Monday, May 17, 2010

Announcement and Call for Papers

Putting Powers to Work

A Conference on Causal Powers in Metaphysics
April 28-30, 2011
Saint Louis University


This conference aims to build on the existing literature concerning what causal powers (or dispositions or capacities) are by asking what causal powers can do. Many contemporary metaphysicians think that accepting irreducible causal powers enables one to give accounts of, say, laws of nature, causation, and modality that are preferable to other contemporary accounts. But is that right? What should those accounts look like? Are there other areas in metaphysics—metaphysics of mind and agency, or metaphysics of science—that can be accounted for at least in part in terms of irreducible causal powers? In other words, supposing for the sake of argument that you accepted irreducible causal powers or dispositions, what good might they do for us in metaphysics?

Speakers include Nancy Cartwright, Alexander Bird, Anjan Chakravartty, John Heil, Max Kistler, Stephen Mumford, Timothy O'Connor, David Robb, and Neil Williams. Funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and by the Department of Philosophy at Saint Louis University.

Workshop Call for Papers

A workshop will follow the conference on the afternoon of April 30. The workshop will be a roundtable discussion of papers on the theme and questions of the conference. Presentations will be 20-30 minutes. A committee may select papers from the workshop for inclusion in the conference edited collection. We invite submissions for the workshop program. Email an abstract to If the committee cannot reach a decision on the basis of the abstract, it may ask for the full paper. Deadline for submission is December 1, 2010.

For more information, see the conference website, or email Jonathan D. Jacobs at Registration is free.

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