CFP - "Normativity and the Human Sciences": CUNY Graduate Student Philosophy Conference 2015

CFP – “Normativity and the Human Sciences”: CUNY Graduate Student Philosophy Conference 2015


“Normativity and the Human Sciences”
April 24th and 25th, 2015

The 18th Annual CUNY Graduate Student Philosophy Conference
Department of Philosophy, The Graduate Center, CUNY (New York, NY)

Keynote Speakers: Tyler Burge (UCLA) and S. Matthew Liao (NYU)

Deadline for Submissions: January 15th, 2015
Responses to submissions will be sent by March 15th, 2015.

The human sciences (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, economics, political science, history, anthropology, sociology, medicine, etc.) collectively aim to investigate our species. Projects undertaken within these sciences seek to describe and thereby explain how we think, feel, perceive, make judgments, interact with one another, use language, and much more.

Interestingly, the targets of many of these projects often involve normativity (e.g., thoughts or practices, regarding how things ought to be). We regularly judge actions to be right or wrong, artworks to be good or bad, linguistic utterances to be correct or incorrect, perceptual states to be veridical or illusory, and so on.  However, it is unclear whether the sorts of largely descriptive methods available to the human sciences can fully capture or explain these facets of human life. Accordingly, one might wonder how such normatively-loaded thoughts and practices impact the human sciences.

Whatever the relationship between normativity and the human sciences, it is certainly bidirectional. While normativity may create unique problems for or influence investigations in the human sciences, those investigations also tend to provide grounding for normative projects. Economic systems, health care services, political projects, and many other human institutions are often informed by the results of research in the human sciences. One might also wonder how exactly the results of various human science research projects can or should impact our normative thoughts and practices. 

At this interdisciplinary conference, we are hoping to explore the complicated relationship between the human sciences and normativity. 

We welcome submissions that engage this topic from any area of philosophy, as well as from any of the human sciences or humanities, giving preference to work that engages that of our keynote speakers. 

To submit, please send the following to in two separate documents, in either .doc or .pdf format:

  • A cover sheet including the author’s name, university affiliation, contact information, title of paper, topic area, word count, and an abstract of no more than 250 words.
  • A paper prepared for blind review. Submissions should not exceed 4,000 words and should be suitable for a 40-minute presentation.

For more information, please visit our website:

Conference Organizers: Lauren R. Alpert, Joseph Bendaña, Phoebe Friesen, Nicolas Porot, & Joanna Smolenski. Contact us at