John Rawls spent most of his career writing about justice and democratic political systems, but scattered throughout his earliest papers, course lectures and books are suggestive remarks and undeveloped ideas about moral philosophy more generally, including its proper methodology, the role of normative ethical theory, the relevance of empirical psychology as well as substantive positions on moral topics ranging from supererogation to guilt, shame and love. Perhaps Rawls’ greatest influence in moral philosophy so far has been through his students and colleagues, who have in various ways developed, refined and reworked dominant themes in an evolving tradition of moral philosophy that many of them share with Rawls and Kant. Abstracts that engage with or criticize themes from the moral philosophy of John Rawls and Immanuel Kant will be considered for the 2012 TVA conference. We are especially interested in papers that interpret and extend Rawls’ own moral views and those that engage in substantive moral philosophy in a manner that is consistent with Rawls’ views on the proper aims and methods of moral philosophy. We also encourage papers on the Kantian and Rawlsian tradition of moral and political philosophy more generally, including those that engage with contractualism or constructivism, take up issues about the nature of reasons and rationality, examine the place of moral psychology in normative theory, consider the relationship between moral and political philosophy and so on.
The Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) conference is an annual event aimed at encouraging philosophical conversation about topics pursued by established research clusters at the University of Tennessee Department of Philosophy. While the 2012 inaugural conference is focused on philosophy in the broad tradition of Rawls and Kant, the 2013 TVA conference will focus on action theory, free will and moral responsibility.
University of Tennessee, November 16-18, 2012