19 20
May May
2017 2017
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Conference: Self-Knowledge and Agency

09:00 to 18:30

Conference: Self-Knowledge and Agency

This conference, convened by Dr Casey Doyle, Junior Research Fellow at St Hilda's College, brought together established and emerging philosophical researchers from the US and the UK to discuss philosophical problems about psychological self-knowledge and agency. Each talk was followed by comments from a local philosopher.

Please read Dr Casey Doyle's report on the Conference:

' On 19 and 20 May a conference on the theme “Self-Knowledge and Agency” was held in the Vernon Harcourt room in St Hilda's College. The aim of the conference was to provide a venue for philosophers to discuss broadly “Agentialist” approaches to self-knowledge. This is the idea, roughly, that the special access we have to some aspects of our minds results from mental agency, or our capacity for “making up our minds.” In contemporary philosophy this approach to self-knowledge is most closely associated with the work of Richard Moran (Harvard), in particular his well-known monograph Authority and Estrangement. Professor Moran was a featured speaker and discussant at the conference. We were also lucky to have both defenders and critics of the approach, including Matthew Boyle (Chicago), Brie Gertler (Virginia), and Johannes Roessler (Warwick). Other speakers were Matthew Parrott (KCL), Lucy Campbell (Oxford), and Rachael Wiseman (Durham). Each talk was accompanied by commentary from an Oxford philosopher, one of the comments was by Dr Roger Teichmann, Tutor in Philosophy at St Hilda's College.

All in all, the conference was a great success. We had over 70 delegates, including undergraduates, graduate students, junior researchers, and senior philosophers. People came from across the UK and Continental Europe to attend. Many of the graduate students who attended were writing dissertations on this topic, and they reported finding the conference a great help to them in their research. The conference represented the cutting edge of research on self-knowledge and will be a springboard for future work. We believe that the Conference enhanced the Research profile of St Hilda’s in Philosophy. All our International speakers were visiting the College for the first time and formed a favourable opinion of the College from their visit.

In addition to our grant from the College Research Committee, the conference was funded by the John Fell Fund, the Mind Association, the Analysis Trust, the Queen’s College, and the Faculty of Philosophy. We are especially grateful for the grant from St Hilda’s, which allowed us to make other successful applications and to invite such distinguished speakers. The conference also allowed us to waive the registration fees and save space for St Hilda’s undergraduates, 6 of whom attended'.