Past Events

Past Events

Past conferences and workshops


CAVE Workshop: Art, Evolution, and Cognition: New Perspectives on Cinematic Narrative

Date: 29 October 2018

The aim of this workshop is to bring together leading experts in aesthetics, cognitive theory, and philosophy of film to explore new interdisciplinary research focusing on key aspects of our engagement with cinema and other arts. Audiovisual narratives are a pervasive feature of our cultural environment; but the precise manner in which perception, emotion, cognition, and imagination are integrated in our experience of cinema remains a relatively unexplored area of research. What light can cognitive psychology, evolutionary aesthetics, neurocinematics, and phenomenological theory bring to our understanding of how cinematic narratives work? How do these perspectives help us analyse key aesthetic elements of cinematic art? What insights can they bring to the theorisation of cinema’s psychological, cultural, and ethical effects? And what implications do these theoretical perspectives have for practices of filmmaking? This workshop explores these questions drawing on a variety of approaches to the aesthetics and ethics of film narrative, with a focus on empirical psychological research, cognitive and evolutionary theory, and phenomenologies of cinematic experience.

Speakers included Prof. Joerg Fingerhut (Humboldt University, Berlin), Dr Karen Pearlman (MQ), A/Prof. Robert Sinnerbrink (MQ), Mr Graham Thomas (MQ), A/Prof. Richard Menary (MQ), Dr Anton Killin (ANU), and Prof. Jenny McMahon (Uni. of Adelaide).

CAVE/MMCCS Workshop: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Audiovisual Fabulation

Date: 16 October 2018

Organised by Dr Ilona Hongisto (MMCCS) and A/Prof Robert Sinnerbrink (Philosophy), this workshop explores the conceptual genealogy of the idea of ‘fabulation’ and its role in audiovisual practices with the aim of responding to the challenges posed to concepts of truth and falsity by developments in the current media environment. It focuses on the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of media ecology, where audiovisual narrative forms no longer rely on a strict division between ‘the true’ and ‘the false’ but rather engage with belief and disbelief, affective transformation, and the provocation of thought.

The keynote address was delivered by Gregory Flaxman, Associate Professor and Director of Global Cinema Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (abstract and bio below).

CAVE Workshop: Culture and Cognition

Date: 8 October 2018

The aim of the workshop is to build upon the interdisciplinary work we have been doing in the CAVE cognition and culture reading group. This will be done by bringing together presentations from members of the group and having representatives of a range of departments at the university. The workshop will also present interdisciplinary work of the members of the group. Many of the members in the culture and cognition reading group are involved in interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Building from this foundation, the aim of the workshop is to bring this work to a wider audience within the university in order to foster more interdisciplinary dialogue between members of the cognitive sciences and other humanities scholars who are interested in the topic of culture and cognition. The intention is that this will foster more interdisciplinary work and dialogue, and potentially lead to new collaborations.

CAVE Workshop: A Relational Theory of Procedural Justice

Date: 17-18 September 2018

The aim of the workshop is to explore the concept of procedural justice by bringing together moral and legal philosophers, lawyers, researchers working in the field of empirical justice studies and criminologists. There will be three international speakers: Jonathan Jackson (London School of Economics), William Lucy (Durham University) and Natalie Stoljar. National speakers are: Therese MacDermott, Catriona Mackenzie, Denise Meyerson, Tina Murphy and Sarah Sorial.

CAVE/CIBF Conference: Neuroscience and Society: Law, Ethics and Technology

Date: 24-25 August 2018

At this year’s Neuroscience & Society conference we will investigate the ethical, clinical, legal, and societal implications of a wide range of moral technologies that target factors beyond, as well as within, the brain, in order to observe, explain, and influence human thought and behaviour.

Our keynote and featured speakers include:

  • Roy Baumeister — The University of Queensland and Florida State University
  • Hannah Maslen — University of Oxford
  • Eric Racine — Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal
  • Michael Valenzuela — The University of Sydney
  • Nicholas Agar — Victoria University of Wellington
  • Cynthia Forlini — University of Sydney
  • Kate Rossmanith — Macquarie University

Neuroscience & Society is supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function Neuroethics Program, the Centre for Agency Values and Ethics at Macquarie University, the Brain and Mind Centre at The University of Sydney, Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, and the International Neuroethics Society.

CAVE Panel: Crime, Remorse and Punishment

Date: 23 August 2018

Criminal behaviour fascinates us, it unites and divides. Everyone has a view on crime, retribution and punishment. In this free public event our expert panellists will focus on remorse. What is remorse? How do we know when someone is remorseful? When should remorse for a criminal act be taken into account in sentencing? Should victims forgive a remorseful offender? And what if we could induce remorse in criminals through pharmaceutical means or other interventions in the brain. Should we? Would it be (or could it become) genuine remorse?

The discussion was hosted by Macquarie University Faculty of Arts and the Macquarie Research Centre for Agency Values and Ethics (CAVE). Crime, Remorse, and Punishment is the opening event of the 2018 Neuroscience and Society Conference which will explore the ethical, clinical, legal, and social implications of a variety of moral technologies that target the brain and influence thought and behaviour in multiple ways.

CAVE Workshop: Relational Autonomy and Vulnerability Theory

Date: 23 March 2018

Lise Barry and Therese MacDermott organised a Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE) workshop on Relational Autonomy and Vulnerability.


15:00 - 16:30: Workshop reading group: participants will discuss two readings in preparation for the workshop:
Margaret Hall “Mental Capacity in the (Civil) Law: Capacity, Autonomy and Vulnerability” (2012) 58 McGill Law Journal
Wendy Rogers, Caitriona Mackenzie & Susan Dodds (2012) 5(2) “Why Bioethics Needs a Concept of Vulnerability” International Journal of Feminist Approaches To Bioethics 11.

Friday 23 March
08:30 - 09:00: Welcome and Coffee
Session 1:
09:10 - 09:50: Margaret Hall (Thomson Rivers University), "Relational Autonomy, Vulnerability Theory, and Making it Real: Rethinking guardianship as a re-calibration of the relationship between context and self"
09:50 - 10:20: Terry Carney, "People with Dementia and other Cognitive Disabilities: Relationally vulnerable or a source of Agency and care?"
10:20 - 10:40: Catriona Mackenzie (Macquarie) and Wendy Rogers (Macquarie), Discussants
Session 2:
11:25 - 11:45: Nicole L. Asquith (Western Sydney), "Policing precariousness: Accounting for ontological and situational vulnerability in policing encounters"
11:45 - 12:05: Nola Reis (UTS), "Involving People with Dementia in Research: Insights from Surveys of Researchers and Older People and Implications for Law and Ethics"
12:05 - 12:25: Belinda Bennett (QUT), "Vulnerability, New Technologies, and Health Care"
12:25 - 13:00: Questions and Discussion
Session 3:
14:00 - 14:20: Eileen Webb (Curtin Law School) and Leigh Smith (Curtin Law School), "Vulnerability, Elder Abuse and Unfair Dismissal in Australian Residential Aged Care"
14:20 - 14:40: Suzanne Jarrad (Flinders University), "A relational approach to decision-making for vulnerable older people"
14:40 - 15:00: Esther Erlings (Flinders University), "Transferable knowledge? Using insights from elder law in parent- child dispute resolution"
15:00 - 15:30: Questions and Discussion
15:45 - 16:30: Margaret Hall (Thomson Rivers University), Closing remarks and final discussion

CAVE Workshop: The Ethics of Pathologising Ugliness

Date: 19 March 2018

The aim of the workshop is to foster an interdisciplinary discussion on the ethics of pathologising ugliness. By “pathologising ugliness” we mean the process of reframing physical features deemed unattractive as disorders. Pathologisation of ugliness arises from the interplay of aesthetic, socio-cultural, legal and medical norms. Medical and surgical procedures that modify physical attributes purely for cosmetic reasons are increasing in scope and frequency, fostering the belief that ugliness can and should be treated as a medical problem. The pathologisation of ugliness has serious ethical implications regarding the goals of medicine, as well as our understandings of health and disease. In this workshop, we hope to examine the extent to which gendered, able-bodied and racial norms merge in the pathological framing of ugliness. Workshop speakers include experts in the fields of philosophy, law, medicine and gender and cultural studies, who will explore various norms that inform our understanding of ugliness and the factors that promote its pathologisation.

Prof Anand Deva (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Macquarie University Hospital): "Motivations behind medical aesthetic practice and their consequences to the health and well-being of the patient and the system"
Yves Saint James Aquino (Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University): "Ugliness as disease: Ethical conflicts between cosmetic surgery and the goals of medicine"
A/Prof Robert Sinnerbrink (Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University): "Body aesthetics: Physical beauty, cultural biases, and moral confusions"
A/Prof Joanna Elfving-Hwang (Asian Studies, University of Western Australia): "Beauty as a moral imperative? Cosmetic surgery in South Korea"

CAVE Workshop: Mental Health and Agency

Date: 28 February to 1 March 2018

This workshop aims at exploring the interrelation between mental health and agency in psychopathological populations (e.g., autism or schizophrenia) with respect to (i) cognition, (ii) therapy, and (iii) moral implications. It is connected to Dr. Anika Fiebich’s visit whose aim is to evaluate and develop aspects of her current project “Mental Illness and Cooperation” in Milan, particularly with respect to (failures) of moral commitments.

Dominic Murphy (University of Sydney), "Delusions Across Cultures"
Anike Fiebich (University of Milan), "Pluralism, social cognition and interaction in autism"
Daniel Hutto (University of Wollongong), "How narratives matter to mental health"
Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis), "DBS, OCD, the 4Es and the 4As"
Anne Schwenkenbecher (University of Perth), "Do group agents resemble psychopaths and if so, what does that mean for moral responsibility?"
Neil Sinhababu (University of Singapore), "Emotional perception and blameworthy psychopaths"
Daphne Brandenburg (Macquarie/Radboud), "A case study of Strawsonian exemption"
Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University), "Moral security, mental agency, and mental health"


CAVE Workshop: Predictive Engines: Andy Clark and Predictive Processing

Date: 11 - 13 December 2017

Philosophers of mind and cognition are warming up to the consequences of the predictive processing framework for how we should explain the structure and function of the brain, cognitive processes and even consciousness. The unique selling point of the framework is that it will unify perception, cognition and action within a single explanatory framework (Friston and Stephan 2007, Hohwy 2013, Clark 2016). Even more astonishing is the claim that a single principle, the free energy principle, is the ultimate explanation for all of the above, as well as the evolution of the brain as a predictive engine (Friston 2013). In amongst the empirical applications of predictive processing, a diverging set of philosophical accounts of the framework have recently emerged. In particular Andy Clark’s (2013, 2016) action oriented account of the framework which gives more emphasis to the role of embodied action and Jakob Howhy’s (2013) account of the framework as largely a matter of internal predictive processes in the brain (Howhy 2013, Fabry 2017). These are important statements that frame predictive processing and the free energy principle in terms of externalism and internalism about the mind. This conference explores both the philosophical and empirical consequences of the predictive turn and brings together Clark and Hohwy at a conference in Australia for the first time.

Program for download PDF, 50.63 KB


  • Andy Clark (Edinburgh/Macquarie)
  • Jennifer Windt (Monash)
  • Jakob Hohwy (Monash)


  • Rachael Brown (ANU)
  • Phillip Gerrans (Adelaide)
  • Colin Klein (Macquarie)
  • Regina Fabry (Giessen)
  • Michael Kirchhoff (Wollongong)
  • David Kaplan (Macquarie)
  • Sidney Carls-Diamante (Auckland)
  • Colin Wastell (Macquarie)
  • Daniel Hutto (Wollongong)
  • Richard Menary (Macquarie)
  • With daily summaries by John Sutton (Macquarie)

Attending the conference is free, but spaces are limited.

CAVE/CCD Forum: Science of the Self: The Agency and Body Representation Research Forum

This is a joint forum, supported by the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE), the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), and Oculus Research.

Date: Monday 20 November - Wednesday 22 November
Venue: Day 1 & 2 at Coogee Bay Hotel, Day 3 at Macquarie University

Agency and body representation are growing areas of interest in cognitive science. As a field we are trying to answer important questions about how we perceive our own bodies and represent our ability to causally manipulate the world. This research touches on a wide range of topics including action planning, sensory prediction, multisensory perception, time perception, expertise, and the social contexts of actions. This work contributes to our theoretical understanding of the mechanisms that underlie self-representations, and highlights new possibilities for identification and remediation of disturbances to the sense of self often found in clinical disorders. Agency and body representation research also has important practical implications for informing technologies such as human-computer interfaces and virtual reality.

Research in this area is diverse, and agency and body representation are often studied relatively separately. Despite broad relevance for a number of research areas in the cognitive sciences, there have been relatively few opportunities for a focused gathering of agency and body representation scientists. Science of the Self will provide a forum for international researchers across a range of disciplines to come together to discuss the latest research findings on both agency and body representation. In addition to sharing recent discoveries, a focus of this workshop will be collaborative exploration of cutting edge methods and models for research in this area.

The workshop will include:

  • Keynote presentations from well-regarded international researchers that provide insights into key theoretical and empirical issues in the field.
  • Talks and poster presentations on recent discoveries, models and new methods.
  • Collaborative sessions and panels on methodologies and techniques such as neuroimaging, behavioural paradigms, explicit and implicit measures, and experiment design.
  • Facilitated opportunities to gather in small groups to explore potential new collaborations.
  • An idyllic beachside setting with opportunities for socialising and relaxing.
  • Reduced rates for students and unfunded researchers.

More information on the Science of the Self website.

All welcome!

CAVE Workshop: Aesthetics and Politics

Date: Monday 20 November 2017
Time: 09:30 - 17:00
Venue: Australian Hearing Hub, Seminar Room Lvl 5

CAVE Visitor Alison Ross (Monash)The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers at different stages of their careers who share an interest in the relationship between politics and aesthetics, in other words the representational dimensions of political theories and political practices, and the political dimensions of aesthetic theories and aesthetic practices. The work presented at the workshop will consider how both historical and contemporary philosophical ideas can shed light on the complex nexus of aesthetics and politics.


09:30 : Jean-Philippe Deranty and Michael Olson

10:30 : Coffee

10:45 : William Hebblewhite

11:45 : Darlene Demandante

12:45 : Lunch

13:45 : Livia Cocetta

14:45 : Tom Corbin

15:45 : Coffee

16:00 : Alison Ross

Workshop: New Directions on the Emergence and Maintenance of Individuality

This is a joint workshop, supported by the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE) at Macquarie University, and the University of Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.

Date: 3 - 4 October 2017
Venue: E6B 149, Macquarie University

Since the publication of the Major Transitions in Evolution by Maynard Smith and Szathmáry in the mid 90s, the topic of the emergence of individuality in evolution has gained attention. Current evolutionary theory does not permit to account how and why lower-level individuals, such as cells, band together and form higher-level individuals, such as multicellular organisms.

This interdisciplinary workshop will explore new directions in this area.

All welcome!

Program PDF, 809.87 KB

Conference: Neuroscience and Society: Ethical, Legal, and Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research

This is a joint conference, supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function Neuroethics Program, the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE) at Macquarie University, and the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney.

Date: 14 - 15 September 2017

Conference Website: Neuroscience and Society

Almost twenty years since the “Decade of the Brain”, governments are investing heavily in large global efforts to map the human brain and identify the neurobiological basis of thought and behaviour. These initiatives include the US BRAIN Initiative, the European Human Brain Project, the China Brain Project, and the Australian Brain Initiative. Developments in neuroscience are promising to improve our ability to treat or prevent mental illness, neurological disorders, and cognitive decline, and mitigate the harms of criminal behaviour. This burgeoning area of neuroscience research raises critical ethical, legal, and social challenges that have been recognised by the integration of neuroethical and neurolegal research within these initiatives. How might these developments in neuroscience  impact Australian society?

Neuroscience & Society will feature leading national and international academics and practitioners in an interdisciplinary program addressing themes including:

  • Ageing and dementia
  • The developing brain
  • Disability and mental health
  • Disorders of self control
  • Moral cognition and moral technologies (e.g. nudges, sensor society)
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Neuroscience & Society will also officially launch the Australian Neuroethics Network, a collection of leading researchers and practitioners examining the implications of neuroscience for Australia. Become part of this important Australian initiative.

Conference organisers:

  • Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University)
  • Adrian Carter (Monash University and the ARC CIBF)
  • Sascha Callaghan (University of Sydney)
  • Cynthia Forlini (University of Sydney)
  • Neil Levy (Macquarie University and University of Oxford)
  • Nicole Vincent (Macquarie University)
  • Allan McCay (University of Sydney)

Program for download PDF, 3047.27 KB

Neuroscience and Society is supported by  the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function Neuroethics Program, CAVE at Macquarie University, and the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney.

Conference: The Role of Conscience and Conscientious Objection in Healthcare

This is a joint conference with Charles Sturt University and the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE).

Date: 11 - 12 September 2017
Venue: Seminar Room, Dunmore Lang College, 130 Herring Road, Macquarie University
Time: 10:00 - 17:00 and 09:30 - 17:30

The conference aims to analyse the role of ‘conscience’ in the healthcare profession and the restrictions, if any, that should be placed on conscientious objection. Conscientious objection by health professionals has become one of the most pressing problems in healthcare ethics. Health professionals are often required to perform activities, such as abortion, that conflict with their own moral or religious beliefs. Their refusal can make it difficult for patients to have access to services they have a right to and can, more generally, create conflicts in the doctor-patient relationship. The widening of the medical options available today or in the near future is likely to increase and sharpen these conflicts. The conference will see the participation of experts in bioethics, philosophy, law and medicine, who will explore the topic of conscientious objection from secular, religious and feminist perspectives, and try to suggest solutions.

All welcome!

International Speakers:

  • Piers Benn (Heythrop College, University of London)
  • Carolyn McLeod (Western University, Canada)
  • Julian Savulescu (University of Oxford)

Domestic Speakers:

  • Steve Clarke (Charles Sturt University)
  • Tony Coady (University of Melbourne)
  • Dan Cohen (Charles Sturt University)
  • Jim Franklin (University of New South Wales)
  • Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University)
  • Doug McConnell (Charles Sturt University)
  • Bernadette Tobin (Australian Catholic University)

Program for download PDF, 52.62 KB.

The conference is supported by Charles Sturt University, the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, ‘Conscience and conscientious objection in healthcare’ (DP150102068), and the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE).

Symposium: Replacing Race

Date: 17 August 2017
Time: 09:00 - 15:00
Venue: Unilever Amphitheatre 101, MGSM

Lionel McPherson (Tufts)The future of the category of race is uncertain.If there are no biological races, as scientists increasingly accept, what should we do with the concept? Should we revise it, defining race as a social category? Or should we reject race as an illusion: a failed scientific category that does not accurately describe human biological diversity, and which provides fodder for racists? If we endorse the former option, we may be able to keep using the term, putting ‘race’ in scare quotes to indicate that it does not refer to a biological kind. If we favour the latter option, we shouldn’t keep using the term ‘race’ as a descriptor, because race doesn’t exist. Those who argue that race does not exist, or that we should eliminate the category on normative grounds, face a dilemma. Racial classification has been used to justify some of the most heinous crimes of modernity, but it has also been embraced by groups that have been treated as inferior “races” as a way to assert and defend themselves collectively. A race-like category seems necessary for purposes of social justice. This symposium will explore issues surrounding ‘replacing race’. Should the category be replaced, and if so with what, and how?

Program with Abstracts for download PDF, 154.01 KB

All welcome!

Workshop: Conspiracy theories, delusions and other 'troublesome' beliefs

This is a joint interdisciplinary workshop with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD).

Date: 10 - 11 August 2017
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Australian Hearing Hub

All welcome, but please register on CCD website.

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) Belief Formation Program, and the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE), are hosting a two-day interdisciplinary workshop at Macquarie University, entitled "Conspiracy theories, delusions and other 'troublesome' beliefs" on the 10 & 11 August 2017. Our goal is to bring together researchers from different disciplines to consider a range of 'sub-clinical' but still problematic beliefs, the psychological processes which underlie those beliefs, and any similarities and dissimilarities with delusional thinking processes. These include conspiracy theorizing, anti-vaccination sentiments, extreme or radical political beliefs, climate change denial, belief in an intrinsically just world (and associated victim-blaming), and so on. Speakers include: cognitive scientists working on misinformation, delusions, and motivated beliefs; social psychologists working on conspiracy theories and related factors; philosophers working on evidence and social trust; and health informatics researchers interested in the effects of anti-vaccine beliefs.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Stephan Lewandowsky (Bristol University, UK; The University of Western Australia)
  • Karen Douglas (University of Kent, UK)
  • Neil Levy (Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, UK; Macquarie University)
  • Mark Alfano (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands; Australian Catholic University)
  • Robert Brotherton (Barnard College, Columbia, USA; Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
  • Jolanda Jetten (The University of Queensland)
  • Robyn Langdon (Macquarie University)
  • Adam Dunn (Macquarie University)
  • Peter Clutton (Macquarie University)
  • Mariia Kaliuzhna (Macquarie University)
  • Ben Tappin (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)


  • 10 August: "What counts as delusional belief" introduced by Max Coltheart and Colin Klein (Macquarie University)
  • 11 August: "Social networks, misinformation and distrust" introduced by Adam Dunn and Mark Alfano

Program for download PDF, 37.69 KB.

Workshop: Nature and World in the History of German Philosophy

This workshop is supported by the Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University.

Date: 11 August 2017
Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Venue: Board room, level 5, Australian Hearing Hub

Classical German philosophy chiseled out a set of vocabulary that continues to inform our senses of disciplinary boundaries of modern academic research. In addition to coining terms like “aesthetics,” “psychology,”  and “teleology,” it is first in the textbooks of German school philosophy that we find the debates in seventeenth-century philosophy philosophy of mind schematised according to a taxonomic distinction between idealists, materialists, and dualists. Even those who are not familiar with the nuances of the history of eighteenth-century German philosophy, in short, are likely to work within the constraints of some of the concepts it has left behind. In this workshop, we will investigate more closely how two concepts in particular were articulated in this period: “nature” and “world.” We will consider both how these concepts were distinguished in the eighteenth century and the legacy of that distinction in the modern world, as well as considering how conceptions of “nature” and “world” changed in the history of German philosophy.


09:00 - Raoni Padui (St John's College) and Michael Olson (Macquarie), "Nature and World in Eighteenth-Century German Philosophy"
10:00 - Morning Coffee
10:15 - Jennifer Mensch (Western Sydney), "Blood and Soil: From Volk to Weltanschauung in Herder"11:15 - Paul Redding (Sydney), "Nature, World, and the Whereabouts of Ends: Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel"
12:15 - Lunch
13:15 - Simon Lumsden (UNSW), "Sustainable Development is a Dead-End: Hegel, the Logic of the Understanding, and Ecological Crisis"
14:15 - Jean-Philippe Deranty (Macquarie), "Feuerbach on Nature and World"
15:15 - Afternoon Coffee
15:30 - Dennis Schmidt (Western Sydney), "Thank Goodness for the Atmosphere: On  the Starry Sky and the Moral Law"

All welcome.

Workshop: Forgiveness, blame, and the reactive attitudes

CAVE Distinguished Visitor, Lucy Allais (UCSD/Wits)Date: Wednesday 28 June 2017
Time: 09:00 - 17:40
Venue: E3A 244

Program with abstracts for download PDF, 168.39 KB

All welcome.

Workshop: Sex Selection: Changes in Australian Policy

This is a joint workshop with the Centre for Values, Ethics, and Law in Medicine (VELiM)

Date: Friday 9 June 2017 
Venue: Robert Menzies College, Macquarie University

Should sex selection for non-medical reasons be allowed in Australia? The National Health and Medical Research Council recently released its revision of the Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research. This workshop will discuss the revised Guidelines with respect to sex selection. We will explore the regulation of sex selection using in vitro fertilisation from feminist legal perspectives, interrogate the ethics of the use of prenatal sex selection for "family balancing", discuss the implications of prenatal genetic diagnosis for children with intersex variations and explore the question of whether "gender disappointment" is a mental disorder. The main aim of the workshop is to facilitate discussion around the subject of using assisted reproductive technologies for sex selection for non-medical reasons in Australia.

Program for download PDF, 153.16 KB.

Workshop: Epistemic Angst and Extended Knowledge

Date: Monday 29 May 2017
Venue: 75T 6.02
Time: 09:00 - 18:10

All welcome!

CAVE Visitor Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh)Keynote by Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh/MQ), "Epistemic Angst"

Support is canvassed for a novel solution to the sceptical problem regarding our knowledge of the external world. Key to this solution is the claim that what initially looks like a single problem is in fact two logically distinct problems. In particular, there are two putative sceptical paradoxes in play here, which each trade on distinctive epistemological theses. It is argued that the ideal solution to radical scepticism would thus be a biscopic proposal—viz., a two-pronged, integrated, undercutting treatment of both putative sceptical paradoxes. A particular biscopic proposal is then explored which brings together two apparently opposing anti-sceptical theses: the Wittgensteinian account of the structure of rational evaluation and epistemological disjunctivism. It is argued that each proposal enables us to gain a purchase on one, but only one, aspect of the two-sided sceptical problem. Furthermore, it is argued that these proposals are not only compatible positions, but also mutually supporting and advanced in the same undercutting spirit. A potential cure is thus offered for epistemic angst.

Program download PDF, 159.72 KB

Workshop: Social Dimensions of Identity and Responsibility

CAVE Visitor Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam)Date: Thursday 23 February 2017
Time: 10:00 - 17:00

This is an intensive workshop on the topic of social dimensions of identity and responsibility, with CAVE visitor Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam) leading the opening discussion. The papers will be circulated to participants beforehand. Invited participants only.


10:00 - Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam), "The Social and Individual Nature of Personal Identity"

11:00 - Denise Meyerson (MQ), "A Relational Approach to Procedural Justice"

12:00 - Lunch

13:30 - Catriona Mackenzie (MQ), "Moral Responsibility and the Social Dynamics of Power and Oppression"

14:30 - Katrina Hutchison (MQ), "Moral Responsibility, Respect and Social Identity"

15:30 - Break

16:00 - Jeanette Kennett (MQ), "What For? The Reactive Attitudes, Punishment and Criminal Responsibility"


Workshop: The History and Philosophy of 'Race'

Date: Thursday and Friday, 17 - 18 November 2016
Time: 09:00 - 15:00 (both days)
Venue: E7B Theatre 2

You are warmly invited to attend The History and Philosophy of ‘Race’, a workshop designed to bring together Australian and international philosophers and historians of ‘race’ to nurture interaction and exchange on their shared research interests. Our aim is to create a platform from which a mutually beneficial dialogue between philosophers and historians of ‘race’ can be established.

CAVE Visitor Robert BernasconiKeynote Speakers:

  • Robert Bernasconi (PSU): “Race, Religion, and Conversion”
  • Ron Mallon (WUSTL): “On Accumulation Mechanisms”

See profiles for Prof. Bernasconi and Prof. Mallon on our Visitors page.

Program for download PDF, 662.28 KB. (With abstracts.)

Symposium: Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare

This is a joint workshop with the Centre for Values, Ethics, and Law in Medicine (VELiM), and the Bias and Research Integrity research node (University of Sydney).

Conflicts of Interest SymposiumDate: Monday 31 October 2016
Time: 13:00 - 17:00
Venue: Medical Foundation Building (K25), 92-94 Parramatta Rd, University of Sydney

This symposium brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars to explore the ethical and policy implications of financial and non-financial conflicts of interest in medicine and public health. The four sessions will address conceptual and practical implications of conflicts of interest from clinical, policy, scientific and academic perspectives.


  • Jane Williams, "Conflict of Interest in the Assisted Reproduction Technology Industry"
  • Adam Dunn, "Can we use data to measure and mitigate the clinical implications of competing interests?"
  • Quinn Grundy, "'The perfect friend': How sales-reps form invisible and indispensable relationships with nurses"
  • Jane Johnson and Katrina Hutchinson, "Reps in the Ranks - Conflicts of Interest in Surgical Innovation"

Respondents include: Wendy Rogers, Lisa Bero, and Wendy Lipworth.

Flyer for download PDF, 83.43 KB

Workshop: Dementia in the Courtroom

This is a workshop run in conjunction with the Australian Neurolaw Database Project.

Date: Friday 14 October 2016
Time:14:45 - 17:00
Venue: E3A 244

Dementia is the single greatest cause of disability in older Australians aged 65 years and over, with a significant associated economic and social burden. Given our aging population there will be an increasing number of people with dementia entering the legal system, creating unique challenges around evidence, capacity, responsibility, just sentencing, and management of offenders.

Dementia may affect capacity to make decisions in various legal domains, including financial management and creation or alteration of a will. Fronto-temporal dementia (behavioural type) causes changes in a person’s behaviour and personality, which can result in criminal behaviour. In this workshop an expert panel will discuss a selection of recent criminal cases from the Australian Neurolaw Database ( where dementia has been a central issue and draw out the legal, ethical and policy issues raised by those cases.

Expert Panellists include:

  • Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan: Criminal Law Theorist
  • Dr. Hayley Bennett: Barrister and Neuropsychologist
  • Dr. Pauline Langeluddeke: Clinical Psychologist and expert witness

Flyer for download PDF, 5032.98 KB

Workshop: Recognizing those without capacity

Date: Thursday 22 September 2016
Time: 09.30 - 16.45

Establishing ethically appropriate ways of engaging with those who lack capacity to consent is challenging in the context of healthcare and medical research. We propose to address these challenges by exploring a new approach using the concept of recognition. Recognition involves a certain kind of acknowledgment and practical engagement with another that affirms them as more than a mere thing, irrespective of their capacity.

In this workshop we will explore what behaviours and dispositions constitute recognition on the part of practitioners/researchers, and what benefits might derive from such behaviours and dispositions. This workshop will consider whether recognition of those who lack capacity is best achieved through proxy/surrogate decision making, assent or a new approach altogether.

To help explore these ideas, some of us will examine the case of nonhuman animals. Whereas problems arise when dealing with humans who lack capacity precisely because the structure of many ethical and legal frameworks assumes a rational, capacitous human as its default subject, there is no such presumption in the case of our dealings with animals. Instead, there is an acknowledgement that by virtue of the nature of their being, animals are unable to consent so that clinicians (veterinarians) need to find alternate ways of recognizing their patients in order to deliver respectful and appropriate care.

Program for download PDF, 580.82 KB

Workshop: Social Cognition and Cultural Evolution

Joint CAVE/CCD Workshop: Tuesday 2 August 2016

CAVE Visitor HeyesDate: 2 August 2016
Time: 09:30 - 18:00
Venue: MGSM room 267

On the second of August, the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics and the Centre for Cognition and its Disorders at Macquarie University are holding a one day workshop on Social Cognition and Cultural Evolution with Professor Cecilia Heyes (Oxford) to deliver the keynote address: “The Cultural Evolution of Mindreading". The workshop will include an interdisciplinary line up of speakers from Philosophy and Psychology.

The workshop is free and all are welcome.

Program for download PDF, 116.36 KB

Conference: Social Imaginaries: Dominance and Resistance

This is a joint conference with the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney.

Date: Friday 22 July 2016
Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Venue: The Justice and Police Museum, Cnr. Albert and Phillip Streets, Circular Quay

The influence of the imagination, embodiment, and context is now widely recognised in ethical, social and political philosophy. In these fields philosophers have explored how dominant social imaginaries can adversely affect individuals and social groups in interpersonal and institutional settings. This conference will explore the power and influence of the imagination as well as our capacity to transform damaging imaginaries.

CAVE Visitor Sally HaslangerKeynote Speakers:

  • Sally Haslanger (MIT)
  • José Medina (Vanderbilt)

Program for download PDF, 1320.03 KB

Workshop: Legal Processes and Human Rights

CAVE Workshop Speaker David Bilchitz (Johannesburg)Date: Tuesday 26 April 2016
Venue: Blackshield Room, W3A 501
Time: 09:00 - 16:30

The aim is to bring together scholars working in the areas of philosophy, legal philosophy and legal processes to investigate the moral foundations of legal processes and to analyse procedural laws from a human rights and/or justice perspective.

All are welcome. Seats are limited.

Program for download PDF, 121.58 KB

Workshop: Social Cognition and the Self

Date: Wednesday 16 March 2016
Venue: Robert Menzies College Seminar Room
Time: 10:00 - 18:00


10:00 - 11:15: Albert Newen (Bochum), "How do we understand other human beings? The person model theory."

11:15 - 11:30: Coffee

11:30 - 12:30: Glenda Satne (UOW), "Interaction and Self-Correction"

12:30 - 13:45: Lunch (not provided)

13:45 - 14:45: Katsunori Miyahara (Rikkyo), "Enactivism and intercorporeity: in what does the primacy of second-person interaction consist?"

14:55 - 15:55: PhD sessions

  • 14:55 - 15:25: Hoda Mostafavi (Macquarie), "Origins of understanding others: social niche construction."
  • 15:25 - 15:55: Caitrin Donovan (Sydney), "Together in Bedlam: making sense of shared delusions."

15:55 - 16:15: Coffee

16:15 - 17:30: Victoria McGeer (Princeton/ANU), TBC.

18:00: Drinks and dinner (venue TBC)

Keynote address: Albert Newen (Bochum)

CAVE Visitor Albert Newen (Bochum)Title: "How do we understand other human beings? The person model theory"

Abstract: I argue that we are in need of a new theory of understanding others that accounts for the difference between low-level and high-level mindreading and does not run into the problems neither of TT nor ST. I argue that the person model theory can do the job. I suggest that we develop ‘person models’ of ourselves, of other individuals and of groups of persons. These person models are the basis for the registration and evaluation of persons having mental as well as physical properties. Since there are two ways of understanding other minds (non-conceptual and conceptual mindreading), I propose that there are two kinds of person models: Very early in life we develop implicit person schemata: A person schema is a system of sensory-motor abilities and basic mental dispositions related to one human being (or a group of humans) while the schema functions without awareness and is realized by (relatively) modular information processes. Step by step we also develop explicit person images: A person image is a system of consciously registered mental and physical dispositions as well as situational experiences (like perceptions, emotions, attitudes, etc.) related to one human being (or a group). We have clear evidence of implicit communication in humans which can best be understood as an automatic understanding of other minds by implicitly registering someone’s emotions and attitudes. On the basis of such implicit person schemata, young children learn to develop explicit person images which in the case of groups are stereotypes of managers, students or homeless people. We also develop detailed person images of individuals we often deal with.

All are welcome.

Conference: The Feeling of Suffering

This is a joint workshop with the Value of Suffering Project (Glasgow, founded by the John Templeton Foundation), UNSW, and CAVE.

Date: Thursday - Friday 18 - 19 February 2016
Venue: Australian Hearing Hub Theatre 1
Time: 08:45 - 17:35; 09:30 - 17:35

What is the significance of how suffering feels? Remarkably, it is often neglected that suffering also has a “phenomenology”; that is, it feels a certain way, typically unpleasant. Could physical and emotional suffering have played their crucial roles—could they have had the same motivational force, for example—without feeling unpleasant? What is the relationship between suffering and pleasure? What ethical weight does the feeling of suffering add over and above merely bad states? Can neuroimaging and other advances in technology overcome the traditional assumption that suffering is an irreducibly private experience? These questions provide much-needed illumination of the nature, the role, and indeed the very idea of phenomenology, and of the similarities and differences between suffering and pleasure.

This workshop will bring together philosophers, psychologists, bioethicists, and practitioners to explore these issues over two days.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • David Bain (Philosophy, University of Glasgow), “Why take painkillers?”
  • Brock Bastian (Psychology, University of New South Wales), “From pleasure to pain and beyond”
  • Michael Brady (Philosophy, University of Glasgow), “The feeling of suffering and the virtues of strength and wisdom”
  • Jennifer Corns (Philosophy, University of Glasgow), “Hedonic independence and the negativity bias”
  • Laura Ferris (Psychology, University of Queensland), “Feeling hurt: revisiting the relationship between social and physical pain”
  • Cindy Harmon-Jones (Psychology, University of New South Wales), “Suffering and meaning: pain, dissonance, and meaning-making”
  • Julia Hush (Physiotherapy, Macquarie University), “The experience of pain and suffering: the brain and beyond”
  • Jolanda Jetten (Psychology, University of Queensland), “‘The more the merrier’: multiple group membership as a resource to alleviate suffering”
  • Colin Klein (Philosophy, Macquarie University), “Suffering and the varieties of bodily care”
  • Lorimer Moseley (Neuroscience & Physiotherapy, University of South Australia), “Pain, chronic pain, damage, and the Amazing Protectometer”
  • Wendy Rogers (Clinical Ethics, Macquarie University), “Screening, suffering and overdiagnosis or ‘A stitch in time… causes suffering’”
  • Luke Russell (Philosophy, University of Sydney), “Forgiving those who have suffered enough”

Profiles of the conference speakers can be found on our visitors page.

Program and Abstracts PDF, 1961.95 KB

Workshop: The Virtues and Limits of Coherence in Moral and Legal Reasoning

Date: 16 February 2016
Venue: Blackshield Room (W3A 501)
Time: 09:00 - 17:00

Coherent theories of moral and legal reasoning have become significant in the last decades. These theories argue that decision-makers should develop a scheme in which all reasons support each other and form a coherent whole. Hence, the more reasons support a particular decision, the more likely it is correct. However, coherent theories can be challenging as these require agents to consider all possible norms and arguments before reaching a decision. Also, a set of reasons may be entirely coherent but ethically unjustifiable. In this way, the workshop aims to open a space for critical analysis of the virtues and limits of coherence in moral and legal reasoning.

Keynote Speaker: Amalia Amaya (UNAM)

CAVE Visitor 2015, Amalia AmayaAmalia is a Research Fellow at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her latest book The Tapestry of Reason: An Inquiry into the Nature of Coherence and its Role in Legal Argument (Hart Publishing, 2015) articulates an interdisciplinary coherence-based theory of legal reasoning.

Program for download PDF, 137.94 KB

Abstracts PDF, 139.83 KB


Conference: Perspectives on Empathy

Date: Wednesday - Thursday 4 - 5 November 2015
Venue: Robert Menzies College, Seminar Room 2, Herring Rd
Time: 09:30 - 17:00

Empathy is a widely used concept in both social and moral domains of enquire. Empathy deficits are supposed to explain both moral and social impairments. It seems self-evident that empathy is a good thing: indeed, many writers think that empathy is integral to morality. But what is empathy? The term is used to cover a wide array of cognitive and affective processes. Which of these processes is fundamental to morality and how? Should we be skeptical about the claims made for empathy?

The Macquarie Research Centre for Agency Values and Ethics (CAVE) and the Agency and Moral Cognition Network present the Perspectives on Empathy Conference to be held at Macquarie University on November 4th and 5th 2015. Empathy is of interest to researchers across a range of disciplines including in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, psychiatry and psychology, moral psychology, ethics and aesthetics. Yet there is no clear agreement on what empathy is and the role it plays in moral development, social and moral cognition, imagination, and motivation. This conference seeks to bring researchers from across disciplines together to consider a range of questions about the nature, function and importance of empathy.

CAVE Visitor Heidi MaibomKeynote Speaker

  • Heidi Maibom (Cincinatti), "Imagining Feelings"

The event is free, and all are welcome, but please register for catering purposes.

Program for download PDF, 71.43 KB

Conference: Defining the Boundaries of Disease

Date: Thursday - Friday 15 - 16 October 2015
Venue: Dunmore Lang College, Macquarie University
Time: 09:00 - 17:00

A two-day multi-disciplinary conference will be held at Macquarie University, Sydney, on October 15-16, 2015. This conference brings together scholars in the philosophy of medicine together with practicing clinicians in discussing just where, and why, the boundaries of disease should be set.

Questions relating to what should and should not be counted as disease, and where exactly the boundary between disease and non-disease should lie, are critical to the provision of appropriate health care. However, these questions have become increasingly complex with changes in medical knowledge and diagnostic technologies. The distinction between risk factor and disease has become blurred; common diseases have been redefined expansively (e.g. type 2 diabetes or chronic kidney disease); and sophisticated diagnostic tests now detect abnormalities which may or may not have pathological implications.

Responding to these questions requires engaging with medical and scientific knowledge and with the philosophical literature on disease definition. But these are not merely interesting academic questions: there are serious practical implications to setting disease boundaries. Where is the 'right' place for these boundaries, such that patients receive appropriate treatments to avoid excess morbidity and mortality, while avoiding the harms of overdiagnosis and overtreatment?

Final Program:

Workshop: Consciousness, Subjectivity, and Self

Speakers at the Consciousness, Subjectivity, and Self Workshop, 15 July 2015. Monima Chadha (Monash). Glenn Carruthers (MQ), Jean-Philippe Deranty (MQ), Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen), Jenny Windt (Monash)Date: Monday 13 July
Venue: E6A 102
Time: 10:30 - 17:30

After the AAP, our Distinguished Visitor for 2015, Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen), will be the keynote speaker at a one-day workshop, on the topic of consciousness, subjectivity, and self.

All welcome! 

Program PDF, 216.35 KB

Conference: Australasian Association of Philosophy 2015

The audience at the AAP 2015Date: Sunday - Thursday 5 - 9 July 2015

The AAP Conference is held annually by the Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP). This conference is designed to give professional philosophers and philosophy postgraduate students the opportunity to present and discuss papers in all areas of philosophy.

The 2015 AAP Conference will be hosted by the Philosophy Department at Macquarie University, in Sydney from Sunday 5th July to Thursday 9th July 2015.

For more information, please see the AAP conference website.

CAVE members, affiliates, students, and visitors are all presenting at the AAP, so look out for these talks!

Downloadable CAVE Schedule PDF, 136.16 KB

Alan Saunders Lecture:
  • Cordelia Fine (CAVE affiliate, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, Melbourne Business School): The gender galaxy beyond Mars and Venus: Insights for science and society.
    Abstract: AAP website.
Keynote Speakers:
  • Cheshire Calhoun (CAVE Distinguished Visitor 2013, Arizona State University): Well Content
  • Cordelia Fine (CAVE affiliate, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, Melbourne Business School): Bringing down the T-Rex, Gender and Testosterone
  • Dan Zahavi (CAVE Distinguished Visitor 2015, Copenhagen): Empathy, affective sharing, and second-person perspective taking

    More info on the keynote speakers: AAP Conference Page.

Workshop: Amnesia and Identity: self, memory, and moral psychology

Date: 15 June 2015
Venue: Australian Hearing Hub, Room 1.200
Time: 09:30 - 17:15

Amnesia and Identity workshopThis exciting workshop has been sponsored and organised by the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE), the Department of Cognitive Science, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD): Belief Formation and Memory Programs, and the Collective Cognition Team.

This interdisciplinary workshop will welcome Professor Carl Craver, an internationally renowned philosopher from Washington University in St Louis, to Macquarie University. The workshop will feature a Keynote Talk by Professor Carver as well as presentations from researchers across a range of disciplines including philosophy, psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience, exploring memory, amnesia and identity.

Keynote by Carl Craver: Identity and Continuity in Amnesia

Abstract: No cognitive faculty is more closely associated with personal identity and continuity over time than episodic memory. I use philosophical arguments and neuropsychological evidence to weaken this association. Among the novel empirical findings I report are preserved capacity for narration in a scaffolded story-telling test in individuals with dense amnesias and preserved sense of personal continuity in a case of an extreme working memory deficit. Throughout, I will argue that much of our forensic sense of personal continuity over time can be retained even in the face of dramatic episodic memory deficits.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Carl Craver, Department of Philosophy, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Professor Amanda Barnier, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
  • Dr Rochelle Cox, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University
  • Dr Muireann Irish, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Neuroscience Research Australia
  • Associate Professor Dominic Murphy, Unit for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney
  • Dr Penny van Bergen, School of Education, Macquarie University
  • Anke Snoek, Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics


09:30 - 10:00 : Tea/Cofee and Welcome

10:00 - 11:15 : Carl Craver (Washington University in St Louis), "Identity and Continuity in Amnesia"

11:15 - 12:00 : Muireann Irish (CCD, Neuroscience Research Australia)

12:00 - 13:00 : Lunch

13:00 - 13:35 : Penny Van Bergen (Macquarie University)

13:35 - 14:10 : Anke Snoek (CAVE, Macquarie University)

13:10 - 14:45 : Amanda Barnier (CCD, Macquarie University)

14:45 - 15:15 : Coffee

15:15 - 15:50 : Rochelle Cox (CCD, Macquarie University)

15:50 - 16:35 : Dominic Murphy (University of Sydney)

16:35 - 17:15 : Discussion

Abstracts and Speaker Bios PDF, 603.18 KB

Workshop: Predictive Coding, Delusions, and Agency

Date: Friday 15 May
Venue: Room 3.610 Australian Hearing Hub
Time: 13:30 - 17:00

Predictive coding is a new and powerful model of brain architecture, which has attracted a significant amount of scientific and philosophical attention. This workshop will explore applications of the framework to theories of belief formation and agency in both ordinary and delusional agents.  Speakers will include Jakob Hohwy (Monash), Philip Gerrans (Adelaide) and Elizabeth Schier (Macquarie).

All are welcome.

Program and abstracts PDF, 133.93 KB

Workshop: Understanding Complex Animal Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

Date: Monday - Tuesday 2 - 3 February 2015
Venue: Australian Hearing Hub Theatre 1
Time: 09:00 - 18:00; 09:30 - 13:30

Philosophers and scientists alike have long been interested in the methodological challenges to our understanding of the presence and nature of so-called "complex" cognitive traits in non-human animals. Understanding such cognition in non-human animals is central to understanding the evolutionary origins of various traits in our own species including consciousness, self, agency and language. To-date, the vast majority of the philosophical work in this area has been focused on the methodologies used to test for abstract reasoning, mental time-travel, mindreading and language in chimpanzees and other primates. Over the past fifteen years, however, various behaviours indicative of complex cognition (particularly, tool manufacture and use, and causal problem solving) have been demonstrated in lineages beyond our own, most particularly in birds. New Caledonian Crows, for example, manufacture and builds tools in the wild, and have also been shown to be impressive causal problem solvers in the lab. These new findings from the sciences have underscored the role that phylogenetic proximity plays in our assumptions and reasoning about primate cognition, and highlighted the depth of the methodological challenges facing our study of the non-human animal mind beyond our closest relatives. While discussion of the challenges to our understanding the non-human animal mind abound, suggestions of how to overcome them (particularly for non-primate species) are few and far between. Furthermore, recent work on the constitutive and causal role of the environment and culture in cognition presents a new way of thinking about evidence from non-human animal experiments that has been little explored.

This workshop will bring together some of the leading scientists and philosophers working in comparative psychology in an attempt to make some headway on the many methodological issues in the study of "complex" animal cognition.

Program: Animal Cognition Blog [link]

Abstracts: Animal Cognition Blog [link]


Workshop: The Problem with Choosing Children's Gender

Date: Thursday 18 December 2014
Venue: Zofrea Room, The Hub (C10A, level 3)
Time: 09:20 - 16:30

The workshop will launch and discuss the first empirical study of parents who have selected, or desire to select, their child's gender. The main objective of the workshop is to facilitate discussion around the topical subject of using assisted reproductive technologies for gender selection for non-medical reasons in Australia. Currently, the NHMRC ART Guidelines regulating gender selection are under revision. While bioethicists raise concerns about the negative implications of preconception gender selection for social reasons, there is demand among Australian reproducers and ART clinics to legalise the practice. Informed by the empirical evidence, the workshop will discuss arguments in favour of and against gender selection and host a panel on policy in Australia.

This workshop aims to investigate some of these important questions:

  • Is gender selection for non-medical reasons a harmful practice?
  • Should gender selection for non-medical reasons become legal in Australia?
  • What are the best policy approaches to gender selection?

Speakers for the workshop will include:

  • Professor Colin Thomson (University of Wollongong)
  • Dr. Sonia Allan (Macquarie University)
  • Dr. Jennifer Germon (University of Sydney)
  • Tereza Hendl (PhD student, Macquarie University)
  • a member of the AHEC Committee
  • a fertility specialist
Workshop: Synthetic Biology

Date: Wednesday 10 December 2014
Venue: Trinity Chapel, Robert Menzies College, North Ryde
Time: 9:30 - 17:00

This December, join distinguished speakers from world-leading universities in a workshop exploring synthetic biology research. Hosted by Macquarie University's Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics this workshop will provide an invigorating platform to discuss ethics, governance and potential future applications of synthetic biology.

Featuring speakers from:

  • Macquarie University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • The University of Sydney
  • The University of Tasmania

Program DOC, 19.97 KB

Workshop: Moral Responsibility - Non-metaphysical Approaches

Date: Thursday - Friday 20-21 November 2014
Venue: MGSM
Time: 09:15 - 16:45 

Moral Responsibility WorkshopA workshop on the topic of "Moral Responsibility: Non-Metaphysical Perspectives" will be held at Macquarie University on 20-21 November 2014. Visiting speakers for the workshop will include:

  • Professor Marina Oshana (UC Davis)
  • Professor Natalie Stoljar (McGill)
  • Dr Jules Holroyd (Nottingham)
  • Dr Daniel Cohen (CAPPE)

Many philosophers now deny the relevance of the metaphysics of the free will debate to moral responsibility. They offer non-metaphysical grounds for moral responsibility, for example as a feature of human psychology, or as an ineliminable aspect of interpersonal relationships.

Such approaches often draw inspiration from either P.F. Strawson's influential notion of morally reactive attitudes, Harry Frankfurt's hierarchical conception of personhood, and/or Frankfurt-style counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities.

These non-metaphysical approaches tend to describe moral responsibility in terms of related capacities such as reasons-responsiveness (Fischer) or the capacity for reflective self-control (Wallace), and in close association with related concepts such as autonomy.

Despite the increasing prevalence of non-metaphysical approaches, they raise many important questions that are yet to be adequately explored. For example, although these approaches often presuppose a close connection between autonomy and moral responsibility, the nature of this relationship has received little attention. It is also surprising that the moral responsibility literature includes so little feminist work, particularly given the influence of feminist approaches to autonomy (such as relational autonomy).

This workshop aims to investigate some of these important, under-explored questions. Likely topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Exploration of the relationship between moral responsibility and autonomy
  • Feminist approaches to moral responsibility
  • Responsibility for character: are we responsible for our characters, and what does this mean?
  • Moral responsibility and implicit bias - are we responsible for our implicit biases?
  • Non-metaphysical approaches to blame and punishment


Thursday 20th November 2014

09:15 : Registration, Tea and Coffee

09:30 : Welcome

09:40 : Natalie Stoljar, "Answerability: a condition of autonomy, or moral responsibility, or both?"

10:55 : Morning Tea

11:25 : Katrina Hutchison, "Moral Responsibility, Control and Oppression"

12:40 : Lunch

13:45 : Marina Oshana, "What might a feminist theory of moral responsibility look like?"

15:00 : Afternoon Tea

15:30 : Jeanette Kennett, "Reactive Attitudes, Reasons and Responsibility"

16:45 : Finish

19:00 : Workshop Dinner (Blu Ginger, McMahon's Point)

Friday 21st November 2014

09:15 : Tea and Coffee

09:30 : Jules Holroyd, "Revisionism and Responsibility"

10:45 : Morning tea

11:15 : Daniel Cohen, "The meaning of 'responsibility'"

12:30 : Lunch

13:30 :Nicole Vincent, "Why mental capacity?"

14:45 : Response session led by Catriona Mackenzie

15:45 : Afternoon Tea + Finish

Abstracts DOC, 19.72 KB

Workshop: Addressing challenges in consent to surgical innovations

Date: Friday 31 October 2014
Venue: C10A, McKenzie Room
Time: 09:30 - 13:00

The aim of the workshop is to identify ethical, practical and legal challenges that arise in seeking patient consent to innovative surgical procedures, in order to develop ways of addressing these challenges.

Confirmed speakers

  • Dr Katrina Hutchison (Post-doctoral researcher, Macquarie University): "Health professionals' views on consent to innovative surgery"
  • Professor Henry Pleass (Professor of Surgery, University of Sydney, Westmead Clinical School): "Practical issues in obtaining consent for innovative surgery"
  • Dr Kim Hill (Executive Medical Director, West Sydney Local Health District): Response to Prof Pleass
  • A/Prof Bernadette Richards (University of Adelaide Law School): "A legal viewpoint on consent to innovative surgery"

Program PDF, 79.06 KB

This workshop is part of the activities of ARC LP110200217 "On the cutting edge: Promoting best practice in surgical innovation"

Workshop: Cultural Evolution

Date: Tuesday 19 August 2014
Venue: MGSM Theatre 101
Time: 09:15 - 18:30

Announcing a one-day workshop with Kevin Laland (St. Andrews) on social learning and cultural evolution. The workshop will include speakers from the Biology and Philosophy departments at Macquarie University.

Traditionally, culture has been seen as a uniquely human trait. Recent evidence of social learning capable of sustaining multi-generational behavioural inheritance in animal species from fish to primates challenges this picture. Rather than being a lonely biological peculiarity, it is now clear that human cultural inheritance sits at one end of a spectrum of types of cultural and traditional inheritance mechanisms seen right across the Animal Kingdom. When viewed in this light, the study of animal social learning, traditions and cultures, is essential to understanding human cultural evolution, and vice versa. In this interdisciplinary workshop, philosophers and biologists working on cultural evolution and social learning in animals and humans come together to consider key issues such as the role of niche construction in cultural evolution, the importance of development to a science of human and animal cultural evolution, the tempo and mode of cultural evolution and the similarities and differences in cultural inheritance mechanisms between species.


09:15 - 09:55: Coffee/tea and registration

09:55 - 10:00: Introduction

10:00 - 11:30: Kevin Laland (St. Andrews), "The Evolution of Culture"

11:30 - 12:00: Morning coffee/tea

12:00 - 13:00: Culum Brown (Macquarie), "Social Learning in Fishes"

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00 - 15:00: Rachael Brown (Macquarie), "Impossible Cultures? Exploring the Applicability of the Evo-Devo Conceptual Framework in the Cultural Domain"

15:00 - 16:00: Karola Stotz (Macquarie), "Two kinds of niche construction"

16:00 - 16:30: Coffee/tea

16:30 - 17:30: Richard Menary (Macquarie), "The Enculturated Brain: The Case of Mathematics"

17:30 - 18:30: Andrew Barron (Macquarie), TBC

18:30: Drinks

The workshop is free to attend, but registration is essential.

Workshop: Ethics in the Field

Date: Friday 1 August 2014
Venue: MGSM
Time: 09:20 - 17:00

Ethics in the Field WorkshopThe idea of 'field philosophy' has emerged as a response to calls for academic philosophy to become more relevant to so-called 'real-world' problems. Field philosophy aims to "begin with problems faced by nonphilosophic actors in real-world settings and seek to make contributions deemed successful according to more-than-disciplinary standards" (Robert Frodeman, Adam Briggle, and J. Britt Holbrook, 2012, "Philosophy in the Age of Neoliberalism," Social Epistemology, 26:3-4, 3-11-330, p.324).

Participants in the workshop, "Ethics in the Field," will include Professor Robert Frodeman (a pioneer in field philosophy), Professor Rachel Ankeny of the University of Adelaide, as well as other scholars working (frequently unconsciously) in field philosophy, e.g., bioethics (animal, medical, clinical, and surgical ethics), research ethics and environmental humanities. Topics discussed will revolve around how to do field philosophy successfully, e.g., how to identify relevant problems, engage across disciplines, attract funding, communicate results to a variety of audiences, and impact public policy.


09:20 - 09:25: Jane Johnson, Introduction and welcome.

09:25 - 09:30: Catriona Mackenzie, Opening.

09:30 - 10:30: Robert Frodeman, "Socrates Tenured: Inventing new institutions for 21st century philosophy."

10:30 - 11:00: Morning tea

11:00 - 11:45: Rachel Ankeny, "Doing 'Field Work' with Food: How can philosophy contribute to food ethics and policy?"

11:45 - 12:30: Anna Smajdor, "Notes from an unconscious field-ethicist."

12:30 - 13:30: Lunch

13:30 - 14:15: Katrina Hutchison and Wendy Rogers, "An ARC Linkage on surgical innovation - Field Philosophy at work?"

14:15 - 15:00: Chris Degeling, Anne Fawcett, and Margaret Rose, "Philosophical field work and animals."

15:00 - 15:30: Afternoon tea

15:30 - 17:00: Robert Frodeman, Rachel Ankeny, Cassily Charles, David Hunter, and Mary Walker, Panel discussion - "The way forward for field ethics?"

Print version PDF, 9.81 KB

Meeting: Agency and Moral Cognition Network

Date: Thursday-Friday 29-30 May 2014
Venue: Thursday Room 3.610, Australian Hearing Hub; Friday W6A 708
Time: Thursday 14:00 - 17:00; Friday 10:00 - 17:00

CAVE Visitor Fiery CushmanThe keynote address will be given by Prof. Fiery Cushman (Brown University), and will be entitled, "Why Learning Matters for Morality."

Abstract: Humans use punishment and reward to modify each others' behavior, and we also learn from others' rewards and punishments. This simple dynamic animates much of our moral psychology, and I explore two of its consequences in detail. First, human punishment should be adapted to the contours and constraints of human learning. This can explain a peculiar feature of our moral judgments that philosophers calls "moral luck": the fact that accidental outcomes play a large roll in determining punishment. Second, the architecture of human learning should dictate when and how we choose to harm others. I borrow from current neurobiological models of reinforcement learning to understand why we deem some harmful actions impermissible and others permissible. These case studies illustrate the role that learning systems play as a basic organizing principle in the moral domain.


Thursday May 29 - Room 3.610 Hearing Hub

14:00 - 14:10 : Welcome

14.10 - 15.10 : Neil Levy (Melbourne/Oxford), "Dissolving the Puzzle of Resultant Moral Luck"

15.10 - 15.30 : Coffee

15.30 - 16.30 : Toby Handfield (Monash), "Cognitive heuristics in punishment related behaviour"

16.35 - 17.35 : Jess Kingswood and Marc de Rosnay (Sydney), "Identity coherence: the source of moral motivation"

19:00 : Dinner

Friday May 30 - Room 708 Building W6A

10.30 - 12:00 : Fiery Cushman (Brown), "Why Learning Matters for Morality."

12:00 - 13:30 : Lunch

13:30 - 14:30 : Mark de Rosnay and Ming Yuan (Sydney), "You are who you when no one is watching: Australian and Chinese children's use of contextual and motive information when making moral trait inferences"

14.35 - 15.35 : Daniel Cohen (CSU), "Responsibility and the Reactive Attitudes: Using IAT to evaluate Strawson's claim that judgements of responsibility require emotional engagement with wrongdoers (i.e. via the 'participant stance')"
Co-authors: Jeremy Goldring (CSU), Lauren Saling (CSU), Neil Levy (Melbourne/Oxford)

15.35 - 15.55 : Coffee

16:00 - 17.00 : Graham Wood (UTas), "From action-based value representations to belief in objective value"

For abstracts, please see the full program PDF, 435.09 KB

Workshop: Neurolaw in Australia

Date: Friday 2 May 2014
Venue: W6A 708
Time: 13:45 - 17:00

This interdisciplinary workshop will examine the influence of neuro evidence in criminal trials in Australia. Speakers will include academics, a psychiatrist, a barrister, and a forensic psychologist working in criminal law.


13:45 - Welcome and Coffee

14:00 - Nicole Vincent (Georgia State University, and CAVE Research Associate) will introduce The Australian Neurolaw Database Project and address the question of what neurolaw is and what issues are raised for the law by developments in the mind sciences.

14:25 - Allan McCay (University of Sydney) will give an overview of the development of neuro case law in Australia, and introduce three cases for discussion by our panel of experts. The panel will discuss each case in turn and take questions.

Panel discussion of neurolaw cases:

  • Dr. Christopher Ryan (Consultant Psychiatrist Westmead Hospital and Clinical Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of Sydney);
  • Dr. Christopher Birch SC (Barrister and Lecturer, University of Sydney Law School);
  • Amanda White (Forensic Psychologist, Macquarie University).

16:35 - Summing up: Nicole Vincent


Workshop: Evolution of Language

Workshop in conjunction with CCD 

Date: Friday 6 December 2013 
Venue: Australian Hearing Hub, Lecture Theatre 1.200

Time: 9:30am - 5:00pm

In 1866, the Linguistic Society of Paris banned debate on the subject of language evolution, perhaps due to the appearance of speculative theories on the origins of spoken language. Several of these were recounted by the historian Max Müller (1861):

The Bow-wow (aka Cuckoo) theory proposed that early words were imitations of the cries of beasts and birds, whereas the Poop-pooh theory maintained that first words were emotional interjects triggered by pleasure or pain, and the Yo-he-ho theory suggested that language developed to synchronize muscular effort by alternating sounds such as heave with sounds such as ho.

Despite the initial attractiveness of such theories, they have been largely discredited, and replaced by two alternative approaches to the origins of language. One is the Continuity (gradualist) approach. On this view, the emergence of language in the species can be explained by invoking the same kind of adaptive (descent with modification) mechanisms that have shaped other traits. Language is a rich computational system that coordinates the rapid and effortless alignment of a speaker's world knowledge with that of a hearer's, using the linguistic subsystems of phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The interleaving of these components in acts of communication is so complex that advocates of the continuity approach find it difficult to imagine how language could simply appear from nothing in its final form.

The alternative Discontinuity (saltationist) approach has reached the opposite conclusion. On this view, the fact that modern humans have language, whereas our remote ancestors did not, was due to a single, chance genetic micromutation. The discontinuity approach contends that language must have appeared in its "near perfect" form because language is a uniquely human cognitive trait that invokes recursive data structures (discrete infinity) and, logically, there is no way for there to be a gradual transition from a mind/brain that is only capable of computing finite operations, to one that is capable of generating an unbounded number of novel linguistic expressions.

This workshop is devoted to an in-depth discussion of the origins of language. Among the questions that will be discussed are the following:

  • What is language?
  • What aspects of language are unique to humans?
  • What can language acquisition tell us about language evolution?
  • How is language represented in the brain?
  • What function, if any, does language serve?
  • Were there proto-languages?
  • Did language evolve gradually or was its evolution a 'sudden emergent event'?
  • Is there a gestural origin to language?
  • What is the relationship between logic and language?
  • Professor Bob Berwick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Professor Kim Sterelny, Australian National University
  • Emeritus Professor Brian Byrne, University of New England
  • Associate Professor Drew Khlentzos, University of New England
  • Dr Richard Menary, Macquarie University

Program PDF, 425.77 KB

Abstracts PDF, 468.19 KB

Speaker Biographies PDF, 669.68 KB

See also the CCD page: CCD.

Conference: Dignity

Date: Thursday-Friday 21-22 November 2013
Venue: MGSM

Time: 8:45am - 6:00pm; 9:00am - 5:40pm.

Appeals to the innate dignity of humanity and claims about the need to treat people with dignity and respect are commonplace in a range of philosophical and public debates on everything from bioethics to the foundation of universal human rights. But although foundational appeals to human dignity are commonplace, what dignity is, and what it means to have it, remains less than clear. This raises important philosophical questions, such as: Why do human beings have dignity? Is dignity something that all humans have? Can animals have dignity? Is dignity something that can be gained and lost? Does dignity come in degrees? Most philosophical approaches to dignity are grounded in the work of Immanuel Kant. But Kant's conception of dignity is contested by scholars. So what exactly is Kant's conception of dignity? And how does Kant's conception of dignity differ from alternative conceptions of dignity, such as Martha Nussbaum's Aristotelian-inspired view? This leads to further questions, such as: Does the basis of dignity lie in our autonomy or our needs (or both)? Finally, how does the concept of dignity get used in moral, political and legal debates, such as in bioethics?

Speakers (in alphabetical order): Marcus Duwell (University of Utrecht), Paul Formosa (Macquarie University), Samuel J Kerstein (University of Maryland), David Kirchhoffer (Australian Catholic University), Catriona Mackenzie (Macquarie University), Thaddeus Metz (University of Johannesburg), Sarah Clark Miller (Penn State University), Doris Schroder (University of Central Lancashire), Oliver Sensen (Tulane University) and Adrian Walsh (University of New England).


Workshop: Judging Responsibility

Date: Wednesday 20 November 2013
Venue: Y3A 212

Time: 1:00pm - 5:30pm

Adrian Carter (Queensland), Allan McCay (Sydney), Kate Rossmanith (Macquarie), and Nicole Vincent (Georgia State) dealt with the legal issues surrounding the problem or responsibility.

13.00 - 14.00 : Nicole A. VIncent (Georgia State University), "Doing Away With Capacities: a non-capacitarian compatibilist approach to responsibility."

14.05 - 15.00 : Adrian Carter (NHMRC Research Fellow, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research), "Irresistible impulses? A legal case of drug-induced compulsive sexual behaviours."

15.30 - 16.25 : Allan McCay (University of Sydney), "The sentencing of Aboriginal offenders and genetic vulnerabilities to the crimogenic effects of social environments."

16.30 - 17.25 : Kate Rossmanith (Macquarie University), "The Feelings of Judges (or 'How Judges Judge Feelings'): The role of sworn evidence and affect in assessing offender remorse."

Program DOC, 28.73 KB

Abstracts DOC, 27.7 KB

Workshop: Paternalism

Date: Friday 8 November 2013
Venue: MGSM Theatre 101

Time: 9:00am - 5:30pm

Speakers included: Elizabeth Ben-Ishai (Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington DC), Susan Dodds (University of Tasmania), Margaret Lange & Catriona Mackenzie (Macquarie)

Program DOC, 80.74 KB

Abstracts DOC, 21.03 KB

Workshop: Relational Autonomy and Bioethics

Date: Wednesday 6 November 2013
Venue: W6A 107

Time: 1:30pm - 14:30pm


1:30 - 1:40 : Brief introduction (Katrina Hutchison)

1:40 - 2:20 : Discussion of Catriona Mackenzie's "Autonomy", forthcoming in Routledge Companion to Bioethics (led by Catriona Mackenzie)

2:20 - 3:00 : Discussion of Françoise Baylis, Nuala P. Kenny and Susan Sherwin's (2008), "A relational account of public health ethics", Public Health Ethics (led by Wendy Rogers)

3:00 - 3:20 : Afternoon Tea

3:20 - 4:00 : Discussion of Elizabeth Ben-Ishai's (2012), "Responding to vulnerability: the case of injection drug users", International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (led by Elizabeth Ben-Ishai)

4:00 - 4:30 : Round table discussion

Workshop: Ethical Issues in Surgical Innovation

Date: Monday 28 October 2013
Time: 9:30am - 1:00pm
Venue: Interaction Zone, ASAM

Lead respondents will include Dr. Marie Bismarck (University of Melbourne) and Dr. Drew Carter (University of Adelaide)

The aim of the workshop is to present work in progress on specific ethical issues raised by innovative surgery. The presentations will be short, rather than formal papers. Our invited respondents (Prof Miles Little, Prof Vikki Entwistle, Dr Marie Bismark, Dr Drew Carter) will act as a panel or round table to lead discussion on the presentations.

Program PDF, 79.06 KB

Workshop: Meaning in Life (and why it matters)

Date: Friday 18 October 2013
Venue: MGSM Amphitheatre 102

Speakers include: Cheshire Calhoun (Arizona State University); Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie); Glen Pettigrove (University of Auckland); Trevor Pisciotta (University of Melbourne); Nicholas Smith (Macquarie)

Program DOC, 79.21 KB

Meeting: Agency and Moral Cognition Network

Date: Wednesday-Thursday 25-26 September 2013
Venue: Florey Neurosciences Institute, University of Melbourne

Speakers will include Robyn Langdon, Philip Gerrans, Marc de Rosnay, Doris McIlwain, Jonathan McGuire, Ben Fraser, Damian Crone and Luke Russell.

Workshop: Autonomy

Date: Wednesday 21 August 2013
Venue: W6A 708

Time: 2:00pm - 4:30pm

Main speaker: Michael Quante (University of Münster). Catriona Mackenzie (Macquarie) replied.

Title of Professor Quante's paper: "Autonomous By Default: Assessing 'Non-Alienation' in John Christman's Conception of Personal Autonomy"

Workshop: Vulnerable Animals
Workshop: CAVE Bioethics Cluster Work-in-Progress Afternoon

Date: Wednesday 26 June 2013
Venue: W6A 708

Time: 2:00 - 5:00 pm


  • Prof Wendy Rogers(CAVE academic staff): Developing and managing an ARC Linkage
  • Dr Mary Walker (CAVE post-doc researcher): Access to unapproved and experimental therapeutic goods: Who benefits?
  • Lanei Alexander (CAVE HDR student): The ethics of bariatric surgery
  • Tereza Hendlova (CAVE HDR student): Sex selection for non-medical reasons

Workshop flyer DOC, 79.27 KB (with further details)

Workshop: Point of View in Memory and Imagery: philosophical and psychological perspectives on perspective

Date: Thursday-Saturday 9-11 May 2013
Times and venues:

Thursday 9 May - 5.30 pm - Australian Hearing Hub Lecture Theatre 
Friday 10 May - 10 am - MGSM room 103
Saturday 11 May - 9.30 am - MGSM room 103

This workshop addressed perspective-taking in remembering and imagining, inviting papers from philosophers and psychologists, and from related disciplines. We were particularly interested in proposals which discussed relations between visual or visuospatial perspective and other kinds of perspective, or which address interactions between internal and external perspectives on one's past, future, or possible actions and experiences.

When I remember my past experiences, I may see the remembered scene from my original point of view. Alternatively I may see myself in that remembered scene, as from an observer's perspective. Likewise, when I visualize and imagine my future or possible actions, I may adopt either an internal or 'own eyes' perspective, or an external or 'see-oneself' perspective on those imagined events. Sometimes, in both memory and imagery, I can switch perspectives. The availability of such 'field' and 'observer' perspectives is a puzzling aspect of the phenomenology of memory and imagery. It is the subject of concerted but as yet unintegrated research programs in psychology and philosophy (Nigro & Neisser 1983; Debus 2007; Rice & Rubin 2009; Libby & Eibach 2011; Goldie 2012). The study of vantage-points in memory and imagery raises a range of intriguing questions about self-representation and the body, personality and identity, emotion and mood, movement and space, narrative and time.

Keynote speaker: Lisa Libby (Psychology, Ohio State University)

Other speakers:

  • Catriona Mackenzie (Philosophy, Macquarie University)
  • Tony Morris (Sport Science, Victoria University Melbourne)
  • Michelle Moulds (Psychology, University of New South Wales)
  • John Sutton (Cognitive Science, Macquarie University)
  • Celia Harris (Cognitive Science, MQ)
  • Ly Huynh (Psychology, UNSW)
  • Nora Mooren (Psychology, UNSW)
  • Talia Morag (Philosophy, Sydney)
  • Patrick Stokes (Philosophy, Deakin)
  • Daniela Helbig (HPS, Sydney)
  • Kellie Williamson (Cognitive Science, MQ)
  • Tori McGeer (Philosophy, ANU/ Princeton)
  • Chris McCarroll (Cognitive Science, MQ)
  • Wendy Carlton (Philosophy, MQ)
  • Margherita Arcangeli (Institut Nicod)
  • Alma Barner (Philosophy, ANU)
  • Regina Fabry (Philosophy, Mainz & Cognitive Science, MQ)
  • Dorothea Debus (Philosophy, York)


Workshop: Competence in Psychiatric Settings

Date: Thursday 11 April 2013
Venue: W6A 707

Time: 2.30pm - 5.30pm

Guest speakers:

Dr Jillian Craigie (University College London), Caitrin Donovan (University of Sydney) and Dr Christopher Ryan (University of Sydney)

See FLYER DOC, 76.98 KB for presentation topics and further details.

Workshop: Working in Australia: Contemporary Trends, New Critical Perspectives

Date: 19-20 February 2013
Venue: W6A 127
Time: See program

Guest speakers: Lyndall Strazdins (ANU), Allison Milner (Melbourne) and Geoff Boucher (Deakin)

Program DOC, 75.47 KB


Workshop: Skills and Expertise

Date: 10-11 December 2012
Venue: Caltex room, MGSM
Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm

How do experts develop and maintain their skills? This workshop brought together researchers from philosophy, psychology and education to consider how experts develop and maintain their high level skills, techniques and knowledge in a variety of domains: including places of work, sports and clinical settings.

Program DOC, 13.64 KB

Workshop: Philosophy and Cognitive Science

Date: 5 December 2012
Venue: Boyd Room, level 3, Central Hub 
Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm

International speakers at this workshop were Dan Hutto (University of Hertfordshire), who spoke on 'Exorcising Action Oriented Representations: Ridding Cognitive Science of its Nazgul', Somogy Varga (University of Memphis), who spoke on 'Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy', and Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis), who spoke on on 'Mood Facilitation, Time and Depression'.

Program PDF, 204.78 KB

Workshop: Capabilities Approaches to Justice: Theory and Practice

Date: Thursday 15 November 2012
Venue: MGSM Amphitheatre 147

Capabilities theory, originally developed by Amartya Sen, has been extremely influential in development contexts as a metric of social equality and inequality. More recently, Martha Nussbaum has extended the theory, developing a capability-based political philosophy of justice, with universalist aspirations. However, despite its influence and appeal, significant questions remain concerning some of the foundational concepts of capabilities theory, such as Nussbaum's use of the concept of human dignity, and the ability of capabilities theory to guide concrete social policy decision-making. The aims of this workshop were to critically appraise the theoretical foundations of capabilities theory and to investigate the theory's application to a range of important practical issues, including disability, healthcare, climate justice, free speech, and the weighting of distinct capabilities. This one day interdisciplinary workshop incuded presenters from Macquarie University, Monash University, University of Dundee, University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, and University of Sydney.


Conference: Australian Society for Legal Philosophy Conference

The 2012 ASLP conference was co-hosted by CAVE and

Date: 22 July 2012
Venue: Dunmore Lang College

The conference provided a forum to discuss current work in all fields of legal philosophy, but this year's special theme was the topic of
neurolaw, conceived broadly to include law and neuroscience, law and psychology, law and behavioural genetics and related sub-fields.

Keynote speakers included:

Professor Antony Duff (University of Stirling and University of Minnesota)
Professor Joel Eigen (Franklin & Marshall College)
Associate Professor Nita Farahany (Vanderbilt Law School)


Workshop: Addiction Neuroscience: Interpretation and Implications for Public Policy, Legal Practice, Ethics, Treatment, and User Identity and Belief in Self-efficacy

Date: 23 July 2012
Venue: MGSM Room 101
Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm

A central focus of the workshop was Adrian Carter and Wayne Hall's new book Addiction Neuroethics: The Promises and Perils of Neuroscience Research on Addiction (Cambridge University Press 2012). The book examines the social, ethical and public policy issues raised by neuroscience research and its potential applications in the treatment and prevention of addiction and the formulation of social policies towards drug use.

Commentators on the book were Nita Farahany (Professor of Law and Philosophy, Vanderbilt Law School), Antony Duff (Professor of Criminal Law, University of Stirling and University of Minnesota), and Neil Levy (Deputy Director, Oxford Centre for Neuroethics; Head of Neuroethics, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, University of Melbourne).

After lunch, a panel of experts from a range of fields (policy, treatment, users associations) discussed perspectives on the issues as raised from their own practice and experience. Panel members included David McGrath (NSW Health Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office), Nicky Bath (NUAA), Bernard Balleine (neuroscientist at Sydney University), Andrew Baillie (psychologist at Macquarie University) and Jon Currie (ANCD/SVHM).

Workshop: Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality - An Interdisciplinary Workshop

The workshop was hosted jointly by:
The Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE), Macquarie University,
The Department of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, and
The School of Humanities, University of New South Wales.

Date: 3-4 May 2012

Social Ontology as ontological inquiry about the social reality of collectives, practices, laws, material culture and other aspects of reality dependent on sociality, including humans themselves and their minds, is a rapidly evolving international field of research. Collective intentionality is one of the key concepts in social ontology in terms of which the basic constitution of all things social is nowadays discussed. It is closely related to themes like mutual belief, joint action, collective responsibility, and shared emotion. Social ontology in philosophy also draws on and contributes to research in many other disciplines, including theoretical sociology, law, economics, cognitive science, psychology, anthropology and political science. This workshop brings together Australian and international researchers working in these fields.

Keynote speakers: Kirk Ludwig (Indiana University), Seumas Miller (Charles Sturt University and the Australian National University).


Workshop: Apartheids of Mind: Effects of Injustice on Remembering and Aspiring

Date: 17 April 2012

While media accounts of criminality, corruption and immoral action often target single individuals as perpetrators, injustice does not only hinge on the actions of a single personality operating in isolation. In fact, this is perhaps the less common variety.  This one-day workshop addressed how injustice becomes embedded in cultural and institutional practices to such a degree that it is normalised even as it powerfully shapes our subjectivities, our recollections, perceptions and aspirations - how in short it sets up 'apartheids of mind'.

Guest speakers included Professor Gill Straker (University of Sydney), Professor Norman Duncan (University of Witwatersrand), and Ms. Janaki Kozeluh (Sandover Group School in Alice Springs).


Workshop: Philosophy of Psychiatry

Sponsored jointly by CAVE and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD).

Date: 24-25 February 2012

The first day (Friday 24th) was on the theme, Depression, Autonomy and the Self, with keynote addresses by Jennifer Radden (Philosophy Department, University of Massachusetts) and Paul Biegler (Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University). Catriona Mackenzie (CAVE) responded to Jennifer Radden and Jeanette Kennett (CAVE) responded to Paul Biegler.

The second day (Sat 25th) was based around Jennifer Radden's recent book, On Delusion (Thinking in Action), with presentations by Max Coltheart, Philip Gerrans, Jakob Hohwy, Robyn Langdon and Dominic Murphy, followed by a response by Jennifer Radden.



Conference: Work and Self-Development

Date: 10-11 November 2011
Venue: Woolworths Theatre 102, Building E12

Many people are worried about work, perhaps in more complex ways than ever before.Young people entering work lack the orientation once provided by established career paths, mid-life workers are often subject to disorienting shifts in role and difficulties finding the right 'work-life' balance, and many people leaving work find their lives suddenly bereft of meaning. It is widely believed that work has become increasingly stressful and demanding over the past few decades, with rises in levels of depressive illness, psychological disorders related to low self-esteem, and even suicides, attributed to it.

Working at the intersection of philosophy, psychology and sociology, this conference set out to explore the significance of work in the formation of subjective identity. The aim was to throw light on the role of work in processes of self-formation, self-realization, and pathologies of the self by reflecting on the following issues

Keynote speakers were Professor Christophe Dejours (CNAM, Paris) and Dr Emmanuel Renault (ENS Lyon).


Thursday 10 November

09:00 - 09:15 : Morning coffee/tea

09:15 - 09:30 : Welcome

09:30 - 10:45 : Emmanuel Renault (ENS Lyon), "Identity and Autonomy at Work"

10:45 - 11:00 : Coffee/Tea

11:00 - 12:30 :

  • Richard Menary (Macquarie, Philosophy and CCD), "Self-Realization and Cognitive Environments"
  • Will Newsome (Macquarie, Philosophy), "Why those who study 'cognition in the wild' should care about Christophe Dejours"
  • John Sutton (Macquarie, CCD), Response to Menary and Newsome

12:30 - 14:00 : Lunch

14:00 - 15:30 :

  • Nick Smith (Macquarie, Philosophy), "Work as a Sphere of Norms, Paradoxes and Ideologies of Recognition"
  • Jean-Philippe Deranty (Macquarie, Philosophy), "The Subject at Work: Between Psychology and Social Theory"

15:30 - 15:45 : Coffee/Tea

15:45 - 17:00 : Andrea Veltman (James Madison), "Meaningful Work and Human Flourishing"

Friday 11 November

09:00 - 09:30 : Morning cofee/tea

09:30 - 10:45 : Christophe Dejours (CNAM, Paris), "Work and Self-Development: the perspective of the psychodynamics of work"

10:45 - 11:00 : Coffee/tea

11:00 - 12:30 :

  • Penelope Faure and Doris McIlwain (Macquarie, Psychology), "Retrenchment: Hitting the Reload Button rather than the Panic Button"
  • Caryn Cridland (UTS), "Compassion and Mindfulness at Work"

12:30 - 14:00 : Lunch

14:00 - 15:30 :

  • Michael Fine (Macquarie, Sociology), "Working for nothing: carers, volunteers and ageing"
  • Dale Tweedle (Macquarie, Philosophy), "Is Call Centre Work Self-Developing? Some Paradoxes of Workplace Autonomy"
  • Paula McDonald (QUT), Janis Bailey (Griffith University) and Robin Price (QUT), "Young Workers: Industrial Citizens in Waiting?"

15:30 - 15:45 : Coffee/Tea

15:45 - 17:00 : Concluding Discussion

Symposium: Testing Times: A Symposium on the Ethics and Epistemology of Animal Experimentation

Date: 20-21 September 2011
Venue: Amphitheatre 101, MGSM Conference Centre

Animal experimentation is a highly contentious practice. It generates ethical concerns due to harms to animals and epistemological worries because translations between animal experiments and human clinical medicine are problematic. In spite of these issues, the practice continues to expand. This symposium will bring together scientists, philosophers, sociologists, veterinarians and others to discuss animal experimentation and develop new approaches to the ethical and epistemological challenges it generates.

Held on the Macquarie University campus, the symposium will feature speakers from across Australia as well as abroad.


Tuesday 20 September 2011

09.00 - 09.20 : Registration, Tea and Coffee

09.20 - 09.30 : Welcome and Orientation

09.30 - 10.30 : (Chair: John Hadley)

  • Ann Baldwin: "Does Lack of Enrichment Invalidate Scientific Data Obtained from   Rodents by Compromising their Welfare?"

10.30 - 11.00 : Morning Tea

11.00 - 12.45 : (Chair: Brett Lidbury)

  • Chris Degeling: "Veterinary Surgery as Innovation: some lessons from history"
  • Imke Tammen: "Batten Disease - A Case Study"
  • K-Lynn Smith: "The cognitive chicken: what captive studies reveal about intelligence"

12.45 - 14.00 : Lunch

14.00 - 15.00 : (Chair: Chris Degeling)

  • Dinesh Wadiwel: "The Insect in the Box: Unpicking Freedom and Violence in Haraway's 'When Species Meet'"
  • Matthew Chrulew: "The Phenomenology of Animal Life"

15.00 - 15.30 : Afternoon Tea

15.30- 16.30 : (Chair: Wendy Rogers)

  • Hope Ferdowsian: "A Consideration of Harms: Ethical Imperatives Regarding the Use of Animals in Research"

16.45 - 17.30 : (Chair: K-Lynn Smith)

  • Rod Bennison: "Invitation to Minding Animals 2012"
  • Film: Thoughtful birds in action

17.30 - 19.00 : Drinks - Lend Lease Room 120

Wednesday 21st September 2011

09.00 - 09.30 : Registration, tea, coffee

09.30 - 10.30 : (Chair: Cynthia Townley)

  • Kate Millar: "Veterinary Research and Animal Use: Examining Ethical Issues and approaches to facilitate ethical reflection"

10.30 - 11.00 : Morning Tea

11.00 - 12.45 : (Chair: Ann Baldwin)

  • Brett Lidbury: "Applying Pattern Recognition Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery  for Systems to Replace Rodent Models in Fundamental Research"
  • Jane Johnson: "Animals-as-patients: improving the practice of animal experimentation"
  • Margaret Rose: "Ethics and the science of animal welfare"

12.45 - 14.00 : Lunch

14.00 - 15.00 : (Chair: Donna Houston)

  • John Hadley: "Telling it like it is: a proposal for improving transparency in biomedical research"
  • Denise Russell: "Why animal ethics committees don't work"

15.00 - 15.30 : Afternoon Tea

15.30 - 17.00 : (Chair: Jane Johnson)

  • Symposium Discussion - Animal Experimentation: The Status Quo and Future Directions

18.00 - 21.00 : Symposium Dinner - Whiteley Room, Campus Hub

The conference proceedings are now available as a Special Issue of the journal Between the Species

Meeting: Agency and Moral Cognition Network - Character, Capacity and Personality

Sponsored by CAVE and the Agency and Moral Cognition Network.

Date: 21 July 2011

The broad aim of the workshop is to begin to investigate how the distinction (and relationship) between the notions of capacity and character affects legal and moral assessments of responsibility, sentencing decisions, and medical treatment options.  Should people with serious personality disorders (for example, psychopathy) be described as suffering from mental capacity deficits or personality/character flaws?  How might our description of their condition (i.e. as involving either incapacities or character flaws) bear on their responsibility (i.e. excuse or condemnation, sentencing, parole, etc), and on whether medical treatments for their condition should be developed, offered, and maybe even sometimes justifiably compelled.

Symposium: Neurolaw: The Science of Mind Meets the Body of Law

Hosted by the Centre for Legal Governance, with funding and support by CAVE.

Date: 16 July 2011

Workshop: Neurolaw in Australia - revealing the hidden impact of neuroscience and behavioural genetics on Australian law

Date: 14-15 July 2011

Hosted on the Macquarie University campus, this two-day workshop will include presentations by international and local experts and discussions of cutting edge working papers. There will also be special sessions designed to build-up a picture of how neuroscience and behavioural genetics are affecting Australian law and to develop a common Australian neurolaw research agenda.

Program PDF, 602.07 KB

Workshop: Agent Tracking and Its Disorders: A Multidisciplinary Workshop on the Identification and Tracking of Human Individuals

Date: 17, 20-21 June 2011

Recent research has investigated (i) the perceptual and attentional tracking of animates or inanimates, (ii) the tracking of referents of terms such as indexicals or demonstratives, (iii) the ontogeny of conceptual identification, (iv) the modularity and evolutionary history of folk psychology and agent tracking, (v) the pathologies of human beliefs about personal identity, and (vi) the characteristics of scientific reasoning akin to tracking or truth-tracking. Drawing on the insights provided by these studies, this workshop is aimed at addressing two fundamental problems. First, how do such variegated kinds of tracking support our ability to interact with others and understand their actions or mental states? Second, how do errors or dysfunctions in agent tracking relate to cognitive or social disorders? This workshop will be held on the Macquarie University campus and will feature an outstanding list of local and international speakers. It will include a keynote address by Professor Peter Carruthers (University of Maryland).

Link to the conference website:


Workshop: Mechanisms and Levels of Explanation in Cognitive Science

Date: 16-17 December 2010

Organised by Peter Menzies (mqrCAVE) and Kellie Williamson (Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science), the keynote speaker at this event was Prof Wiliam Bechtel (UN San Diego). Other speakers included Lise Andersen (Macquarie University), Paul Griffith (Sydney University), Jakob Hohwy (Monash University), Patrick McGivern (University of Wollongong), Peter Menzies (Macquarie University), Dominic Murphy (Sydney University), Jon Opie (University of Adelaide), John Sutton (Macquarie University),Kaorola Stotz (Sydney University) and Kellie Williamson (Macquarie University).

Workshop: Normativity and the Law

Date: 15 June 2010

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Stanley Paulson (Washington University Law School)

Respondents: Dr. Carlos Bernal-Pulido (Macquarie), Dr. Paul Formosa (Macquarie), Dr. Iain Stewart (Macquarie)


Workshop: Narrative Approaches to the Self

Date: 12 December 2009

Hosted in collaboration with the Philosophy Program, the University of Wollongong and the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, keynote speakers at this event included Shaun Gallagher (Florida State) and Dan Hutto (Hertfordshire).

Workshop and seminar: Foucault on Neoliberalism

Date: 3 December 2009

Using a relevant text circulated beforehand, this event featured an informal workshop discussion with the distinguished Foucault scholar Dr. Miguel de Beistegui (Warwick University).

Workshop: The Cutting Edge of Innovation Treatments: The Hazards of Progress

Hosted by Macquarie University's Faculty of Arts and the Australian School of Advanced Medicine.

Date: 28 November 2009

Issues discussed included

  • When is a new operation an experiment?
  • How do we know if a new device is safe?
  • Should patients be told when their doctor tries novel procedures?
  • How should innovative practice be regulated?

Colin Thomson (Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Wollongong) led a discussion of these issues using an hypothetical case and drawing on a distinguished panel of experts.

Conference: ASCS 2009: The 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science

Date: 30 September - 2 October 2009


Keynote speakers at this conference included Stephen Crain (Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science), Jakob Hohwy (Philosophy Department, Monash University), Jason Mattingley (Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland), Thomas Metzinger (Philosophy Department, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz and the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin) and Barbara Tversky (Psychology Department, Stanford University and Columbia University).

Conference Proceedings can be found at:

Conference: Vulnerability, Agency and Justice

Co-hosted by Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics; Faculty of Arts, University of Tasmania; Faculty of Arts, University of Wollongong

Date: 13-15 August 2009

Held on the Macquarie campus, speakers at this conference included Gillian Brock (Auckland), Marilyn Friedman (Vanderbilt), Amy Mullin (Toronto) and Margaret Walker (Arizona State).


Workshop: Current Issues in Collective Responsibility

Date: 21-22 November 2008

Invited speakers: Prof. Larry May (Washington University, St. Louise and CAPPE, ANU); Prof. Marilyn Friedman (Washington University, St. Louise and CAPPE, ANU); Prof. Tony Coady (CAPPE, University of Melbourne); Prof. Janna Thomson (La Trobe University)

Respondents: Dr. Justine McGill (University of Sydney); A/Prof. Catriona Mackenzie (Macquarie); Emeritus Professor Genevieve Lloyd (UNSW and Macquarie); Dr. Ian Tregenza (Macquarie)

Conference: Emotions, Imagination and Moral Reasoning

Co-sponsored by MACCS and Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics

Date: 5-7 September 2008


Invited Speakers: Prof. Bertram Malle (Brown University), Prof. Victoria McGeer  (Princeton University); Prof. Peter Goldie & Chloe Fitzgerald (University of Manchester); Professor Mark Dadds (UNSW) & Dr. David Hawes (University of Sydney); A/Prof. Jeanette Kennett (CAPPE, Australian National University); Dr Marc de Rosnay (University of Sydney); Dr Neil Levy (CAPPE, University of Melbourne); Dr Ian Ravenscroft (Flinders University); Dr. Doris McIllwain (Psychology, Macquarie); A/Prof. Catriona Mackenzie (Macquarie); Dr. Robyn Langdon (Macquarie); Prof. John Sutton (Macquarie).

Publication: R. Langdon and C. Mackenzie (eds), 2011. Emotions, Imagination and Moral Reasoning, (New York: Psychology Press).

Past seminars


Seminar: David Shoemaker on "Hurt Feelings"

Date: 11 December 2018

Abstract: In introducing the reactive attitudes “of people directly involved in transactions with each other,” P.F. Strawson lists “gratitude, resentment, forgiveness, love, and hurt feelings." Because he decided to illustrate his larger points about responsibility by focusing on resentment (via an investigation into its standard excusing and exempting conditions), nearly everyone writing about responsibility in Strawson’s wake has done so as well. But what of the remaining reactive attitudes? While many have written about gratitude, forgiveness, and love, hurt feelings is a lonely outlier, with nary a single philosophical paper on it. This puzzling elision is made more puzzling by the fact that, as I intend to argue, considering it carefully has very significant implications for our theorizing about responsibility. Indeed, it may well reveal a stark methodological divide in the field. I will begin by developing a psychologically-informed understanding of the nature of hurt feelings, and then I will explore their excusing and exempting conditions, a la Strawson. To account for them in a theory of responsibility will, as we shall see, require a dramatically different approach than any that have thus far been offered.

CAVE/Law Seminar: William Lucy (Durham), “The Abstract Nature of Law’s Judgement”

Date: 25 September 2018

Abstract: In Law’s Judgement (Oxford: Hart 2017) William Lucy elucidates and defends a feature of contemporary law that is currently either overlooked or too glibly dismissed as morally troublesome or historically anachronistic. That feature is the abstract nature of law’s judgement and its three components show that, when law judges us, it often does so in ignorance of our particular characters and abilities, on the one hand, and in ignorance of our context and circumstances, on the other. Modern law’s judgement is thus abstract in this sense: it is insensitive to all or much that makes us the particular people we are. The book explores various connections between this mode of judgement and some of our most important legal and political values. It shows that law’s abstract judgement is closely related to important juristic conceptions of personhood, responsibility and impartiality, and that these notions are not without moral significance. The book also examines the connections between law’s abstract judgement and three of our most important political values, namely, dignity, equality and community. It argues that, if we value particular conceptions of dignity, equality and community, then we must also value law’s judgement. Illuminating these connections therefore serves a double purpose: first, it makes a case against those who counsel liberation from law’s abstract judgement and, second, it redirects attention to the task of morally evaluating law’s abstract judgement in its own terms.

Bio: William Lucy is a Prof at Durham Law School with research expertise in private law and legal philosophy. He previously worked at the University of Manchester, Cardiff University, Keele University and the University of Hull Law School (where he was almost the inaugural HK Bevan Professor of Law). He holds an undergraduate degree in law and postgraduate degrees in jurisprudence and in political philosophy. He is the author of Understanding and Explaining Adjudication (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1999) and Philosophy of Private Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press 2007), and Law's Judgement (Hart Publishing, 2017).

CAVE Seminar: Mirander Fricker (CUNY), “Ambivalence about forgiveness”

Date: 16 August 2018

Abstract: Our ideas about forgiveness seem to oscillate between idealization and scepticism. One might think this simply indicates disagreement, or indecision, but I suspect not. I see these different attitudes as representing opposing moments of a collective moral ambivalence about forgiveness that is well grounded, and I aim to show that there is a philosophical angle on forgiveness capable of vindicating both of our opposing perspectives simultaneously. Once we are correctly positioned, we shall see an aspect of forgiveness that recommends precisely this ambivalence. For what will come into view will be certain key psychological mechanisms of moral-epistemic influence—other-addressed and self-addressed mechanisms of moral social construction—that enable forgiveness to function well when it is well-functioning, but which are also intrinsically prone to deterioration into one or another form of bad faith. Thus forgiveness is revealed as necessarily containing seeds of its own corruption, and ambivalence is proved a permanently appropriate attitude. Moreover, where the moral protagonists are relating in the context of asymmetries of social power, the practice of forgiveness is further compromised.


Seminar: Jeremy Moss (Practical Justice Initative, UNSW), "Historical Emissions and the Carbon Budget"

Joint CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Tuesday 17 October 2017

Jeremy Moss (Practical Justice Initiative, UNSW)

"Historical Emissions and the Carbon Budget"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: W3A 501 (Blackshield Room), Macquarie University

All welcome, no registration required!


This paper assesses the role of fault-based distributive principles in dividing the world's remaining carbon budget. Many philosophers dismiss or downgrade the role of fault-based principles in the context of historical emissions because the original emitters are often dead, excusably ignorant or do not have the appropriate obligation generating links to their governments. While this view has some intuitive force, the paper argues that it and the associated focus on pre-1990 (pre IPCC report) emissions are now out of date. The paper argues that a restricted fault-based principle, according to which emissions should be divided among countries on the basis of their emissions since 1990, is both viable and powerful. The paper considers standard objections to a fault-based principle in this context, how such a principle might more concretely be applied, and its likely implications.

About the speaker:

Jeremy Moss is Professor of Political Philosophy and Co-Director of the Practical Justice Initiative at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. His main research interests are in political philosophy and applied philosophy. Current research interests include projects on: climate justice, the ethics of renewable energy as well as the ethical issues associated with fossil fuel exports. Recent publications include: Reassessing Egalitarianism, Climate Change and Justice (Cambridge University Press), and ‘The Morality of Divestment’ in Law and Policy.

Seminar: Lionel K. McPherson (Tufts), "What deflating 'race' means"

Joint CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Tuesday 15 August 2017

CAVE Visitor Lionel McPherson (Tufts)Lionel K. McPherson (Tufts)

"What deflating 'race' means"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: Blackshield Room, W3A 501

All welcome, no registration required!


“Race” has long searched for a stable, suitable idea, with no consensus on a master meaning. What I call deflationary pluralism about the existence of race recognizes that various meanings may be true as far as they go but avoids murky disputes over whether there are races in some sense. There would appear to be no fundamental puzzle to solve about the metaphysics of race. In place of the race idea, I propose the idea of socioancestry. Black Americans, for example, constitute an Africa-identified, socioancestrally black subgroup. “Race” talk is not needed to sustain color-conscious approaches to social identity and social justice. Visible continental ancestry is the root of the social reality of color consciousness.

About the speaker:

Lionel K. McPherson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He received his PhD in philosophy from Harvard University. His publications, which range from social and political philosophy to ethics, include “Deflating ‘Race’” (Journal of the American Philosophical Association), “Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong?” (Ethics), and “Normativity and the Rejection of Rationalism” (Journal of Philosophy). He is completing a book, The Afterlife of Race, about racial identity, political solidarity, and Black progress.

Seminar: Colleen Murphy (Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), "Justice in Transitional Circumstances"

Joint CAVE/Law School Seminar: Monday 24 July 2017

Colleen Murphy (Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

"Justice in Transitional Circumstances"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: Blackshield Room, W3A 501

All welcome, no registration required!


Societies emerging from periods of conflict or repression and trying to democratize characteristically try to address past wrongs using processes other than criminal punishment. There is, however, deep disagreement as to whether justice is achieved with alternate measures such as amnesty or a truth commission.  What are the appropriate standards of justice to use when evaluating various responses to wrongdoing in transitional circumstances?  To answer this question,  I first articulate the circumstances of justice characterizing transitional societies, and contrast these with the circumstances of stable democracies.  I then argue that justice in transitional circumstances is not aimed at giving perpetrators what they deserve, but rather is aimed at transforming a society in a just manner. In these circumstances, the justice of any response to wrongdoing is a function of whether it contributes to transformation in the right way.

About the speaker:

Colleen Murphy is a Professor of Law, Philosophy and Political Science and Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Moral Philosophy, a member of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on the Status of Women (2014 - 2017) and a member of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Philosophy and Law (2017 - 2020). Professor Murphy is the author of The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge University Press) and A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (Cambridge University Press).

Seminar: Lucy Allais (Wits/UCSD), "Evil and the disunity of the subject"

CAVE Seminar: Tuesday 11 July 2017

Lucy Allais (Wits/UCSD)

"Evil and the Disunity of the Subject"

Response by Paul Formosa (Macquarie)

Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Venue: W6A 107.

All welcome, no registration required!


In the relatively late work, Religion within the boundaries of mere Reason (1793), Kant presents the claim that humans have an innate, universal yet imputable propensity to evil and that this propensity is present in all of us, ‘even the best’. There is much that is puzzling in Kant’s account of evil, including his saying that we can be known to be evil as a species, that it is a propensity that is ineradicable, universal, rooted in and woven into human nature yet imputable and based in a ‘deed of freedom’ (6: 21; 27–30); that it is incomprehensible yet somehow based in reason, that it is innate but not attributable to nature (6: 21), that it is inextirpable yet possible to overcome, that we cannot overcome it through our own unaided efforts (needing something like God’s grace), and the corruption evil involves seems to make it impossible for us to start the process of becoming better but this is still something we ought to do—and Kant holds that everything we ought to do is possible for us to do. I want to argue that there is a way of reading Kant’s account on which it in fact fits naturally together with, and even follows from, central parts of his account of practical reason. Further, I argue that his account is plausible, and that although Kant provides an explanation of the biblical notion of original sin, this account is consistent with a secular account of humans as not simply finite and imperfect moral agents, but deeply and systematically flawed. I argue that the very structure of practical reason, as Kant understands it, will lead to systematically flawed, corrupt and systematically self-deceived agency under certain conditions—those of living in injustice. I do not argue that living in injustice is the only explanation of a propensity to evil in Kant; but that it is part of the picture. My suggestion is that the way Kant thinks about the relation between practical reason and our political obligations has implications for the moral psychology of finite, embodied, imperfectly rational creatures who come to agency and realise agency in corrupt conditions. I also present a suggestion for a secular reading of our need for external help in renewing our agency.

About the speaker:

Lucy Allais did her undergraduate degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and post-graduate degrees at Oxford. She has a number of publications on Kant’s theoretical philosophy, primarily on transcendental idealism and on the non-conceptualism of intuition, including her 2015 book, Manifest Reality: Kant’s Idealism and his Realism (OUP). She has also published on forgiveness, restorative and retributive justice, and other topics in ethics. She is currently working on human freedom in Kant.

Seminar: Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh/MQ), "Risk"

Joint CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Tuesday 30 May 2017

CAVE Visitor Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh)Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh/MQ)


Time: 13:00 - 14:30
Venue: W6A 708

All welcome, no registration required!


It is argued that the standard theoretical account of risk in the contemporary literature, which is cast along probabilistic lines, is flawed, in that it is unable to account for a particular kind of risk. In its place a modal account of risk is offered. Four applications of the modal account of risk are then explored. First, to epistemology, via the defence of an anti-risk condition on knowledge in place of the normal anti-luck condition. Second, to legal theory, where it is shown that this account of risk can cast light on the debate regarding the extent to which a criminal justice system can countenance the possibility of wrongful convictions, and can also (relatedly) cast light on the notion of legal evidence. Third, to the notion of aesthetic risk, and how more generally we can better account for how risk seems to add value to certain activities by appealing to the modal account of luck. Finally, fourth, some tentative remarks are offered on how the modal account of risk might be relevant to the good life of human flourishing.

About Duncan:

Duncan Pritchard is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and Director of its Eidyn research centre ( In 2007 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize. In 2011 he was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2013 he delivered the annual Soochow Lectures in Philosophy in Taiwan, which were subsequently published by Princeton University Press as Epistemic Angst: Radical Scepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing. His other monographs include Epistemic Luck (Oxford UP, 2005), The Nature and Value of Knowledge (co-authored, Oxford UP, 2012), and Epistemological Disjunctivism (Oxford UP, 2012). Duncan is currently leading several large externally funded Eidyn research projects, including two major collaborative and interdisciplinary Templeton-funded projects and also the Edinburgh wing of an ERC-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network.

Seminar: Julian Savulescu (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics), "Enhancement, designer babies, and conscientious objection"

Joint CAVE/Practical Justice Initiative (UNSW) Seminar: Monday 8 May 2017

Julian Savulescu (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics)

"Enhancement, designer babies, and conscientious objection"

Time: 16:00 - 18:00
Venue: W6A 107

All welcome, no registration required!

Abstract: People are increasingly choosing practices which are illegal, proscribed by professional or social norms, or otherwise contrary to social expectations. Examples include genetic selection of embryos for advantageous traits, sex selective abortion or embryo selection. I will outline what constitutes a good reason to support a controversial choice by reference tot he concepts of autonomy, well being and justice. I will discuss the role of professional conscience or personal values in supporting or declining to support controversial choices.

About the speaker:

Julian Savulescu's areas of research include: the ethics of genetics, especially predictive genetic testing, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, prenatal testing, behavioural genetics, genetic enhancement, gene therapy; research ethics, especially ethics of embryo research, including embryonic stem cell research; new forms of reproduction, including cloning and assisted reproduction; medical ethics, including end of life decision-making, resource allocation, consent, confidentiality, decision-making involving incompetent people, and other areas; sports ethics; and the analytic philosophical basis of practical ethics. He is currently the Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and is the author of many books, including Human Enhancement (2009), and Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement (2012).

This seminar is jointly hosted with the Practical Justice Initiative (UNSW).

Seminar: Verina Wild (LMU), "Just a little stitch? The ethics of hymen reconstruction"

Joint CAVE/Anthropology Seminar: Thursday 30 March 2017

CAVE Seminar Speaker Dr. Verina Wild (LMU)Verina Wild (LMU)

"Just a little stitch? The ethics of hymen reconstruction"

Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Venue: W6A 107

All welcome, no registration required!


Hymen reconstruction surgery purporting to “restore virginity” is now available in many countries. Little clinical evidence supports the intervention, for which there are no surgical standards of practice and hardly any policy guidance. Nearly as scarce is social science research exploring women’s motivations to undergo the intervention, and health care professionals’ justifications for providing it.

The intervention and the role of health care professionals are ethically controversial, for example: Are physicians becoming accomplices of unjust social norms? Can this really be regarded as an autonomously chosen surgery? Is there a moral obligation for health care professionals to help vulnerable women in order to prevent further harm? Is there a moral obligation for health care professionals to help women pursue their future life plans by expanding spaces of autonomy? Which meaning do concepts such as “justice”, “autonomy” or “vulnerability” have in this case?

Together with a research team we have conducted interviews in Tunisia, trying to find out more about the stories of people involved in hymen reconstruction. Other interviews and data analysis of online requests for hymen reconstruction were undertaken in Germany and Switzerland.

In this paper I present selected empirical results. I will develop first steps of an ethical analysis that takes historical and socio-cultural aspects into account and that includes the voices of women who have undergone the surgery. The complexity of the ethical dimension will become obvious, impacting on potential attempts to develop policy.

About the speaker:

Dr. Verina Wild is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU), Germany and Affiliate Researcher at the Institute of Ethics, History and Theory, LMU. She held a position as Senior Teaching and Research Associate from 2008-2016 at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich. Before that she was a physician in internal medicine in Berlin, Germany. Her current research interests are theories of health justice; health of migrants and ethics; gender justice in health; and methods in ethical decision-making. Since 2009 she is engaged in her project on “Ethics of Hymen Reconstruction”, for which she conducted interviews in Tunisia, Germany and Switzerland.

Seminar: Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam), "On becoming a good philosopher"

Joint CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Tuesday 7 March 2017

CAVE Visitor Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam)Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam)

"On becoming a good philosopher"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: W6A 708


Ludwig Wittgenstein is reported to have said about William James: “That is what makes him a good philosopher; he was a real human being”. I believe that Wittgenstein was right about James. However, I also think that Wittgenstein’s contention is true of philosophy in general. My lecture is about this general claim.

About the speaker:

Logi Gunnarsson studied philosophy at the University of Iceland (B.A), the University of Pittsburgh (M.A., Ph.D.) and the University of Frankfurt am Main. He is Professor of Philosophy, the founder and director of the William James Center and co-director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Potsdam (Germany). His research interests include issues in personal identity, moral philosophy, the philosophy of philosophy and William James. Among his publications are Philosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple Personality (Routledge, 2010) and Making Moral Sense: Beyond Habermas and Gauthier (Cambridge UP, 2000, paperback 2007). He is completing a book in German on the philosophy of philosophy with the title Vernunft und Temperament (Reason and Temperament).

All welcome!

Seminar: Nikolas Rose (King's College London), "Neurotechnologies of justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom"

Joint CAVE/Australian Neurolaw Database Seminar: Tuesday 7 March 2017

CAVE Seminar Speaker, Nikolas Rose (King's College London)Nikolas Rose (King's College London)

“Neurotechnologies of justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom”

Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Venue: 75T 3.Continuum


In this talk I will explore the actual and potential impacts of developments in neuroscience and neurotechnology in the criminal justice system beyond the courtroom. There has been much discussion about the role of genetics and brain scanning in criminal trials and their impact on the legal fiction of free will, although evidence that genetic or brain based defences succeed in exculpation is equivocal. In this talk, I will focus elsewhere, and explore the impact of claims to be able to ‘read the brain’ in neural lie detection and beyond, the potential uses of novel neurotechnologies for risk assessment, pre-emptive intervention, and their role in ‘law enforcement’ and ‘crowd control’, and some questions arising from machine learning and artificial intelligence. The challenges posed by the ‘dual use’ potential of some advances in neuroscience, where technologies intended for civilian purposes also have military and security uses, are particularly significant at a time when the boundaries between the criminal justice and the wider security system are increasingly blurred.

About the speaker:

Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Kings College London which he founded in 2012.  He was previously Martin White Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of the LSE's BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society, which he founded in 2003.   He is founder and co-editor of BioSocieties: an interdisciplinary journal for social studies of the life sciences and is a long-time editor of Economy and Society. His most recent books include The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century(2007); Governing The Present (written with Peter Miller, 2008) and Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (written with Joelle Abi-Rached, 2013).  He is currently seeking to build new relations between the social sciences and the life sciences, partly through  research on mental health, migration and megacities; arising from this, The Urban Brain: Living in the Neurosocial City (with Des Fitzgerald) will be published by Princeton University Press in 2018.  He is also currently completing a long overdue book on Our Psychiatric Future? to be published by Polity Press in 2018.

All welcome and there is no cost, but please register for a seat.


Seminar: Robert Bernasconi (Penn State), "Towards a Genealogy of the Concept of Racism"

Joint CAVE/Philosophy Work-In-Progress Seminar: Tuesday 15 November 2016

CAVE Visitor Robert BernasconiRobert Bernasconi (Pennsylvania State University)

"Towards a Genealogy of the Concept of Racism"

Time: 13:00 - 14:30
Venue: W6A 107

One can find in the 1950 UNESCO Statement on Race a clear articulation of what became the dominant strategy for attacking racism in the aftermath of the Second World War, but its general outlines were already formulated in the 1930s by Franz Boas and Julian Huxley. Nevertheless, whereas the focus in the 1930s fell almost exclusively on isolating and discrediting the racial doctrines expounded by National Socialism, in the 1950s and 1960s decolonization and the dismantling of segregation were the central challenge. The importance of exposing the false biological theories of the 1930s should not be underestimated, nor the time it took to do so, but it was immediately apparent to Black intellectuals, like Oliver Cromwell Cox and Frantz Fanon, that the Boasian approach would fail to meet the challenges of the post-war world. In this paper I recall the contributions of Cox and Fanon, but above all I focus on how the Boasian school of anthropology came to understand racism as it did and without any thoroughgoing examination of structural racism: for the Boasians racism was not a system but a set of false scientific dogmas that could be corrected by education. I argue further that the Boasian model of racism, in addition to being unduly narrow, was based not on a study of racism at large but only on their limited understanding of a theoretical antisemitism that, while represented in one strand of Nazi racial biology, did not even extend to cover Nazi racism more broadly conceived.  Finally, I make the case that until the limitations of this understanding of racism are fully acknowledged, the dominant antiracist discourse does more to protect the status quo than it serves to challenge it.

All welcome! No registration required!

Seminar: Dominik Düber (Münster), "What's a conception of the good (life)?"

Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Work-in-Progress Seminar: Tuesday 25 October 2016

CAVE Visitor DüberDominik Düber (Münster)

"What's a conception of the good (life)?"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: W6A 107

What are the limits of legitimate state action in a liberal state that values autonomy and ensures basic liberal rights? Can we establish principles for drawing the line between legitimate and illegitimate state action or that points out matters that the state should or should not get involved in? These are fundamental questions in contemporary Political Philosophy and even within the broadly liberal tradition we can identify two quite different camps by the way they answer this question. The anti-perfectionist camp defends a principle of restraint, saying that while the state may be justified in taking an active role in matters of justice, it has to refrain from any activity that aims at promoting conceptions of the good life or that is justified by considerations of the good. Perfectionists, on the other hand, say that no such principle of restraint should be established, even defending this thesis up to the point that “it is the goal of all political action to enable individuals to pursue valid conceptions of the good” (Raz).

Since the great majority of philosophers involved in this ‘perfectionism-debate’ on both sides do not discuss how the line between considerations of the good life and other issues, e.g. matters of justice, can be drawn, they seem to take for granted that the distinction is clear enough to be applicable in political theory and practice. Motivated by the fundamental role the term “conceptions of the good (life)” plays in the debate between perfectionists and anti-perfectionists, I critically discuss this line of demarcation and scrutinize if it can be spelled out clearly enough to identify two different camps in political philosophy and play a role as a guiding principle in political practice.

All welcome! No RSVP required.

Seminar: Shane O'Neill (Queen's University Belfast), "The Fabric of Global Justice: Freedom, Recognition, Decolonization"

CAVE Seminar: Friday 26 August 2016

CAVE Visitor Shane O'NeillShane O'Neill (Queen's University Belfast)

"The Fabric of Global Justice: Freedom, Recognition, Decolonization"

Time: 14:00 - 15:30
Venue: W6A 127

Abstract: In this paper, I advance an immanent yet radical theory of global justice. This account seeks to move beyond an increasingly sterile debate between egalitarian, cosmopolitan proceduralists and their liberal nationalist critics. The alternative is based on the struggle for mutual recognition among self-determining political societies in a post-colonial world order. A method of normative reconstruction is adopted, following Axel Honneth’s Hegelian investigation of the criteria of social justice immanent within three spheres of freedom in modern Western liberal democratic societies. The limits of Honneth’s account of democratic ethical life in the nation-state, and of freedom in the modern world, is exposed and shown to be in need of extension and revision. In taking due account of colonial and neo-colonial injustices that cross and transcend state boundaries, international relations are presented as an additional sphere of modern freedom with its own immanent standards of justice. The fabric, or material, of global justice is constituted by asymmetrical relations between political societies confronted by a range of significant, shared, human challenges of injustice in an interdependent, globalizing world marked by differing experiences of modernity. Most societies struggle to substantiate self-determining freedom in the face of contemporary neo-colonial power and an enduring legacy of colonialism. While citizens within each society engage in practices that promise greater realisation of their social freedom, these societies are themselves mired in regional and global struggles in which they seek to realise political freedom for their peoples and equal respect in the world order.

Shane's profile is available on our Visitors page.

All welcome, no registration required!

Seminar: Robert Audi (Notre Dame), "Intellectual Virtue, Knowledge, and Justification"

CAVE Seminar: Thursday 26 May 2016

CAVE Visitor Robert AudiRobert Audi (Notre Dame)

"Intellectual Virtue, Knowledge, and Justification"

Time: 15:00 - 16:30
Venue: W6A 107

Abstract: Twentieth-century epistemology might be plausibly considered predominantly atomistic, focusing mainly on individual beliefs and instances of knowledge of specific propositions. Since at least the 1990s, however, we have seen progressively more theorizing in which the focus is holistic, with elements of intellectual character receiving intensive study and taken to clarify conditions under which individual beliefs are justified or constitute knowledge.  This essay is primarily concerned with intellectual character.  It assumes that knowledge and justification are importantly different concerns of epistemology and pursues the question whether we might fruitfully distinguish intellectual virtues in relation to the relative importance of these two elements in their constitution.  It is argued that some intellectual virtues might be fruitfully considered knowledge-based, whereas others are plausibly viewed as justification-based and still others have a more complicated basis. The paper also explores the manifestations, as distinct from the basis, of intellectual traits.  The result is an outline of an account of intellectual virtue and, in that light, a wider conception of intellectual character than the leading conceptions of it presented in recent epistemological literature.

All welcome, no registration required.

Seminar: Michael Brady (Glasgow), "Painfulness, Desire, and Reasons"

CAVE Seminar: Tuesday 12 April 2016

CAVE/VOS speaker Michael BradyMichael Brady (Glasgow)

"Painfulness, Desire, and Reasons"

Time: 12:00 - 13:30
Venue: W6A 708

Abstract: What makes pains painful? The desire view of painfulness holds that painfulness is an extrinsic quality of pain sensations; these count as painful because the subject desires that they cease. The view faces a number of serious objections, the most devastating of which is a version of the Euthyphro Dilemma. At the heart of this criticism is the claim that desires lack the normative force to enable the desire view to capture what is supposed to be a platitude about painfulness, namely that it gives one a normative reason to act so that the sensation ceases. In this paper I argue that the desire view can respond to this challenge and capture the normativity of painfulness.

All welcome, no registration required.

Seminar: Albert Newen (Bochum), "The Individuation and Recognition of Emotion"

CAVE Visitor Albert Newen (Bochum)

Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Work-in-Progress Seminar: Tuesday 15 March 2016

Albert Newen (Bochum)

"The Individuation and Recognition of Emotion"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: W6A 107

In the metaphysical debate we have two extreme positions: emotions are individuated as social constructs (Lutz 1986, Harré 1986), on the one hand, or they are individuated as evolutionary anchored affect programs (Ekman 1972, Griffith 1997), on the other. Both accounts have severe deficits. Let us mention only the two main deficits: psychoevolutionary accounts state that shared evolutionary history is the only criteria to identify types of emotions. They do not provide any classificatory schemes which do not refer to each category's evolutionary history but for many emotion categories referred to not only in everyday speech but also in psychological theories, it is far from clear whether their members share the same evolutionary history. Thus, the psychoevolutionary account has difficulties providing adequate classificatory schemes, for example for studying emotions in a social context. In principle, psychoevolutionary accounts of emotions can easily account for basic emotions but have problems to account for the role of cognitive contents in so-called cognitive emotions (author 2008). On the other hand, the social constructionist can easily account for the latter including the cultural variety of emotion phenomena but they underestimate the strong overlap of the emotion repertoire despite the cultural variation. Here Ekman (1972) has shown that basic emotions like joy, fear, anger, sadness etc. are accompanied with the same facial expression. There is an open debate which phenomena are basic emotions but a strong part of the community presupposes that there are basic emotions which are evolutionary old, shared with animals and develop early in ontogeny (Ekman 1999, Griffiths 1997). The evolutionary anchor of basic emotions constraints our emotion repertoire and undermines the social constructivist view that emotions are entirely created by cultural factors. What could be an alternative? We need to do justice to both features, the evolutionary anchor of basic emotions and the cultural dependence of some emotions. I suggest that the claim that emotions are individuated as pattern is the best alternative: 1. pattern can easily involve both, evolutionary anchored as well as culturally shaped features and thus account for both observations; 2. this view especially helps to distinguish emotion concepts in a society and their natural basis, i.e. some emotions concepts are categorizing only conventional constructs while others are actually anchored in natural kinds (which empirical science has to discover). 2. The account of emotion as pattern is nicely connecting with our folk psychological way of thinking about emotions (noticing the many faces of emotions), 3. the best reductive scientific accounts of emotions have (at least so far) not succeeded in reducing emotions to a very few necessary features which are constituting a type of emotion. In the second part of the talk, I argue that emotion recognition relies on the same type of pattern recognition as is typical for object recognition.

Reference: Newen, A., Welpinghus, A., Juckel, G. (2015): Emotion Recognition as Pattern Recognition: The Relevance of Perception. Mind & Language 30(2), 187-208.

All welcome!

Seminar: Katsunori Miyahara (Rikkyo), "How the skin makes me me: A phenomenological analysis of itch experience"

Katsunori Miyahara (Rikkyo). Image by Nerissa Escanlar.Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Work-in-Progress Seminar: Tuesday 8 March 2016

Katsunori Miyahara (Rikkyo)

"How the skin makes me me: A phenomenological analysis of itch experience"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: W6A 107

ABSTRACT: How do sense experiences shape our conscious experience? The common view in both philosophy and the natural sciences of the mind has it that sense experiences are something given to the experiencing self. The aim of this talk is to outline an alternative to this view based on phenomenological analyses of two types of skin sense: itch and pain. In line with the common view, in the medical science, itch is typically defined as an uneasy sensation that causes in us the desire to scratch. By developing a preliminary phenomenological analysis of itch experience based on my own experience of Atopic Dermatitis, and in comparison to existing analyses on pain experience, I describe how itch experience involves a dynamical structure responsible for the maintenance and breakdown of the embodied self, rather than just being a sense experience given to a prefixed self.

All welcome, no registration required!


Luke Russell (Sydney), "Forgiving Under Ignorance"

CAVE Visitor Like RussellJoint CAVE/Philosophy Department Work-in-Progress Seminar: Tuesday 3 November 2015

Luke Russell (Sydney)

"Forgiving Under Ignorance"

Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: W3A 501

Should we accept that the victim herself is best positioned to know whether she has forgiven the perpetrator? Often victims of wrongdoing do not know much about the perpetrator, especially about his current attitude towards the wrong action in question. Victims might also be ignorant of relevant facts regarding their own emotional dispositions and their own motives. In this talk I ask whether these kinds of ignorance are a barrier that prevents us from forgiving, and whether they make forgiveness epistemically opaque to the would-be forgiver.

All welcome!

Heidi Maibom (Cincinnati), "Reenactment, counterfactual reasoning, and empathy."

CAVE Visitor Heidi MaibomJoint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Tuesday 20 October 2015

Heidi Maibom (Cincinnati)

"Reenactment, counterfactual reasoning, and empathy"

Time: 13:00 - 14:30
Venue: W3A 501

Perspective taking facilitates or has special powers to induce empathy. It is tempting to assume that it is something about the recreative stance—its subjectivity, the livedness of the thing—that has such special powers. But there are reasons to think we don’t reenact, even in our own case when we imagine something or other. What we do instead is that we think of what our reaction ought to be. This now raises the question of how we explain the special powers of perspective taking? What matters are a number of closely related things: disengaging from own construal of the situation, appreciating the possibility of multiple perspectives on the situation, and getting to a level of description where one sees more clearly the difficulty involved. What matters in perspective taking is not a subjective, re-lived element, but a different construal of the situation.

Jennifer Radden (University of Massachusetts Boston), "Folly, Melancholy, Madnesse are but one disease: Feelings and Reasoning Norms in the Anatomy of Melancholy and today's Mind Sciences"

CAVE Visitor, Jennifer RaddenJoint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Tuesday 13 October 2015

Jennifer Radden (University of Massachusetts Boston)

"Folly, Melancholy, Madnesse are but one disease: Feelings and Reasoning Norms in the Anatomy of Melancholy and today's Mind Sciences"

Time: 13:00 - 14:30
Venue: W3A 501

Relying on Stoic philosophical ideas, Burton's Anatomy (1621) presents the case that the unavoidable sadness and sorrow we feel in response to life's vicissitudes are matched by, and tied to, unavoidably errant and mistaken reasoning. In this respect, I show, the Anatomy anticipates findings and debates in the mind sciences of today. Disputes over distresses that are normal and adaptive rather than pathological ("normal sadness," not depression), are the focus of one of these; the second involves the finding that bias and inaccuracy are built into the structure of normal thought patterns. Using Stoic ideas, Burton links the norms guiding feeling and reasoning, and the aim of this paper is to critically evaluate that relationship and the Stoic claims in light of contemporary discussions.

Marc Lewis (Radboud), "Throwing out the brain with the bathwater? What neuroscience can teach us about recovery in addiction"

CAVE Seminar: Monday 7 September

Marc Lewis (Radboud)

"Throwing out the brain with the bathwater? What neuroscience can teach us about recovery in addiction"

Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Venue: W6A 708

All welcome!

Kristin Andrews (York University), "What does it mean to call a chimpanzee a person?"

CAVE Visitor Kristin AndrewsJoint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Friday 6 February

Kristin Andrews (York University)

"What does it mean to call a chimpanzee a person?"

Time: 10:30 - 12:00
Venue: W6A 107

Recent lawsuits in the US and Argentina are promoting the idea that other great apes should also be considered persons. This idea can sound odd, given the tendency to equate "person" with "human". I will show that these concepts come apart, and offer reasons for thinking it makes sense to call great apes (and members of many other species) persons.  Finally, I will examine some of the implications for research on great apes and cetaceans given the conclusion that they can be persons.


Mary Rawlinson (Stony Brook University), "Eating at the Heart of Ethics"

CAVE Visitor, Mary RawlinsonCAVE Seminar: Wednesday 17 December

Mary Rawlinson (Stony Brook University)

"Eating at the Heart of Ethics"

Time: 13.00 - 15.00
Venue: W6A 708

While no human being can escape the ethical dimension of food, what and how we eat is not simply a matter of individual choice. A focus on individual responsibility ignores the dependency of human agency on a culture of possibilities. The philosophical approach to eating as a matter of personal virtue and choice elides the structural and historical determinants of what and how we eat, at the same time that it deflects the political strategies and collaborations necessary to install and sustain infrastructures adequate to the just production and distribution of wholesome food. Agribusiness appears efficient, because its costs in environmental degradation, malnutrition, and social dislocation are not assessed, while it depends on invisible underpaid labour, as well as an ethically unsustainable treatment of animals.

An ethics and politics that begins with the right to property or the rational calculation of goods will see food as a commodity like any other, but what is actually universal in human experience is the double dependency on the mother and on food. Everyone is born of a woman and everyone needs to eat. What are the ethical implications of this universal dependency? This universal dependency, I argue, requires respect for the conditions of life: the land and the elements that sustain life ; the generativity of the seed that guarantees the sustenance of future generations; the animals who live and work with humans and are regularly sacrificed; and the women and men who work in the field, as well as the generations of women who have saved the seed and created the history of cooking.

Terroir as state policy realizes some of these values and has proven effective in preserving the landscape and environment, while supporting local farming and local culinary institutions. It sustains a social life that effectively preserves and mediates regional differences within a highly centralized French state.  Bread, wine, and cheese, the "Sacré Trinité," provide a field of pleasure and knowledge shared across classes.

Does terroir offer a practical political strategy for changing the culture of possibilities?

Heather Draper (University of Birmingham), "An empirically informed ethical framework for social care robots for older people."

CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Friday 24 October

Heather Draper (University of Birmingham)

"An empirically informed ethical framework for social care robots for older people."

Time: 10:00 - 12:00
Venue: W6A 107

This talk is based on the results of the ethics research for ACCOMPANY (, a robotics project funded by the European Commission FP7 ITC programme. Robots are being developed to support people who may otherwise be unable to do so, to continue to live in their own homes. The target user group for ACCOMPANY is older people who are not significantly cognitively impaired. The ACCOMPANY robot is supposed to be re-enabling as well as supportive; this means that it is supposed to help the older person recover and maintain functions that enable them to live independently. With this in mind, a set of values was proposed to govern the development and programming of the robot. These values included autonomy, independence, enablement, safety, privacy and social connectedness. 21 focus groups were then convened in three countries (the UK, the Netherlands and France) with older people, and the formal and informal carers of older people to determine whether they thought additional values should be considered and how tensions between the existing values should be resolved. The paper will present and discuss the results.

Andrew Moore (University of Otago), "The job of 'ethics committees'"

CAVE Visitor, Prof. Andrew MooreCAVE Seminar: Friday 29 August 2014

Andrew Moore (University of Otago)

"The job of 'ethics committees'"

Time: 14:30 - 16:30 
Venue: W6A 708 

This paper, co-authored with Andrew Donnelly (Sydney), asks what job it is best to give research committees, and distinguishes the job 'review for ethical acceptability' from the job 'review against policy standards.' It then argues that the latter and not the former is the best job to give these committees, and argues on this basis for substantial reform.

This paper will be responded to by CAVE members, Kandy White and Mianna Lotz, and will then be opened to the floor for general discussion.

Andrew Moore (University of Otago), "Objective Wellbeing"

CAVE Visitor, Prof. Andrew MooreCAVE Seminar: Tuesday 26 August 2014

Andrew Moore (University of Otago)

"Objective Wellbeing"

Time: 14:00 - 16:00 
Venue: W6A 720

This paper sets out a strong/radical form of objectivist pluralism about individual well-being, which it develops and defends in the face of eleven leading published objections to theories of its type.

This session will be a discussion around Andrew Moore's paper, "Objective Wellbeing". The paper will be circulated beforehand.

Kevin Toh (San Francisco State University), "The Place of Social Practices in Our Normative Lives"

Joint CAVE/Centre for Legal Governance/Macquarie Law School Seminar: Monday 16 June 2014

Kevin Toh (San Francisco State University)

"The Place of Social Practices in our Normative Lives"

Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Venue: W3A 501

Abstract: The distinction between what we ought to do anyway on the one hand, and what we ought to do because of our practices on the other seems to have been a perennial philosophical concern.  And as befits a perennial philosophical concern, the distinction has proved stubbornly elusive and difficult to pin down.  Recently, in a thought-provoking and vigorously-argued paper, Nicholas Southwood (2011) has pursued the query in terms of the distinction between morality and conventions, or more specifically between moral judgments and conventional normative judgments; and he has proposed a way of characterizing this distinction that he deems superior to some common and influential alternatives.  According to Southwood, appeals to social practices, or "what is done", are necessary non-derivative grounds for conventional normative judgments, whereas such appeals can only be derivative grounds for moral judgments.  In effect, I argue, Southwood is characterizing us as invariably treating social practices as having final extrinsic values when we make conventional normative judgments.  In assessing and questioning Southwood's proposal, I shall scrutinize and question a view that seems to have become an orthodoxy in contemporary normative ethics -- namely, the view that there is a clear, qualitative distinction between final extrinsic and non-final extrinsic values.

Emmanuel Renault (Paris, Nanterre), "Marx's Critique of the Market"

CAVE Visitor, Prof. Emmanuel RenaultCAVE Seminar: Friday 13 June 2014

Emmanuel Renault (Paris, Nanterre)

"Marx's Critique of the Market"

Time: 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: W6A 708

Prof. Emmanuel Renault will present his paper, entitled "Marx's Critique of the Market."

Emmanuel Renault (Paris, Nanterre), "Social Self and Work in The Phenomenology of Spirit"

CAVE Visitor, Prof. Emmanuel RenaultCAVE Seminar: Tuesday 10 June 2014

Emmanuel Renault (Paris, Nanterre)

"Social Self and Work in The Phenomenology of Spirit"

Time: 11.00am - 1.00pm
Venue: W6B 357

This will be a discussion group that grows out of the reading session on this paper, held on May 27. Participants are invited to read the paper prior to this discussion seminar and come along to discuss the paper and the issues it raises with Prof. Renault. (If you are unable to attend the reading session, please feel free to still come along to this discussion.)

Monique Crane (Macquarie), "Moral Distress in the Workplace"

Monique CraneCAVE Seminar: Friday 23 May 2014

Monique Crane (Department of Psychology, Macquarie University)

"Moral Distress in the Workplace"

Time: 10.00am - 12.00pm
Venue: W6A 708

Dr. Crane is a lecturer in Organisational Psychology at Macquarie University. Her primary research concerns how organisations foster psychological resilience in the workplace. Her talk will be concerned with issues of distress in the workplace.

Abstract: "My research examines the role of moral distress as an important occupational stressor. Despite the importance of moral distress in the nursing scholarship, little attention has been paid to the phenomena in the psychological literature as an occupational stressor effecting broader industries. A factor possibly limiting the application of moral distress to other occupational settings is its definitional features. First, a current necessary condition of moral distress is the acknowledgement prior to behaviour initiation, that behaviour will contravene personal moral ideals.  Second, the definition of moral distress specifies that the inability to act in accordance with one's moral framework is driven by institutional constraints (non-autonomous behaviour). The first study examined the appropriateness of the currently well-used definition of moral distress to medical doctors. Fourteen Australian medical doctors participated in a semi-structured interview regarding occupational morally distressing events. The findings of this paper suggest that moral distress is not constrained in its definition in the two above noted ways and makes recommendations to resolve this issue.

A second study, examined individual characteristics that may make some people more vulnerable to the experience of moral distress. This study examined a cross-section of 540 Australian-registered veterinarians (63.8% female), ranging in age from 23 to 74. The results revealed a trend for the perceived moral significance of stressors to be negatively related to the experience of stress and negative arousal emotions. However, the perceived moral significance of stressors were not independently associated with deteriorations in psychological functioning. Trait perfectionism tended to moderate the relationship between morally significant stressors and declines in functioning and psychological resilience. The data presented suggests that trait perfectionism may be an individual difference that enhances vulnerability to morally challenging events in veterinary practice."


Kathryn Millard (Macquarie University), "Revisioning Obedience: Stanley Milgram's laboratory drama"

Kathryn MillardCAVE Seminar: Friday 3 May 2013

Professor Kathryn Millard (Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University)

"Revisioning Obedience: Stanley Milgram's laboratory drama"

Time: 1.00pm - 3.30 pm
Venue: W6A 708

Stanley Milgram's documentary Obedience (1965) is widely understood as the scientific record of a social psychology experiment. Yet it presents audio-visual footage of only 1 condition out of the more than 30 Milgram conducted. Far from blindly obeying authority, in some conditions up to 90% of participants disobeyed. Drawing on extensive archival research, this presentation looks behind the scenes at Milgram's obedience studies and film. Were they science? Or theatre? Milgram claimed his studies as evidence that most of us do as we're told. But do we?

Kathryn Millard is a writer, filmmaker and academic. In 2012, she was Visiting Fellow in Film Studies at Yale University. Kathryn's most recent film Random 8 (2012) dramatised sociologist Bill Gamson's 'Encounters with Unjust Authorities' experiment which challenged Stanley Milgram's findings.

On the film Random 8 see

Arto Laitinen (University of Jyväskylä), "Problems and Promises in the Philosophy of Recognition"

Arto LaitinenCAVE Seminar: Tuesday 12 March 2013

Professor Arto Laitinen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

"Problems and Promises in the Philosophy of Recognition"

Time: 2.00pm - 3.30 pm
Venue: W6A 107

Arto Laitinen is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), adjunct professor in social and moral philosophy in University of Helsinki, and from June 2013 Professor in Philosophy at the University of Tampere. His recent publications include the monograph Strong Evaluation without Moral Sources. On Charles Taylor's Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics (Walter de Gruyter, 2008), edited collections Hegel on Action (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Recognition and Social Ontology (Brill, 2011), and numerous articles on Hegel, recognition, solidarity and social ontology.

Arto Laitinen (University of Jyväskylä), "Declarations, Deontic Powers and Directions of Fit: On Searle's Social Ontology"

CAVE Seminar: Tuesday 12 March 2013

Professor Arto Laitinen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

"Declarations, Deontic Powers and Directions of Fit: On Searle's Social Ontology"

Time: 10.00am - 12.00pm
Venue: W6A 708


Robert McKay (Sheffielf University), Anat Pick (Queen Mary College), Tom Tyler (Oxford Brookes University), "Otherwise than Being Human: Three Talks on Non-anthropocentric Collectivity and Ethical Agency"

CAVE Seminar: Monday 10 December 2012

Dr Robert McKay (Sheffield University)

Dr Anat Pick (Queen Mary College, London) and 

Dr Tom Tyler (Oxford Brookes University)

"Otherwise than Being Human: Three Talks on Non‐anthropocentric Collectivity and Ethical Agency"

Time: 2.00pm ‐ 4.30 pm
Venue: W6A 708

Animals, Violence and Moral Agency in Post‐war Cinema: Marilyn Monroe, Velma Johnston, Arthur Miller, and John Huston's "The Misfits"

Recent reappraisals of "The Misfits" fail to engage with its most direct historical context: the development of animal welfare statute outlawing mustang hunting-legislation initiated in Nevada in 1953 and incorporated into Federal Code during pre‐production of the film in 1959. The legislative discussion was couched in terms of a universal humanism that clearly announced American moral ascendancy. The film, however, explores how animal ethics might emerge from much more disheartened view of America and the obsolescence of such values in the post‐war. I will read the presentation of Roslyn/Monroe, the pro‐animal voice of the film, against her real‐life counterpart: Velma Johnston, the Nevadan rancher who conceived and orchestrated the campaign for the 1959 legislation. After explaining how the hostile contemporary reaction to the film sought to foreclose its most radical elements, I will analyse a number of key moments in the film, including the film's most astonishing cinematic event-a long shot in which Roslyn screams at the hunters, indicting them as 'Killers! Murderers!'. This, I will argue, is a key site of the film's challenge to anthropocentric ethics in the post‐war. In turn, I will show how "The Misfits" complicates and exceeds, but in other ways undermines, both Johnston's politically effective humanitarianism and Monroe's own outrage that the film reduced Roslyn's (and her own) moral testimony to hysteria.

Robert McKay is Lecturer in English Literature and Faculty of Arts Assistant Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield. He has published on the animal politics of contemporary literature and film and cofounded the Animal Studies Group, with whom he published Killing Animals (Illinois UP, 2006).

Animals Between Love and Law: Veganism and Animal Ethics

As an alternative to the dominant Utilitarian and rights‐based models, animal ethics has turned to the Continental philosophies of Levinas and Derrida that welcome and revere Otherness. Whereas Utilitarianism relies on a "closed" system of ethical calculations, the Levinasian model remains open‐ended. This paper combines Levinasian openness, the disposition Matthew Calarco describes as "ethical agnosticism," with a closed approach that sees ethics as embodied in particular modes of practice. Veganism, I argue, is precisely such a practice that avoids predetermining the limits of moral consideration yet it insists on the social and normative dimensions of ethical responsiveness and so offers a tacit critique of the ethics of alterity. Veganism is located between transcendence and immanence, between love and law. My discussion responds in particular to Donna Haraway, who rejects veganism as purist and otherworldly, antithetical to the mode of "becoming with" that underlies what it means to cohabit the world with "companion species." I recast veganism as a practice of the "broken middle," a phrase I am borrowing from the philosopher and sociologist Gillian Rose, whose work was concerned with moving beyond either‐or versions of transcendence and immanence and so found itself in the realm of the middle‐not the space of compromise or acquiescence, but of struggle and work. Veganism, I will try to show, is the labour of love and justice, no less worldly than Haraway's multispecies earthly entanglements.

Anat Pick is Lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London. Her research centres on Continental approaches to animals, vegan animal ethics, and the zoomorphism of image and text. Anat's book "Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film" is published by Columbia University Press (2011) and she is coeditor of "Screening Nature: Cinema Beyond the Human" (Berghahn, 2013). She is currently working on a new book project on Continental philosophy & the idea of the committed life.

Merely Human or More than Human? Our Animal Collectivities

Sartre's account of bad faith describes the practice by which individuals deceive themselves into believing that the identity on which they have settled fully defines and delineates them. A particular form of bad faith is to be found in the work of diverse writers, academic and otherwise, who persistently self‐identify as human, thereby acknowledging only a narrow, limited part of themselves. In order to complicate this over‐hasty, anthroponormative self‐conception, I outline a number of alternative, nonhuman collectivities to which we each belong. Looking at family trees and taxonomies, at the colour vision ofdogs and doves, and at the sexual proclivities of hedgehogs and dolphins, can help us to move beyond an impoverished self‐identification as merely human.

Tom Tyler is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Culture at Oxford Brookes University, UK. He has published widely on animals and anthropocentrism, and is the editor of Animal Beings (Parallax 38, 2006), the co‐editor of Animal Encounters (Brill, 2009), and the author of CIFERAE: A Bestiary in Five Fingers (Minnesota UP, 2012).

Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis), "Autonomy, Self-Agency and Social Interaction"

CAVE Seminar: Friday 7 December 2012

Professor Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis)

"Autonomy, Self-Agency and Social Interaction"

Time: 11.00 am
Venue: Senate Room, 3rd floor, Lincoln Building, C8A

The interaction theory of social cognition (IT) argues that the strong interaction processes that contribute to or constitute social cognition have a certain autonomy of their own which cannot be reduced to processes found within the individuals who interact. Developmental studies show that intercorporeal and intersubjective interactions begin early in life. If this is so, it motivates the question about the possibility and extent of individual self-agency and autonomy.  Recent debates about free will (whether for or against) are framed by internalist models of cognition.  It suggests that an externalist/enactivist model is required to rethink the concepts of autonomy, self-agency and free will.  I'll outline aspects of this model and argue that it is consistent with the concept of phronesis.

Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis), Dan Hutto (University of Hertfordshire), Somogy Varga (University of Memphis), "Social Ontology, Critical Theory and Extended Minds"

CAVE Seminar: Thursday 6 December 2012

Professors Shaun Gallagher (Memphis), Dan Hutto (University of Hertfordshire) and Somogy Varga (University of Memphis)

"Social Ontology, Critical Theory and Extended Minds"

Time: 2.00pm - 5.00pm 
Venue: Boyd Room, Central Hub

Vikki Entwistle (University of Dundee), "Doing Philosophy with Clinicians and Patients: Reflections on a 'Knowledge Exchange' Project"

CAVE Seminar: Tuesday 27 November 2012

Professor Vikki Entwistle (University of Dundee)

"Doing philosophy with clinicians and patients: reflections on a 'knowledge exchange' project"

Time: 3.30 pm
Venue: W6A 708

Vikki Entwistle writes: In this seminar I will discuss my experiences of a small project that was commissioned by a charitable trust that works to improve the quality of health care to explore "philosophical issues in the co-production of health". My co-investigator and I approached the trust with the notions that (a) some of the prevailing ways of thinking about how clinicians and people with long term health conditions do and should work together were not adequate to support the kinds of quality improvement that the charitable trust (and others) aspired to and (b) ideas from philosophical work on relational accounts of autonomy and on capabilities might support the development of more useful ways of thinking. The project involved a combination of research scholarship, philosophical analyses and conversational engagement with people who provide, support and experience healthcare services relating to the management of long term health conditions. We enjoyed the process and think we will deliver 'products' that both we and the commissioning organisations can be pleased with, but there are a number of uncertainties and issues with this way of working. I hope that discussion of these uncertainties and issues during the seminar will allow us all to develop our understanding of 'applying' philosophy for public good.

Heidi M. Hurd (University of Illinois), Ralph Brubaker (University of Illinois),"Debts and the Demands of Conscience: The Moral Underpinnings of Bankruptcy Law"

Joint CAVE/CLG Seminar: Monday 3 September 2012

Heidi M. Hurd (University of Illinois) and Ralph Brubaker (University of Illinois)

"Debts and the Demands of Conscience: The Moral Underpinnings of Bankruptcy Law"

Time: 1.00 pm
Venue: The Blackshield Room, W3A 501

The seminar took its title from a recent book co-authored by Professors Hurd and Brubaker. They presented the central thesis of the book for discussion.

Antony Duff (University of Stirling), "Crimes and Torts"

CAVE Visitor, Prof. Antony Duff

Joint CAVE/CLG Seminar: Wednesday 25 July 2012

Antony Duff (University of Stirling)

"Crimes and Torts"

Time: 1.00pm - 2.00 pm
Venue: The Blackshield Room, W3A 501

Antony Duff writes:

It is easy enough to sketch an idealised distinction between criminal law and tort law, and to draw from it ideal paradigms of crimes and of torts.

  • Criminal law is focused on wrongs (even if, for those who espouse the Harm Principle, it is properly concerned only with harmful wrongs); tort law is focused on harms (even if, for those who eschew strict liability, it is properly concerned only with wrongful harms).
  • Criminal law ascribes responsibility for past wrongdoing in a way that renders the agent liable to formal censure and punishment; tort law ascribes responsibility for past harm-causing in a way that renders the agent liable to pay compensatory damages.
  • Criminal law is 'public' law in the sense that criminal cases are brought and controlled by 'the public' ('State', 'People', Commonwealth', or in less advanced polities 'Queen'): the (alleged) victim does not have the right to decide whether the case is pursued or the punishment exacted. Tort law is 'private' law in the sense that tort cases are brought and controlled by the (alleged) victim, either individual or corporate: she decided whether to bring or pursue the case, and whether to enforce any order for damages.

(In our actual legal worlds, of course, this distinction is very much messier.)

This distinction, or set of distinctions, between crimes and torts raises three kinds of question.

  • Should we operate with both kinds of law; or should we seek to abolish one (as so-called abolitionists seek to abolish criminal law)?
  • If we are to sustain (something like) criminal law and (something like) tort law, how are we to decide which kinds of matter should fall under each (or, of course, under both)? Is there any principled way of deciding what should count as crime, and what should count (only) as tort?
  • Must the three sets of defining features noted above always go together? Or could we e.g. give victims more control of a criminal process (as with private prosecutions); or allow tort cases to lead to censure and punishment (as with punitive damages); or have criminal cases lead to victim-oriented compensation rather than punishment?

This paper will begin to explore these questions.


Beate Roessler (University of Amsterdam), "Authenticity of Cultures and of Persons"

Beate Roessler

CAVE Seminar: Thursday 24 November 2011

Roessler (University of Amsterdam)

"Authenticity of Cultures and of Persons"

Time: 2.00pm - 4.30pm
Venue: W6A 708

Beate Roessler writes: In this paper I argue that it does not make sense - either empirically or normatively - to speak of 'authentic' cultures. All we need when talking about cultures is a relatively weak concept that still carries enough normative weight to function as the meaningful background of a person's identity, autonomy and good life. Discussing the authentic culture, I refer to the debates around the German Leitkultur as well as the Dutch populist movement as examples. However, I am interested not only in the concept of the authenticity of a culture but also in the concept of the authenticity of persons: if an 'authentic culture' is not feasible, does this have repercussions on the concept of the autonomy and authenticity of persons? In suggesting that this might be the case, I argue that persons can be autonomous without always being fully authentic.

Jocelyn Downie (Dalhousie University), "End of Life Law and Policy: A New Arena for Restorative Justice"

CAVE Seminar: Friday 30 September 2011

Jocelyn Downie (Dalhousie University)

"End of Life Law and Policy: A New Arena for Restorative Justice"

Time: 1.30pm -  3.30pm
Venue: W6A 708

Jocelyn Downie writes: In this talk I will suggest that restorative justice might provide a new direction and a new way to resolve some of the myriad problems with the current approach taken to euthanasia and assisted suicide in a number of countries.  To that end, I will first describe the way euthanasia and assisted suicide are currently handled in the legal system in Canada.  I will then describe restorative justice and highlight some of the differences in both substance and process as between the traditional approach currently in use and the proposed restorative approach.  I will follow this with an explanation of how a restorative justice approach could actually be implemented in this arena, flagging important challenges to doing so.  In the end, I will conclude that taking a restorative justice approach to euthanasia and assisted suicide could enable movement in the seemingly intractable debate and the adoption of a more effective and compassionate response to extraordinarily difficult situations.

Ken Himma (Seattle Pacific University), "A defence of traditional conceptual analysis"

CAVE Seminar: 28 July 2011, in conjunction with the Julius Stone Institute (University of Sydney)

Ken Himma (Seattle Pacific University)

"A defence of traditional conceptual analysis"

Time: 4.30 - 6 pm
Venue: W3A, Blackshield Room

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University), "Do psychopaths make moral judgements?"

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Joint CAVE/MACCS seminar: Tuesday 16 July 2011

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University)

"Do psychopaths make moral judgements?"

Time: 4.00pm - 5.30 pm
Venue:  C5C 498

Psychopaths are less than 1% of the population but commit over 30% of the violent crime in most modern societies. Some experts claim that psychopaths make moral judgments but do not care about morality. Others argue that psychopaths do not really make moral judgments but only pretend to do so. I will present recent data as well as experimental plans to address this dispute. These results can be important for treatment, prediction, and punishment policies as well as philosophical debates about the nature and basis of moral judgment.

Jessica Wolfendale (West Virginia University), "The right not to be tortured"

CAVE seminar: Tuesday 7 June 2011

Jessica Wolfendale (West Virginia University)

"The right not to be tortured"

Time: 11.00am - 1.00pm
Venue: W6A 708

Jessica Wolfendale writes: Jeff McMahan has recently argued that the right not to be tortured can be forfeited in classic 'ticking bomb' scenarios. McMahan claims that the terrorist's responsibility for creating the threat of the ticking bomb makes him 'morally liable' to be tortured, and thus the terrorist has no right not to be tortured. This view of the right not to be tortured was adopted by the Bush Administration in the torture memos, and is shared by other philosophers, included David Rodin and Stephen Kershnar. In this paper I argue that the right not to be tortured is derived from the right to be treated as a person - a right that cannot be forfeited even in cases of extreme wrongdoing. I argue that the right to be treated as a person is grounded in the features of persons that enable them to be rational moral agents capable of maintaining a unified sense of agency. This right generates a correlative duty to refrain from actions that undermine or attack the capacities for personhood, of which torture is a paradigmatic example. The right to be treated as a person (and so the right not to be tortured) cannot be forfeited because there is a fundamental connection between personhood and moral accountability. Holding agents morally responsible requires seeing them as persons, as only persons may be held morally accountable for their actions. This requires that we continue to see them as persons, and as such they are entitled to the respect due to persons by virtue of their capacity for agency.

Karen Jones (University of Melbourne), "Epistemic Injustice and Self-Trust"

CAVE seminar: Friday 27May 2011

Karen Jones (University of Melbourne)

"Epistemic Injustice and Self-Trust"

Time: 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Venue: W6A 708

"In this paper", Karen Jones writes, "I sketch an account of intellectual self-trust, arguing that it has an important non-cognitive component and that it is created an sustained socially. Next, drawing on work in social psychology, I look at the ways in which social injustice creates epistemic injustice, which in turn undermines self-trust. Finally, drawing the empirical and philosophical threads together, I make some suggestions for remedy".

Past public lectures


Public Lecture: Andy Clark on 'Human Persons as Bio-Technological Hybrids'

Date: 4 December 2018

We are entering an age of widespread human enhancement. The technologies range from wearable, implantable, and pervasive computing, to new forms of onboard sensing, thought-controlled equipment, personal Artificial Intelligences, intelligent prosthetic limbs, humble but transformative waves of smartphones, and the humanly engineered landscapes of augmented, virtual, and mixed realities. Courtesy of this tidal swell of self-creation, we should start to recognise ourselves not as neatly bounded biological organisms but as repeatedly reconfigurable nodes in a flux of innovation and reinvention. This gives us a new opportunity to look at ourselves, and to ask the fundamental question:

Where does the human mind stop, and the rest of the world begin?

This fundamental question was explored by Professor Andy Clark, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, and Macquarie University, NSW, Australia.

About Prof Andy Clark

Andy Clark is Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, at Edinburgh University in Scotland.  He is the author of several books including Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind (Oxford University Press, 2016), Mindware (Oxford University Press, Second Edition 2014), Supersizing the Mind (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Being There: Putting Brain, Body And World Together Again  (MIT Press, 1997). Academic interests include artificial intelligence, embodied and extended cognition, robotics, and computational neuroscience.  He is currently primary investigator on a European Research Council Advanced Grant ‘Expecting Ourselves’, looking at Consciousness and the Predictive Brain.


Public Lecture: Tim Soutphommasane (Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner), "Moral Psychology and Race"

CAVE Public Lecture: Thursday 9 November 2017

Dr. Tim SoutphommasaneTim Soutphommasane (Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner)

"Moral Psychology and Race"

About Dr. Soutphommasane:

Dr Tim Soutphommasane has been Race Discrimination Commissioner since August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, Tim was a political philosopher and held posts at The University of Sydney and Monash University. His thinking on multiculturalism, patriotism and national identity has been influential in shaping debates in Australia and Britain.

Tim is the author of four books: I’m Not Racist But … (2015), The Virtuous Citizen (2012), Don't Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (2009). He was co-editor (with Nick Dyrenfurth) of All That's Left (2010). He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers, and presented the documentary series Mongrel Nation on ABC Radio National (2013). Tim is an adjunct professor at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University and chairs the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity.

Born in France and raised in southwest Sydney, Tim holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy (with Distinction) from the University of Oxford, and is a first-class honours graduate of The University of Sydney.


Public Lecture: David Matas, "Policy and Law in Australia to Prevent Complicity in Foreign Transplant Abuse"

CAVE Visitor David MatasCAVE Public Lecture: Wednesday 23 November 2016

David Matas (B'nai Brith Canada)

"Policy and Law in Australia to Prevent Complicity in Foreign Transplant Abuse"

Time: 18:00 - 20:00
Venue: W5A Theatre 2

Various professional and international organizations have developed standards to avoid local complicity in foreign transplant abuse, such as receiving unethically sourced organs. This lecture will run through what those standards are. There is substantial evidence of transplant abuse in China.  The standards will be applied, in the form of a case study, to indicate what can be done to avoid complicity in transplant abuse in China. I consider what professional, national and international institutions both have done and could do to reduce complicity.  For professional institutions, the talk will address how the standards apply to The Transplantation Society and the World Medical Association.  For international institutions, the talk will consider the standards in relation to the European Union, the World Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Office for Drugs and Crimes.  For national institutions, the talk will consider standards in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About Mr. Matas:

David Matas is an international human rights lawyer, author and researcher based in Winnipeg and currently acts as Senior Honorary Counsel for B’nai Brith Canada. He has served the government of Canada in numerous positions including as member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Conference on an International Criminal Court; the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research; and the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe Conferences on Antisemitism and Intolerance. He has also been involved in several different organizations, including the Canadian Helsinki Watch Group, Beyond Borders, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Council for Refugees.

Mr Matas has received numerous awards and honors, including the Manitoba Bar Association Distinguished Service Award in 2008, the Order of Canada in 2009, the Canadian Bar Association National Citizenship and Immigration Section Achievement Award in 2009, and the International Society for Human Rights Swiss Section Human Rights Prize in 2010.

In 2006, Mr Matas co-authored Bloody Harvest: Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China alongside Hon. David Kilgour. Both Mr Matas and Mr Kilgour were nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for this work.

David Matas is a co-author of the 2016 investigative report An Update to Bloody Harvest and The Slaughter. The report meticulously examines the transplant programs of hundreds of hospitals in China, drawing on media reports, official propaganda, medical journals, hospital websites and a vast amount of deleted websites found in archives.

His other works include Why Did You Do That? The Autobiography of a Human Rights Advocate; Justice Delayed: Nazi War Criminals in Canada with Susan Charendoff; Closing the Doors: The Failure of Refugee Protection with Ilana Simon; No More: The Battle Against Human Rights Violations; Bloody Words: Hate and Free Speech; and Aftershock: Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism.

This lecture is available for viewing on Youtube.


Gillian Triggs (Australian Human Rights Commission), "The Business of Human Rights"

CAVE Public Lecture 2015, Prof. Gillian TriggsCAVE Public Lecture: Thursday 17 September 2015

Gillian Triggs (Australian Human Rights Commission)

"The Business of Human Rights"

Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Venue: Australian Hearing Hub Theatre 1

About Prof. Triggs:

Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, taking up her appointment in 2012. She was the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney from 2007 to 2012, and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law from 2005 to 2007. She is a former Barrister with Seven Wentworth Chambers and a Governor of the College of Law.

Professor Triggs has combined an academic career with international commercial legal practice and worked with governments and international organisations on disputed continental shelf and other territorial claims, World Trade Organisation law and human rights. Her focus at the Commission is on the implementation in Australian law of the human rights treaties to which Australia is a party, and to work with nations in the Asia Pacific region on practical approaches to human rights.

Professor Triggs' long-standing commitment to legal education builds upon the Commission's efforts to inform Australians, especially children, about their fundamental human rights.

This lecture is available for viewing on Youtube.


Julian Savulescu (Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford), "Enhancing Responsibility"

CAVE Visitor Prof. Julian SavulescuCAVE Public Lecture: Tuesday 9 December 2014

Julian Savulescu (Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford)

"Enhancing Responsibility"

Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Venue: E7B 100 Theatrette 

What is moral responsibility? When is it appropriate to praise or blame someone for the consequences of their actions? How should we decide whether someone is morally responsible for some bad event? Responsibility is central our conceptions of ourselves as persons. People "take responsibility" for their actions. But what does this mean? Recent neuroscience and psychology are calling into question whether free will exists and whether people are "in control" of their actions. How should should we decide whether criminals are responsible, in light of recent neuroscientific research? Should people suffering from lifestyle diseases, such as alcoholism, smoking and obesity, be held responsible for their ill health and given lower priority in health delivery?

I will explore these questions and whether responsibility could be enhanced by biomedical means. I will argue that we both can and should enhance responsibility.

About Prof. Savulescu:

Julian Savulescu's areas of research include: the ethics of genetics, especially predictive genetic testing, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, prenatal testing, behavioural genetics, genetic enhancement, gene therapy; research ethics, especially ethics of embryo research, including embryonic stem cell research; new forms of reproduction, including cloning and assisted reproduction; medical ethics, including end of life decision-making, resource allocation, consent, confidentiality, decision-making involving incompetent people, and other areas; sports ethics; and the analytic philosophical basis of practical ethics. He is currently the Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and is the author of many books, including Human Enhancement (2009), and Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement (2012).


Bernadette McSherry (University of Melbourne), "Legal Capacity, Mental Capacity and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities"

Melbourne University's Professor Bernadette McSherryCAVE Public Lecture: Wednesday 23 October 2013

Bernadette McSherry (University of Melbourne)

"Legal Capacity, Mental Capacity and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with  Disabilities"

Time: 5.30pm - 7.00pm
Venue: Hearing Hub Lecture Theatre 1

About Prof. McSherry:

Professor McSherry is the Foundation Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, University of Melbourne, and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, Monash University. She is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow. She has honours degrees in Arts and Law, Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne, a PhD from York University, Canada and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Monash University. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Professor McSherry is a legal member of the Mental Health Review Board of Victoria and has acted as a consultant to government on criminal law, sentencing and mental health law issues.


Julian Burnside, AO QC, "Defining our National Character: Our Treatment of Asylum Seekers"

Julian Burnside

CAVE Public Lecture: Tuesday 2 October 2012

Mr Julian Burnside, AO QC

"Defining Our National Character: Our Treatment of Asylum Seekers"

Time: 6.00 pm
Venue: W5A T1

About Mr. Burnside:

Julian Burnside is a barrister specialising in commercial litigation. He joined the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1989. He acted for the Ok Tedi natives against BHP, for Alan Bond in fraud trials, for Rose Porteous in numerous actions against Gina Rinehart, and for the Maritime Union of Australia in the 1998 waterfront dispute against Patrick Stevedores. Julian was Senior Counsel assisting the Australian Broadcasting Authority in the "Cash for Comment" inquiry and was senior counsel for Liberty Victoria in the Tampa litigation.

He is a former President of Liberty Victoria, and has acted pro bono in many human rights cases, in particular concerning the treatment of refugees. In 2004 he was elected as a Living National Treasure. In 2009 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.

This lecture is available for listening on Youtube.


Thomas Pogge (Yale University), "Human rights as constraints on global institutional arrangements"

Thomas Pogge

CAVE Public Lecture: Thursday 11 August 2011

Thomas Pogge (Yale University)

"Human rights as constraints on global institutional arrangements"

Venue: Y3A Theatre 1

Severe poverty and massive disease burdens are human rights violations when they are the foreseeable effect of active conduct by human agents and an effect these agents could avoid without undue hardship. By this criterion, the failure of rich countries and their corporations and citizens to assist very poor people abroad does not violate any human rights of the latter because the relevant conduct of the former is merely passive: they fail to help. Yet, the rich countries and their corporations and citizens are violating the human rights of the global poor if and insofar as they do things that, for the sake of minor gains, foreseeably aggravate severe poverty and disease. One thing they do together, and with the help of poor-country rulers and "elites," is design and impose supranational institutional arrangements that -- shaped to benefit the imposers -- are foreseeably much less avoiding of severe poverty and disease than they might be. This claim can be illustrated by reference to the regulation of trade (grandfathering of protectionist barriers), intellectual property, profit-and-loss reporting, banking deposits, environmental harms, labor standards, sovereign borrowing and resource exports, and international trade in arms. In view of the harms such supranational institutional arrangements foreseeably and avoidably inflict on the global poor, their imposition can easily qualify as the largest (though not the gravest) human rights violation in human history.

This lecture is available for listening on Youtube.


Cordelia Fine (University of Melbourne), "'The Female Brain is a High Performance Emotion Machine'!: Issues in the Interpretation and Reporting of Brain Science, from Scanner to Soundbite"

Cordelia Fine

CAVE Public Lecture: 27 October 2009

Cordelia Fine (University of Melbourne)

'The female brain is a high performance emotion machine"! : Issues in the interpretation and reporting of brain science, from scanner to soundbite'

Lecture on the topic of Dr. Fine's recently published book: Delusions of Gender: How our minds, society and neurosexism create difference (New York: WW Norton, 2010).

Archival calendar of events


18 January: CAVE Reading Group: Culture and Cognition (continues until June)

14 February: CAVE Executive Board Meeting

23 February: CAVE Workshop: Social Dimensions of Identity and Responsibility

24 February: CAVE Advisory Board Meeting

1 March: CAVE Reading Group: Bioethics (continues until November)

5 March: All About Women talk: Cordelia Fine (Melbourne), "Testosterone Rex" (at the Opera House)

7 March: CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam), "On becoming a good philosopher"

7 March: CAVE Seminar: Nikolas Rose (King's College London), "Neurotechnologies of justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom”

9 March: CAVE HDR Masterclass: Logi Gunnarson (Potsdam)

30 March: CAVE/Anthropology Seminar: Verina Wild (Munich), "Just a little stitch? The ethics of hymen reconstruction"

11 April: CAVE Executive Board Meeting

24 April: CAVE Reading Group: Moral Psychology

2 May: CAVE Reading Group: Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice (2007) (Continues until June)

8 May: Joint CAVE/PJI Seminar: Julian Savulescu (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics), "Enhancement, designer babies, and conscientious objection"

24 May: Special CAVE Bioethics Reading Group: Rebecca Tuvel's "In Defense of Transracialism"

29 May: CAVE Workshop: Epistemic Angst and Extended Knowledge

29 May: Sydney Writers Festival talk: Wendy Rogers (Macquarie), "Crossing the Line - Activism and Academic Bioethics" (in the Blue Mountains)

30 May: CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh/MQ), "Risk"

9 June: CAVE/VELiM Workshop: Sex Selection: Changes in Australian Policy

14 June: CAVE Exec Meeting

28 June: CAVE Workshop: Forgiveness, blame, and the reactive attitudes

11 July: CAVE Seminar: Lucy Allais (Wits/UCSD), "Evil and the Disunity of the Subject"

12 July: CAVE Reading Group: Kant and Racism

13 July: CAVE HDR Masterclass with Lucy Allais (Wits/UCSD)

24 July: Joint CAVE/Macquarie Law School Seminar: Colleen Murphy (Illinois), "Justice in Transitional Circumstances"

10 - 11 August: Joint CAVE/CCD Workshop: Conspiracy theories, delusions and other `troublesome' beliefs

11 August: FoA Workshop: Nature and World in the History of German Philosophy

15 August: CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Lionel K. McPherson (Tufts), "What deflating 'race' means"

17 August: CAVE Symposium: Replacing Race

22 August: CAVE Reading Group: Social and Political Philosophy on Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks (Continues until December)

11 - 12 September: Joint CAVE/CSU Conference: The Role of Conscience and Conscientious Objection in Healthcare

14 - 15 September: Joint CAVE/CIBF/Sydney Conference: Neuroscience and Society: Ethical, Legal, and Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research

3 - 4 October: Joint CAVE/Sydney Workshop: New Directions on the Emergence and Maintenance of Individuality

12 October: CAVE Exec Meeting

17 October: CAVE/Philosophy Seminar: Jeremy Moss (Practical Justice Initative, UNSW), "Historical Emissions and the Carbon Budget"

9 November: CAVE Public Lecture: Dr. Tim Soutphommasane (Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner), "Moral Psychology and Race"

20 November: CAVE Workshop: Aesthetics and Politics

20 - 21 November: Joint CAVE/CCD Forum: Science of the Self: Agency and Body Representation

11 - 13 December: CAVE Workshop: Predictive Engines: Andy Clark and Predictive Processing


16 February: CAVE Workshop: The Virtues and Limits of Coherence in Moral and Legal Reasoning

18-19 February: Joint CAVE/VOS (Glasgow) Workshop: The Feeling of Suffering

8 March: Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Katsunori Miyahara (Rikkyo), "How the skin makes me me: A phenomenological analysis of itch experience."

15 March: Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Albert Newen (Bochum), "The Individuation and Recognition of Emotion"

16 March: CAVE Workshop: Social Cognition and the Self

12 April: CAVE Seminar: Michael Brady (Glasgow)

26 April: CAVE Workshop: Legal Processes and Human Rights

26 May: CAVE Seminar: Robert Audi (Notre Dame), "Intellectual Virtue, Knowledge, and Justification"

22 July: CAVE/USyd Conference: Social Imaginaries: Dominance and Resistance

2 August: CAVE/CCD Workshop: Social Cognition and Cultural Evolution

26 August: CAVE Seminar: Shane O'Neill (Queens University Belfast), "The Fabric of Global Justice: Freedom, Recognition, and Decolonization"

22 September: CAVE Workshop: Recognising those without capacity

14 October: CAVE Workshop: Dementia in the Courtroom

25 October: CAVE Seminar: Dominik Düber (Münster), "What's a conception of the good (life)?"

31 October: CAVE/VELiM Symposium: Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare

15 November: Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Robert Bernasconi (Penn State), "Towards a Genealogy of the Concept of Racism"

17 - 18 November: CAVE Workshop: The History and Philosophy of 'Race'

23 November: CAVE Public Lecture: David Matas (B'nai Brith Canada), "Policy and Law in Australia to Prevent Complicity in Foreign Transplant Abuse"


2-3 February: CAVE Workshop: Understanding Complex Animal Cognition

6 February: Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Kristin Andrews (York), "What does it mean to call a chimpanzee a person?"

15 May: CAVE Workshop: Predictive Coding, Delusions, and Agency

15 June: CAVE Workshop: Amnesia and Identity: self, memory, and moral psychology

5-9 July: AAP Conference: Australasian Association of Philosophy 2015 Conference

13 July: CAVE Workshop: Consciousness, Subjectivity, and Self

7 September: CAVE Seminar: Marc Lewis (Radboud), "Throwing out the brain with the bathwater? What neuroscience can teach us about recovery in addiction."

17 September: CAVE Public Lecture: Gillian Triggs, "Business and Human Rights."

13 October: Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Jennifer Radden (Massachusetts, Boston), "Folly, Melancholy, Madnesse are but one disease: Feelings and Reasoning Norms in the Anatomy of Melancholy and today's Mind Sciences."

15 - 16 October: CAVE Conference: Defining the Boundaries of Disease

20 October: Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Heidi Maibom (Cincinnati), "Reeenactment, counterfactual reasoning, and empathy."

3 November: Joint CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Luke Russell (Sydney), "Forgiving Under Ignorance."

4 - 5 November: CAVE Conference: Perspectives on Empathy

8 December: Launch: Australian Neurolaw Database


26 April: TEDx Talk by CAVE associate member, Dr. Nicole Vincent, " Enhancement: The New 'Normal'?"

2 May: CAVE Workshop: Neurolaw in Australia.

5 May: CAVE Reading Group on Fiery Cushman's work.

23 May: CAVE Seminar: Dr. Monique Crane (Macquarie University), "Moral Distress in the Workplace."

27 May: CAVE Reading Group on Emmanuel Renault's work.

29-30 May: Agency and Moral Cognition Network/CAVE Workshop.

10 June: CAVE Seminar: Prof. Emmanuel Renault (Paris, Nanterre), on "Social Self and Work in The Phenomenology of Spirit."

13 June: CAVE Seminar: Presentation by Prof. Emmanuel Renault (Paris, Nanterre), "Marx's Critique of the Market."

16 June: Joint CAVE/Centre for Legal Governance/Macquarie Law School Seminar: Prof. Kevin Toh (San Francisco State University), "The Place of Social Practices in our Normative Lives."

31 July: HDR session: Ethics in the Field with Prof. Robert Frodeman (University of North Texas)

1 August: Workshop: Ethics in the Field.

19 August: CAVE Workshop: Cultural Evolution.

26 August: CAVE Seminar: Prof. Andrew Moore (University of Otago), "Objective Wellbeing."

29 August: CAVE Seminar: Prof. Andrew Moore (University of Otago), "The job of 'ethics committees.'"

27 September: TEDx Talk by CAVE HDR student, Tereza Hendl, "Ethical aspects of gender selection for non-medical reasons."

24 October: CAVE/Philosophy Department Seminar: Heather Draper (Birmingham), "An empirically informed ethical framework for social care robots for older people."

31 October: CAVE Workshop: "Addressing challenges in consent to surgical innovations."

20-21 November: CAVE workshop: "Moral Responsibility: Non-Metaphysical Perspectives."

25 November: CAVE Masterclass with Marina Oshana (University of California, Davis).

28 November: CAVE workshop: "Predictive Coding, Delusions, and Agency." - POSTPONED TILL 2015

9 December: CAVE Public Lecture: Julian Savulescu (Oxford), "Enhancing Responsibility."

10 December: CAVE workshop: "Synthetic Biology."

16 December: HDR Session with Mary Rawlinson.

17 December: CAVE Seminar: Mary Rawlinson, "Eating at the Heart of Ethics."

18 December: CAVE workshop: "The problems with choosing children's gender."


19-20 February: CAVE Workshop: Working in Australia: Contemporary Trends, New Critical Perspectives

12 March: CAVE Seminar: Professor Arto Laitinen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), "Declarations, Deontic Powers and Directions of Fit: On Searle's Social Ontology" AND "Problems and Promises in the Philosophy of Recognition."

11 April: CAVE Workshop: Competence in psychiatric settings

3 May: CAVE Seminar: Kathryn Millard (MMCS, Macquarie University), "Revisioning Obedience: Stanley Milgram's laboratory drama."

10-11 May: CAVE Workshop: Point of View in Memory and Imagery: philosophical and psychological perspectives on perspectives

26 June: CAVE Workshop: Bioethics Cluster Work-in-Progress Afternoon

4-5 July: CAVE Workshop: Vulnerable Animals

21 August: CAVE Workshop: Autonomy

25-26 September: Agency and Moral Cognition Network meeting

18 October: CAVE Workshop: Meaning in life (and why it matters)

23 October: CAVE Public Lecture: Professor Bernadette McSherry (University of Melbourne), "Legal Capacity, Mental Capacity and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities"

28 October: CAVE Workshop: Ethical Issues in Surgical Innovation

6 November: CAVE Workshop: Relational Autonomy and Bioethics

8 November: CAVE Workshop: Paternalism

20 November: Workshop: Judging Responsibility

21-22 November: Workshop: Dignity

6 November: Workshop: Evolution of Language


24-25 February: Workshop (organised jointly by CAVE and CCD): Philosophy of Psychiatry

17 April: Workshop: Apartheids of the Mind

3-4 May: Workshop: Social Ontology and Collective Intentionality

17 July: CAVE Research Afternoon

20-22 July: Conference: Australian Society of Legal Philosophy Conference (under the auspices of CAVE)

23 July: Workshop: Addiction Neuroscience: Interpretation and implications for public policy, legal practice, ethics, treatment, and user identity and belief in self-sufficiency

24 July: HDR Session with Professor Duff

25 July: Joint CAVE/CLG seminar: Professor Antony Duff (University of Stirling), "Crimes and Torts."

3 September: Joint CAVE/CLG seminar: Professor Heidi M. Hurd (University of Illinois) and Professor Ralph Brubaker (University of Illinois): "Debts and the Demands of Conscience: The Moral Underpinnings of Bankruptcy Law."

2 October: CAVE Public Lecture: Mr Julian Burnside, AO QC, "Defining Our National Character: Our Treatment of Asylum Seekers."

15 November: Workshop: Capabilities Approach to Justice: Theory and Practice

27 November: CAVE Seminar: Professor Vikki Entwistle (University of Dundee),"Doing Philosophy with Clinicians and Patients."

5 December: Workshop: Philosophy and Cognitive Science

6 December: CAVE Seminar: Shaun Gallagher (Memphis), Dan Hutto (Hertfordshire) and Somogy Varga (Memphis), "Social ontology, Critical Theory and Extended Minds."

7 December: CAVE seminar: Professor Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis), "Autonomy, Self-Agency and Social Interaction."

10 December: CAVE special seminar: Dr Robert McKay (Sheffield University), Dr Anat Pick (Queen Mary College, London) and Dr Tom Tyler (Oxford Brookes University),"Otherwise than Being Human: Three Talks on Non‐anthropocentric Collectivity and Ethical Agency."

10-11 December: Workshop: Skills and Expertise


24 March: Addiction and Moral Identity Advisory Group meeting

27 May: CAVE seminar: Karen Jones (University of Melbourne), "Epistemic injustice and self-trust."

7 June: CAVE Seminar: Jessica Wolfendale (West Virginia University), "The right not to be tortured."

10 June: CAVE Research Network Meeting

17 and 20-21 June: Workshop: Agent Tracking and Its Disorders: A Multidisciplinary Workshop on the Identification and Tracking of Human Individuals (co-sponsored with the Centre for Language Sciences and the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science).

14-15 July: Workshop: Neurolaw in Australia - revealing the hidden impact of neuroscience and behavioural genetics on Australian law

16 July: Symposium: Neurolaw Symposium: "The Science of the Mind Meets the Body of the Law"

21 July: Workshop: Agency and Moral Cognition Network workshop: "Character, Capacity and Personality"

21 July: CAVE Launch

26 July: CAVE seminar: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University), "Do psychpaths make moral judgements?"

28 July: CAVE seminar: Ken Himma (Seattle Pacific University), "A defence of traditional conceptual analysis"

11 August: CAVE Public Lecture: Thomas Pogge (Yale University) "Human rights as constraints on global institutional arrangements."

20-21 September: Symposium: Testing Times: A symposium on the ethics and epistemology of animal experimentation

30 September: CAVE seminar: Jocelyn Downie (Dalhousie University): "End of Life Law and Policy: A New Arena for Restorative Justice"

10-11 November: Conference: Work and Self-Development: an interdisciplinary conference

24 November: CAVE seminar: Beate Roessler (University of Amsterdam), "Authenticity of Cultures and Persons."

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