Announcement Workshop Narrativity: Interpretation, Embodiment and Responsibility

3rd Workshop in the series Moral Agency, Deliberative Awareness, and Conscious Control

19, 20 and 21 October, 2012 (conference location: International School for Philosophy, Amersfoort, The Netherlands).

Organized by Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands & Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany.

Preliminary program:

Friday 19 October (start around 12.00 with registration and lunch)

Irene Bucelli (Kings College, London)

The Author and the Narrator. Narrativity as a Condition for Agency

Steven Delay (Rice University)

The Toiling Lily: Narrative Life, Responsibility, and the Ontological Ground of Self-Deception

Fleur Jongepier (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Two Conceptions of Narrative Identity

Lynne Rudder Baker (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Making Sense of Ourselves: Self-Narratives and Personal Identity

Comments: Leon de Bruin (University of Bochum)

Saturday 20 October

Marion Smiley (Brandeis University)

Excuse-Giving, Self-Narration, and the Social Construction of Responsibility

Comments: Humberto Brito (New University of Lisbon)

Nicole van Voorst Vader-Bours (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Narrative Responsibility Assessment for Non-Deliberated Acts

Natallia Stelmak Schabner (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Narrativity and Action

Martin Weichold (University of Göttingen)

Narrative Responsibility for Unreflective Action

Frank Hindriks (University of Groningen)

Moral Narratives for Better or Worse

Comments: Patrick Delaere (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Agustín Vicente (University of the Basque Country)

Agency, Attribution and Responsibility

Comments: Wim de Mijnck (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Sunday 21 October (end around 13.00 with lunch)

Anika Fiebich (Ruhr-University Bochum)

The Role of Interaction and Narratives for Social Understanding

Zuzanna Rucinska (University of Hertfordshire)

Pretence as Embodiment of Social Narratives Instead of Individual Concepts

Filippo Santoni de Sio, Nicole Vincent & Bjørn Jespersen (Delft University of Technology)

Persons, Roles, and Excuse: Why the BCN Cannot Tell Us Who We Are

Comments: Bert Musschenga (VU University Amsterdam)

The latest update of this program is posted on: <>

Registration open till September 17. Please send an email to: Workshop Mail <> subject-heading ‘registration narrativity’

Conference fee:

– 250 euro (includes three lunches, coffee and tea)

– 520 euro (two nights in a single room, two breakfasts, three lunches and two conference dinners, coffee and tea)

– Reduction of 40% for unwaged (PhD) students under the age of 30.

If you’re interested in participation, but have no possibilities for funding, please contact

All researchers working in the area are welcome, but there are only a limited number of places available. Closing date: September 17.

Registration for one day is possible, but only if places are still available after the closing date.

Organizing Committee: Maureen Sie, Nicole van Voorst Vader, Arno Wouters and Leon de Bruin (reseach group Maureen Sie, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in collaboration with the research group of Albert Newen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany)


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Call for papers: “Basic Desert”, special issue of Philosophical Explorations

Invited Contributors: Michael McKenna, Dana Nelkin, Adina Roskies, and Thomas Scanlon

Guest Editors: Derk Pereboom and Maureen Sie

Submission Deadline:  Oct 1st, 2012 (please let us know that you aim to submit, before March 2012)

Submission Details

Please send a pdf-version of your paper (max. 8000 words) to Maureen Sie.

Contributions that do not make it to the special issue may be considered for publication in one of the regular issues of *Philosophical Explorations*.

Please direct any inquiries about this call for papers to Maureen Sie, mention ”Basic Desert” as subject.

Background and Aim

In 1962, P. F. Strawson concluded his hallmark essay “Freedom and Resentment” with the remark that a sufficiently modified version of the optimist’s view on moral responsibility is the right one. With this he had in mind that our everyday practice of holding each other morally responsibility retains its raison d’être even if free will as libertarians construe it turns out to be illusory. By his lights, optimists justify this practice solely by its beneficial consequences, while pessimists correctly reject this strategy. A key claim of Strawson’s is that the pessimist’s reaction discloses how deeply rooted our natural reactive attitudes are, and his famous contention is that the metaphysical debate on the issue of free will and moral responsibility should take these attitudes as its point of departure. The quest for a justification for holding each other moral responsibility can only be understood from within the practice itself, and it is the reactive attitudes that lie at the core of this practice.

The half a century since the appearance of Strawson’s paper has witnessed significant developments of multiple perspectives on free will and moral responsibility. Many compatibilists have been strongly influenced by Strawson’s view, and some have linked it to accounts of responsibility in which our ability to act in response to reasons, or else the notion of a real self, has the crucial role. Libertarians have set out new and more sophisticated versions of the non-causal, event-causal, and agent-causal perspectives, and in many such accounts, Strawson’s notion of what moral responsibility is has had a major influence.  But at the same time, philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists have attempted to cast doubt on whether a notion of moral responsibility as strong as Strawson’s legitimately applies to us, and some have claimed that we should abandon or radically change our everyday practices of holding each other morally responsible.

A focal point of the current discussion is the claim that the reactive attitudes presuppose a robust notion of desert. When one agent is indignant with another, the attitude in some sense presupposes that the agent to whom it is directed deserves, in a robust sense, that indignation.  It remains open whether the desert that is presupposed can be given a contractualist or consequentialist account, or whether it is basic in the sense that the agent deserves the indignation just because she has knowingly committed an immoral action. This special issue of Philosophical Explorations seeks contributions that shed light on the notion of desert implicated in our practice of holding each other morally responsible, and on whether and how such a notion might be retained in the face of the challenges that have sought to dislodge it.