Call for Abstracts
Workshop on Response-Dependence
Turku, Finland, May 15-16, 2005
Philip Pettit (Princeton)
Alex Miller (Macquarie)
The term “response-dependence” became part of the philosophical vocabulary in the late 1980's and early 1990's, in the writings of Mark Johnston, Crispin Wright and Philip Pettit. Response-dependent concepts are concepts the extensions of which are, as an a priori matter, biconditionally dependent on our cognitive responses in favourable conditions. In the beginning, response-dependence was put to use in metaethics as a vehicle for saving a moderate moral realism by drawing parallels between our concepts of secondary qualities such as the colours, and our moral concepts. Soon, however, response-dependence was being used for a variety of other purposes as well. A number of different formulations of what, exactly, it is for a concept (or, sometimes, a property) to be response-dependent appeared as well.
Now, some 15 years later, response-dependence is still being discussed, but there does not seem to be a common framework shared by all authors writing on the subject. People enter the discussions with different conceptions of response-dependence. As a result, there is a considerable risk of misunderstandings. One of the aims of this workshop is to take steps towards clarifying the different assumptions, aims, and consequences of the different conceptions of response-dependence.
Papers on any aspect of response-dependence will be considered. Hopefully, many of the following issues will be covered:
Should the different formulations of response-dependence (Johnston, Wright, Pettit) be seen as rivals or as independent of each other and aiming at different goals?
Should response-dependence be thought of as a feature of concepts or properties? Or are there separate notions of response-dependence for each? If so, are there interesting entailments between the two?
Is the idea of a global response-dependence of concepts viable? If it is, can one make interesting distinctions between different kinds of response-dependent concepts?
To what extent is a response-dependent account of a group of concepts compatible with a realist account of their subject matter? How does the answer depend on the conception of response-dependence in question?
Can the notion of response-dependence be used to illuminate the significance of Wittgenstein's reflections on rule-following?
Naturally, papers dealing with specific problems which face a response-dependent account of a group of concepts (colour, morality, modality etc.) are welcome as well.
The aim of the workshop is to promote discussion about these and other issues concerning response-dependence. The number of papers may have to be limited to ensure ample time for discussion.
Please send your abstracts (maximum 500 words) to Jussi Haukioja (email@example.com) by e-mail (preferred formats .txt, .pdf, .html, .rtf, or as a part of your message). Deadline for abstracts is January 31st, 2005. The list of speakers will be announced by the end of February.
More details will appear later on the workshop web page: