Centre for Literature and Philosophy

One Day Conference: Literature, Action and Agents

18th January 2013, G22/26 Ground Floor Senate House, University of London. Registration at 9.00 conference close at 17.30 


One day conference in which philosophers of aesthetics and philosophers of action discuss new ways of thinking about agency.

The aim of the conference is to bring together philosophers of aesthetics and philosophers of action to address recent developments in the two fields that promise to offer interesting perspectives of thinking about agency. Recent work in action theory seeks to analyse our relation to the world, which we shape and to which we respond as agents, in terms that do justice to intentional, teleological, and normative ideas that once were thought to be desperately outmoded. Since narrative literary fictions are centrally about the doings of agents, descriptions of actions and of characters, intentions and justifications, self-deception and other limits of agential self-knowledge, it would seem that literature can contribute to this work. What form this contribution might take remains an open question and it is the task of this meeting to flesh out the prospects of research in this area by tackling a range of issues including the legacy of contextualist conceptions of agency; the priority of rational explanations of actions; structures of intention and poetic language; narrative and practical thought; as well as problems that arise from over-intellectualisation of agency and from overzealously humanist appropriations of literature.Speakers: 
Ana Almeida, Alberto Arruda, Humberto Brito (Universidad Nova de Lisboa), John Hyman (Oxford), Eileen John (Warwick), Peter Lamarque (York), Constantine Sandis (Oxford Brookes).

Entry is free but places are limited so please make sure to register in advance by writing to Dr Katerina Deligiorgi at K.Deligiorgi@sussex.ac.uk 

The conference organiser is grateful for the generous support of the British Society of Aesthetics, the Mind Association, the Aristotelian Society and the Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London, in partnership with the Centre for Literature and Philosophy at the University of Sussex and the Literature Network of Universidad Nova de Lisboa. We are also grateful for the generous support of our host, the Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London.