The second in a Royal Institute of Philosophy conference series on Personhood and Selfhood at the University of Manchester.
Keynote speaker: Professor Marya Schechtman (The University of Illinois at Chicago)
Deadline for abstract submissions: Friday 2nd March 2018.
Call for Papers
Many accounts of what it is for something to count as a person and persist over time as the same person have focused on biological and psychological conditions. However, when many people think about their own personal identity and sense of self, they tend to understand these things in terms of a narrative that unfolds across their life. We view ourselves as the protagonist of an ongoing story which connects all the events in our lives. Many who write about personhood and the self have attempted to do justice to this intuition by incorporating some kind of narrative condition into their accounts. The presence of such a condition has some significant implications for our understanding of personhood and our sense of self, as well as raising further issues about how these concepts relate to the more familiar biological and psychological conditions of personhood.
In this workshop we hope to address some of these issues. Specifically, we aim to address whether the ability to form and use personal narratives of experiences constitutes a necessary condition of personhood, and to investigate the various relationships between sense of self, personhood, memory and narrative.
We are interested in insights from across the philosophical spectrum, and so whilst the following are topics contributors might wish to consider, this is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list of areas to consider:
- Does the ability to form and draw upon personal narrative constitute a necessary requirement for personhood status?
- To what extent are personal narratives a product of the efforts of multiple parties? What are the implications of this?
- Do personal narratives possess functions or features that other forms of narrative (or other knowledge structures) do not? How are these differences significant to personhood?
- What does it mean for a sequence of events to be a narrative, with regards to the self?
- If personal narratives can be subject to revision, and a key role of personal narratives is that they help a subject constitute themselves, does that mean that selves are subject to revision?
- What are the implications of various cognitive problems, including ones involving memory, for narrative accounts of personhood?
- Is there more to being a person than being a narrative self? How do these different aspects of personhood fit together?
Please send abstracts of c750-1000 words prepared for anonymous review to email@example.com by Friday 2nd March 2018 (midnight UK time). Please also include a separate cover note containing:
- Forename and surname.
- Academic affiliation.
- Paper title.
- Whether or not you may require childcare support if asked to present at the event.
(Documents can be formatted in any MS Word-compatible software or in pdf format.)
We are particularly keen to encourage applications from philosophers with backgrounds and/or identities which are not currently well-represented in academic philosophy, so please also add any additional information you feel is relevant to this goal, to your cover note (and please note that this information is not mandatory).
Successful participants will be notified of their acceptance by 16th March 2018.
Registration details for both presenters and attendees will be issued once the speaker schedule is confirmed.
- Jon Bebb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Leonie Smith (email@example.com)
- Justina Berskyte (firstname.lastname@example.org
- Penelope Orr (email@example.com)
The University of Manchester series on Personhood
'The Narrative Self’ forms part of the University of Manchester Royal Institute of Philosophy conference series for postgraduate and early career researchers on the topic of ‘Personhood and Selfhood’. Each workshop event stands alone with a defined core thematic agenda, whilst as a series, we seek to enable attendees and speakers to identify threads and promising avenues for further research which cut across philosophical sub-divisions and approaches. The full series of one-day workshops addresses the following themes:
- A. Social personhood (16th January 2018).
- B. Narrative concepts of the self (19th April 2018).
- C. Personhood and self-consciousness (July 2018).