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Biennial Conference

2021 Conference: Metaethics and Theism

(Postponed from 2020)

Fall 2021

This conference is part of a series of workshops that have been organized by Chris Tucker (W&M), Michael Murphy (Georgetown), and Christian Miller (Wake Forest) to promote more sustained reflection on the intersection of mainstream ethics and philosophy of religion. Contemporary philosophy of religion has been richly informed by important work in metaphysics and epistemology. Yet current philosophy of religion is, to some extent, insulated from mainstream ethical theory (broadly construed). The moral theories at play in discussions of theism are often crude and piecemeal, with no deep theoretical grounding. In mainstream ethical theory, theism’s connection to ethics is often dismissed with a passing reference to Euthyphro’s dilemma. This conference aims to address this problem.

The theme is to be understood broadly to include such topics as divine command and divine will theories; God and natural law; ethics and the problem of evil; moral arguments for a theistic being; infused and acquired virtues; the harms and benefits of theistic religions; what mainstream moral theories imply about divine action; specific ethical issues in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam; and many other topics as well.

Confirmed Speakers:
Lara Buchak (University of California, Berkeley)
Helen De Cruz (St. Louis University)
Christian Miller (Wake Forest University)
Derk Pereboom (Cornell University)
Samuel Fleischacker (U of Illinois, Chicago)

There will be four spots for submitted papers. All papers will have about 40 minutes for presentation and 40 minutes for discussion. Those interested in participating should submit an abstract of 750-1,000 words and a current C.V. to Chris Tucker (cstucker@wm.edu) by a date to be determined. Word or PDF file formats only. Please prepare abstracts for anonymous review.  For although the organizers seek to have a balanced program both in terms of topics and presenters, the initial stage of review will be done anonymously. 

Notification will be made by a date to be determined. If your abstract is selected, we will cover your accommodation, meals at the conference, and travel expenses (international travel can be covered for at least one submitted paper). Co-authors are welcome, but only one author’s expenses can be covered. You do not have to send your paper in advance of the workshop, and it certainly can be a work in progress. 

Local Organizer: Chris Tucker, [[cstucker]].


Past Conferences

Applied Neo-pragmatism (2018)

Epistemology and Cognition (2016)

The Authority of Tradition (2014)

Responsibility & Relationships: 50 Years of Strawson's 'Freedom and Resentment' (2012)

Study of the Human Self (2008)

The Future of Democracy (2006)

The Department of Philosophy is grateful to Teresa Thompson ('67) and Michael Foradas ('78)
for their generous support.