We’re happy to post this call for abstracts from one of our Summer Session 2016 participants, philosopher Tom Angier.
Virtue, Skill and Practical Reason
Prof. Julia Annas (University of Arizona)
Prof. Michael Thompson (University of Pittsburgh)
Prof. Rachel Barney (University of Toronto)
Aristotle drew an analogy between the acquisition of virtue and the acquisition of various skills such as archery and playing the lute. Since that time there has been substantial debate on how seriously one should take that analogy. In Intelligent Virtue (2011) Julia Annas has made a powerful case for taking that analogy very seriously, whereas others are more cautious.
This conference aims to bring together philosophers working in the virtue tradition, in particular those working in ancient and moral philosophy, to discuss the complex relationships between skill and virtue. There appears to be a consensus that the acquisition of virtue is part of the broader acquisition of practical reasonableness, but there the consensus ends.
High quality abstracts are invited in any area of virtue theory, including but not limited to virtue ethics and virtue epistemology. Papers can have a historical focus, or they can be organised thematically. Papers from a non-Western perspective are welcome.
The conference will be held from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August 2017 at the spectacular University of Cape Town, and there will be ample opportunities for sight-seeing.
Profs Sergio Tenenbaum and James Allen (University of Toronto), Sarah Stroud (University of McGill), John Hacker-Wright (University of Guelph).
Please email an abstract of between 300 and 500 words, to by Friday 31st March 2017.
You will have 30/40 minutes for the paper presentation followed by a 30/20 minutes discussion. We regret we cannot cover expenses for accepted speakers. We are planning a published volume containing selected papers from the conference.
Dr Tom Angier (University of Cape Town) and Dr Richard Hamilton (University of Notre Dame, Australia).
For further information, please contact:
We’re happy to post this CFP for the sixth annual conference of one of our partners, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham, featuring keynotes by two of our scholars, Talbot Brewer and John Haldane.
Virtues in the Public Sphere
Oriel College, Oxford, January 4–6, 2018
The sixth annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham
Open Call for Papers
Virtues in the Public Sphere
In recent years, we have witnessed increased polarisation, not only between, but within societies, and the breakdown of civic friendships, in particular as a result of ‘political earthquakes’ that have hit both sides of the Atlantic. Questions have emerged about the relationship between public and private virtues. Do ‘sinners’ perhaps make better politicians than ‘saints’ – and are certain private vices, such as duplicity, necessary in order for the public sphere to function?
The main aim of this conference is to explore the role of virtues in the public sphere. Is there a virtue of ‘civic friendship’ and how can it be cultivated? Is the language of virtue apt for carving out a discursive path between illiberal radicalism and post-truth relativism? More specifically, does the language of virtue indicate an ethical and political approach that calls into question both extreme illiberal and liberal habits of mind – or does it carry an individualistic and moralistic bias that makes it inapplicable to political disagreements? What are the virtues of a ‘good’ politician or civil servant? Should we care whether a skilled diplomat or surgeon is also a good person? Can virtue be ascribed to collectives and institutions such as universities and schools and, if yes, what would, for example, a ‘virtuous school’ look like? Are character education and civic education comrades or competitors? What is the relationship between an ethos of good character in a school and the ethos of the neighbouring community? How, if at all, does virtue guide civic engagement and a pedagogy towards the public good? How do public virtues inform a social ethos of moral responsibility? And, at the most general level, what does it mean to talk about the ‘politics of virtue’?
The aim of the 2018 Jubilee Centre annual conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore those questions and many more. Can theorists from philosophy, education, sociology, history and psychology learn from each other’s work? How can insights from theory and practice be integrated?
We hereby send out an open call for presentations falling under the broad theme of the conference. While our focus this time is on public virtues, we will also look favourably upon proposals that explore other character-related issues from a social scientific, philosophical or practice-oriented perspective. There will be parallel sessions devoted to general topics in the area of character, virtue and character education. We particularly welcome proposals from teachers and other practitioners.
We ask interested parties to send us an abstract of about 500 words to email@example.com (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2017. We will send out notifications of acceptance before the end of July. The conference fee is £150 and covers full board at Oriel College (2 nights), including the formal conference dinner. Details of how to pay the registration fee will be provided in due course.