CFP: Anthology and Workshop on Experiential Reasons

Submission deadline: June 15, 2013

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Call for Papers for: Experiential Reasons – a Collection of Essays on Disjunctivism, Conceptualism and the Transcendental Role of Experience

Editors: Johan Gersel, Rasmus Thyboe Jensen, Søren Overgaard, Morten Sørensen Thaning

With this Call for Papers we invite contributions to an edited collection of essays on disjunctivism and conceptualism in the philosophy of perception. In addition to the papers accepted via this call, the volume will contain papers presented at the forthcoming workshop Experiential Reasons to be held at the University of Copenhagen, October 29-30 2013. The speakers of the workshop are Bill Brewer, Hannah Ginsborg, John McDowell, Alan Millar, Charles Travis.The authors of the papers accepted through this CFP will be invited to participate in the workshop.

The workshop is supported by the Mind Association who has first refusal on the edited volume for their Occasional Series published by Oxford University Press. The papers selected through this call cannot be guaranteed publication. Subsequent to the workshop the book-manuscript will be submitted to OUP and all papers will be individually refereed.

Theme of the workshop and the essay collection

McDowell has coined the name ‘minimal empiricism’ for the view that experience must be able to make our thinking answerable to how things are. The central motivation for minimal empiricism is the idea that unless experience can play the claimed normative role, we will be unable to make sense of our thoughts as being about the world. Though debated, minimal empiricism is less controversial than the specific picture of experience McDowell recommends in light of the requirement. He has argued that only in so far as we accept both disjunctivism and conceptualism about experience can the requirement of minimal empiricism be fulfilled. With this combined workshop and book project we wish to bring together researchers who take the challenge of minimal empiricism seriously but have divergent views on how to meet it. The fact that we find apparent agreement on the existence and nature of the challenge leading to opposite conceptions of experience begs the question: Where do these disagreements stem from? Our hope is to drive forward the debate by soliciting the participants to make explicit their understanding of the requirement of minimal empiricism and to pinpoint their dissatisfaction with alternative ways of fulfilling the requirement. Our focus will be on fundamental questions pertaining to the epistemic and transcendental role of experience:

  • Must we conceive of experience as involving conceptual capacities if it is to provide reasons for beliefs?  If not should we conceive of experience as having non-conceptual content or should we deny that experience has content at all? Does conceptualism imply that experience has propositional content? 
  • Is disjunctivism required for experiences to provide adequate reasons for empirical belief? Is a disjunctive conception of appearances necessary if we are to make sense of perception as having content at all? Does a relational conception of perception imply epistemological disjunctivism and vice versa?    
  • Why should we accept the idea that experience must provide reasons for belief (i.e. minimal empiricism) in the first place? What is the relation between the epistemic and the transcendental role of experience? Must perception provide reasons if we are to make sense of our thinking as having content at all?

This list of question is by no means exhaustive of the questions we invite you to address. It is meant to indicate the kind of questions we are interested in pursuing. 

Practical information

  • Submissions should be in English and not exceed. 9000 words including abstract, references and footnotes.
  • Deadline for submissions: 15th of June, 2013
  • Manuscripts should be prepared for anonymous refereeing and sent by email attachment as a pdf.-file to [email protected] (all submissions will be acknowledged)
  • Peer reviewing: all submissions will be subject to a double blind peer-review process before the workshop. After the workshop papers will be submitted to OUP and undergo a second round of peer-reviewing.
  • Expected date for preliminary verdict on submitted papers: 1 August, 2013.

For any questions regarding the submission of papers please contact Rasmus Thybo Jensen: [email protected] or Johan Gersel: [email protected]  

The organizers of the workshop Experiential Reasons (Copenhagen 29-30, 2013) acknowledges the support of the Mind Association, the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen, and the Danish Research Council for Independent Research, Humanities.

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