Lund Early Career Workshop 2022: Perception and Responsibility

Perceptual experience is often thought to be passive. If our eyes are open and the viewing conditions favourable, we can’t help but see whatever is in front of us. By contrast, responsibility is often thought to require activity. Many hold that we are responsible only for that which is within our control. Perhaps for this reason, perceptual experience and responsibility have seldom been thought to be complementary objects of enquiry. But if we move beyond the crude labels of passivity and activity, there is reason to think that perception and responsibility relate and constrain one another in rich and various ways. 

In opening a dialogue between theories of perception and responsibility, some basic questions immediately arise. Can we have perceptual experiences of moral properties like responsibility? Are we responsible for the perceptual experiences we do have? Does assigning responsibility involve perceptual (or perception-like) capacities? If we answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, are we then responsible for seeing another agent as responsible? At the Lund Early Career Workshop 2022: Perception and Responsibility we aim to foster a space in which we can draw out some of these connections.

Possible themes and research questions include (but are not limited to!):

Perceptual experience of values

  • How would perceptual experience have to be structured for the perceiver to experience moral values?
  • Does the interplay of activity and passivity in perceptual experience invoke responsibility?
  • Do evaluative states such as beliefs, desires, emotions, and feelings influence and inform perceptual experience?

Responsibility and awareness

  • Can the way one perceives others morally harm or wrong them? Is one responsible for causing such harms or wrongs?
  • What is the nature of implicit bias? To what extent do we have control over our implicit biases?
  • What is the connection between perception and a person's self-conception?

Responsibility and perspectives

  • In what way does holding someone responsible depend on or relate to the holder’s perspective on the situation? 
  • Some free will sceptics appeal to the objective or ultimate perspective in their arguments. What, if any, uses of ‘perspective-talk’ are legitimate in assessing responsibility or in determining questions about free will?
  • P.F. Strawson famously distinguished between two perspectives, the participant and the objective. What constitutes either perspective? For instance, what is it to see each other "as sharers in a common interest; as members of the moral community"?

Our aim is to have approximately 7 speakers present their work and receive comments from an assigned commentator, before opening up to a participant Q&A. The seven sessions will be followed by a keynote talk by Dr. Alison Kerr. 

To apply, please send an email to lundPR2022fil.luse containing two files in pdf format:

  1. An anonymized version of your paper, no longer than 4000 words (excl. bibliography)
  2. A document containing your name, affiliation, email address, and the title and abstract of your paper

We only accept applications from doctoral students and researchers who have obtained their PhD degree within 3 years of the date of the workshop. Each participant will be offered a conference lunch, dinner, and one night of hotel accommodation.

Important dates:
Submission deadline: February 21, 2022
Decision of acceptance: March 15, 2022
Workshop: 28-29 April, 2022

We strongly encourage authors from underrepresented groups in philosophy to apply!

Sidansvarig: anna.ostbergfil.luse | 2021-12-03