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Everyday Reason Talk

Moral Agency, Deliberative Awareness, and Conscious Control

Friday/Sunday 21- 23 October 2011 

The concept of 'practical reasons' plays a prominent role in metaethics and in the philosophy of mind and action. In both areas there are controversies about how exactly to understand the concept exactly. Three ideas are widely agreed upon: (1) that we are reasons responsive beings, (2) that the practice of giving and asking for reasons plays a prominent role in our everyday moral practices, and (3) that there exists some kind of trustworthy relation between our reasons and reason talk and our subsequent actions.

Developments in the Behavioral, Cognitive and Neurosciences (BCN sciences) indicate that much of what we do takes place at an automatic and unaware level, and that the reasons we provide to explain and/or justify ourselves should not be taken as reports of introspected internal states that precede our bodily movements. Also, more generally, it appears that what we do (and do not do) and for what reason is less transparent to ourselves then we might assume.

This gives rise to two questions: (1) how exactly do our everyday reason talk, our reasons (subjectively or objectively conceptualized) and our nature as reason-responsive beings connect to one another?; and (2) how do all three connect to our actions? This workshop invites papers that scrutinize this threefold relation, or parts thereof.

Topics include:

• the nature of practical reasons

• types of reason explanations, their nature and their conditions of adequacy

• the relation between the causes of our behavior and our reason-talk

• the relation between our reason-talk and causal explanation provided by the BCN sciences

• the explanation of the (seemingly) trustworthy relation between our actions and the reasons we provide for them

• the relation between reason talk, self-understanding, and action

Speakers: Constatine Sandis (Oxford Brookes University), Frank Hindriks (RU-Groningen), Maureen See and Arno Wouters (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam), Lilian O’Brian (University College Cork), Leon de Bruin (University of Bochum), Derek Strijbos and Marx Slors, (Radboud University Nijmegen), Tillmann Vierkant (Edinburgh), Katrien Schaubroeck (KU-Leuven), Christoph Lumer (University of Siena).

Comments: Markus Schlosser (University of Leiden), Jan Bransen (Radboud University Nijmegen), Bob Brecher (University of Brighton) and Sander Voerman (Tilburg University).



Friday (start around 12.00):

Leon de Bruin & Derek Strijbos (University of Bochum & Radboud University Nijmegen)

Practical Reasoning and Reason Attribution: Ontogenetic and Comparative Perspectives


Lilian O'Brien (University College Cork)

Beyond Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism

*** Maureen Sie & Arno Wouters (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Everyday Reasons Explanations. An Analogy from Functional Biology



Christoph Lumer (University of Siena)

Acting for Reasons Scientific Challenges


Tillmann Vierkant (University of Edinburgh)

Mindshaping and the Intentional Control of the Mind


Constantine Sandis (Oxford Brookes University)

Enchanting Causes and Practical Reason



Maureen Sie (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Moral Hypocrisy and Acting for Reasons



Sunday (end around 14.00):

Jan Bransen (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Being one's Own Truthmaker


Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)

Everyday Reason Talk and (Un)warranted Rationalizations


Commentators:  Bob Brecher (University of Brighton), Gerrit Glas (Free University), Wilma Gttgens (Radboud Universiteit), Fleur Jongepier (Radboud University), Katrien Schaubroeck (Utrecht University), Martin Weichold (Gttingen / Berkely), Markus Schlosser (University of Leiden), Nicole van Voorst Vader-Bours (Erasmus University),  Alexandra Varga (Central European University).

More information:

Practical information

All papers will be presented in plenary sessions (three quarters of an hour for presentation of the paper, a ten-minute slot for comments on the paper by an invited commentator, and half an hour of discussion).


A detailed program is not available at this point. The workshop will start with a lunch on Friday (around 12.00), and end after the lunch on Sunday (around 14.00).


All-inclusive participation to the workshop for non-speakers will be 520 euro; participation without dinner and accommodation, but including lunch: 250 euro. Reduction available for unwaged (PhD) students under the of age 30 of 40% (150 euro). Click here to register . Please fill in your name, adres et cetera and choose between the options (including hotel room or not) .


This year the workshop will be held at conference centre 'International School for Philosophy' (Leusden/Amersfoort), which is beautifully located in the woods nearby Utrecht & Amsterdam, the Netherlands( It is easy to reach by public transportation.

Organising comittee 

Organizing committee: Maureen Sie, Nicole van Voorst Vader, Arno Wouters

Department of Philosophy, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.