CfP: Workshop on CAILIN O’CONNOR’S ‘THE ORIGINS OF UNFAIRNESS’ AND RELATED METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES (University of Zurich, October 12, 2019, Deadline: September 24, 2019)

Submitted by Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich).



LOCATION: Institute of Philosophy, University of Zurich
DATE: Saturday, October 12, 2019
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Cailin O’Connor (University of California, Irvine)
ORGANIZER: Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

This is a one-day workshop that enables discussion about Cailin O’Connor’s recent book ‘The Origins of Unfairness’ published in 2019 by Oxford University Press. The workshop will furthermore discuss methodological questions that this research gives directly or indirectly rise to, namely the status and usefulness of formal and empirical methods in philosophy, an issue that currently gains more attention in philosophical discussion. There are a few slots for contributed talks. We invite submissions that either directly engage with Cailin O’Connor’s research or that aim to contribute to this ongoing discussion on the role of formal and empirical methods in philosophy more generally.

Please submit a short abstract of 100 words in English and with a title (copied in the body of the email) to the latest by September 24, 2019. Authors will be notified shortly thereafter.

Apart from all matters related to O’Connor’s research, some of the more generally questions that will also be discussed at the workshop are:
• What can formal methods, such as game theory and evolutionary game theory, teach us in
philosophy, particularly in ethics, as opposed to more traditional methods?
• Is the next natural step of formal philosophy to go empirical? If so, how can we still
distinguish it from science?
• Is there a difference between ethics and other philosophical areas, such as philosophy of
science, regarding the usefulness of empirical methods?
• Are formal methods from economics appropriate for the study of issues related to
feminism and inequity?
• Are there risks to using simplified models to study social phenomena where a great deal
is at stake?

For further inquiries, please contact the organiser at: