Call for Abstracts


 The Unity of Normativity

1st FoNTI Conference

24th - 26th of September 2020 at the University of Vienna

Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the FoNTI project brings together an international team of researchers, from various domains, to investigate the intersections between established subfields in Normativity Research. The project’s first conference is dedicated to exploring what unifies, or indeed separates, normative subfields. This will be done by exploring three research foci and how they should be understood across different normative domains. The conference then unites the three foci in a multi-disciplinary round table on the unity of Normativity. The three sections are “Epistemic and Practical Normativity”, “Normativity and the Nature of Rationality” and “Classifying and Systematizing Normativity”.­

Epistemic and Practical Normativity

Section Keynotes: Anne Meylan (Zürich), Daniel Whiting (Southampton)

The aim of this section is to address the relationship between Epistemic and Practical Normativity; in particular questions surrounding the unity or distinctiveness of Epistemic and Practical Normativity. Possible themes include, but are not limited to: 

  • Grounding of Epistemic Norms in practical norms
  • Evidentialism vs Pragmatism in Epistemology
  • Pragmatic encroachment in Epistemic Normativity
  • Doxastic Wronging
  • Voluntarism vs Involuntarism about Belief

Normativity and the Nature of Rationality

Section Keynotes: Matthew Boyle (Chicago), Christoph Halbig (Zürich), George Karamanolis (Vienna)

This section will examine in which sense human beings are rational animals. This traditional anthropological distinction raises questions about the normative nature of rationality as well as the metaphysics of living beings. The aim of the section is to shed light on the notion of a “transformative” character of human rationality and the normative themes inherent to such an account. Special emphasis will be given to the historic and systematic indebtedness to and potentials derived from German Idealism as well as the resurgent Aristotelian tradition of thinking about rationality in terms of rational capacities.

Classifying and Systematizing Normativity

Section Keynotes: David Plunkett (Dartmouth), Sophie Loidolt (Darmstadt)

From basic structures of  human experience and perception,  to the configuration of our moral  lives, the scope of domains covered  under the title of Normativity suggest a variance too large for the purpose of theorizing under one common denominator.  While implications of being concerned with oughts seem to be shared among all, different subdisciplinary approaches render different strains of explanation. In this section, we want to look at the variety of approaches and allow for a broader overview for addressing questions surrounding the definition, classifications and systematisation of Normativity and the (dis)unity between Normativities. Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Approaches to a common understanding of Normativity
  • Points of divergence and convergence in understanding Normativity
  • Categorisations/taxonomies of Normativity/-ies
  • The Normative vs. Normativity

Submission Information

We strongly encourage submissions from women and other underrepresented groups in Philosophy.

Submission deadline: 24th of April 2020
Notification of acceptance: 24th of May 2020
Submission to:

Submissions should be at most 500-1500 words in length (excluding references) and suitable for a 20 to 35 minute presentation. The abstract should be anonymised and suitable for refereeing by members of the FoNTI team and faculty members. Please also include a separate detachable cover sheet including name, title, institution and contact details, and which section you are submitting to. Submissions should be in .pdf format. Only one submission to one section is permitted per individual. Please include the phrase Unity of Normativity 2020 in the subject line of the email.