CFA: Emotions: Rationality, Morality and Social Understanding

Call for Abstracts: Emotions: Rationality, Morality and Social Understanding | 7-9 September, Tartu (Estonia)

Emotions are complex mental states that have important behavioural, experiential, cognitive and social aspects. This interdisciplinary conference focuses upon the nature of emotions, the relationship of emotions to morality and to social understanding. The first set of questions concerns the nature of emotions. What are emotions and what kind of structure do they have? In what sense can we speak of the rationality of emotions?

The second set of questions concerns the moral and political role of emotions. What role do emotions play in moral motivation, moral judgment and moral development? Should we seek to cultivate or otherwise regulate our emotions? What is the role of emotions in
moral disagreements? What kind of emotions should or should not have an important place in a civil society?

The third topic of the conference is the social nature of emotions. How are emotions related to empathy, sympathy, compassion and solidarity, and what role do they play in social interaction? Does recognizing the emotions of others presume that we must have had a similar emotional experience ourselves? What does it mean to share an emotion?

The fourth theme of the conference concerns the expression of emotions. How is the experience of an emotion related to its expression? What can we learn about emotions from literature and arts? How are emotions expressed in social media?

Invited speakers:

  • Mary Carman | Thumos – The Genevan Research Group on Emotions, Values and Norms, Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences (CISA), University of Geneva
  • Gregory Currie | Department of Philosophy, University of York
  • Kristján Kristjánsson | Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues School of Education, University of Birmingham
  • Peter McCormick | The Royal Society of Canada, L’Institut International de Philosophie
  • Carolyn Price | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The Open University
  • Mikko Salmela | Department of Political and Economic Studies/Social and Moral Philosophy, University of Helsinki

Submission of abstracts: deadline 30th June 2017
Please send an abstract (maximum 300 words) to by 30th of June 2017. Please include your name, academic affiliation and contact information separately.  Notification of acceptance will be given by 10th of July 2017.
In addition to full papers (45 minutes including discussion), a number of slots will be reserved for shorter postgraduate papers (20-30 minutes). We encourage all postgraduate students to submit abstracts. Selected papers will be considered for inclusion in a special issue of a peer-review philosophy journal Studia Philosophica Estonica.

Organizers: Margit Sutrop, Bruno Mölder, Vivian Bohl, Heidy Meriste, Triin Paaver.

Conference language: English. Attendance is free of charge.


Website: Conference website.

Organizing institutions:

This event is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (IUT20-5), and by the (European Union) European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies).

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