CFP: Animal Minds 2022

Submission deadline: September 1, 2021

Conference date(s):
February 17, 2022 - February 18, 2022

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Conference Venue:

Institute for Practical Ethics & Department of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego
San Diego, United States

Topic areas


Animal Minds

February 17-18, 2022

Institute for Practical Ethics

Department of Philosophy

University of California, San Diego

Keynote speaker: Kristin Andrews, York Research Chair in Animal Minds and Professor of Philosophy at York University (Toronto).

The Institute for Practical Ethics and the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego are sponsoring a two-day conference on animal minds in February 2022. Research on animal minds is an innovative area of interdisciplinary research. Since the 1970s, an increasing number of non-human species have passed the mirror test of self-recognition or demonstrated other previously unknown mental abilities. Obtaining a robust account of animal minds, however, is complex and difficult. Among the second-order questions raised by such research concerns the nature of cognition and what it is to have a mind; what counts as an appropriate scientific method; whether it is possible to synthesize findings from a broad range of empirical disciplines to offer a rich understanding of animal cognition; and what ethical implications, if any, may follow from a revised understanding of our fellow animals. This workshop will explore the philosophical dimensions of these and other issues pertaining to animal minds.

Keynote speaker bio: Kristin Andrews is the author of The Animal Mind (Routledge, 2015), an empirically informed, state-of-the-art introduction to the philosophy of animal cognition that has recently gone into a second edition. Other titles by her include The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds (2017), co-edited with Jakob Beck, and How to Study Animal Minds, in Cambridge University Press’s Elements in the Philosophy of Biology series, which addresses fundamental methodological questions about cognitive science as it pertains to animals.

In addition to Andrews’ keynote the conference will include 10 papers by philosophers and/or philosophically informed researchers in other disciplines. Most are expected to focus directly on philosophical issues related to animal minds, but a smaller number may address issues at the intersection of animal cognition and animal ethics. The latter area is one in which Andrews has also published important research as co-author of Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief (Routledge, 2018), in which Andrews and 12 co-authors outline a new view of the moral and legal standing of non-human primates.

Abstracts are due by 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time Wednesday September 1 2021. Notifications of acceptance will be made by October 4. Please send an anonymized abstract of at least 400 and no more than 750 words to Andy Lamey at [email protected]. Finished papers will be due one month before the conference date. Presenters will speak as part of a panel of three speakers, each with half an hour of speaking time, followed by a collective 90-minute Q&A.

The conference fee is US$60 ($40 for graduate students). All presenters will be invited to a conference dinner on February 18.

Questions about the workshop can be directed to Andy Lamey at [email protected].

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