SPAWN 2007
 
PRACTICAL REASON
  July 29-31, 2007


CONFERENCE THEME

n recent debate about practical reason, the focus has shifted away from developing competing models of practical reasoning from within particular historical traditions – Aristotelian, Hobbesian, Humean, Kantian, etc. – to a more direct investigation of such foundational issues as: what is the nature of practical reasoning (instrumental, prudential, and moral) and how exactly does it differ from, as well as relate to, theoretical reasoning; what role do practical reasons play in explaining human action; how do practical reasons relate to beliefs/desires/values/emotions, etc.; and what grounds the normativity of practical reason in general. Some of the main topics of the conference include: 
new developments in historical approaches to practical reasoning (Aristotle/Hume/Kant)
the relationship between practical and theoretical rationality
competing theories of motivation, especially on the relationship between reasons and desires, e.g. belief-desire psychology vs. recent defenses of cognitivism
competing models of practical deliberation, e.g., instrumentalism or means-ends rationality/maximizing/satisficing/specificationism/planning theories of rational agency, etc.
internalism/externalism debates about reasons
naturalistic/expressivistic vs. non-naturalistic approaches to practical reasoning
the normative justification of practical reasoning, especially instrumental rationality
the relationship between practical reasoning and the emotions
practical reasoning and final ends
practical irrationality, and whether and how we can act against our better judgment