Naturalism, Normativity and the Philosophy of Mind

This conference brings together experts in the field of Naturalism, Normativity and the Philosophy of Mind to discuss different aspects of the topic historically as well as systematically.

“Since a great number of mental capacities seem to be sui generis and resist an explanation in more elementary terms, philosophers have been confronted with the problem of explaining the relation between those capacities and the physical world studied by the natural sciences. Indeed, many of the most-debated issues in contemporary philosophy of mind have concerned this “placement problem”, the problem of determining how seemingly irreducible mental phenomena can fit into the natural world. The present conference is dedicated to an approach to this problem that seeks to call into question the conception of objectivity that makes the problem emerge in the first place. According to the proponents of such an approach, the difficulties of locating the mind in reality emerge due to a too strict conception of objectivity, which only allows conceiving mental phenomena as objective by robbing them of their sui generis character. Rethinking that conception – the authors defending such an approach claim – is the key to solving the placement problem. The conference will provide an opportunity to discuss different contemporary attempts to put into practice such a solution and will allow to examine, more generally, the merits and limitations of the approach in question.”

Speakers are: Jocelyn Benoist (Paris), Naomi Eilan (Warwick), Markus Gabriel (Bonn), Johannes Haag (Potsdam), Andrea Kern (Leipzig), Sandra Laugier (Paris), Sofia Miguens (Porto), Lucy O’Brien (University College London), Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (Leipzig), Dieter Sturma (Bonn), Charles Travis (King’s College London), Michael Williams (Johns Hopkins), Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen) and David Zapero (Bonn).

The working language of the conference is English.

The event is free of charge and open to the public. Everyone interested is cordially invited. For further questions please contact Dr. David Zapero (

Date: 19/06/2017 – 21/06/2017


Conference Room of the International Center for Philosophy NRW (IZPH)
Poppelsdorfer Allee 28
53115 Bonn
3rd floor (elevator available)
Entrance area not barrier-free