompanied by information about the paper’s title and abstract, as well as the authors’ names and physical addresses. Authors must enter this information into the submission website.  Submissions may be accompanied by online appendices that contain data, demonstrations, instructions for obtaining source code, or the source code itself. We encourage authors to include such appendices when they submit papers. This material will not count in the submission’s page length.

Presentation Information and Guidelines

Each presenter will have 20 minutes for presentation, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Data projectors will be available – we ask presenters to bring any electronic materials (e.g., Powerpoint or the like) on a USB memory stick, rather than planning on using their own computers. Presenters are encouraged to use their time to highlight what they believe
to be the most significant / interesting / provocative (etc.) insights / findings / arguments (etc.) in their papers, with a view towards inspiring discussion among an interdisciplinary audience – i.e., one including those outside the presenters’ own primary specializations and disciplines.  More formal reading of papers is certainly in order if that is the presenter’s
preference – and especially if difficult or complex arguments are to be presented for careful critique and discussion. But again, we ask presenters to recognize and seek to foster the strong interdisciplinarity that has defined the CAP conferences since their inception.

The 2013 meeting will be held starting July 15th and ending July 17th at the Marriott Inn and Conference Center. Room rates are roughly expected to be $130 USD per night.  The hotel website can be found here>, complete with links to information about local airports and transportation options.  We will be regularly updating the website with information for travelers, maps, area guides and information about local attractions.


Rates are TBD (expected to be roughly $200 USD), but will include continental breakfast, lunch selection, afternoon snack and hot/cold beverages throughout the day.

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