CALL FOR ABSTRACTS -- "Intersubjectivity and Interpretation": The 22nd Annual CUNY Philosophy Graduate Conference

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — “Intersubjectivity and Interpretation”: The 22nd Annual CUNY Philosophy Graduate Conference

The 22nd Annual CUNY Philosophy Graduate Conference will take place on April 5th, 2019. This year’s theme is “Intersubjectivity and Interpretation, and Jay L. Garfield (Smith College, Harvard Divinity School, & University of Melbourne) will deliver the keynote address.

The Call for Abstracts is copied below.
For more details, visit the
conference website.

“I have never seen a clear explanation of the concept of intersubjectivity, and I will have no use for the notion.”
John Searle, ‘Social Ontology: Some Basic Principles’ (2006)

In ethics, in epistemology, in philosophy of mind and even (Searlean protestations notwithstanding) in ontology interest has steadily been growing in the idea that intersubjectivity is a central concept for understanding various aspects of our world. Similarly, the concept of interpretation has come to attention in a new light as a key means by which the interactions between subjectivities is mediated.  This line of research raises a number of philosophical questions:

  • What is intersubjectivity? Can it be given ‘a clear explanation’? In what relation does it stand to objectivity?  In what relation does it stand to the first-person and second-person perspectives?
  • What is interpretation? What is it to interpret another person’s behaviour as that of a genuine subject of experience? Is this notion of interpretation the same as that which we employ when speaking of interpreting language, rules, art, or data?
  • Does intersubjectivity require interpretation? Must we rely on interpretive practices in order to make sense of others as subjects? If so, what implications might this have for the concept of intersubjectivity, and those practices and entities that might depend upon it?
  • Does interpretation require intersubjectivity?  Is there a sense of interpretation for which one cannot genuinely interpret something without taking it to be the result of intentional action on the part of a subject, produced for other subjects? And if so, what implications might that have for our understanding of interpretive practices?
  • How   do   these   questions   connect   with   issues   in   areas   of   philosophy   such   as epistemology, aesthetics, phenomenology, philosophy of mind, social philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, political theory? 

We are pleased to invite abstracts sufficiently in the spirit of the project theme of no more than 1,000 words. Abstracts should:   

  • Outline the paper’s principal argument(s). 
  • Give a good sense of the paper’s philosophical contribution(s).   
  • Be anonymized.

We will accept submissions from any area of philosophy, and from any philosophical tradition. We strongly encourage participants from groups whose voices are disproportionately excluded from philosophical discourse to submit abstracts.

The deadline for abstracts is January 19th, 2019.
Abstracts should be submitted via email to
Please include with your submission a cover page that includes your name, affiliated institution, contact information, and title of paper.

Conference co-organizers: Becky Keller, Brian Porter, Callum MacRae, Dongwoo Kim, Jacob Martin, Maggie Fife, Qianyi Qin, Sai Ying Ng, and Susan Erck. ​