The Registers of Philosophy III

May 13, 2017
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Research Centre for the Humanities
Institute of Philosophy
1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán street 4., 7th floor

9:30-9:40 Opening – Ferenc Hörcher (MTA) Tamás Paár (PPKE)


Adam S. Potkay (College of William & Mary, Virginia): Rhetoric and Philosophy from Cicero to Adam Smith: Tropes, Dialogue, Self-Division

10:30-10:40 Commentary by Zsolt Komáromy (ELTE)

10:40-11:10 Discussion

11:10-11:40 Coffee break

11:40-11:05 Dániel Schmal (PPKE): Cartesian Cogito Enacted

11:05-11:30 Anna Jani (ELTE): The Hermeneutics of Textuality and the Questioning of Reality

11:30-12:00 Discussion

12:00-13:00 Lunch break

(cold dishes are going to be served for all participants)


Richard Heinrich (University of Vienna): Does Philosophy Need (its own) Words?

13:50-14:00 Commentary by András Rónai

14:00-14:30 Discussion

14:30-15:00 Coffee break

15:00-15:25 Adrienne Gálosi (University of Pécs): Cute Madonnas and Sublime Installations

15:25-15:50 Dániel L. Golden (MTA): The Place for the Literary in Richard Rorty’s Philosophy

15:50-16:20 Discussion


Ferenc Hörcher is giving a talk on the conference entitled "Roma aeterna – Roma moderna Les « Romes nouvelles » de l’époque moderne", organized by the Université Grenoble Alpes on the 26-27th April 2017 (organizers: Martin Wrede and Gilles Montègre). Details of the conference are accessible here.
The title of Ferenc Hörcher's talk is "The modern Rome: Legitimating early modern city governments with ancient Roman references".

László Bernáth is giving a talk at the workshop on "Reassessing Responsibility - Why Knowing What One Is Doing Matters" organized by the University of Cambridge on the 21-22nd of April. His talk is entitled: "Is Tracing in Trouble?"

One puzzle about moral responsibility is how agents may be responsible for beliefs, emotions, character traits, attitudes and unintentional omissions if they are unable to control these states and events. A popular way of solving this puzzle is to embrace the Trace theory of moral responsibility (van Inwagen 1989, Kane 1999). The Trace theory claims that agents do exercise indirect control over the states and events in question, because these can be traced back to choices that were under their direct control. Although most philosophers accept that there are cases where tracing correctly explains why we should attribute responsibility, many argue that it fails to do so in the vast majority of the cases. According to the Epistemic Argument (Vargas 2005, Shabo 2015), if we trace back the source of responsibility to a distant time, it is implausible that the agent is able to satisfy the Standard Epistemic Principle (SEP). SEP says that an agent is responsible for a consequence of her action only if she knew or should have known that the action may have the consequence in question. Further, some philosophers question whether tracing can provide sufficient control over the problematic states and events (Huoranszki 2011). They argue that choosing and acting cannot ensure that the agent in question will develop the proper characteristic traits and attitudes.
In my paper, I attempt to show that Trace theories are able to deal with both difficulties through reformulating epistemic and control-conditions of moral responsibility. In the first section, I discuss a thought experiment that is meant to demonstrate two things. The first is that SEP is false. The second is the idea that, plausibly, agents do not have to exercise control over the occurrence of the consequence to be responsible for it.    In the final section, I show how the weakened epistemological and control-conditions can help dealing with the two arguments against Trace-theories. In a nutshell, given that as it is enough for responsibility for consequences that the values of the decision and the consequences fit, responsibility for character traits does not presuppose that the agent knows or controls the consequence of her earlier decision that resulted in her later character trait, attitude, emotions, beliefs and omissions. It is enough if the agent knew (or should have known) that her decision had positive or negative value.

Tamás Demeter is giving a talk entitled "Hume on the Social Construction of Mathematical Certainty" at the Oxford Hume Forum on the 26th of April, organized by Oxford Brookes University (starting time of the event: 17:30).

Vocations of Realistic Political Theory

Prof. Ferenc Hörcher (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Pázmány Péter Catholic University)
Dr. Gulsen Seven

We invite for this workshop, papers that focus on possible vocations of realist political theory having accepted the claim that it is not possible for political theory to promote grand recipes for guiding human actions. By aiming to offer consideration of a variety of realist perspectives, the panel hopes to contribute towards achieving a heightened awareness of the significance of political realism beyond but never independent of the realm of political action, in political theory. It also intends to encourage representatives of political realism to engage in scholarly dialogue with representatives of other theoretical inclinations regarding vocations of political theory.

We welcome submissions from a range of relevant fields, including, but not limited to, philosophy, political science, international relations, sociology, legal and political theory and so on. To submit a paper for the workshop please send a max. 500-word abstract to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15th of May, 2017. Notification of acceptance will be given within a week after the deadline.

Papers for the workshop (no longer than 4000 words) will be pre-circulated. Full drafts will be due for circulation to workshop participants by 28th of August, 2017.

Additional details of the workshop and the full text of the call for papers can be accessed here.

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