CfR: Virtual Conference on Preferences, Commitments and Choice (September 9-11, 2021)

Submitted by Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich).


Call for Registration for the Conference ‘Preferences, Commitments and Choice’

Three-day conference on ‘Preferences, Commitments and Choice’, which will take place on September 9 – 11, 2021 via Zoom.

Scientific Organization: Michael Messerli, Catherine Herfeld, Kevin Reuter

Keynote Speakers:

  • Cristina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Daniel Hausman (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Call for Registration:
We invite everyone interested to register for the conference. Registration requests should be submitted via email to There is no registration fee. Everybody is welcome to attend.

Goals of the Conference:
The concepts of preference, commitment, and choice have a long history in philosophy and the social sciences. At the same time, there is no consensus on how exactly they should be understood. Regarding the concept of preference, for instance, behaviorists have argued that they should be interpreted as being revealed by choices. Others, such as for example mentalists, have argued for more substantive accounts of preferences and interpret them as, e.g., sui generis mental states.

One goal of the conference is to take stock and see where discussions about the nature, structure, and interpretations of those three concepts stand and what kind of issues should be discussed to move those discussions forward. A second goal of the conference is to investigate the phenomenon of counter-preferential choices, the role that commitments play in this context, and how we can think about commitments within a decision-theoretic framework. Finally, we will link this discussion to more general issues regarding rationality and norms, tackling questions such as, e.g., can reasonable choices be understood with decision theory? How do commitments differ from moral and social norms? How do counter-preferential choices and norm-guided behavior relate to each other and how should we conceptualize both?

We will discuss those sets of issues from the perspectives of philosophy, economics and psychology, thereby pushing the debates on preferences, choice, and commitment even further towards interdisciplinary approaches.

Please check our conference website for any updates regarding the final program:

This conference is sponsored by the Swiss National Foundation (P200P1_186151).