Why and How We Give and Ask for Reasons: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives

E-Mail Adresse für Einreichungen: easychair.org/confer-ences/
Deadline: 13.06.2021
Call-Bezeichnung: Call for Papers
Ort: Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
Datum: 19.10.2021
Uhrzeit: 10:00 Uhr
Ende: 22.10.2021 14:00
Veranstaltende Institution: University of Hradec Králové

Philosophers have long recognized that our ability to converse with one another over the reasons we have is part-and-parcel of our capacity to exercise rational thought and agency. In its paradigmatic manifestation, one’s exercise of discursive cognition is to be understood in terms of one’s knowing obedience to the norms that govern what one ought to think and do, and which knowing is expressed in the ability to communicate about these norms. This view is aptly conveyed in Wilfrid Sellars’ dictum that “in characterizing an episode or a state as that of knowing, we are not giving an empirical description of that episode or state; we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says”. This theme has been developed in some detail in the philosophy of inferentialism, taking the “game of giving and asking for rea-sons” as our core discursive activity (e.g., in the work of Robert Brandom).


Meanwhile, the topic of why and how humans produce and consume reasons, or why and how we come to grasp their normative force, has become the subject of intense scientific theorizing. Indeed, over the last two decades explicitly Sellarsian positions on human rationality are increas-ingly showing up in the literature on developmental and social psychology, primatology, neuro-science, and evolutionary anthropology. This conference is premised on the idea that the time is ripe to bring these different research programs into mutual dialogue.

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