Ateliers du GRIN 2015 – 16

2015 – 16

Faces of Disagreement – Montreal, May 26-28th 2016
Les visages du désaccord – Montréal, 26-28 mai 2016

Ateliers passés/Past workshops:

25 septembre, 2015, 10:00 – 12:00

Salle: 927 (Pavillon Leacock, Université McGill, métros Peel ou McGill)

Miriam McCormick (University of Richmond), Are constitutive norms normative?
Résumé: In the current debate about which norm governs belief – truth, knowledge, justification, or something else, what is most often in question is which is the constitutive norm, namely what norm do we uncover when thinking about the nature of belief, what a belief is. I argue that answering the question of whether a belief is permissible, or appropriate, sometimes requires going beyond what can be discovered by appeal to constitutive norms, and I suggest that it will likely take us into the practical and moral domain.


13 novembre, 2015, 10:00 – 12:00

Salle: 223 (2910 Boul. Édouard-Montpetit, métro Université de Montréal)

David Hunter (Ryerson University), Virtuous inferences and virtuous thinkers (Or, sweeping away Broome’s dispositions)
Résumé: Following Aristotle, John Broome claims that a mental transition is an inference only if it flows from a prior disposition to perform such transitions. Without the disposition the transition would be passive like digestion as opposed to active like eating. But this comparison and contrast are misleading. Eating, but not reasoning, involves various means and different parts, can be done with a purpose and from a motive, and can be voluntary. And digestion is something that a person does, not something—like muscular cellular mitosis—that merely happens inside her. But whereas digestion is merely contingently involuntary, reasoning is essentially involuntary. What makes a transition an inference, I argue, are the explanatory links connecting the beliefs involved in it and what makes it active is the self-awareness characteristic of activity.


20 novembre, 2015, 10:00 – 12:00

Salle: W-5215 (455 Blvd René-Lévesque E, UQÀM, métro Berri-UQÀM)

Jason Bridges (University of Chicago), Against choice
Résumé: Contemporary philosophers tend to take for granted that fundamental questions about the nature and structure of practical rationality are appropriately framed in terms of the concept of choice among alternatives. Thus, for example, the debate between maximalist and satisfactionist theories of rational requirements presupposes that the business of requirements of rationality is to govern the agent’s selection of an action from amongst a set of available options. I argue against this orientation. The concept that structures practical rationality at the most basic level is not choosing but acting, not selecting A over B, but, simply, doing A, and recognizing that this is so has important implications for how we understand our capacity to respond to reasons for action. I elucidate and defend this claim through a consideration of the teleological character of practical reasons, and then briefly sketch its implications both for the topic of rational requirements and for questions about the nature of the will recently brought to attention by Joseph Raz.


11 décembre 2015, 10:00 – 12:00

Salle: Université Concordia, Henry F. Hall Building, H-1220

Patrick Rysiew (University of Victoria), Practical Bases, Binding Norms, Constitutive Aims
This paper considers Hilary Kornblith’s (1993, 2002) suggestion that epistemic norms have “a practical basis”. I argue that Kornblith’s view withstands many of the objections that have been made against it, and that it constitutes an improvement over certain other views that seek to ground epistemic normativity in considerations of value. But it doesn’t do everything: while they may be an essential part of the story, practical considerations alone don’t fully explain epistemic norms and their basis. In addition, Kornblith’s proposal requires, and seems to presume, ideas associated with accounts often thought to be competitors to the kind of view Kornblith endorses. However, while this may show that Kornblith’s view is incomplete, it doesn’t show that it’s incorrect. This, because Kornblith’s approach and the idea (for example) that belief as such is governed by certain norms needn’t be competing; in fact, they may be interestingly complementary.


8 janvier 2016, 10:00 – 12:00

Salle: UQÀM, 455 Blvd René-Lévesque E, local W-5215

Shaun Nichols (University of Arizona), Rational learners and moral rules
Philosophical observation and psychological studies indicate that people draw subtle distinctions in the normative domain. But it remains unclear exactly what gives rise to such distinctions. On one prominent approach, emotion systems trigger non-utilitarian judgments. The main alternative, inspired by Chomskyan linguistics, suggests that moral distinctions derive from an innate moral grammar. In this paper, we develop a rational learning account. We argue that the “size principle”, which is implicated in word learning (Xu & Tenenbaum 2007), can also explain how children would use scant and equivocal evidence to interpret candidate rules as applying more narrowly than utilitarian rules.

***ANNULÉ*** – 5 février 2016, 10:00 – 12:00

Salle: Université de Montréal, 2910 Boul. Édouard-Montpetit, local 223

Frédérique de Vignemont (Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris), A narcissistic conception of the sense of bodily ownership
Résumé: Cette conférence est annulée.


18 mars 2016, 10:00 – 12:00

Salle: Université McGill, pavillon Leacock, local 927

Julia Markovits (Cornell), On What It Is To Matter
Résumé: Derek Parfit worries that Subjectivism about what matters – the view that our reasons for acting depend in some way on facts about what we desire – entails a bleak and nihilistic picture of the normative world.  He argues that we’re misled into accepting Subjectivism by a series of considerations, none of which actually support the view, though they may at first appear to.  Understanding why many of us believe Subjectivism will, he thinks, debunk that belief.

I will argue that Parfit’s debunking arguments are less debunking than he thinks, and indeed supply a way in to what is missing from his discussion: a sketch of the some stronger arguments for a subjectivist theory of reasons.  Subjectivism is, moreover, not as bleak a view as Parfit fears; and indeed, I will argue, Parfit’s own conciliatory ambitions for moral philosophy should make him much more sympathetic to the subjectivist project than he is.