Deadline: May 15, 2013
The UTK Office of Research, in cooperation with the Humanities Center, announces a new program, the Symposium Project. This project will allow individual tenure-track faculty members in the humanities to construct a small symposium of visiting scholars that will contribute significantly to the development of an important publication. The symposium is intended to support individual faculty members who are currently engaged in, or who contemplate, a major scholarly project.
We will sponsor an internal competition for funds for two such occasions; $5,000 will be available to invite and entertain visiting scholars for each symposium. This is a specific project with one specific purpose as described above; please address elsewhere any applications for other symposia, conferences, meetings, and so forth.
Applications should include:
- A description of the current or contemplated scholarly project, with particular attention to its intellectual scope and ambition.
- A list of previous recent publications relevant to the project.
- A list of the ideal participants in the symposium, with a rationale for inviting each. This rationale should not be a personal connection, but instead should demonstrate the prominence of the invited scholar, and the intellectual contribution that the scholar can make to the applicant’s project.
- A list of important recent awards, fellowships, appointments, and other scholarly activities indicating a high degree of accomplishment in the field.
Proposals should be emailed by 5:00 pm on May 15, 2013 to Alan Rutenberg, Director, Proposal Development, Office of Research, at email@example.com. The selection committee will include representatives from the Office of Research and The Humanities Center committee or its designees.
Faculty members should direct any questions to Alan Rutenberg.
Epistemic Norms and Values
UT faculty member: E.J. Coffman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Date: March 25-26, 2011
Place: 1210 McClung Tower, University of Tennessee
Over the last twenty five years or so, epistemology – the area of philosophy that focuses on the cognitive aspects of human life – has taken what many have called a “value turn.” Those working in the field have begun exploring questions about the distinctive value of our cognitive lives, and how our cognitive lives relate to our moral, social, and prudential lives. Some of the more prominent such questions include:
- How do epistemic norms (i.e., norms concerning the acquisition and maintenance of knowledge and related cognitive states) relate to other kinds of norms—specifically, moral, social, and prudential norms?
- How do intellectual virtues (e.g., conscientiousness, open-mindedness) relate to such notions as knowledge and rational belief?
- Is knowledge a uniquely valuable cognitive state? Or are certain other cognitive states—e.g., understanding and wisdom—more valuable than knowledge?
- Can a change in one’s prudential (or moral, or social) situation alone make a difference to what knowledge (or rational belief, or evidence) one has?
- Do we have a kind and degree of control over our beliefs (and related attitudes) that can ground praise and criticism for them?
- How do norms of belief relate to norms of assertion?
- How do synchronic norms of belief (i.e., norms concerning one’s beliefs at a given time) relate to diachronic norms of inquiry (i.e., norms concerning the development of one’s belief system over time)?
- What roles does the notion of evidence play in norms of belief, inquiry, and assertion?
- Under what conditions can reasonable disagreement occur? What consequences do the various possible answers to this question hold for norms of belief and the nature of evidence?
Epistemologists exploring such questions are also bringing the results of this new work to bear on such perennial epistemological topics as the nature and extent of human knowledge and rational belief.
Symposium speakers will address questions and topics like those listed above. The symposium will thus raise issues lying at the intersection of several areas in philosophy: epistemology, ethics, philosophy of action, social/political philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. Further, many of the relevant issues are interdisciplinary, informed by – as well as informing – work in psychology, sociology, mathematics, economics, law, and religious studies. Accordingly, the symposium will be of considerable interest to a wide range of regional faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates, both inside and outside the discipline of philosophy.
Symposium speakers will include:
- Robert Audi, John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
- E.J. Coffman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Tennessee
- Thomas Kelly, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University
- Jonathan Kvanvig, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University
- Linda Zagzebski, George Lynn Cross Research Professor of Philosophy, University of Oklahoma
Rawlsian Liberalism in Context(s)
UT faculty member: David Reidy, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Date: February 26-27, 2010
Place: Toyota Auditorium, Baker Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee
Over a period of fifty years, John Rawls developed and gave voice to the most powerful and systematic moral theory of constitutional liberal democracy since John Stuart Mill's work a century earlier. The recent publication of Rawls's undergraduate thesis, "A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith," has encouraged a profitable re-reading of his political philosophy in the context and light of his personal and scholarly engagement with theological ethics and political theology in general and Christianity in particular. Building on this development, "Rawlsian Liberalism in Context(s)" aims to shed further light on Rawls's work by situating it within multiple disciplinary contexts. Symposium speakers will address the relationships between Rawls's thought and 20th century developments in economics and political economy, in analytic philosophy, in American pragmatist thought, in normative theorizing of American foreign policy and international relations, and in theological ethics and political theology. Symposium speakers, each an expert on Rawls's work, include:
- Jerry Gaus, James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy, University of Arizona
- Richard Miller, Professor of Philosophy, Cornell University
- David Reidy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Tennessee
- Robert Talisse, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Political Science, Vanderbilt University
- Paul Weithman, Professor of Philosophy, Notre Dame University